The Joys and Frustrations of 6 Months Blogging in the Chemistry Community PART II

20 Nov

Recently I posted about my “joys and frustrations of blogging“. In there I commented about specific behaviors I had encountered/observed in the blogging world and my view of those behaviors. I pointed to some cons of blogging..some of them here relative to my comments about a recent comment on one of my posts.”

I quote:

“Cons of Blogging

1) Your posts are open to attack

4) Some people might dump and run. Anonymity can be used by some in a negative way.

6) As a scientist I am pretty clear with the difference between data driven understanding and what are my opinions and judgments. This distinction is not so clear to everyone and their opinions become their reality. And you might be the recipient of their reality..and it might hurt.”

Points 2), 3), 5), 7), 8 ) & 9) removed for brevity.

Recently I posted about Humira and the impact that particular drug has had on the life of one of my friends. I concern myself with diseases related to the gastrointestinal tract since my sister has irritable bowel syndrome, my mother has diverticulitis, a member of my more immediate family has undergone many procedures and treatments over the past decade to try and resolve her own GI problems (including 13 drugs in 6 weeks) and I have many friends who have Crohn’s related diseases.

Well, as is the nature of the blogosphere someone misinterpreted my intention (I think of it more as they just made stuff up) :

Oops…who did I upset? As commented previously “Some people might dump and run. Anonymity can be used by some in a negative way.” I can only speak for WordPress as a blogging tool but all comments come in with the associated IP address available as shown below. So, one click on that IP and you will at least know which domain the friendly comments arrive when they come (the example below is truncated to help retain John’s anonymity)

I’ve thought about John’s comments and have reexamined my endorsements. Here they are:

Microsoft – we’ve chosen Sharepoint as our Wiki Platform. Info will come as we work with it.

WinDirStat – A great tool for working with your hard drive. And it’s free!

CLiDE (and here) – Optical Chemical Structure Recognition . Not perfect but better than anything else out there in MY opinion.

ACD/Labs Dictionary – Definitely a valuable part of ChemSketch

ACD/ChemSketch version 11 beta- Their adoption of InChIKeys right after release.

ChemGate and eMolecules – The release of spectral data online

Sony PlayStation, Scientific Computing Magazine, IBM Cell B.E. and SimBioSys eHITS – What could high performance computing give us when we are at TFlops on the desktop?

Wikinomics – The book…

ACD/Structure Elucidator – Applications to Elucidating the Structure of Hexacyclinol

Modern Alkaloids – A book on N15 NMR and exposing ACD/Labs N15 NMR prediction algorithms

I stopped here (at June 2007). Clearly I have been exposing ACD/Labs work but since I was there for ten years and am still in the process of publishing with them I will be continuing the endorsement of their science. I have of course been very passionate about the “Open Notebook Science on NMR” work and talked about ACD/Labs NMR prediction algorithms in those posts. In the past 2 years ACD/Labs, myself and Gary Martin have put out over 10 publications in regarding “Indirect Covariance“, definitely some of the best science I’ve been involved with for many years. More on that will come later…

Now, I also blogged about erectile dysfunction drugs (Pfizer and GSK) but that was just for the sake of amusement…maybe it was so subtle nobody got it?

Strangely enough I have not heard from Abbott Labs regarding my Humira ad posted on their behalf (sarcasm). But if it comes I’ll take the call! Since it appears that there may be benefits to endorsements, and it is so close to the Xmas season, I will recommend my favorite electronics.. I love my IPod Nano, I use an IBM laptop, and I love my Garmin Nuvi 660. That should have drummed up a little bit of support for ChemSpider right there!

The truth is we thank these groups only right now for their support…and sincere thanks they are.


About tony

Antony (Tony) J. Williams received his BSc in 1985 from the University of Liverpool (UK) and PhD in 1988 from the University of London (UK). His PhD research interests were in studying the effects of high pressure on molecular motions within lubricant related systems using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. He moved to Ottawa, Canada to work for the National Research Council performing fundamental research on the electron paramagnetic resonance of radicals trapped in single crystals. Following his postdoctoral position he became the NMR Facility Manager for Ottawa University. Tony joined the Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, New York as their NMR Technology Leader. He led the laboratory to develop quality control across multiple spectroscopy labs and helped establish walk-up laboratories providing NMR, LC-MS and other forms of spectroscopy to hundreds of chemists across multiple sites. This included the delivery of spectroscopic data to the desktop, automated processing and his initial interests in computer-assisted structure elucidation (CASE) systems. He also worked with a team to develop the worlds’ first web-based LIMS system, WIMS, capable of allowing chemical structure searching and spectral display. With his developing cheminformatic skills and passion for data management he left corporate America to join a small start-up company working out of Toronto, Canada. He joined ACD/Labs as their NMR Product Manager and various roles, including Chief Science Officer, during his 10 years with the company. His responsibilities included managing over 50 products at one time prior to developing a product management team, managing sales, marketing, technical support and technical services. ACD/Labs was one of Canada’s Fast 50 Tech Companies, and Forbes Fast 500 companies in 2001. His primary passions during his tenure with ACD/Labs was the continued adoption of web-based technologies and developing automated structure verification and elucidation platforms. While at ACD/Labs he suggested the possibility of developing a public resource for chemists attempting to integrate internet available chemical data. He finally pursued this vision with some close friends as a hobby project in the evenings and the result was the ChemSpider database ( Even while running out of a basement on hand built servers the website developed a large community following that eventually culminated in the acquisition of the website by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) based in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Tony joined the organization, together with some of the other ChemSpider team, and became their Vice President of Strategic Development. At RSC he continued to develop cheminformatics tools, specifically ChemSpider, and was the technical lead for the chemistry aspects of the Open PHACTS project (, a project focused on the delivery of open data, open source and open systems to support the pharmaceutical sciences. He was also the technical lead for the UK National Chemical Database Service ( and the RSC lead for the PharmaSea project ( attempting to identify novel natural products from the ocean. He left RSC in 2015 to become a Computational Chemist in the National Center of Computational Toxicology at the Environmental Protection Agency where he is bringing his skills to bear working with a team on the delivery of a new software architecture for the management and delivery of data, algorithms and visualization tools. The “Chemistry Dashboard” was released on April 1st, no fooling, at, and provides access to over 700,000 chemicals, experimental and predicted properties and a developing link network to support the environmental sciences. Tony remains passionate about computer-assisted structure elucidation and verification approaches and continues to publish in this area. He is also passionate about teaching scientists to benefit from the developing array of social networking tools for scientists and is known as the ChemConnector on the networks. Over the years he has had adjunct roles at a number of institutions and presently enjoys working with scientists at both UNC Chapel Hill and NC State University. He is widely published with over 200 papers and book chapters and was the recipient of the Jim Gray Award for eScience in 2012. In 2016 he was awarded the North Carolina ACS Distinguished Speaker Award.
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Posted by on November 20, 2007 in Community Building


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