Smarter Social-Media Tools for Scientists

On November 8th I and Marie Boran of University of Galway presented at the 6th annual Spot On London (formerly Science Online London), a conference on science communication sponsored by Nature Publishing Group.

Our topic, which I proposed to the conference committee and had accepted, was “Smarter Social-Media Tools for Scientists.”
Abstract: What existing or possible social media tools could help scientific sharing and research? In this session we will explore ways to augment current tools for mission-critical goals, such as article alerts, literature discovery, recommendations, and public outreach/journalism.

The full video (55 minutes) is below, and I’ve also pulled out and labeled six 2-3 minute highlights below that, for the discerning.

A) Title slide and brief outline of talk:

B) Highlights and key points:

1. Realtime
The problem with Twitter’s “realtime” model, and how we might alternately self-curate and filter (29:28-31:24, 2 mins):

2. Sharing vs Reading:
in social media, what people share is often what they want to /appear/ to be reading, not what they’re actually clicking on & viewing. (33:21-34:35, 1.5 mins):

3. User Analytics:
On building social-media analytics for readers/users, not marketers’ point of view. (36:13-39:51, 3.5 mins):

4. Cute Cat Theory
“The Cute Cat Theory of Internet Activism”: why to use mass, commercial platforms like Youtube or Twitter for very important work. (40:49-41:46, 1 min).

5. Socialbots
How robot tweeting / socialbots might be used to bring all science research into social media. (43:38-47:00, 3.5 mins).

6. Social media as city, not conversation
We can easily navigate complex, crowded city streets, but easily get lost & overwhelmed online. That’s because the digitally networked world, including social media and altmetrics, is really just emerging; we and it haven’t yet much evolved or adapted. But early as it is, scholarly publishers really care about these issues, because they sense that their own disruption and obsolescence could happen, like Hemingway said of bankruptcy, gradually and then suddenly; they want to evolve and survive. (51:20-53:40, 2.5 mins).