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Science Story-telling at Restoration 2012 (slideshare version)


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This is a modified version of the talk I gave at Restoration 2012 about the importance of science blogs and the role they play in science communication. I also address common questions and concerns that scientists have about blogging.

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Science Story-telling at Restoration 2012 (slideshare version)

  1. 1. Science Story-tellingIris #rest12
  2. 2. What is a blog?
  3. 3. What is a blog?A blog is a website that is periodically updated withposts, with the most recent content appearing first.Blogger: person who writes for a blogBlogging: the act of writing for a blogNetwork: community of blogsThere are lots of great blogs and blogging networks…
  4. 4. Blogging networks
  5. 5. Who blogs? Shema et al. 2012 PLoS ONE 7(5)
  6. 6. Who blogs? Shema et al. 2012 PLoS ONE 7(5)
  7. 7. My blogging storyI wanted to improve myscience communication skillsand broaden my impact.And I wanted to get people excitedabout salmon and science.
  8. 8. My blogging story20102011
  9. 9. Why blog?communication MORE communication
  10. 10. Why blog?Blogs enable you to read widely, makeconnections, and expand your scientific network.Science blogs demystify science for the public.As I became more publically aware, I realized thatlack of scientific literacy is a big problem here inthe United States. Non-scientists face two big issues:
  11. 11. Campfire CommunicationsImage by Mel Bochner
  12. 12. Journals limit access to articles and require fees.Scientific literature can be dense and difficult toread for the layperson.Science blogs are FREE.Science bloggers minimize use of jargon.Goal: to write posts understandable to anon-scientist while not losing important meaning.
  13. 13. Why blog?Science blogging increases awareness andinterest in scientific literature.The change in impact can be substantial.
  14. 14. Why blog?Science blogging increases awareness andinterest in scientific literature.The change in impact can be substantial. Figure from McKenzie & Ozler 2011 World Bank
  15. 15. Meet Peter Janiszewski Peter published a study in Diabetes Care, gave internationaltalks, but felt he hadn’t reached his desiredimpact level.
  16. 16. So he blogged about his work.
  17. 17. Within the week, he had>12,000 page views
  18. 18. I might not reach >12,000 people with each of myposts…But I reach more than I wouldif I were not blogging.
  19. 19. Why blog?communication MOREweb presence communication
  20. 20. Why blog? you. People will google What do you want them to find?YOUR NAME
  21. 21. Why blog?communication transparency MOREweb presence communication
  22. 22. Why blog?Some labs use blogs to keep open lab notebooks.The goal is to be transparent about their work tothe general public, colleagues, & potential funders.
  23. 23. Why blog?communication transparency reading skills MOREweb presence writing skills communication
  24. 24. Science bloggers […] become very, very good writers, often as good (or better) as the professional science journalists.Bora ZivkovicBlog EditorScientifc American
  25. 25. Why blog? SCIENCE ISEXCITING
  26. 26. But what about…?Time commitment
  27. 27. Time spent writing depends on lengthand content of your posts.One way to decrease time constraints: Keep a group blog.If you have 12 lab members And you aim to post every other week That’s 2 posts per person per year Low time commitment; potentially high impact
  28. 28. But what about…?Time commitmentBlogging identity
  29. 29. PseudonymityPseudonymity is NOT anonymity. Pseudonyms are consistent and identifiable, but not linked to offline identity.Pseudonym pros:• Safety issues are of less concern• Does not interfere with professional lifePseuonym cons:• Blogging accolades do not translate to offline life• Initial distrust of others towards you
  30. 30. But what about…?Time commitments & persistenceBlogging identityNegative comments (trolls)
  31. 31. Trolls “In internet slang, a troll is someone who postsinflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.” Definition from Wikipedia
  32. 32. The best way to deal with trolls? Ignore them.
  33. 33. But what about…?Time commitments & persistenceBlogging identityNegative comments (trolls)Job limitations
  34. 34. Some jobs might require you not to blog about your work. It’s best to check with your supervisor before starting your blog.
  35. 35. But what about…?Time commitments & persistenceBlogging identityNegative comments (trolls)Job limitationsGetting “scooped”
  36. 36. In some fields, getting scooped is apressing concern. But not all fields.It is the blogger’s decision what he or she wants to reveal about current work.
  37. 37. DIY bloggingSome tips to get started1. Decide who your audience will be.2. Establish your blogging identity.3. Read. A LOT.4. Name your blog.5. Write!6. Publicize yourself.7. Ask questions.8. Grow a thick skin.9. Be persistent.10.Have fun!
  38. 38. DIY bloggingSocial media
  39. 39. Thank you! Questions? restoration2012.wikispaces.comIris #rest12