OK, its been a few weeks since I posted my latest piece of work on my blog (Sept. 4, 2007) and on Nature Precedings (Sept. 7, 2007). I think that is enough time to give a little summary of my experiences with both.
|number of comments||number of ambiguous votes||number of potential job offers||Blog||10||0||1||N. P.||0||4||0|
Based on these metrics, the blog post is clearly the winner; however, the preceedings version does have a few plusses not listed. It does appear to be a tiny bit more professional looking, there is a consistent versioning system, they offer a standardized way to cite the draft, the voting system has some potential, and it is frankly cool to get yourself onto their home page in any way possible..
In my humble opinion, N.P. could be improved by:
- enabling both positive and negative votes
- improving their submission system such that content not suitable for inclusion in a PDF such as large images, movies, and so on could easily by added
- notifying the authors of submitted manuscripts when comments or votes are added to their manuscripts
So, why did I get comments on my blog and not the N.P. post?
I think it is mostly because of the personal, social nature of the blog as a media. Many of the comments, (though not all) came from people that I think are signed up to a feed for my blog, the majority of which are personal friends (again, not all). These are the people that are most likely to a) be interested in what I have to say and b) to take the time to provide a useful response. If a post is interesting enough, these same people will tell their friends about it and they will tell their friends about it and all of a sudden it will have reached the right segment of the Internet population before Google Karma has even had a chance to act.
Nature is a broad spectrum journal with Nature Precedings even broader. If the Precedings idea is to take hold and thus reach a large enough participating audience to become interesting, I suggest that they need to figure out how to better accomodate the social side of this equation. (and don't think they aren't working on that..)