Back in the day, I had a news website (it was a blog before blogs, you might say). It was called Elemental Discoveries, first issue was published in December 1995. It was an online spin-off from my regular column in the RSC youth section magazine, New Elements (to which I gave that name after a redesign from the old Gas Jar).
Elemental Discoveries existed on various American university freeserve sites I could access via Telnet at the time and was then supported by a chemistry software company on their servers but editorially I was 100% in control. Eventually, though, to grow, I needed a proper home for my (originally) chemistry news site. I registered this site’s domain on 20th July 1999. Sciencebase.com was born.
It became prominent in the early days of the science web featuring in a lot of directories (remember those), being reviewed in the papers and magazines and so on. Won a few awards. Peaked at 20000 visitors every day! Countless other science sites came online, then web 2.0 arrived, and social media. Meanwhile, I created several other sites of a similar ilk for other organisations (Reactive Reports for more chemistry news, Spotlight for general science, and a couple of others, as well as being there for the launch of the original ChemWeb (then later for BioMedNet), and of course, SpectroscopyNOW, the latter still going strong.
The Sciencebase site has morphed from mainly chemistry news where I’d link out to my professional writing in The Guardian, New Scientist, The Daily Telegraph, Proc Natl Acad Sci, Bio/Techniques, Nature, Science, ChemWeb, Chemistry in Britain then Chemistry World, SCI’s Chemistry & Industry, ChemIndustry, SpectroscopyNOW, BioMedNet, etc, et cetera.
Today, I’m using it as a hub to point to my other creative pursuits: photography and music and to blog about #PondLife #AllotmentLife #Birds #Lepidoptera and #WildLife.
There is still the occasional splash of chemicals from the world’s laboratory benches, but at the moment it is mostly moths and butterflies, plants and soil, birds and animals.