Posts Tagged ‘Blog’

Are Any Social Networks for Life Scientists Gaining Traction?

I’ve heard buzz for several different flavors of social networks (or more broadly, applications) for life scientists, and I’ve been curious as to which of them, if any, are gaining traction. I made a list of the ones that seem most popular and did a ‘quick and dirty’ calculation of the number of unique visitors to these sites. The results show that some sites are indeed gaining traction, and that they provide value based on primary and secondary scientific content, both traditional and online, to their visitors. I measured the traffic from each social application using Compete.com data from September to December of 2009. The data from this site may be inaccurate, and traffic to some sites may be low because they are newer, or the number of visitors may be calculated differently. I excluded scienceblogs.com because they are known to be very popular already, and they cover more than just life science (which several of the others do, below, but I just wanted to get an idea.) I also did tag searches on Delicious to find which sites researchers are bookmarking, to be as inclusive as possible. Sites I have excluded in the graph likely had little traffic or […]

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Why You Should Be Blogging

Yes, I have a very large social media soap box, which I climb upon often to preach. One of the reasons I’m so passionate about talking about it is that it has many benefits that we reap daily. Also, unless you participate in it, it is difficult to understand why it is so powerful. Blogging is one activity that has clear benefits for a business, and we’ve outlined some of the most important ones below. Opportunity. Comprendia realized this benefit almost immediately after setting up our blog in June 2008. I was invited to blog for the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) at the meeting soon afterward, and was also asked in 2009. From these great opportunities for exposure, to regularly receiving complimentary conference admittance, to having a good reason to talk to everyone from prospective clients to famous scientists, we’ve reaped many rewards from our blog. Website SEO (Search Engine Optimization). I recently talked to someone at a biotech company who was puzzled by the fact that content on their blog was ranked higher in web searches than their website pages. Why does this happen? Search engines love blogs and tend towards ranking their posts higher than other content. Now, […]

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Essential Plugins For Your WordPress Blog

We’re really big WordPress fans here. It’s free, it’s powerful, and it’s popular, meaning that it is constantly improving. Like any free software, however, it doesn’t come with any formal support or guarantees, so keep that in mind when considering things like security and backups. We recommend using the fully featured version of WordPress that is self-hosted, because there is much more control and flexibility, but you can also set up a blog at wordpress.com if you don’t have the capabilities (note that you won’t be able to add all of the plugins below). We covered the basics of WordPress in an earlier post, and provided some resources to learn. Below is our list of plugins that we automatically install or activate for our own blogs or our clients. They are all available in the full installation, and the newest versions (2.8+) allow you to search for and add them easily via the ‘Plugins->Add New’ feature on the left menu of the Admin panel. Check them out and contact us if you need more help: Google XML Sitemaps. An important part of your blog is to make sure it has good search engine optimization (SEO). Google appreciates ‘help’ from you […]

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Picture This: Finding & Modifying Images for Blog Posts

Picture This: Finding & Modifying Images for Blog Posts

Throughout my career I’ve had the need to either generate or find images to communicate science, and I actually enjoy it quite a bit. I thought it might be useful to others to provide a summary of resources. Finding and creating expressive images often inspires my blog writing, and it may help you as well. Besides helping you to illustrate your point, images get your posts recognized more easily on Facebook and other third party applications, and some blog themes work best if each post has an image. Image Sources. Surprisingly, there are several good sources for very affordable (as little as $1), high quality images, see the table below for a listing. The easiest images to use are those which are royalty free which means you just pay one price for the image and can use it indefinitely in accordance with the guidelines provided on the site. Another option is to download images from sites such as Flickr which offer users a Creative Commons (CC) license. This license allows you to use the image for free as long as you credit the account that it came from–here is a nice example using and crediting Flickr images under the CC […]

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The Benefits and Barbs of Bartering 2.0

If you’ve been paying attention, you may have noticed that I’ve gotten quite a lot of ‘mileage’ out of social media and blogging. I’ve gotten loads of complimentary passes to conferences, pieces published in notable blogs, and even an H1N1 vaccination last week (long story, and thanks to the Mission Valley Medical Clinic). I was talking to my sister about how bartering is ‘back in vogue’ now that companies have fewer financial resources, and she pointed out this is how some commerce was done in the early days in America–pay your doctor with a dozen eggs. This is a great way to do business in the new ‘outsourced’ economy, but you should remember that maintaining a good reputation is more important than ever, and that bartering should be done carefully so as not to abuse your relationships. How do you leverage your skills to garner resources from others? For me, the blogging angle has worked well, mostly because I have some credibility and a large network, I like to write, and there is a real need for good content. In short, the key is to find someone that values and needs your skills and knows you, knows of you, or […]

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Social Media for Life Science: Something Old, Something New

Social Media for Life Science: Something Old, Something New

I see enormous potential for life science companies to use social media to engage their customers and grow their business. Sometimes when I talk about it, however, the concepts can come across as being somewhat foreign. Some people wonder how tools like Twitter can help them to grow their business, and are perplexed by the jargon and ‘special world’ that social media marketers seem to live in. However, social media can be seen as an extension of tools life science companies have been using for years, such as newsletters, posters, and guides. Realizing that social media is really a natural progression of these resources helps to better understand how to create new tools and how to fit them in with your traditional marketing strategies and tactics. Social media is about stepping beyond your product line and offering customers with resources that apply more generally to their daily ‘pains’ or interests, and allowing them to interact with you and other customers in the process. These resources could be blogs, forums, or groups set up with customers in mind, you can see examples on our compilation of life science companies using social media. While many of these companies are just getting started, […]

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Comprendia Adds Social Media Capabilities

If you’ve been following our Biotechnology Marketing 101 blog, you likely know that we are ‘in the know’ about social media. We’ve used it to grow our own company and the San Diego Biotechnology Network, and we’ll be featuring our work with other companies soon. Check out our Social Media Capabilities page to learn more and to get started!

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How I Spent My Summer Vacation

While vacationing, visiting family in coastal New Jersey (nicer than it sounds), I spent some time on the beach. A plane with a trailing banner flew by, advertising a product I still don’t remember. Ever the marketer, and never being the type who likes to zone out for hours on the beach, I started to think about this flavor of ‘broadcast’ advertising. The problems are multi-fold: 1. I didn’t have any clue what the product was 2. I had no idea how to follow up to learn more 3. Even if I did have a ‘burning desire’ to find out, I certainly forgot the name of the product by the time I got to the internet (ignore the fact that I had my blackberry and could have looked it up). What’s interesting is that this company probably paid $1-3K for this promotion (maybe more, as I learned that flying a plane with a banner is quite an art). What did they get in return? I’m sure they don’t even know–hard to determine a return on investment (ROI) on a media has no way of tracking. Instead, I think they should have hired college students to visit 4-5 beaches, and hand […]

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Nobody Cares About Your Product Launch

A friend told me she saw a story on NPR about gaps in coverage of events in Afghanistan because so many news organizations are suffering and can’t afford as many reporters in the different regions. Hopefully, this is just a temporary situation, and changes in the media landscape will eventually mean more coverage, but it made me stop and think about news in the biotech and life science industry. With fewer resources, some news organizations have resorted to simply reprinting press releases rather than adding value by selecting truly newsworthy releases, and/or editorializing to put the information in a broader context. I have watched this firsthand as the San Diego Union Tribune’s biotechnology section has changed significantly over the last year, as changes in personnel have taken place. The result? A sea of press releases, each told from the company’s perspective, touting their company or new product as the best thing since sliced bread. Who will listen or care? Fewer than you think, as we all are confronted with much too much information these days. Anyone can send a press release these days, and that means that everyone does. Comprendia monitors the web and social media activity for the major […]

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