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Social Media Workshop at UC David - Feb 7, 2014


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Social Media Workshop at UC David - Feb 7, 2014

  1. 1. Social Media for Researchers 
 #UCDSocMed @hollybik Eisen Lab, UC Davis Genome Center February 7, 2014
  2. 2. “Social media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.”
  3. 3. Social media tools & their uses Professional Profiles (Public info about your job & achievements) •  Professional Website – What you should maintain AT MINIMUM. Necessary to curate your own Google Search results! Register your own domain and install the Wordpress platform using your web hosting service – easy to use with many flexible layout options. –  My example: •  Google Scholar – Keep track of your publications and citations. Also allows you to get literature recomendations based on your research interests. –  My example: •  LinkedIn – Potentially important for job applications where HR departments pre-screen candidates. Update occasionally (major milestones or new jobs), but for scientists I’ve found no need for regular engagement. –  My example: •  Communities for Scientists –, ResearchGate, Mendeley; you may decide to use these too. But beware of having too many profiles to maintain!
  4. 4. Social Media tools & their uses Short-form (more ephemeral, minimal time investment) •  Twitter – messages <140 characters, can post thoughts, soundbytes, links, pictures, videos. •  Facebook – personal profiles (pictures, status updates, etc.), groups and “pages”. But people can be wary about privacy settings (not accepting friend requests professional colleagues, or eschewing Facebook altogether). •  Microblogging – Tumblr (photos, quotes), Pinterest (visual ‘pinboard’ of images)
  5. 5. Social media tools & their uses Long-form (more longevity, but more time investment) •  Blogs – independent (e.g. a free Blogger/Wordpress account) or linked to an established blog network (Scientific American, Nature Network) •  Video content – Youtube. Catchy visuals can be more effective than long written pieces. Difficult and time consuming to achieve high production quality. •  Podcasting – iTunes. Another different media form. Also can be just as time consuming to produce as video content.
  6. 6. How do I start? •  Define your goals –  What do you want to achieve? •  Define your audience –  Who do you envision talking to? Other scientists (inside/outside your discipline)? Journalists? Educators? The general public? •  Choose specific platforms which help you achieve your goals –  How much time do you want to invest? –  What medium is best for conferring your message?
  7. 7. Research –  Professional Networking – Build your “brand” and reputation by connecting with colleagues –  Content curation/creation – Blogging about research, linking to and amalgamating media sources, e.g. news articles, videos, Storifys –  Community building - Particularly relevant for niche topics or interdisciplinary research Outreach –  Increasing the visibility of scientists (and branding them as ‘experts’) –  Cutting out the middleman - scientists can communicate directly with interested members of the public. Conversations are also archived for future reference (dependent on platform)
  8. 8. a Tweet, dissected Twitter Handle Hashtag Respond Save Share Later Share Now, Rebroadcast
  9. 9. Let’s Tweet!
  10. 10. Primary ways I use Social Media •  Blogging about my own publications – provides a reference for journalists, disseminates my research •  At Conferences/Meetings/Workshops - taking notes and socializing •  As a personalized information filter – staying informed of grants, research opportunities, new papers •  As an excuse/motivation to expand my knowledge and develop writing skills – blogging about marine genomics research at
  11. 11. Conference Tweeting •  Tweeting soundbytes from talks – taking notes, disseminating conference content •  Discussing talks with other audience members (and remote participants) during conference sessions •  Networking - interactions on twitter can introduce you to new people, and also serve as icebreakers before you meet other conference participants in real life
  12. 12. Storify
  13. 13. Tips and Guidance •  Scientific benefits can result –  new collaborations –  manuscripts –  research funding –  interactions across the boundaries of your discipline, –  increased efficiency (e.g. obtaining PDFs, getting quick answers to questions) –  obtaining samples or leveraging others’ fieldwork •  Online interactions will BROADEN your real life professional networks
  14. 14. Tips and Guidance •  Social Media requires an initial time investment –  Setting up accounts, exploring features, connecting with others –  OK to initially observe and "lurk” –  Explore different tools and decide what works best. Consistent use of fewer tools is better than spreading yourself too thin. •  Don't be afraid to ask for help –  There are many established and friendly communities online where people are always willing to help •  Social Media will save you time in the long run –  Provides filters and customization for information –  Many existing tools for aggregation and cross-platform synching (see last slide)
  15. 15. Perils – external perceptions •  Perception and reputation in research –  “When do you have time to do science?” •  Aimless interactions or misdirected goals –  Lots of information on the internet and its easy to get overloaded with different tools and lightspeed conversations –  Distraction potential – wasting time
  16. 16. The Importance of Metrics •  Online tools give us metrics to track the impact and dissemination of online content –  Data is critical for quantifying impact and refining the use of online tools for researchers –  Data will also be necessary for promoting acceptance in academic circles; metrics dispel the perception that online activities are a “waste of time”, e.g. in job searches, tenure review, tracking project outputs –  ImpactStory - –  Website statistics – StatCounter, Google Analytics
  17. 17. Bik HM, Goldstein MC (2013) An Introduction to Social Media for Scientists. PLoS Biology, 11(4):e1001535.
  18. 18. Pre-workshop Questions •  Privacy Issues –  My rule: never post sensitive information online (home address, phone number, etc.) –  Even email is not private! E.g. a notorious and contentious point for Gmail… •  Legal and Copyright issues – posting your journal articles online? –  Applies to slides you post too; I use SlideShare to post my talk slides, and have to be careful with pictures (attribution of all sources, making sure pictures are Creative-Commons licensed). Flickr has a good search tool for CC-licenced pictures.
  19. 19. Pre-workshop Questions •  Accepted ways for scholars to promote themselves – university vs. personal websites –  Maintain both; even senior PIs usually have their own external lab webpages. Link to external site on Univ. page •  When is it OK to share? How to avoid being scooped? –  Argument that some online activities make it less likely to be scooped (e.g. manuscript preprints). Transparency = attribution? –  I think it’s a personal decision about how much/when to share data. –  Remember, conference talks are “public” – people taking notes (or pictures) of your research at meetings •  How to advertise your social media accounts? –  I usually put Twitter handles on talk slides, posters, nametags, and across online professional profiles
  20. 20. …and now Twitter handles on your papers too!
  21. 21. Pre-workshop Questions •  How to avoid being “stuffy” in your online persona without being too “goofy”? –  Give it some thought: What are you personally comfortable with, and also unwilling to do? –  Experiment! Try different tools and approaches until you find a combination that works. It’s a long-term process. •  Advice for Shortcuts and Time Management? –  Automate social media as much as possible – plugins that push blog content to Twitter, Facebook; Tweet schedulers like Buffer help with time management –  Limit your social media use so it doesn’t cut into research time – e.g. 10 minutes in the morning, lunch, and evening. I write blog posts in 30-min increments of #madwriting
  22. 22. Pre-workshop Questions •  How do I get more followers? –  Be patient: it takes time –  I’ve found that tweeting at conferences is one of the best ways to get build followers –  Make a commitment to post regular content and engage with online conversations •  Why should researchers use social media? –  You may be missing out – many important conversations happen online (e.g. genomics, where most cutting-edge research is unpublished, or available as blog posts, manuscript preprints) –  A way to distinguish yourself – I think a track record in social media will have long-term benefits for grant applications (e.g. broader impacts), and job prospects
  23. 23. Pre-workshop Questions General Advice/Guidelines for Blog posts and Tweets –  Evan Bailyn, author of “Outsmarting Social Media”: #1 commandment for building an online presence (a brand, your professional reputation, or an online community)? Create excellent and unique content, frequently: ideally every day. –  Shorter blog posts are often better (400-500 words) – easier to produce on a regular basis, & some arguments that they get more readers. People have limited attention span on the internet (that’s why BuzzFeed is so popular..). –  At Deep-sea News we aim for mixed content – from quick video/picture posts to long, in-depth posts (>1000 words). Pictures are always eye-catching and break up written text. –  Group blogs can save time – less pressure, but blog activitiy also gives you motivation. I blog at too many places, but actually blog most at Deep-sea News (group blog – I always think I’m letting down the group if I don’t contribute for a while). Other people can fill in during hectic times (travel, career transitions). –  Tweeting – usually to advertise an event I’ll tweet far in advance (at 1 month, 2 weeks, 1 week before), and then more frequently just beforehand (1 day, 6 hours, 1 hour, when event starts, & just after event finishes). Tweets get buried quickly, so promoting at different times means different people will see/share it.
  24. 24. Advanced Tools •  Twitter Management Tools – TweetDeck, Hootsuite •  Feed Aggregators – Feedly for Blogs and RSS feeds (e.g. new journal articles) •  Mobile Apps – Twitter, Facebook, etc. Most companies offer dedicated apps across iPhone/iPad/Android devices