Monday, May 01, 2006

Nature content matters

Content Matters is Barry Glaubert's blog for "occasional ruminations on the convergence of content and technology". Barry has been posting a series on "The 50 content companies that matter", and the other week he chose Nature (Nature Publishing Group to be more accurate). So I thought I'd share Barry's views with any Petrona readers who might be interested. As Barry says, "Nature is part of the Nature Publishing Group (NPG), a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd. While many of the companies profiled on this blog are early stage, Nature dates back to 1869. With 400 employees, NPG publishes sixteen journals and four clinical practice titles." He goes on to highlight Connotea, with its recently launched community wiki pages (I have just started to play around with these, so do visit my Connotea wiki!) To quote Barry: "But, Connotea is hardly the only forward-thinking solution from Nature. They have been early adopters of RSS and podcasting, and have even launched a mashup of Avian flu reports with Google Earth. A number of Nature writers and management have blogs, as does even the CEO of parent company Macmillan." The NPG blogs are currently the blog, which is a very active forum for reader comments on Nature's daily, free, online, science news service; Nascent (Timo Hannay's web publishing development blog); Free Association (Nature Genetics blog); Action Potential (Nature Neuroscience blog, which has been rather quiet recently); and The Sceptical Chymist (a strangely titled chemical biology blog). The CEO's blog referred to above is called CharkBlog. I'm not going to provide links to all these, as they can all be accessed via Nature's website at Barry finishes up by mentioning the Open Access movement, and concludes: "In a market where a few large companies control access to much of the critical information, Nature is a shining star for their flexibility, their willingness to test new technologies and their efforts to keep the 'community' in scientific community. " Thanks, Barry! Many of Barry's other featured companies in his series are business-information rather than publishing companies. But I think his listings are worth a look; among those featured of which I have some personal knowledge are Flickr, Linkedin, Public Library of Science, Delicious, SixApart and Wikipedia.