Dear Scicasters,

As we are approaching the end of 2013, we are looking back at some of the great milestones that we have achieved thanks to the support of our beloved community. With our new sector channels, new business and academic partners, new sector-specific charts (powered by NEBULi™), new location at the heart of London's Silicon Roundabout and new cloud-based platform backed by Rackspace, we are set to have an amazing year in 2014. And you, our great audience, will be at the heart of it all!

User Engagements - The New Measure

Firstly, let me highlight the biggest milestone to which every member of our community played a key part. As of December 24th, 2013, we reached over 10.4 million user engagements since our inception. We are really proud of this statistic and we wish to thank all of you for making it happen.

User engagements is a measure on how every user interacts (engages) with every post published on Scicasts. It is not about clicks or impressions, rather, it is about understanding what every user looks for when reading, sharing, discussing or commenting on every development that we report throughout Scicasts.

So why is this important?

  1. For us, this measure allows us to define the right content that meets the needs of every member of our audience. This is how we refine and build our sector channels, a process that is powered by our core technology, NEBULi™
  2. For sponsors and partners, it allows them to post the content that matters the most and is most relevant to our readers. This also allows us to be much more selective on who can publish content on Scicasts and the type of content that is being published. This is the future of advertising which goes way beyond traditional banner ads, and popups, and so forth.

Although we have been measuring user engagements since the beginning of Scicasts, we have launched it publicly in November 2013 as part of our new platform upgrade (we call it Scicasts V4). In 2014, we will invite a selected number of sponsors and partners to contribute content to Scicasts based on the engagement data that we have built. This will allow us to further showcase and connect our users with the absolute best of science and technology in a arway that could make a difference to their R&D projects or businesses.

Sector Data Charts

Earlier this year, we announced our core technology, NEBULi™, which is at the heart of everything that we do. We highlighted that we will release a beta edition of some the charts created by our systems and test their functionality. 2014 will be the year where our audience and clients will have full access to this technology, which we believe will revolutionise the way scientists conduct citation searches and sector trends analysis, saving them huge amounts of time and money on unnecessary subscriptions. We are partnering with a number of institutions and their leading data mining experts and mathematicians (some of whom are key members of the European Space Agency) who will help us further build NEBULi™. We will announce the details in early 2014. This will be a truly community-lead operation, with an intelligent system that will make a difference to our users' work.

Funding and Financial Trends

Since the closed beta release of NEBULi™ earlier this year, we have received an overwhelming number of requests to chart and provide key information in relation to funding and financial trends in science and technology sectors worldwide. I am happy to announce that, as of January 2014, we will provide an early release of such data and we are partnering with world-leading organizations who are experts in this field. We will publish a separate announcement in relation to this new service very shortly.

New Sector Channels

As always, we are continually monitoring the latest and upcoming scientific developments that showcase the absolute best of science and innovation. With this, we are always refining the topics of our existing channels and our upcoming new channels that cover key sectors where such innovations, as well as funding, are most prominent. I would like to announce that we are releasing our 12th channel covering Cell Biology in mid January 2014. We have identified a number of opportunities and trends that we believe will bring on board some very interesting data to our current mix and to our audience's interests.

This is just a quick summary of our journey ahead. Make sure you visit our official HQ Blog for further announcements and details of all of the above, as well as other areas that we are working on.

On behalf of all of us here at Scicasts, I would like to thank you all wholeheartedly for your support and for your feedback.

We wish you a happy and a prosperous new year.

Tim El-Sheikh
CEO @Scicasts