The Social Media Trinity Of The Scientist 2.0

 

You have decided to jump on the Scientist 2.0 train, but you are lost with so many online tools. To keep things simple you can start using the Holy Trinity of The Scientist 2.0: a science blog, Twitter, and LinedIn.

These three tools are everything you need to establish your online presence, share and learn, and expand your scientific network.

 

Blog

You might be thinking that writing a blog  is not part of your job.

No problemo amigo, many people think  that writing a blog is not part of a scientist’s job.

What is a scientist job then? Do science, write articles in peer-rewied journals, present at conferences, teach, supervise students. These are common answers.

Some of these duties involve promotion and distribution of the knowledge that you have generated.

And why do you do that?

Probably you want others to use your knowledge, to verify that your claims are true. You might want to promote yourself, so others know you are good at what you do. It is good for your scientific career.

Why a science blog is good for you?

With a science blog you and your science get more exposure. It is like having your own journal, without fees, where you can publish all what you want. Even better, people can comment and give you feedback.

A science blog is your presentation to the world. When people google your name (they do), they will find your blog and know who you are, what you are.

Twitter

If managed with care Twitter can help the Scientist 2.0 to achieve three things:

  1. Connect with interesting people: you follow and are followed by people with who you share an interest. No need to follow everybody, just those worth reading.
  2. Find useful information: with some practice you will detect who tweets good content (from his own creation) or retweets somebody else good content. You can also set some searches on keywords that appear in people’s tweets to fish out those that are relevant.
  3. Promote your science: after a while you will have an audience with some scientists. You can tweet about your work or blog and they will see this. Even better, they can pass your tweets to their followers with a retweet.
I said with care because Twitter can be a great time waster. Limit the number of people you follow to those that you really want to read or to have contact with.
Build lists to group tweeps by common topics. Then you can read the tweets of only a list and avoid getting lost in the tons of tweets that are generated per second.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the hidden gem of social media for the Scientist 2.0.

It is a great way to expand your professional network, either with fellow scientists or with industry members in your field. This is its main purpose and it does it extremely well.

Do not only turn to LinkedIn when you are looking for a job. You should have already spent some time pimping your profile (try to have it already at 100%).  This is important because you want people to find you because you appear in search results, and this depends on how complete your profile is.

LinkedIn has lots of other uses with great added value, like groups. You can join groups where experts in a topic get together to ask questions, share information or offer jobs. It is a great place to interact, since people really comment on the group posts.

It is also a source of blog posts that are hot. You can see daily what your network is reading, which has a high chance to be of your interest. I have found lots of great articles that otherwise would have avoided my radar.

 

If You Only Want One Tool

If you decide to skip the science blog, I would recommend to have a solid profile in LinkedIn. It can become your online business card, your resume. It can even list your scientific publications. And your LinkedIn usually appears high in Google results when somebody searches your name, so it is an easy way of becoming discoverable.
NextScientist is preparing more in-depth posts on these tools. If you want to keep stay informed please subscribe to our RSS feed

 

If you find this difficult or don’t want to spend the time, hire me and I will do it for you. I can also assist you with science blogging and your online presence, check my consulting services for scientists.

About Julio Peironcely

Julio Peironcely is the founder of Next Scientist and a PhD student at Leiden University. He is interested in the role new technologies can play in the career of scientist. Follow him on Twitter (@peyron) or read more from him on JulioPeironcely.com.

  • RoyMeijer

    Much as I like the term ‘Trinity’, I believe it may be a good idea to add a fourth wheel to this metaphor: SlideShare. One of the languages spoken by scientists is that of the presentation. I’m not saying they all do it exceptionally well, but they mostly do have ppt-slides that can easily be put online to share with more than just the people present in the room, through blogs, twitter and LinkedIn.
    Short blog about this in Dutch: http://wetenschapper20.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/je-presentatie-online-via-slideshare/

    • http://twitter.com/peyron Julio E. Peironcely

      Hi Roy,

      SlideShare is a really great tool and I have used it several times for my own slides. 
      I think together with Mendeley they do a great job at turning the old science (presentations and peer-reviewed articles) into science 2.0. 

  • Fathie Kundie

    Thank you for your efforts.