New Post at Transitions

For those of you who are unaware, Transitions:The Evolution of Life is a blog I created aimed at Jr. High and High School students. Its aim is to provide reliable information about evolution and the fossil record. It is, more or less a group effort (you will have to visit to see what other blogs are involved), although I have received several submissions from other prominent science bloggers (Darksyde and John Wilkins spring to mind). I have been somewhat negelctfull of it since coming to ScienceBlogs, however, I have just put up a post on Tiktaalik roseae and the Origins of Tetrapods. I would also like to mention that I am always on the lookout for people to crosspost their articles on evolution (especially if they have either a] lots of fossil pics or b]illustrate an interesting method for learning about the past). Creationist and Intelligent Design proponents need not apply…

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6 Responses

  1. Afarensis
    I’ve always thought Transitions was a great & promising idea, and I enjoy the (all too few!) posts, but it seems to me that they’re often not generally appropriate for a middle or even high school audience. This isn’t to say that there aren’t kids out there who can (and will) read them usefully, but ideally it should aim at a wider audience. no?
    Writing well and engagingly for a young / less informed audience is extremely difficult – I certainly couldn’t do it . . . does anyone have suggestions?
    (And if anyone thinks I’m being overly critical or just plain incorrect, feel free to yell at me . . . )
    -Dan S.

  2. It is difinitely difficult writing for the target audience (which, incidently also includes adults who don’t know much about evolution). Which is why I insist of illustrations and links to some of the basics. In part, the posts are supposed to serve as an entry into the material. It is a work in progress so I’m sure it will get better. I’m going to be working with some people on the writing part of it over the next couple of months…Feedback (and contributions of posts) would be greatly appreciated.

  3. Honestly, if I didn’t know that much i’d probably be fairly intimidated by the site at first impression. To the uninitiated it looks complicated, and it’s hard to put a particular post into perspective.
    Probably the best way to alleviate this would be a heirarchy. For example, when a person visits the site display the different topics that the site covers and let the user go from there for more info (btw pictures are good). Most likely, a highschool student would be looking for particular information – although you could still of course have a blog area for new content.
    Of course, this might clash with the whole blog idea; as well as the blogging software you use. Just an idea.

  4. Just thought i’d drop an example: http://www.paleoportal.org/
    In that site (btw awesome link, thanks!) the user arrives then could click on fossil gallery > plants > Angiosperms etc. In this way the visitor can find exactly what they want.
    It’s just a personal preference of mine. For information that is more archival than current standard blogs aren’t always the best. There’s lots of great stuff on that site but it’s buried. A heirarchy would bring it to the top.

  5. Blogsome uses WordPress which isn’t very flexible in terms of templates etc. There is a category list down the side a bit…I’ll have to think about a way of putting the posts into proper perspective, by which I assume you mean some overall evolutionary context?

  6. I had thought about using a regular website but wanted to keep some of the interactivity of a blog. One option would be to create separate pages for each subject…

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