Making of a periodic table for science blogs

A periodic tale. For several months now an argument about the Periodic Table has been raging on Sciencebase. Commenters rant and rave about the format of the table offering stepped versions, spirals, tetrahedrons, and 3D formats.

The periodic debate got me thinking about lightening the mood. So, I posted a video clip of how the elements would behave at a party. That attracted lots of attention and some wry comments, I also created and added some new icons for my Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages, but then I had a flash of inspiration – what if I could make a Periodic Table of Science Bloggers?

I made a start last Friday, added my own sites, far fewer than 118 and then asked contacts and twitter followers to pick an element for their blog based on their initials. The Periodic Table for Science Blogging was sparse for an hour or so, but then I was working flat out through Friday to add new science blogs as word spread.

By Saturday morning it was almost full and getting lots of visitors from Twitter and back links from fellow bloggers. A write-up on Universe Today brought in a few hundred new visitors to the site and a few suggestions!

With the addition of Ho this morning, the PT is now complete. I then color coded each element (should have done that from the start) for green bio, red chem, blue med, gray physics, black space. I hope you have fun working through it and finding new connections. Let us know.

As an aside, I’m not sure whether this spontaneous creation counts as a marketing campaign in any shape or form, but it garnered well over 100 retweets, dozens of comments, several write-ups and a not modest number of new backlinks to the site. Thousands of visitors have perused it so far (5000+ when I last checked). Best of all, however, it’s brought me into contact with several new science bloggers with whom I’d not previously corresponded, which is always nice.

3 thoughts on “Making of a periodic table for science blogs”

  1. nicoadams tweeted just now:

    ‘Maybe something eludes me here – but what is the purpose of a “periodic table of science bloggers”?’

    Well…like I say this started out as a self-publicity project and grew into an elemental monster, but his tweet made me think about the point of any of these kinds of posts and projects, so here’s why the PT4SB exists, take your pick. Incidentally, there is actually no periodicity in the layout as far as I can see:


    A novelty?

    A folly?

    A way of making new connections?

    A way of building a list that is visually appealing?

  2. Nico, Nico, Nico. Sometimes the purpose of things is that they exist, and sometimes the purpose is to elicit a head-slap and the exclamation: “What a great idea, superbly executed!”

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