Welcome to the new mathblogging.org!

January 31, 2013 § 3 Comments

It’s been almost exactly a year since we presented a demo of how we envisioned the next stage of mathblogging.org at ScienceOnline 2012.

After many ups and downs in 2012, we decided to stop re-writing our old engine. It wasn’t easy to leave our own creation behind but we realized that we couldn’t bring you the quality we wanted to achieve. Instead, we were very lucky to find the folks over at ScienceSeeker.org. They provide their (amazing!) underlying software open source and help us on many other levels.  (But don’t worry, our old software will remain online at old.mathblogging.org and its code is on github.)

To celebrate ScienceOnline 2013, we’re very happy to announce the launch of the new and improved mathblogging.org!

Among our new features are:

  • Our editors! A group of dedicated bloggers who regularly share their favorite pieces, right on the front page — it’s like our Weekly Picks, only better!
  • A user system — register an account & claim your blog today, add comments to posts just like our editors do and have them tweeted right away.  And you can look forward to more features in the near future!
  • An easy way to add sites: just paste the link and we’ll do the rest.
  • A better search — easy to get to, easy to work with, easy to find stuff.
  • A robust API — to build personalized searches, feeds and whatever you can think of (with more in the making).
  • Moar social media!!11!eleventy!! — three new twitter accounts will give you the Editor Picks, the Notes and the firehose feed, with more to come in the future. Google+ and other platforms soon to follow.

Have fun with it and let us know how it goes. And above all:


A short service announcement

December 4, 2012 § 1 Comment

While we have about 700 blogs in our database, we are happy that we get a few more every week! But if you have submitted a blog recently, you might be wondering why your submission didn’t show up yet. Let me try to convince you not to give up hope and to stick around for what is about to happen with mathblogging.org. (If you only have 2 more seconds to read this post, jump to the end now.)

One reason for delays we had to give repeatedly in the past was that we are only three volunteers, and our jobs sometimes too often keep us from doing the maintenance that the website and database need. We want to resolve this for good, and we think we have found just the way that will additionally improve what mathblogging.org has to offer.

When we started the website, we didn’t have a clear idea of what it should become; what we thought of can maybe be described as a phone-book for mathematical blogs. Moving forward, it became clear that just listing blogs alphabetically would not provide the service we wanted, so we started experimenting with the representation of the data we collect from the RSS-feeds of the blogs. But, not surprisingly, all our naive efforts in this direction (while well received) did not get half as much positive feedback as the editorial work that went into the weekly picks on this blog and the “hourly picks” on twitter.

Incidentally, the awesome people over at scienceblogging.org (now ScienceSeeker.org) went into a similar direction in rewriting their website from a simple list of blogs to a more dynamic collection with a lot of editorial aspects. And awesome as they are, they publish their SubjectSeeker-code under an open source license!

So we will move away from writing the code for mathblogging.org ourselves, and focus more on editorial challenges. This will also mean that we can have more editors!

At the moment we are busy setting up the new site, and making sure that as much of the old data as possible is transferred. If you are itching to find out what the new website will look and feel like, you can now take a look at the public beta-version! Be sure to let us know what you think about it.

On the downside, this unfortunately also means that right now we have even less time for maintenance of the current site.

We will restrain from giving any precise prediction as to when the new site goes officially up; this post is to let you know that we are still here, that mathblogging.org is not going to be abandoned, and to allow you a sneak-peak at the new design.

tl;dr: New website is coming, even if it looks like nothing is happening right now.

The Weekly Picks are dead, long live the Weekly Picks

March 21, 2012 § 5 Comments

The following promise heads each of our Weekly Picks:

We try to read every blog post that goes through Mathblogging.org. For the Weekly Picks, we collect posts from last week that give you an impression of what the mathematical blogosphere has to offer.

Now that we’re aggregating over 600 feeds, we realize that we will soon be unable to fulfill this promise.  Therefore, we’ve decided to change the Weekly Picks to compensate.

Pathfinder for a complex community

The goal of the Weekly Picks has always been to show off the wealth of the mathematical blogosphere and to offer an accessible  introduction to the various types of mathematical blogs out there.  The key ingredient of the Picks are the great individual pieces we find. But we also include pieces from blogs we just added to the database as well as pieces that maybe aren’t that spectacular, but genuinely different — pieces that experiment with the medium.

In short, we tried to make the Weekly Picks about the community as a whole.

The queen is dead, long live the queen!

With the growth of our database, it’s becoming harder and harder to cover the entire community. There’s just too much great stuff out there every week!

Since we want to keep the original focus of the Weekly Picks — presenting the mathematical blogosphere on all levels — we have to change.

For the next few weeks, we will focus the Weekly Picks on a different category each week.  This will give us the room to present the full spectrum of the community. We realize this means we might be missing some great posts that just happen to appear on a week where we do not cover that category.  But we hope it’s a good way to keep the original spirit of the Weekly Picks alive and kicking.

And, of course, we hope you’ll keep enjoying them!

Mathblogging.org at Science Online 2012

January 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

Since the weekly picks are behind schedule (wikipedia blacked out somehow and we had to work on our homework problems without cheating 😉 ), here’s some unrelated news.

This afternoon, I will be representing mathblogging.org at ScienceOnline2012, dubbed the South By Southwest of science blogging. It’s been a fantastic un-conference so far, exceeding my wildest expectations.

I will be presenting a small tech demo and, if technology won’t abandon me, I will be showing off a rough draft of our complete redesign of mathblogging.org. Be sure to check the twitter feed for #scio12. Hopefully, this will help scientists and science communicators to find all the amazing work the mathematical blogging community is doing already.

Joining the protest against SOPA

January 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

We are supporting the strike against SOPA and PIPA both on the blog and on mathblogging.org.

Mathblogging.org relies exclusively on the great community of mathematical bloggers, a community that is driven by user-generated content. But much more is at stake, so please follow the links on the ribbon to learn more

No Weekly Picks this week

January 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

This week was just too busy with most of us hanging out at the Joint Meetings. We’ll return next week. Our apologies for the inconvenience.

Update on the Delft Innovation Award

December 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

As promised two weeks ago, here’s a short update on our preparations for the final next week:

  • You can have a look at the clip made for us here.
  • On the same page you can vote for us in the Public’s Choice Award (but only if you are an employee of the TU Delft).
  • Here’s the poster we will use at the final on December 6:

Poster for the Delft Innovation Award

If you live in the Delft-area, this will be a perfect opportunity to come by and have a chat!

Mathblogging.org finalist in Delft University Innovation award

November 11, 2011 § 3 Comments

For the second time now, Delft University of Technology asked its researchers to throw their hats into the ring for the Delft Innovation Award, looking for the most innovative projects.

Well, we had an afternoon to spare, so we filled out the application form for mathblogging.org. To our delight we made it to the final round of 24!

Our chances might be slim (in 2009, this awesome invention won), but it’s already been a great experience! As part of the final round,  Fred was interviewed about mathblogging.org and we’ll get a super-awesomesauce poster made for us! The clip will be on youtube sometime next week and we’ll be sure to keep you updated here!

PS: If you’re an employee at TU Delft, you could even vote for us in the Public’s Choice Award, also starting sometime next week.

Call for feature requests!

November 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

In case you’re not following us on twitter, we find ourselves in the surprising situation that things are running quite smoothly on mathblogging.org.

Therefore, we’re thinking about new features — and we want your input!

Please leave a comment, send us an email or send us a tweet with ideas on how we can serve the mathematical blogosphere better!

The hidden bug strikes again

April 15, 2011 § 2 Comments

As you may or may not have noticed (at least, Ben Webster at the Secret Blogging Seminar has), we’ve had some problems on mathblogging.org — again.

It’s probably the same bug as last time — the signs are the same, CPU-ressources and incoming bandwidth are drained. For now we’re back online after I tuned the quota towards the “requirements” of this particular bug. That’s very annoying since otherwise we barely reach the free limit that Google gives us, but what can you do 😉

We’ll keep you updated here and on twitter.

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