Ideas and Suggestions

We want to build a site that’s useful to the community of science communicators – what would you like to see here?  Are there topics you’d like covered?  Questions you’d like to ask?  Questions you’d like to answer?  Any and all ideas and suggestions are welcome, the more specific the better (e.g. if you have a burning question, feel free to suggest ideas on who might be able to answer it).

Our initial plan is for Science of Blogging to include posts which discuss the benefits (and the pitfalls) of engaging in social media, “how-to” posts with tips on how to use social media to communicate science more effectively, and interviews or guest posts where science communicators can share their experience and insight.  We will also be starting a Science of Blogging Podcast where we can discuss these issues in a more dynamic way, and are interested in exploring other types of media as well (video, slideshows, animations, etc).  Let us know the types of information that would be most useful to you now, and what would have been useful for you when you first started to consider using social media as a tool for science communication.

Travis & Peter

  • #1 written by Adrian J. Ebsary
    about 3 years ago

    Libel! I’d love a how-to guide on how to avoid infringing on libel laws in both Canada and the US. When I first got into blogging, this was the scariest thing for me – what might I inadvertently say about recent science that must be incorrect… and how much it could hurt me legally. I think this is what scares many young science communicators looking to launch their internet careers.

    • #2 written by Travis
      about 3 years ago

      Excellent idea, Adrian. We have reviewed a ton of weight loss products on Obesity Panacea, and fear of libel issues has always been a big concern. A related but somewhat different topic is the issue of being seen as saying something that might critique a cherished dogma in whatever field you are in, or a paper by an established researcher, which I think are also real issues for grad students and young researchers. Thanks for getting things started, and please continue to chime in!

  • #3 written by DrugMonkey
    about 3 years ago

    One of the mission critical assignments is to figure out how to show real-world impact of blogging. Traffic numbers are insufficient to convince a traditional audience. How to make the determination of impact easier, consistent and valid?

  • #4 written by Travis
    about 3 years ago

    Are you thinking along the lines of some sort of metric that *will* convey the impact of blogs? Or simply data showing that it works? We’ve discussed ideas with a few knowledge translation researchers on ways that we could start to get at the impact of blogging through qualitative questionnaires (e.g. asking key target groups like policy makers, researchers, patients, physicians, etc if they use social media, why/why not, the info they look for, etc). It certainly seems like something that would be quite feasible, especially if we focused on one scientific domain at first.

    The other thing we’ve discussed is trying to find a way to determine whether papers that get discussed online somehow get cited more. This would be a bit trickier, but so long as citations are what determine a researchers’ job security, a study which shows that blog posts do/do not increase citation rates would certainly help convince the fence sitters.

  • #5 written by Andrew Wilson
    about 3 years ago

    Regarding impact, I’d like to see discussions of specific ways people have used their social networking/blogging in impact statements on grants, etc. Here in the UK ‘impact’ is becoming increasingly heavily weighted but less and less well defined, but communication of results with a broader audience is certainly up there.

    We have been using our blog mostly as a place for us to just write, try things out, etc, but now we’re looking for ideas and ways to boost traffic, etc. We’re flying blind and making things up, which is never good :)

    • #6 written by Travis
      about 3 years ago

      I always wonder about how much a blog can help with grant applications. Here in Canada Knowledge Translation seems to be a real buzzword, and I imagine that a large reach online certainly couldn’t hurt. But whether or not it can truly help, I’m not sure – I am still in grad school, and have yet to include the blog specifically in any grant I have been involved with.

      Has anyone else included their blog in a grant application, especially as a part of the impact/knowledge translation section?

      As for trying to boost traffic, you might want to consider joining Researchblogging.org. I have a post up on this topic on the main page at the moment – we have found it to be a tremendously useful way to grow our readership with Obesity Panacea.

  • #7 written by Guillermo
    about 3 years ago

    Hi.
    That was my concern long ago. Here in Mexico the wrong concepts are repeated over and over, even by MDs that dont actualize anymore. They keep “informed” reading the material provided by the pharmaceutical companies. I just started 2 blogs, even when I am a 2nd year PhD student (Pharmacology), and my research project is now high gear. I just reviewed the visitor statistics of both blogs and I was suprised to count 500+ hits from at least 10 countries… Information in Spanish is badly needed and I was inspired by you guys, Sharma, Marion Nestle and some exercise physiologist outhere. Also I am running an pilot patient group, teaching rural diabetic or overweight patients about healthy diet. Our people is easy prey of food companies… But, the blogging is the way, no matter academic evaluation organisms dont count at all. Thank you Very Much for show us the way.

    • #8 written by Travis
      about 3 years ago

      Congrats, Guillermo! It sounds like your reasons for blogging are almost identical to our own! Are you finding it difficult to post while you are busy with your own research?

    • #9 written by Maestra Delia
      about 2 years ago

      I teach science in Mexico and have a somewhat similar concern–a lot of students keep “informed” on scientific issues by watching “news” on TV! At least that’s what the diagnostic quizzes that make them solve a the beginning of each semester show. That’s one reason I keep blogging as much as I can–to give my students fresh information and fresh approaches to our subjects. It is not a lot, since I am just an individual with limited resources, but I do my little part. Thanks for your efforts and leadership.

  • #10 written by Ken Papp
    about 3 years ago

    Travis and Peter,
    I would love to contribute guest posts to the blog. As a former volcanologist and now the Curator of the Alaska Geologic Materials Center, I would love to discuss State-level resistance to blogging and social networks, the strong reluctance towards State employees who wish to use the former methods as a vehicle for effectively distributing information, and the classic slow adoption of innovative, online tools and services. Despite these setbacks, I have started doing exactly what I’ve been encouraged not to do.

    • #11 written by Travis
      about 3 years ago

      Great to hear from you, Ken. I’ve sent you an email to set the ball rolling.

      To anyone else who is interested in proposing a guest post, feel free to leave a comment below or to email us at obesitypananacea (at) gmail (dot) com. We’re still working on getting ourselves fancy SoB emails :)

      Travis

  • #12 written by Adrian J. Ebsary
    about 3 years ago

    Something I’ve wondered about is how important it is to develop a particular theme, or character to your blog. While many bloggers take on specific spheres of science that often reflect their areas of study, others will frequently add personal blog posts or scatter their interests around several disciplines. How important is branding your blog?

  • #13 written by Name (required)
    about 3 years ago

    d

  • #14 written by Dott. Bitea V . Vasile
    about 3 years ago

    I desire to promote a NEW SCIENCE :

    http://www.drbitea.go.ro

    Best Regards,V V Bitea ,MD,scientist

    3.04.2011

  • #15 written by ryo
    about 3 years ago

    Hi guys,
    Sorry, I’ve been looking on your blogs for an email address and couldn’t for the life of me find one. I wanted to know about guest blogging, so please send me an email at your convenience, so that we can correspond.

  • #16 written by seabedhabitats
    about 2 years ago

    I think you should have a “subscribe by email” widget or box on the menu as not everyone uses RSS feeds.

  • #17 written by tom alex
    about 2 years ago

    I’d like to suggest a series of “Ideas Contests” on your new website.

    For instance, I personally would pay one hundred dollars for the best essay written on one of my ideas: Perfect randomness is impossible.

    I think that you could easily find sponsors for contests.
    Please e-mail me, Tom

  • #18 written by shreedhar
    about 1 year ago

    We use(fix) the turbains in a car or any vehicle wheels, when the car in motion electricity will be produce this electricity we take and return give this electricity the car now this car moving whit the help of electricity in this process not useful petrol and diesel… It is possible its my opinion

  • #19 written by water method
    about 4 months ago

    This is the right site for everyone who would like to find
    out about this topic. You understand so much its almost hard to argue
    with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a subject that has been written about for years.
    Wonderful stuff, just excellent!

  • #20 written by Noah Weiss
    about 1 month ago

    Recently, I’ve been working on a project with a graphic designer named Cameron Drake to create x-ray gifs of certain bones in the body, and I thought you might be interested. Unlike the usual static x-rays, these are absolutely incredible to look at.
    You can see it on my blog: http://weissortho.com/content/x-ray-gifs/
    If you like, you can share it with your followers. I’m sure they would be interested in this too!

    Cheers,
    Noah