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Social media in Science: Myths and Facts

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A new discussion of David Crotty on how new tools are used by scientists.

Summary of his presentation:

– we hear a lot about the potential for new technologies

– While there is great value in many social media pursuits, social is not always the answer.

– Too many social media endeavors for science are built because the technology to build them exists, rather than because they fill a need. Sites declaring themselves “Myspace for scientists” quickly became “Facebook for scientists”, but they’ve still failed to catch on. Scientists don’t interact in the same way a band interacts with its fans, or how teenagers experiment with socialization

Listen to Your Users, but Really Listen to Those Not Using Your Product

It’s important to remember that the primary job of scientists is doing science, performing experiments, discovering new things. Most social tools for scientists are, by contrast, designed for communication, for talking about science. (…) The best social tools are yet to come, and they’re more likely to be directed more toward the actual performance of research, tools for the analysis, aggregation and interpretation of data, rather than for chatting.

Crotty, David. Rules of Thunb for social media in science. The Scholarly kitchen, posted on April 5, 2010.

Presentation also available at Slideshare:


Written by hbasset

April 13, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Posted in Science 2.0

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