Postgenomic – Life Science Community Aggregator and Review Engine

Scott Wilson’s recent presentation on “SOA and web 2.0 things” is well worth it even for you grizzled remix veterans of the blogosphere, if only for the most succinct and helpful explanation of the e-Framework I’ve yet to read (“A collaborative effort by JISC, DEST, SURF, NZ MoE and others to make sense of web services in education“).

But what really blew my mind was the link to the above service, Postgenomic. If I understand it correctly, in essence it is a service which provides a registry for, and then search across, academic blogs dedicated to life sciences topics. It does so in order to give users a view on what topics are being talked about in those communities, what sites are being linked to, and what academic articles are being reviewed. And the only effort required to participate, as far as I can tell, is the use of a small ‘review’ microformat (that’s right, isn’t it?) that helps the service identify which posts are ‘reviews’ of specific academic papers.

What this means is that researchers, academics and students in a variety of life science areas can follow which stories their community is finding important, what tags members of their community are using most, (this is a lot closer to what I was writing about last week, though not search based), and get feeds of papers reviewed in their community.

This isn’t the mythical eduglu, and maybe this is something that a system like aggrssive could facilitate for other communities or maybe I’m confused and this is duplicating something already there in more general systems like technorati (though I think not). But hot damn was this exciting for me to see. – SWL