RobRDunn: My piece is one that wouldn't fit somewhere else. It was too long, too dates and took eight years to write. or rather too long, too dated and took eight years to write. The blog gave me room to do what I wanted to do.
Easternblot: @RobRDunn eight years! Mine took two, I thought that was long...
RobRDunn: Well, it took that long to cook and for the final revelation in the story to come.
sciam_live: In what ways do anthologies like The Open Lab or this specifically help out science communications and writing?
BoraZ: My hope is that book readers enjoy the pieces enough to venture more onto the web, science blogs, become involved in the community
Laelaps: @sciam_live I think Open Lab helps highlight diversity of background and approaches. Mixes many great voices
LeeBillings: Re: how this anthology helps sci comm/sci writing, I think that depends somewhat on how many readers it reaches. Issuing this as a full-fledged book could be superfluous if only a handful of readers see it vs the online posts. So hopefully it will be wildly successful and broaden the reader base for the melting pot of online science writers.
edyong209: Y'know, even if literally no one reads the book, I think the anthology serves as a useful rallying point for the community.
sciam_live: Agreed, Ed. I found the annual 'best science writing' anthologies that predated The Open Lab to be inspiring. The annual science writing anthologies encourage me to write more, help me think, 'I can do this!'
MiriamGoldste: @edyong209 I like to think of us as a commune. :)
KateClancy: Also, a lot of us who write science online have other jobs, too. So these pieces are often things we really want to say...but they don't QUITE have a place in our day jobs. Or, they are a place to do our cooking/thinking.
BoraZ: Due to diversity of styles, I think our book is more fun than the collections from print sources, traditional format with less experimentation.
Davidmanly: @sciam_live The collection is a great melting pot. Hopefully will give writers new and old new ideas!
MiriamGoldste: @sciam_live Open Lab also highlights new science writing formats. E.g., blending personal science expertise w interview
TheFebrileMuse: With the cross-interviewing, I feel thrilled to get into the head of another, more experienced, writer.
GainesOnBrains: Do you consciously aim to include a wide range of science topics in the book, or are the selected writings just naturally diverse?
sciam_live: Are we seeing more diversity in the topics this year? What are some of the newer topics?
BoraZ: Yes, we consciously aim for diversity of topics, forms, styles, voices.
Ricardipus: So everyone - how much were you edited for the book? My posts lost ~25% of words and were greatly improved.
TheFebrileMuse: No editing, some fact checking on fairy tales and references to them...lost photos.
BoraZ: Each year, the posts get edited more. First book was essentially copy and paste of blog posts. Not this time.
Ricardipus: Most of what was trimmed from mine were references, photos + captions, and some irrelevant bumf.
Easternblot: @ricardipus I was barely edited, but I had to let go of my pictures, which I loved in the post.
Loveofscience: @easternblot I had to let go of my picture too. The illustrator went MIA.
Aatishb: 'Online writing' seems more sanitized :)
Ricardipus: I just realized this year's nomination deadline is in two weeks (!).
KateClancy: Yup, my intro was the most edited, but there was some style editing and fact checking too.
BoraZ: The challenge was to turn blog posts that are naturally parts of streams into stand-alone pieces.
LeeBillings: Being edited is nice. A big problem in writing for the web is the fallacy that one has 'unlimited' space to play with.
Ricardipus: @LeeBillings - a particular problem for highly verbose writers like me... ;)
BoraZ: Longform works great online, actually, but for paper, it is a different world, some things need to be cut.
Davidmanly: A bit of style was edited in mine, but pretty clean. Had to loose some great photos.
Drounz: Hi! I'm doing the #30DayGreen challenge for Scitable so I'm not supposed to buy any paper products... Can I get a dispensation for this book only?
sciam_live: Drounz -- The Open Lab is available as an e-book too.
Drounz: Great, thanks!
BoraZ: I think most of the edits, apart from deleting links, was the lede - bloggers tend to jump in without a lede. Expectations on paper are for well-edited pieces.
edyong209: 'Bloggers tend to jump in without a lede.' I wander the woods for 30 days & sacrifice goats for every one of mine.
KateClancy: @edyong209 And here I thought I was the only one...
KateClancy: I appreciated the editing. I am a more lenient reader online, less so on paper. On blogs you can count on your readers to already know and trust you. So you can jump in or play around more.
Davidmanly: @edyong209 I sacrifice the most dangerous game...
LeeBillings: @BoraZ Of course. I'm just saying it's easier to get lazy online when you don't deal with parsimony of physical limits.
BoraZ: Lee, exactly. This is, I think, a great exercise for bloggers, to have their pieces edited, see how it feels when darlings die.
Davidmanly: Having your darlings killed is something that every writer must face.
alexreshanov: I'll happily kill all darlings to have my typos fixed.
sciam_live: 5 minutes left in this chat about The Open Lab: The Best Science Writing Online 2012. Ask your qs!
sciam_live: Are ledes necessary?
Ricardipus: I just learned a new word. 'Lede' <-- spot the amateur writer.
edyong209: I cannot even begin to shout loudly enough about how ledes are necessary.
MiriamGoldste @sciam_live Yes. I am an old-fashioned snooty pants reader.
KateClancy: @edyong209 The problem is that some of us aren't journalists and so have to go look up the definition of 'lede' ;)
Ricardipus: ...or, what Kate said. :)
KateClancy: @ricardipus Ha! We had the same thought :)
BoraZ: Lede online is different - it can be a few links connecting the post to other posts. Not on paper!
sciam_live: Lede = 1st line of story that sums up what the story/post will be about. Hooks in reader too.
Aatishb: I definitely appreciated the multiple rounds of editing that my piece went through. And the lede improved it, and definitely differed from my usual way of introducing a story
sciam_live: A lot of people spell/misspell lede as lead.
edyong209: 'Lede': from the same people who brought you 'graf'. Journalism needs an editor.
BoraZ: And what is a 'dek'????
Davidmanly: Lede is what hooks your reader in past the headline. The one that grabs hold and says 'Read this'
TheFebrileMuse: Once upon a time works too...for some.
edyong209: Look, 'lede' is just a high-faluting way of saying 'Respect your reader by making your piece interesting from the start>
MiriamGoldste: I think my non-traditional lede drew ppl in who wouldn't other read abt fisheries. http://deepseanews.com/2010/12/dont-panic-sustainable-seafood-american-outlaw/
Easternblot: My lede mentioned pirates. Pretty sure that drew people in. I think there are actually TWO pirate-themed entries in the book!
Kimberly_Gerson: In thinking about ledes, it helps to imagine how your post will appear in Google results. You get about 2 lines to grab your reader.
Aatishb: True Ed, but ledes also tend to summarize the point of the story in the first paragraph. Sometimes this works, but sometimes a more gentle intro also makes sense.
edyong209: @aatishb. No. That's just what a specific genre does. You can lede however you like. Just make it interesting.
RobRDunn: It is an excuse for metaphor that I can then bring back into the lab.
Shara Yurkiewicz: Hi for the last few minutes! Just got out of a surgery (not on me).
Shara Yurkiewicz: I am partial to the quotation lede. Or a lede with two sentences that seem to juxtapose each other.
sciam_live: Without a lede, I'm less likely to keep reading online.
BoraZ: I hope that OpenLab is an important node in the new science media ecosystem, bridging the Old and New media in a nice way.
edyong209: @BoraZ That's nicely put.
BoraZ: Headline may be more important than lede - that's what is in tweets, feeds.
KateClancy: Speaking of day job, I have to go do some #madwriting for a writing project for my assistant prof gig...
Davidmanly: @KateClancy Good luck!
Alexreshanov: I try to do ledes that build interest without summarizing too much. Lest people stop reading at paragraph 1.
sciam_live: You don't want to give away too much.
edyong209: @alexreshanov Right. Exactly. It's a bit like feature writing. It doesn't have to be a sentence that summarises everything.
Amsciam: @edyong209 @alexreshanov Agree. Finding hook, but can't let it all out in first few sentences. Intrigue!
edyong209: Traditional news stories blow it all in opening paragraph. And we wonder why some attention spans are low...
Shara Yurkiewicz: @edyong it's the upside down pyramid scheme...
BoraZ: Inverted pyramid is not ideal for online. But perhaps good when edited for paper.
JHeditor: Hi all, Quick Q/thought: does science writing of this calibre actually influence *science* as well as science writing?
TheFebrileMuse: The fact is...science is exciting and we love passing on that excitement...the book does that well.
BoraZ: I hope it influences science. Lots of good blog writing highlights angles that scientists may not be aware of.
RobRDunn: I think science writing often influences science. It is able to make connections. Scientists don't have the time to step back and see.
edyong209: I've had at least one guy take his research in a new direction based on a post I wrote.
TheFebrileMuse @Edyong's piece could, definitely...quite a few of them could influence teaching style.
JHeditor: @edyong @RobRDunn that's what I really hope.
Davidmanly: Thanks to publicity on my axolotl post, researcher got new innovation for research.
loveofscience: @davidmanly that's fantastic!
KateClancy: My writing has influenced my own science, at least. I have started a new project that has behavioral component. I would never have strayed from straight physiology without all the anti-evolutionary psych and anti-sexism stuff I write.
Easternblot: I'm actually going to host a storytelling session at the upcoming Science Online London conference which is about why stories are important to researchers (not just readers).
Shara Yurkiewicz: I don't know if my writing enhances science, but I hope it encourages patients to ask more questions and see their doctors as human.
RobRDunn: As a scientist who also writes the writing also gives me an excuse to dig deep into the library and roam the shelves.
Ricardipus: I doubt I encouraged anyone to take up genome sequencing, but maybe someone'll read some Shakespeare?
edyong209: @easternblot That's a great idea.
Shara Yurkiewicz: By the way, Bora, just got a copy of the book yesterday and it looks amazing.
Ricardipus: Canada Post hasn't seen fit to deliver mine yet... I bet the Amazon pre-ordered copies arrive first!
Davidmanly: @ricardipus Same here ... silly Canada
Kimberly_Gerson: @ricardipus Heh, same here. Except Amazon.ca won't have them until Friday.
Ricardipus @Kimberley - ARGH.
Kimberly_Gerson: Am enjoying seeing new faces here...People not in my usual twitter feed. Looking forward to adding you.
sciam_live: Any final questions for editors or writers included in this year's Open Laboratory? http://books.scientificamerican.com/fsg/
LeeBillings: One question I have is whether focusing on the printed word is really the future of science blogging. What about video? To be clear I hope/pray print never falls from favor, but I could imagine future anthologies of YouTube clips...
edyong209: @leebillings Shudder.
BoraZ: For a long time, books on paper will be here. OpenLab helps people combine the two worlds, join both.
Amsciam: @BoraZ Agree - collection's a great way to bring the two worlds together.
sciam_live: Sorry everyone that tech issues prevented fab editor and science writer Jennifer Ouellette from participating today. We are not sure what the issue has been, but hope to feature here in another chat in the future.
ricardipus: Is there anyone here who *isn't* an author in the book?
sciam_live: Me -- Robin Lloyd. Not in book. Big fan of all of you
RegisDudley: I'm not an author in the book, @ricardipus :P
BoraZ: Yes, we have more people logged in than there are authors.
sciam_live: I think we had a max of 75 or so in the chat today.
Davidmanly: @ricardipus I hope to have it before I leave for Banff next week, so I can read it on the plane
LeeBillings: I wonder how people would like to see the 'field' of online science writing evolve and change. That's my question. My own feeling is, I'd like to see more experimentation with storytelling forms and tenets. It'd be inevitably messy. But potentially quite valuable for developing novel ways of communicating important science findings and trends.
sciam_live: I agree, Lee.
edyong209: ' I'd like to see more experimentation with storytelling forms and tenets.' Co-sign.
Alexreshanov: @LeeBilling I like that idea. Messy can be fun.
edyong209: Which writer spoke about dotting 'gold coins' throughout the piece. Keep people interested...
TheFebrileMuse: There is research that people read the printed page differently from the online format. Perhaps the book will be read differently?
edyong209: @TheFebrileMuse I'm going to read mine backwards. IN YOUR FACE, LEDES!
Shara Yurkiewicz: I think narrative can work for science journalism.
Davidmanly: Absolutely narrative can work in science journalism. Me and Jeanne G. are doing a session at #scio13 on it!
RegisDudley: I agree, Shara! Narrative adds a human element and makes things flow.
Alexreshanov: Ugh, the inverted pyramid. Dislike. That and keywording.
Shara Yurkiewicz: @alexreshanov I never go for more hits. I wonder how wise it is.
Alexreshanov: Shara, yes more hits would be good, I just hate having to change a sentence to get them.
TheFebrileMuse: People tend to read online in an 'F' pattern...top line, some of middle, bottom.
Ricardipus: @TheFebrileMuse - Ha ha ha ha ha I swear I never do that, really.
Shara Yurkiewicz: Yeah, re: keywording I guess it depends if you want to go for more hits.
edyong209: Hang on, this sounds like Nielsen's research. I despise Nielsen's research.
Davidmanly: I was taught inverted pyramid in journalism school. Works in some cases, not others. Online vs. print has different reading habits.
BoraZ: Nielsen, bah.
Davidmanly: @TheFebrileMuse AKA 'skimming'
Aatishb: Shara, I think your pieces pay a lot of attention to narrative, brings out the human-ness well
RegisDudley: why don't you like Nielsen's research @edyong209? He's my hero!
edyong209: Nielsen kills creativity. Distils some specific research into general boring advice that makes people...
BoraZ: I think we have reached the end of SEO. Good writing will win in the end, despite SEO.
Shara Yurkiewicz: I feel like inverted pyramid works with a lack of space in print journalism.
Loveofscience: @davidmanly The origin of the inverted pyramid is fascinating though.
Shara Yurkiewicz: @loveofscience It is!
Davidmanly: @loveofscience Absolutely. And useful to know and understand.
edyong209: People do that F-thing if they're looking for specific pieces of information. Settling down into an article is different. You abandon good things like narrative etc. in favour of bullet points, subheadings etc.
edyong209: AND his website looks s***.
LeeBillings: I look forward to the day I open up an #openlab and see the heavy influence of Gonzo and New Journalism.
LeeBillings: Nice chatting, all. Thanks for showing up. Buy the book!
sciam_live: We have to wrap up now. Thanks, everyone for participating!
Shara Yurkiewicz: Thanks!
sciam_live: Thanks, especially to Bora (and Jennifer, who sadly was excluded).
TheFebrileMuse: Storytelling lives...
Ricardipus: Bye, everyone, thanks for the chat. Good thing there weren't hundreds on here, I can't read that fast.
sciam_live: And see you maybe tonight if you're in NYC at the tweetup
BoraZ: Thank you all! Buy the book. Tell your friend!
Aatishb: This was fun. Chow all.
Davidkroll: Better yet, stock up and buy several for holiday gifts!
Amsciam: @davidkroll I second that!
Davidmanly: Cheers everyone! And be sure to pick up a copy :)
sciam_live: Bye all!
TheFebrileMuse: All the best everyone
Yes, 'twas fun. Bye all!
sciam_live: http://books.scientificamerican.com/fsg/ -- buy the book