Sci has not been well these past few days. The issues inherent in PepsiCo blogs and everything else have been a really rough strain. Even more of a strain has been watching everyone ELSE react to the mess. Sci has seen rationalizations and justifications for leaving, for staying, for doing absolutely nothing, and for judging the people who did any of the above. It all makes her teeth hurt (the candy she’s been eating over the past few days might also have had something to do with that).
So I’m not going to analyze or judge anyone. I cannot say whether what I did was right for anyone but me. I can tell you (to a limited extent) the reasons which, to ME, were salient enough to make me leave (OMG, I just used “salient” in a non-science context! I’m so proud of me!). These issues may overlap with some, they may not apply to others. In total, they turned out to be important to me.
So here we go.
1) Tech Support: There have been problems with this in the past, and Sci never really got the tech support she needed. There was even a Trojan on the site, which resulted in Mr. S having to completely wipe and redo Sci’s harddrive last week. All Sci got if she pointed out problems was “we’re working on it”. Often problems really didn’t get resolved in a timely manner.
2) Advertising: This is NOT about Pepsi. Sci could care less whether it was Pepsi or frakkin’ Whole Foods. And obviously, this wasn’t the first time there had been sponsored blogs. It was merely the most recent time. Each time, it made Sci more uncomfortable, for reason #3.
3) Scibling consultation: Each time a new corporate blog rolled out, we got consulted less and less. This resulted in…some rather bone-headed PR moves. And this kind of convinced Sci that…well…that SEED didn’t really have a good grip on this, and didn’t really know the blog audience. Or the bloggers, for that matter. And that brings me to #4.
4) I felt like I didn’t matter: I can’t help it. The past few months made me feel less like a respected member of a community and more like one of Mr. Bly’s stable of cash cows. While Sci is a very small cow indeed, it’s not a nice feeling. And sure, Mr. Bly and SEED may really have the best interests of bringing science to the public. But every time something went down, and the bloggers got restless, it felt like we were handed something to placate us…and then something would go down again. And I get the feeling that this may happen again. The Pepsi Blog got pulled, and everything will get quiet…and then something new will happen.
So for Sci, this was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. She felt like SB took a big credibility hit, but mostly, I feel like I wasn’t really valued, and that similar boneheaded things would keep happening, just in different ways.
But it doesn’t make leaving less upsetting. I loved the exposure, I loved the community of really amazing, bright, intelligent, wonderful bloggers. And I loved the hits. They are like crack to us, precious. Dropping down from almost 100K hits a month to 100 a day? There’s some withdrawal. And Sci misses her SciBlings. I still don’t know if this was the right choice, or if there is a right choice. But I know that with the problems above, Sci wasn’t happy, and couldn’t be assured that it wouldn’t happen again. She could be wrong and there could be a big change coming. So for ME, it was what had to be done. For others, she can’t say. She doesn’t blame the people who want to wait and see.
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