Posts Tagged ‘scientist’

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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Growing Social Media Networks: Just Add Water?

While preparing a ‘Social Media 101’ presentation, I started to think about an analogy for growing a network to planting a seed, and it fit really well. A well cultivated social media network can be like a crop of plants that ‘do the work’ for the farmer. Remember, however, that the success relies on the farmer’s knowledge and hard work. If properly cultivated, however, social media networks can be a very powerful way to engage your customers and worth more than any type of broadcast advertising you can pay for. Personally growing social networks has taught us some things that may help you, so here are our guidelines for success. Know your seed. We all know that plants grow in certain conditions, and this is the first consideration to be made. Choice of the soil, sunlight, and season are all important and based on the type of seed you’re planting. For social networks, you must consider what types people you’d like to help you grow your network. What do they like, need, and how can you reach them? Knowing your ‘seed’ means doing market research, which may include interviews/polls and some legwork to understand how your potential participants are currently […]

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How to Win Friends and Influence People, 2.0 Style

How to Win Friends and Influence People, 2.0 Style

I’ve recently come to appreciate the true power of RSS, or really simple syndication. RSS feeds are a way for websites to easily communicate their updated information. Because the information is standardized, it can be picked up by other applications which aggregate the information, such as Google Reader (GR, see summaries here and here for help getting started). So what? You can set up some really cool automated tools to keep up on just about anything on the internet, including topics relevant to science and biotech business. You can keep tabs on the latest work in your field by setting up RSS feeds for pubmed searches. You can also follow blogs and news by searching for ‘RSS’ or looking for the orange symbol on any website, and subscribe. If you’re like me, you’ll actually feel a bit excited when you find a great blog or website, and find that you can add them to GR. There are also clever ways to feed customized information into and out of GR. You can set up Google Alerts for updates any topic on the web, and feed it directly into GR (choose ‘deliver to feed). This is great if you work at a […]

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Why Every Website Needs an RSS Feed

OK, I’ll admit that I’m behind the curve on some tools that people are using to keep up with all of the information these days. Thankfully, because I talk often to people like Sally Church and William Gunn, I am persuaded to try ‘new’ (to me) tools, and one of these is Google Reader. Google Reader is a way to get updates from many website RSS (really simple syndication, see review here) feeds, which are simply a list of all of the new content on the page, be it blog posts or news updates. These days, I hear many people using RSS readers to collect a lot of information for filtering or analysis later. I have been shocked to find that several general news and scientific publications do not have RSS feeds, although they update content regularly. This may be for several reasons–the website is built on an old platform that doesn’t support it, they may ‘subscribe’ to the old models, that users must ‘pay to play,’ or they don’t consider their content to be amenable to an RSS feed. Not only does having an RSS feed help with disseminating content to individual subscribers, but it opens up your website […]

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