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Social Media for Science Communication, #VIScoast 2015

Social Media for Science Communication, an educational presentation for #VIScoast 2015,

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Social Media for Science Communication, #VIScoast 2015

  1. 1. Social Media for Science Communication PAIGE BROWN JARREAU SHOW ME THE COAST 2015 #VISCoast
  2. 2. What is social media? • MailChimp • Facebook • Twitter • Instagram • Blogs • SnapChat • YouTube “Social media platforms aren’t just digital water coolers. They are the way the world is networking and communicating. They are how and where we share information – with friends, colleagues, acquaintances and any and everyone else.” – Christie Wilcox #VISCoast
  3. 3. Why Use Social Media? • Boost your professional profile • Networking, recruiting students • Reach new audiences • Act as a public voice for science • Make science accessible • Online outreach can help you get (NSF) funding! • Open science & collaboration "Those that have the privilege to know, have the duty to act." - Albert Einstein. #VISCoast
  4. 4. Soyouwanttocommunicatescienceonline… HollyM.Bik,MiriamC.Goldstein: doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001535.g002
  5. 5. PresentationbyChristieWilcox #VISCoast
  6. 6. Know How to Use it “Online social media tools can be some of the most rewarding and informative resources for scientists – IF you know how to use them.” – Bik & Goldstein 2013, An Introduction to Social Media for Scientists #VISCoast
  7. 7. So you want to use social media for science communication? • Remember: • Social media is SOCIAL. Two-way communication and engagement is key. • Respond. • Social media isn’t a replacement for interesting, original, useful and compelling content. #VISCoast
  8. 8. What gets shared? • Social Currency – give people something to talk about; make them feel like insiders • Triggers – What gets more word of mouth on social media, Cheerios or Disney World? Hint – think “daily.” • Emotion – science news articles are often on the top emailed lists #VISCoast “Simply put, it was amazing.” - Contagious Share-inducing emotions are high arousal (awe, excitement, humor, anger, anxiety) not sadness or contentment
  9. 9. What gets shared? • Public – can people SEE it? Make it visual (think bright yellow LIVESTRONG wristbands; Tidy Streets) • Practical Value – Is this useful information? • Stories – Stories are fundamentally about social interaction – and social interaction is central for human beings. #VISCoast “Fiction is great – it can help us really feel the horror of what we’re headed for, change our lives in a deeper way than scientific projections alone could do, and give us ideas to help us adapt to the change.” – Jane Rawson
  10. 10. Narrative structures that have been proposed to enhance popular interest in science: • History – the history of a field, of a scientific discovery • The scientist’s story • Drama – a problem that science can or has solved • The “hard-fought” discovery • The (solved or unsolved) mystery • The untold story
  11. 11. Think about your Goals • What do you want out of your social media experience? • Increased citations for your papers? • Increased visibility of your research? • Outlet for opinions? • Collaboration? • Open data and sharing? • Translation of science for broad audience? • Engagement with key audiences? • Feedback? #VISCoast
  12. 12. Think about your Audience • Don’t assume all social media platforms are created equal in terms of audience • Younger audiences? Snapchat, Tumblr, Instagram… • Female audiences? Pinterest… • Journalists? Twitter (largely a news source)… • Other scientists? Twitter, Facebook… • Wide audiences? Facebook (home-base)… 71% of US Internet users are on Facebook. – Heidi Cohen BuzzFeed’s #2 source of social media traffic Unlock hidden beauty in your science #VISCoast
  13. 13. A good start: • Choose 2 key social media outlets to focus on • Follow social media accounts of scientists, science communicators, others w/ similar interests • (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn) • Bring your science to the blogosphere • has a guest blog • • Start your own blog, OR join a group blog (Wordpress, SquareSpace, Blogger) News written by academic experts: Become an author @ #VISCoast
  14. 14. A new database of scientists online, searchable by research interests and field of study. #VISCoast
  15. 15. • Among the commonly used social media, the 140-character microblogging service Twitter has been popular. Followers of scientists on Twitter Emily Darling. figshare. A virtual department to spark and share new ideas #VISCoast
  16. 16. Tweeting Tips • You have 140 characters • use them wisely but accurately • Use URL shorteners: • • • • Add a Hashtag (#) • This marks it as a keyword within the Tweet and turns it into a link. Once clicked, it will bring up a list of other Tweets that include the same keyword. #fridaynightscience #SciComm #SciArt #CitizenScience #Conservation #VISCoast #WomenInSci #STEM #ECRchat #ScienceMatters #openscience Early career researchers
  17. 17. “A majority of established bloggers (72% of 126 blogs surveyed) use Twitter as a complementary outlet for disseminating new blog posts to followers.” Shema H, Bar-Ilan J, Thelwall M (2012) Research blogs and the discussion of scholarly information. PLoS ONE 7: e35869 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035869. #VISCoast
  18. 18. Other Online Tools • Blogs – continuous, long-form science narratives • Facebook – networking • Digg, Reddit – content aggregation • Twitter – in the moment conversation, customized news streams, building and maintaining communities • Instagram – visual, simple content • Snap chat – short video clip storytelling #VISCoast
  19. 19. • Professionalization • Openness and Spreadability • Spreadable and Creative Commons models • Blogging styles that are conversational and open to feedback Trends in science blogging #VISCoast
  20. 20. • Rise of a science blog ecosystem • Increasing role of science blogs and social networks (Twitter) in science communication and science news #VISCoast
  21. 21. 500 recent tweets mentioning “SciLogs”Conversations based on blog content have moved to social media “Today, quick updates, links etc. are done mainly on social media and many bloggers use the traditional blogging software only for longer, more thorough, one could even say more ‘professional’ writing.” – BoraZ, 2012 We can see different “communities” here #VISCoast
  22. 22. • Traditional blog functions • Debunking • Expert opinions • Media Criticism • Community building among scientists • Translation of scientific research • New blog functions • Science journalism • Sources of science news • Curation • Critical analysis • Discussion of science missing from mainstream media • Opening up the science research process • Citizen science, etc. • Adding value and advancing the conversation around scientific issues 86/ #VISCoast
  23. 23. Experimenting with Science Blogs Multimedia / Lives of Scientists Experimenting with content – Science Book A Day #VISCoast
  24. 24. “To me, science isn’t about being told by scientists that ‘this is science’ but for people to build an understanding and engagement with science in their own way.” - Science blogger George Aranda, AKA @PopSciGuyOz #VISCoast
  25. 25. Blogging driven by visuals #VISCoast
  26. 26. Why do visuals matter online? #VISCoast This is why. Do you want to read this blog site?
  27. 27. #1 – iPhone pics #2 – Illustration Apps Manga Camera - free Sketch Club - $2.99 Halftone - Price: $0.99 - Import photos, choose filter, crop, edit, move your versatile little thought-, word- and labeling-balloons around and label the images as you feel is necessary.
  28. 28. Taking good mobile pictures… • Shoot during golden hour (sunrise, sunset hours): Harsh midday shadows can make difficult exposures with typical smartphone sensors. • Tap the phone to focus on objects that are close-up or backlit • Get closer & create depth: take detailed shots, and getting close to your subject allows background to blur out of focus (shallow depth of field) • Try unique perspectives (shoot from down low or straight above…) • Bold shapes, strong highlights and shadows often make great black and white photos. • Upload your pictures straight to Twitter; Make FB albums Fun & Unusual Bright photos Simple is better.
  29. 29. Student Lab Visits - Looking for a home for your photos? Try, or a SquareSpace or Photoshelter gallery
  30. 30. Need a science illustrator? • Science Artists on Twitter -
  31. 31. Think Outside the Box “To me, science isn’t about being told by scientists that ‘this is science’ but for people to build an understanding and engagement with science in their own way.” - Science blogger George Aranda, AKA @PopSciGuyOz Visual Maps and Storytelling
  32. 32. Mobile Messaging turned Science Communication
  33. 33. Other social media tools • SoundCloud ( • Create podcasts – easily embed them into blog posts • Canva – create graphics and info-graphics
  34. 34. Being Accurate • You CAN maintain scientific accuracy and rigor in your blog posts and social media posts. • Link to original research studies • Remember proper attribution to pictures, statistics, quotes, etc. • Learn to be concise but avoid buzzwords that can be misleading (“cure” “breakthrough”) #VISCoast
  35. 35. But what if… • I don’t have enough time? • It’s OK to not always keep up to date; take “vacations” from social media • Only post when you are motivated to do so • Most science bloggers only post 1/week – 1/month • Post what you are passionate about • Make it a routine • Post as a GROUP #VISCoast
  36. 36. Thank you! Please take our workshop feedback survey!
  37. 37. References • It’s Time for Scientists to Tweet: scientists-to-tweet-14658 • Social Networking for Scientists: The Wiki • How to Build an Enduring Online Research Presence Using Social Networking and Open Science, SlideShare, Titus Brown beaconcongresssocialmedia • Darling et al. (2013).The role of Twitter in the life cycle of a scientific publication. • Bik, H. M., & Goldstein, M. C. (2013). An Introduction to Social Media for Scientists. PLoS biology, 11(4), e1001535. • Images: Flickr by Jason A. Howie; Wikipedia; Screenshots