I have been using the “user powered content” site Digg (any excuse at the moment to distract me from thesis writing) and I am enjoying the fact that the stories are coming to me with little effort, in other words I don’t have to find the blog or site first and then subscribe. One of the “stories” that I found on Digg was an interview with Matthew Sparkes, Web Executive at New Scientist, about the effects of social media on online publications (i.e Digg). It highlights the increase in social media sites such as blogging and user driven content, on the traditional media and even the traditional content providers. It stops short of saying how New Scientist are going to deal with this phenomenon but they obviously recognise the importance and impact.
Digg do have a section on science, but deals mostly with buzz stories, or media driven science reports. If this type of social media site existed specifically for the scientific domain then maybe it could go some way as to re-invent/add to, the traditional journal peer-review system, or make “community contributions” like Nature comments actually more prominent in the community? Maybe it could act as community citation system not dependant on traditional journal submissions? Or maybe a scientific community driven portal, similar to arXiv, will dispense with traditional journals altogether?