Register for an account


Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.


Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.


Let's Get It On

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorFebruary 4, 2013 11:45 PM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Okay, don't get any wrong ideas here.

I am just trying to set the mood for the new commenting system that I know will make our conversations flow much better. On the subject of comment threads, I suggest folks take a few minutes to read this excellent post by Bora Zivkovic, the blog maestro at Scientific American. He reminds us:

As many of you may already know, there is this thing called a 1-9-90 rule of online participation. In any given online community, about 1% of the participants produce most of the content, another 9% participate regularly by editing (e.g., on a wiki), commenting (on blogs and articles), occasionally producing new content (in forums, etc), and the remaining 90% are ‘lurkers’ who do not publicly participate but only read (though these days, many of them participate a little more publicly, if not creatively, by “Liking”, tweeting, and otherwise sharing the content in ways that are visible to others, but without adding any thoughts of their own). The exact proportions vary from site to site, but are usually close enough to 1-9-90 for the general rule to hold.

Now it so happens that there is a cross section of readers in the 9% who regularly participate in the comments section at this blog. Because people range across the ideological spectrum, sometimes the conversation can get a little testy. I'm just as guilty as anyone. But by and large, I think we manage to keep it civil enough to keep the conversation going with a decent signal to noise ratio. Still, there's plenty of room for improvement. Now that the new commenting software is implemented, which I like very much, I'll be much more hands-on as both participant and moderator. I can't promise you that this will always play out to your satisfaction or in as timely a manner as you would like, but you can be sure that I will be engaged. Thank you for being a reader, for keeping me on my toes, and for helping to make Collide-a-Scape a lively place to debate science and environmental issues. Now, back to the conversation... UPDATE:All the comments for previous posts will be migrated over in the next 24-48 hours.

3 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.


Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%


Already a subscriber? Register or Log In