Ouroboros turns a year old today.
I started the site after the demise of the Science Aging Knowledge Environment (SAGE-KE), which had been reviewing recent advances in biogerontology for almost five years. I felt that the aging community still needed a resource to filter the vast and growing aging literature, in a format that was by researchers and for researchers — so I started one.
Thus far, it’s been a tremendously educational experience for me; I’ve been forced to keep abreast of a veritable torrent of fascinating science, and I think that’s given me both broader and deeper appreciation for the field in which I work.
Looking back at my initial vision for the site, I’m satisfied with how it’s gone so far. I think that Ouroboros does a great job of announcing important papers in a timely fashion, and engaging in critical, scholarly discussion of recent findings; I have also been humbled by the scope of that task. Regarding citizenship within the aging community, I know (from reader feedback) that our conference announcements have helped people make connections they otherwise might not have made; that’s a good feeling.
In the year to come, I’m hopeful that our readership continues to expand, and that participation (both in the Comments and by volunteer contributors) grows substantially. I hope I’m able to convince another working biologist of aging to contribute regular posts. I want to do a better job of finding and linking to other biogerontology writing on the web. And I’m looking forward to incorporating a new feature in literature analysis: Where was a given field a year ago? It will be interesting to see if we can measure progress on specific questions over so short an interval.
I want to acknowledge a few people and entities who helped get Ouroboros started and who continue to support our efforts with their referrals and links. The web is an attention-based economy, after all — in some ways, we have a definitive answer to the old question about the noise made by a tree falling in the forest.
Very special thanks to Reason of Fight Aging! and Longevity Meme, whose early enthusiastic linkage gave this site a jump start. Thanks also to the Methuselah Foundation and MPrize site and life extension blogger Attila Csordás at Partial Immortalization, both of whose referrals continue to generate a lot of traffic. Gratitude to PZ Myers of Pharyngula, the Neurophilosopher, and Paul Decelles of The Force That Through… for the opportunity to host Tangled Bank, Encephalon, and Mendel’s Garden, respectively; participation in blog carnivals has been a superb way to get involved in the larger science blogging community and to read and think more broadly about biology in general. And props to contributor okee, whose excellent conference reviews have enriched our content tremendously.
Last, but not least, many thanks to the readers. I’ll try to make the second year even better.