News Feature
November 19, 2009
By Garth Hogan

Small Things Considered Wins Big at PRNews' 2009 Nonprofit Awards

Tao Xie in front of computer screen
Moselio Schaechter

WASHINGTON, DC - November 11, 2009 - Small Things Considered, a microbiology blog published by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), has been honored with a non-profit public relations award from PR News for best blog. The awards were announced at a luncheon held in Washington, DC, on November 3, 2009.

"I feel honored and pleased that a specialized subject area that's dear to my heart can garner such national recognition," said Moselio Schaechter, blog author and past president of the ASM. Schaechter, adjunct professor at San Diego State University and the University of California, San Diego, created the blog when he entered into "active retirement" to share his fascination with the breadth and depth of microbial activities on our planet. Soon after the blog's launch, reader Merry Youle found the site through a Google search for "Euplotidium" and promptly volunteered her services as co-editor.

"Moselio has graciously welcomed me and allowed me to make myself useful to the blog in increasingly varied and challenging ways," said Youle. "I still marvel at my good fortune. Seldom does one have the pleasure of such a nourishing work relationship."

To increase the number of people reached by the blog, and to become as useful a resource as possible in the microbiology field, Schaechter and Youle--with the support of the ASM--continued to evolve ways to bring big buzz to the planet's smallest inhabitants.

To meet their objectives, they began publishing guest posts by graduate students and noted microbiologists. The blog was also expanded to include a new section, Teachers' Corner, which reorganizes content into a structure that is suitable for inclusion in college-level microbiology courses. ASM also includes regular features from the blog in the Society's monthly magazine, Microbe.

Thanks to these efforts, the blog's visibility has increased dramatically since its November 2006 launch. With more than 10,000 monthly visitors and 900 feed subscribers, many of whom are active commentators, Small Things Considered has become a hub for microbiology enthusiasts well as current and potential ASM members.

The PR News Nonprofit PR Awards recognize the top talent, the innovators and passionate professionals who day in, day out are making communications matter in the nonprofit public relations marketplace. The awards are presented by PR News, the leading trade publication among communicators worldwide. The winners in this year's awards program included PR professionals from nonprofits, corporations and PR firms large and small.

Small Things Considered can be found online at or

ASM Logo

The ASM, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is the oldest and largest single biological membership organization with over 40,000 members worldwide. Members work in different organizations, including education (research institutions, undergraduate and graduate institutions, and medical dental and veterinary schools), industry (pharmaceutical, food and agriculture, biotechnology, environmental, and pollution control companies and hospitals), and federal and state governments (research laboratories and public health).

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