PLoS Blogs features DSN

Stacy Konkiel at the EveryONE blog at PLoS has a new post up about different ways scientists are using social media, including yours truly and the DeepSeaNews blog.  In it, Stacy describes me as a Trust Agent.  I had to look that one up, having not heard the term before; it appears to come from a book about using social media to earn trust and build influence.  Anyway, if you’re interested in science and social media, check it out!

Alistair Dove (149 Posts)

Dr. Alistair Dove is a systematic and ecological parasitologist by training, with broader research interests in the natural history and health of marine animals, especially whale sharks. He is currently Director of Research and Conservation at Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta USA. His comments here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Georgia Aquarium

4 Replies to “PLoS Blogs features DSN”

  1. I think you’re a little optimistic on the reach of social media. Having 1000 twitter followers isn’t like having an auditorium full of people when you tweet, it’s more like teaching intro to biology at a state university, there are supposed to be 1000 kids in the auditorium, but only 200 showed up, and of that, only 25 are paying attention.

    Now if your name was Justin Bieber, this would be different…

    1. You’re right of course. Having 1,000 followers (which I don’t) doesn’t mean all 1,000 are watching when you tweet, or caring even if they see it. But if you pick your time right and compose a good tweet that contains interesting content, you can definitely get the message out and build a following of engaged folks, many of whose tweets are likely to be of interest to you too. That’s an important point that didn’t make it into Stacy’s article: social media tools, even (especially?) Twitter, are 2 way streets, unlike traditional media.

      Some folks like Ed Yong know just how to suck you in to whatever link they’re sharing with a witty hook or similar language tool. It can be very effective when done right.

  2. A conference also is a two way street, and it as far fewer limitation than electronic communication. Phone communication and email two. They’re also easier to use when you want to contact a specific person.

    I still didn’t get the point why social media such as twitter or facebook help scientist to reach a broader audience or even communicate by their fellows… Maybe because I don’t use it too.

    If I want to ask something, I send an email, meet the person or use phone. I can be more productive this way than awaiting something interessant to show up on a closed network (Facebook) or on a highly restrictive media (about text lenght, Twitter).

    But again, maybe I’ù wrong and missing something.

    1. Hi Crabe, There are many ways to use social media and sometimes the success lies in choosing the right medium for your message. e.g. Blogs for long format tailored to a target readership, Twitter for quick messages, real-time news or just sharing an interesting link (the length of the messages may be restrictive but your imagination is not!).

      Facebook used traditionally IS a closed netweeok, but the advent of the Like button allowed people to build Facebook pages for societies or groups with large followings that want to receive regular updates. G+ is a much more open social network structure (based on “circles”) and we are just now learning the potential of that approach. I think all these tools offer something, and which you choose to use is up to you and the people you want to connect with. What I can say is that if you dont use ANY social media tools, you may well be missing out on some really cool parts of the conversation

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