Zusammen: The Other Half of the Story

February 24, 2009

Chemistry and the Web should be a natural fit for each other, but for a variety of reasons, they haven't been. Part of the reason is cultural; part is technical. The good news is that the situation is starting to change for the better on both fronts.

For the last two years, Depth-First has discussed, sometimes in great detail, many of the technical issues facing chemistry as it slowly begins to embrace the Web. But that's only part of the story.

Don't get me wrong - I still think that focusing on a specific subject, in this case Web-centric cheminformatics, is the key to good communication. But it doesn't reflect the whole picture.

Cheminformatics only has value to the extent that its tools are embraced and used regularly by working chemists.

To that end, my company has started a new blog called Zusammen that's intended to bring chemists and those building Web-centric cheminformatics systems together. The idea is simple: from time to time feature short stories from around the world that show how the Web is being used in Chemistry.

Depth-First will continue to exist, but in a more technically-oriented form (if that's possible), and with a redesign (ETA unknown). The old blogging engine that I started with has served me well, but is really showing its age and frailty. This offers a good opportunity to address some longstanding issues and generally re-think how a technically-oriented blog should look and act.

There may be some interesting crossover as Zusammen begins to feel for its direction. I find that reader feedback makes all the difference in getting there. If you're interested in the future of the Web and chemistry, I hope you'll consider stopping by, and maybe posting a comment or two.