In February of 2008, Kent Anderson welcomed readers to The Scholarly Kitchen. Kent had come up with a clever idea for a way to drive the conversation around scholarly communication and asked the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) if they’d be willing to support the experiment. As we enter our 10th year of writing about our industry, we felt it was time to spruce things up a bit, and you’re looking at the results of our Kitchen renovation.
The “kitchen” metaphor has proved remarkably resilient. Kent’s original thoughts on it are just as valid today:
It seems an odd name, but that’s intentional — we wanted a name that is memorable, different, and welcoming. If anything is welcoming, it’s the kitchen. It’s where we gain sustenance, socialize at parties, and set things as we come and go. It’s perhaps the most functional space in any busy home. And this is intended to be a busy space for scholarly publishers.
While the name has held up well, the old site was getting a bit long in the tooth. 9 years is a lifetime on the internet, and we had clearly fallen behind the latest technological innovations. Back in February of 2008, we were barely 8 months into the iPhone era and even the tech press was still figuring out what exactly it meant (“There is no likelihood that Apple can be successful in a business this competitive.”). Mobile websites weren’t really mandatory for most of us until Google recently changed their algorithms to penalize sites without a good mobile experience, which we lacked. We’ve seen the impact of this change in a drop in readership of our long tail of older posts. The new site’s responsive design should make things more discoverable and much better for readers on-the-go.
If anything is welcoming, it’s the kitchen. It’s where we gain sustenance, socialize at parties, and set things as we come and go.
Another big change is that we are now offering advertising on the site. All funds that come in go to the SSP to support their programs and efforts on behalf of the scholarly communication community. We’ve built a strict firewall between editorial efforts and sales efforts to avoid any potential conflicts of interest. But if you’re interested in reaching an audience of publishers, editors, librarians, researchers, and publishing service providers, you might consider getting in touch.
There’s better navigation and plenty of new features, including a set of Collections available through the navigation bar above which we think feature some of our better posts on key subject areas. We invite you to dig around, let us know what you think (and if you spot anything that’s not working, please let us know as we clean up any bugs).
Most of all, we’d like to thank our readers who have joined us on this remarkable journey from a quick experiment to what has become a daily starting point for many in our industry. There’s so much going on in scholarly publishing, good and bad, difficult and challenging yet exciting and interesting. We’ll do our best to keep the conversation going.
16 Thoughts on "Welcome to the New Scholarly Kitchen"
Bravo; the new design is fresh and inviting; exactly what you’d desire from an enviable kitchen. Let the stewing, roasting and basting begin in these new environs. Bon Apetit!
Now the banner image doesn’t fit the Kitchen name.
It’s fresh rosemary! Certainly a must for my own (non-scholarly) kitchen. 🙂
Oh, is that what it is? On my phone, the colors are so washed out that without close inspection it’s just a shapeless abstract background. If anything culinary, it reminded me of a marble countertop or cutting board. — Which, overall, is a mere quibble with the new format.
The Kitchen is a must read. Some of the provocative thoughts relevant to my role as CEO.
Congratulations, well done.
Full credit to Sue Kesner for her help in catalyzing the idea for the blog and for the Kitchen name. She was SSP President in 2008 when this all began, and her support, along with the ongoing support of SSP, were integral to creating this community resource. And, of course, hats off to the Chefs!
Congrats! Using wordpress I see. Did you customize a theme or get one off the shelf?
We had the wonderful folks at Windmill Design put together the new site for us (https://www.windmilldesign.com/).
The new Kitchen website looks good. But the email is not good. Unlike the website, the email alert is not responsive, neither on a desktop or a mobile device. If you are like me, who reads most of the blogs from within the email, then it is a frustrating experience.
I was also unable to find a ‘Contact Us’ page to submit this comment privately. So I apologise for the public whinge.
I love what you’ve done with the place! Well done.
I won’t comment on the artistic merit, since I’ve been repeatedly told that I lack the eye for it. However, I’ve found that the new site is a tiny bit slower than the original one. That being said, I do find the new layout easier on my aging eyes.
Very appealing!! article readability has gone up by miles!
The new layout is nice! I do miss the calendar that used to be on the right-hand side; it made is easy to quickly jump to a post from another day.
If you go to our Archive page, you can filter by month/year: https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/archives/