PZ is the marquee talent at ScienceBlogs, which was recently acquired by National Geographic. Problem is, managing a stable of bloggers that includes PZ Myers is rather awkward: How can NGS showcase a guy who says religious people are “batshit insane”? That sort of bile seems rather “off brand.”
PZ told us via Twitter in early June that he was “negotiating” with NGS. Today he announced the compromise. In short: PZ’s blog posts about science will still appear at ScienceBlogs, but what you might call PZ Unplugged — his science posts PLUS everything and anything else he wants to write, including his religion rants — will be available at a new blogging network called Freethought Blogs.
Here’s a longer version from PZ, posted yesterday (July 31, 2011):
… NatGeo and I have worked out an acceptable compromise. This site on Freethoughtblogs is mine and only mine, and none of the content is in any way associated with National Geographic. Yay freedom! I can say whatever I want here! At the same time, whatever I write that I feel is compatible with the more conservative ethos of National Geographic will also appear over there — so less liberal, more religious readers can read the sciencey stuff without getting their staid world rocked. One qualifier: anti-creationism is well within the NatGeo brief, so young-earth creationists and intelligent design cretins aren’t going to like either site. There are limits, you know.
So, if you liked the old Pharyngula exactly as it was, this is the place you want to be: update your blogrolls, change your bookmarks, redirect your RSS feeds. Other than the address, nothing has changed. This is Pharyngula Unfiltered, double espresso Pharyngula.
If you’ve been wishing Pharyngula was a little less rude and offensive, if you were constantly annoyed by the challenges to your cherished and foolish religious dogmas, do nothing at all and stick with the old site. That will be Cool Menthol Pharyngula, or de-caf Pharyngula.
We applaud PZ & NGS for hammering out a compromise.
We also look forward to seeing what happens next: Will PZ’s huge audience move to his new site or will they stay put?
The answer will raise an even more interesting question: Are the people who have been reading PZ’s posts — and who have, as a result, made ScienceBlogs such a success — fascinated by PZ’s insights on cephalopods? Or do they love hearing him call religious people “self-righteous pricks“?
Because if they’ve congregated to watch PZ the Profane Pugilist beat up people of faith, then our Society just acquired a blogging network that’s about to lose a ton of traffic — and advertising revenue.
We’re also curious who decides which of PZ’s posts go where. For example, he posted this bit on “kooks” and “politics” at ScienceBlogs tonight:
Why is this included in what PZ calls “the NatGeo brief”?