Gosh it's dusty in here... 4 months with no house cleaning, time to get the feather duster out.
yes, dear reader, my adventure at LabSpaces has come to grinding halt. You can see the final post down below. I feel a bit like Mole, from Wind in the Willows right now. If you haven't read it, shame on you and I demand that you buy a copy immediately. And then read it.
Mole is befriended by Ratty and drug off on adventure (along with Toad (of Toad Hall) and Badger, and a nasty band of stoats and weasels). Somewhat like Bilbo Baggins, Mole isn't sure he likes the adventure, but goes along with the charismatic Ratty anyway. One of the most poignant moments in the book is when he finally gets home again, to his hole by the riverbank, to find it in disarray due to his absence. Of course, his friends help him spring clean and all is well with the world and they live happily ever after, perhaps some inter-species bestial love-up. Who knows. Milne never finished the sequel.
Anyway, I shall miss the traffic at LabSpaces, but I shall really miss my fellow bloggers. There is a surprising amount of camraderie, and I shall miss that.
To My Fellow LabSpaces Bloggers,
I assume it's obvious from the twitter discussion and general tension that it was me who emailed Brian regarding some of my concerns with LabSpaces. I assumed the email would be in confidence and would be the start of a dialogue, but in a sublimely, and typically, passive-aggressive manner he chose to actually post near verbatim sections of the letter for you all to see.
I wrote, "There are two main issues we face right now. Firstly, temporally at least, is the constantly increasing stable of bloggers. You stated clearly that you wanted the current bloggers to have some say in the recruitment of new "talent", and went so far as to share a spreadsheet with us. However, there have been more and more additions to the site and we haven't been consulted at all. I hope to keep this in confidence between us, but I don't think you're selecting the right people. Some of the bloggers really aren't very good writers and this is diluting the "talent" on the site. Moreover some of the blogs at LabSpaces are barely used anymore. We believe this isn't necessarily good for the LabSpaces reputation. We're also aware that you're still sending out invitations to bloggers, some of whom have declined your offer before. This too damages the reputation of LabSpaces, because people talk, and importantly for us, the bloggers are thus damaged vicariously."
"Said bloggers have also complained that they think the stables are too full and include some lame horses. I'm not going take any of you out to pasture, because that's not right, but I do think that it looks bad on the community to have people in our "Active" Writer's List that haven't blogged in over a month. I'll code in some new changes to remove blogger names from the lists after 6 weeks of inactivity. I think this is fair. Once a new post is made, the writer list will be re-compiled to include the inactive accounts."
I have added emphasis to mine to highlight my wish.
I can understand that some of you are disappointed and hurt by my saying this, and I can only apologize to your feelings. Science communication, indeed, effective written communication in general, is surprisingly difficult to get right and takes a lot of practice. It is certainly not an art in which we are trained. It is also important to bear in mind the tone one might employ when writing a private communique versus something to be considered and discussed in public. I meant to offend no one by my statement, and surely I am not commenting on anyone as a person, but merely pointing out that, as I said above, effective written communication is hard.
Brian made it clear that this site is his creation and I respect that, but it was also implied that the current bloggers would have a say in site additions, and we clearly don't. Please believe me; I'm not singling anyone out here. It's the process, not the people that I'm pissed at.
In addition there are some other issues and concerns, but I have (surprisingly for me) calmed down enough to not stomp my feet, throw my toys out of the sandbox and start pointing fingers and calling names.
To Brian, best of luck with the site. It's certainly a major investment and I hope it pays off.
To my friends, the bloggers, I am sorry to jump ship in bad weather like this. I consider all of you to be my friends and I'll miss your companionship.
To my readers, I hope you'll continue to follow the adventures, tales and mishaps of The Tideliar at Some Lies on Blogger.