Seed Magazine and Science Blogs

I recently noticed that it had been a while since I’d received a new issue of Geek Monthly magazine. Turns out, they went under six months ago.  Huh.  I guess I won’t be getting a refund of my remaining subscription fees. That prompted me to look at some of my other less-established magazine subs, and the only one that was missing was Seed.  Seed magazine was started four years ago as something of a spiritual successor to the 80s gem OMNI.  OMNI was a fabulous combination of science and science fiction, which in later years added far too much pseudoscience and then decided to jump into the “online only” realm before anyone was ready to read magazines online. They are sometimes missed. But this is about Seed.

Seed was pretty decent, actually. They had a lot of good writers working for them, and they seemed to understand the online world fairly well. They created a site which they used as something of cross-pollination project between print and blogging, the much-visited ScienceBlogs. A while back, they lost a few of their high-profile bloggers to Discover Magazine’s active blog portal. It appears that they shuttered the magazine last fall, with the promise that they weren’t going to quit publishing a magazine, they were just reducing the frequency and won’t you just wait until spring 2010 and you’ll get a new issue.  Um…yeah. Still waiting, and there doesn’t seem to be any official word (or at least not findable on their site) about where Seed Magazine went.

Last month, the ScienceBlogs folks noticed a new blog in their midst, one written by PepsiCo. There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth, ending with Pepsi’s blog being dropped. This week, there is a bit more of a kerfuffle. It’s a bit vague around the edges, but it seems the need to make money has become more important to Seed Media than any respect they may have had for being a science media focal point. I’m not clear on why this all came to a head today, rather than during the Pepsi Challenge, but a new batch of bloggers have jumped from ScienceBlogs and it’s not looking good for the site as a whole.  Interestingly, the biggest SciBlogger, the one who accounts for over half of their total traffic, has decided to go on strike/haitus rather than quit, but maybe Seed Media can bring ScienceBlogs back from this brink that their own inept management has brought them to. At a minimum, they need to realize that without content, their advertising department is completely worthless.

Meanwhile, where can I get a refund for the remaining issues on my subscription?  Hello?  *knock knock*

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Gary

Random gibberish from my mind, mostly dealing with technology, cooking, politics, and my family. Occasional cat posts - be warned.

2 thoughts on “Seed Magazine and Science Blogs”

  1. SEED was utterly worthless as a science magazine – puerile, analytically challenged, commercially driven, without any critical faculty of any kind, and no intelligent writer would go near scienceblogs for that reason. It was started earlier than you know by a lab rat from Montreal barely or not even out of his teens, who had won some kind of prize for his invention of some kind, as I recall, and both he and his editorial staff were qualified neither by experience or talent to start a good science magazine. None of this meant necessarily that they couldn’t get ads but somehow it did. The thing never really got off the ground as far as I know, financially. But it was a classic, in that it presented a perfect example of what science journalism did NOT need.

    1. The various writers that I respect who were involved all have similar tales of “WTF” from their days working for SEED. I find it amusing that their website still insisted that the magazine was not dead for over a year after they stopped publishing.

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