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Social Media for Scientists

Presentation for the European Bioinformatics Institute in Cambridge

Nicola Osborne

on 22 September 2011

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Transcript of Social Media for Scientists

Science & Social Media Nicola Osborne
EDINA Social Media Officer
nicola.osborne@ed.ac.uk Planning and Managing Social Media Activity Brand all presences consistently and link them back to the main online presence for the project, research group or department.
Think about how you will pitch what you are communicating: are your audience professionals, community experts, interested hobbiests... what formats and formality levels will they find appropriate and accessible?
How will you make the content fit the tone and length for the space you are using?
Consider writing practice posts or asking colleagues or audience members to read early content to build confidence.
Learn from your experiences as every experience will be different. View this presentation online:
Questions? Tools should be handled with care: Image Credits

What is Social Media? Any Questions? - jamuraa/Michael Janssen (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamuraa/813966437/in/photostream/)
Pyramid - Edward Betts (http://www.flickr.com/photos/edwardbetts/4645153376/)
megaphone monkey - view from 5'2"/Mandy Goldberg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/viewfrom52/803566241/)
Curtains for You - Looking Glass/Fernando de Sousa (http://www.flickr.com/photos/fernando/141222763/)
Surgical Tools -oskay/Windell Oskay (http://www.flickr.com/photos/oskay/4793150482/)
Cyclist Rorschach Test - jurvetson / Steve Jurvetson (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/4685661036/)
Tool rack - L. Marie / Lenore Edman (http://www.flickr.com/photos/lenore-m/2515800654/)
What's Next? - seantoyer / Sean Hobson (http://www.flickr.com/photos/seanhobson/4380105315/)
Birmingham New Street Station from Navigation Street - Construction site entrance at the former entrance to the lower car park - Considerate Constructors - sign - ell brown / Elliott Brown (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ell-r-brown/4388676656/)
ruler - STUPID INCOMPETENT MANUFACTURERS - Biking Nikon PDX (http://www.flickr.com/photos/iliahi/408971482/)
Forward - Bruce Berrien (http://www.flickr.com/photos/bruceberrien/344846593/)
Think about social/new media spaces you will be able to update regularly and feel comfortable communicating in.
Allocate realistic and costed time to Social/New Media activities and make sure it connects to and compliments your other communications, engagement and outreach plans.
Think about what you want to achieve and set meaningful goals for your social media presences.
Ensure there is a specific person responsible for each space you use. And Think About Your Ambassadors... Identify a few individuals you'd like to have sharing and talking about your work
Think about where they are online and/or
Google them to find key spaces.
Note any online community spaces you find that may be interested in your work: discussion boards, key blogs, active and well-followed Twitter accounts etc. Many of your peers use them Your funding bodies use them Policy makers, politicians and community leaders use and value them The media uses them to find new stories They are imbued with a sense of transparency and accountability They let you connect to and engage with stakeholders They can help you measure the impact of your work They may attract new funders, participants or interest even for long established projects
Benefits of Engaging Social Media engagement attracts global interest in our activities and connected us to key members of communities - e.g. AddressingHistory has led to great connections to the local history and genealogy communities online.
Trigger requests to speak at conferences and participate in offline engagement events (like today!)
Led directly to multiple print articles and numerous blog postings about our projects and services.
Lends new life to long term activities.
Higher profile especially for events and reports.
Enhanced connections with stakeholders, supporters, the project advisory board, local library and information professionals and other project contacts.
Generates valuable continuous feedback. Social Media and Web 2.0 (O'Reilly 2005) are broad terms for participative online tools where interaction, social connectiongs, commenting or user contributions are central to the tool or sit.
Often included here are New Media - online and multimedia content that doesn't quite fit into "Old" or traditional media but doesn't have to be participatory: video, images, etc.

In July 2010 the Research Information Network published a key study in this area: "If you build it, will they come? How researchers perceive and use web 2.0" Today I will be:
Introducing how Social Media can be used to communicate your research.
Talking about general tools and techniques that may be useful.
Considering planning and budgeting for Social Media and New Media activity.
Talking about how we have applied these and what we have learned in the process.

I am happy to take questions throughout but there will be time for questions at the end. (I am also be happy to contacted after the event via nicola.osborne@ed.ac.uk.) Who? Identify the key audience(s) for your research or research project Why? Think about the role you want these audiences to have: collaborators? ambassadors? cheerleaders? potential beneficiaries? When? Are there key milestones, releases, timely news to connect to? Start with what you want to do and communicate, not the tool you want to use! Be aware of blocks, firewalls and restrictions in places your audience may access your content.
Think about the Bandwidth of your audience - shiny video content is great but may not work for those on slow, dial-up or 3G connections.
Consider the accessibility or any websites or presences for your audience.
What devices are your audience accessing your presences with - PCs, Macs, phones, iPads or iPhones, etc.? Are there any opportunities or special adaptations you need to make for these?
Make sure you update regularly - if your audience is committing time and comments they will expect responses and updates. Plan to be considerate... Appropriate and Timely Content Guidelines can be very useful - particularly to ensure that research is communicated but not shared too openly too early. Be clear what can be shared when.
Blog posts shouldn't be too formal. Post on a Weekly or fortnightly basis with short reader-friendly updates (300 words or so). If there is a compelling reason for long posts use images, subheadings etc. to make it lively and readable.
Facebook is a very informal space but remember that you are posting on behalf of a related project or event and your tone should reflect this.
Twitter is a highly responsive space so daily checks are a must whenever possible. Regular Tweets, replies, ReTweets and participation in Follow Fridays (#FF) etc. will all build trust and interest in the project/research group.
YouTube, Flickr, etc. are very participative spaces - you should monitor comments and respond when appropriate. Fortnightly or monthly checks are appropriate for most presences. Every project is different so there are no hard and fast rules - just be realistic and regularly reflect on what works. Monitoring AddressingHistory Social Media presences ~ 2 hours/week.
Maintaining, updating and attracting guest posts for blog ~ 1 hour/week.
Other activities such as filming, setting up event pages etc ~ 1 hour/week on average.
Set up times ~ 1 day. Costs & Timings danah boyd VidioWiki Tales of Things See also:
IBM Social Computing Guidelines: http://www.ibm.com/blogs/zz/en/guidelines.html
BBC Social Media Guidance: http://www.bbc.co.uk/editorialguidelines/page/guidance-blogs-bbc-full The most popular are:

Blogs Where do you start? And think about what you already do and communicate... Science Montage http://xkcd.com/683/ The Challenge... Guidelines Monitoring & Measuring Branding, Style, Tone of Voice... What Are Others Doing? Finding Opportunities & Developing Enthusiasts
& Advocates Working out what works & what doesn't A wee bit about me... As Social Media Officer my role is to advise, train and support EDINA staff, and others, on Social Media and new technologies.

I work with colleagues to ensure we....
Communicate with (and listen to) our audiences in the online spaces they already use and like.
Are consistent, strategic and engaging in our use of social media tools.
Embed Web 2.0 approaches and functionality into our projects and services when appropriate EDINA runs 30+ Services & Projects with... 6 Facebook pages 25+ blogs (most are WordPress 3 (MU) hosted by EDINA) 9 Twitter
presences 3 YouTube channels We also regularly use Flickr, SlideShare, Issuu and update our Wikipedia entries This includes blogs, Twitter, YouTube, etc... How Do You Start Your Social Media Strategy and Planning? Think about...
Why you are using/want to use social media?
Who do you want to connect to? How will you do this?
What do you want to achieve? Awareness? Participation in a project or campaign? Feedback?
Do you want to bring about a change or changed relationship with your audience?
How much time and energy can you contribute? What should this effort achieve? Identify Your Goals Think about...
Who is/are your audience/s?
How do you already connect to your audience(s)?
What sites and tools are your audiences already using? What could you achieve in these spaces? Which are worth trialling or using?
Would it would be more effective to be a guest blogger/contributor/presence in someone else's space rather than setting up something separate?
How will you connect social media presences to other online and offline communications and experiences?
Do you want a one-way channel or do you want your audience to participate actively through comments/creation of content/etc? Audience(s)... Content... Think about
What do your audience(s) want to hear about?
What do you want to tell them about?
What kind of resources are available - can you provide images, video, or other rich content?
Do you want to build a long term audience or engage people in short term projects/exhibitions/activities?
How will you create new content - will one person have responsibility for updating the presence or will you discuss and plan content collaboratively?
Are there events that you can plan content around - releases of new collections; exhibitions; events locally or nationally; news or sporting events; etc. Think about...
How you want your presence to appear - official, informal, playful?
How you will clearly link back to your main website?
How can you ensure branding is consistent - logo, colours, look and feel etc.
Writing style or voice of channel - is your audience exclusively academic or do you want material to be accessible to broader audiences? How will you test and improve this over time?
Do you want authors to be credited and personal or do you want the presence to be the voice of the collection/project etc? A bit about EDINA JISC National Data Centre based at the University of Edinburgh.
We run services including the Digimap, JISC Mediahub, SUNCAT, UNLOCK, Statistical Accounts of Scotland.
We work on projects including Walking Through Time, PEPRS, Open Access Repository Junction, JISC GECO, AddressingHistory.
Our users and community include learners and researchers of all types, both in academia and in the wider community Social media offers rich spaces to engage your current and potential audiences, stakeholders, peer organisations, project partners and the media.
Funding bodies, policy makers, senior colleagues, peer organisations, etc. look for opinion and activity in their area on social media sites.
Google ranks social media presences highly - a good presence may provide new routes to discovering your services and collections.
They can help you measure broader interest in and impact of your activities.
People share interesting news and events in these spaces with friends who may not be directly engaging with you at present.
The media uses social media to find new stories.
Social Media sites are public trusted spaces and allow you to be transparant and accountable. Listening... At EDINA we have created Social Media Guidelines (http://edina.ac.uk/about/social_media/social_media_guidelines.html) to help plan and manage presences, including:

Guidance on setting up and managing presences
Processes for handling queries, comments, criticism etc.
Comment Moderation flow chart
Indications of legal issues that may apply (e.g. FOI)

The Guidelines are free to reuse/remix/etc. and... All things in moderation... How will you moderate any comments or feedback through social media?
How will you handle questions or comments that require a response?
Can queries through social media fit into an existing process?
How will you deal with negative or difficult comments?
How will you deal with spam on your blog/Facebook wall/YouTube comments section etc? Whether or not you create your own social media presences it is useful to hear what others are saying about your organisation/project/collections... Monitoring Tools Keep an eye on blogs, video and image sharing sites etc. that you already know are important in your area/to your audience(s). You may also want to set up:

RSS feeds via Google Reader, Demon Reader, iGoogle, Netvibes, etc. - use with feeds from search engines, facebook, twitter, youtube, and other social searches
Alert Services - Google Alerts, Tweetbeep, ifttt - automagically moniter and alert yourself
Google Analytics - for website, blog and EventBrite listings.
Paper.li / Scoop.it etc - aggregation and monitoring tools
Social search: Topsy |http://topsy.com/(provides RSS and alerts) , Socialmention | http://socialmention.com/ (provides rss + alerts + csv).
TwapperKeeper / Your TwapperKeeper - archive Tweets.
Grader, Klout and similar tools - ad hoc to quickly assess our presences.
Yahoo Pipes - filter feeds and mentions into new formats and feeds
Packrati.us - automatically saves tweeted URLs to Delicious
IFTTT - automate common social media functions (very useful!)
bit.ly - moniter click throughs from Tweeted or shared links
And remember: also ask colleagues and friends to alet you to mentions (they're often much more effective than rss!) Finding mentions on others' blogs, Twitter streams, etc. can help you to find potential enthusiasts and advocates for your work, or expert supporters for your projects or collections
Build on connections through replies, guest posts, and through keeping in touch via email etc. when key news is coming...
Look out for opportunities for partner working or community collaboration - an informal connection in social media can lead to new formal projects. Depending on your goals for your social media presence think about:
How you will moniter and reflect on how your social media presence(s) are working.
What you can measure (traffic, comments, interaction, etc.).
What you would like to be able to measure (favourite items, audience, etc.).
How often you want to measure (weekly, monthly, quarterly)
What tools you can make use of (Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, YouTube Insights, TwapperKeeper, surveys, etc.)
Who will monitor and measure these and how will they be reported? Remember to regularly look at what you are doing and consider:

What is working well?
What is working less well than expected?
What your audience(s) are/have requested?
What content is still missing?
What you could do that others are already doing...
Is the impact, positive feedback or return on what you are doing greater than the effort it takes to maintain?
Is this still the right space/style/way to communicate this work?
And is the project still taking place/funded/staffed? Sometimes looking at what others are doing can be really helpful for understanding what your audience may expect, what might be possible, and clarifying how you want to present yourself. For instance... The Australian Museum use Mr Blobby the Blobfish as their Facebook alter ego... Photo:Fathead, Psychrolutes (aka Mr Blobby). Photographer: Kerryn Parkinson © NORFANZ founding parties). http://australianmuseum.net.au/image/Fathead-Psychrolutes-aka-Mr-Blobby The Fanosearch Project
https://twitter.com/#!/fanosearch NCCPE 6 Beacons for Public Engagement - help universities engage with the public and encourage partnerships with other researchers etc. So Why Should You Be Using Social Media for Your Research? How Caution Less visible social media activity is also important Tools Be Creative & Inventive! Support & Advice Always include context where you can - tags, location, about pages etc. - this enables useful inclusion in others' aggregations and services (e.g. local searches)
Scheduling, distribution and aggregation tools enable automatic cross-pollination (e.g. FutureTweets, scheduled blog posts, HootSuite, Friendfeed, Yahoo Pipes).
RSS is the glue of much of the social web - feeds are powerful, enable value-added feeds if you can (e.g. email subscription).
Always enable others to share your work - bit.ly shortens URLs and lets you measure click throughs, ShareThis provides widgets and plugins and also measures engagement.
APIs and web services for social media offer ways to automate updates (and monitoring).
and it's not just about online activity... Which tools should I be using? hackdays (for communicating in any medium) What for? Think about what you want to achieve, what you iwill communicate, to what end? A good story Accuracy Vs Image by Flickr user kevinspencer/ Kevin Spencer What already works?
Do you already have audiences identified?
You should review your content and communications channels before embarking on social media activity - and make sure it can all work together!
Do you have existing requests to start using social media channels? http://www.alexa.com/topsites/countries;0/GB Social Media Surgeries MeetUps, TweetUps, Twestival, Facebook Developer days, online chats.. Transparancy & Disclosure Planning & Budgeting Feed & Alert Tools Highly complimentary tools! My Blog:
http://nicolaosborne.blogs.edina.ac.uk/ EDINA's Social Media Page:
http://edina.ac.uk/news/news_socialmedia.html Google Scholar Citation Which Social Media Tools? Blogs - discussion, news, reflection, sharing. Twitter - great for alerts for quirky storytelling, for networking, for link sharing. Social Bookmarking - great for learning & teaching, for being an authoritive referrer. Academia.edu, LinkedIn, Mendeley - great for managing resources and publication shairng. Video - increadibly engaging, great for sharing events and one-off happenings. Super for reaching kids, broader audiences (hard to do well). Audio - engaging, quick(ish) to do, effective for discussion and explanation (but edit tightly). Social Networking Sites - for rich ongoing community participation. Image sharing - effective, niche, useful for press. You need to find the right blend... For Most Projects Blogs Are the Main Channel Feeds let others use our content Links out give good karma, aids authenticity, connects our works to others Tags, categories etc. signal what this blog all about, allows useful navigation Very specialist content and audience - this blog has great traffic and response rate from the mobile app community Where Engagement is a Core Activity We Use More Channels... Regular, visual, informal chatty
posts The blog becomes a hub, a central focus of project activity... We connect up to all channels in one place and make it easy for people to connect with us. Guest posts build good relationships, great content and bring in new readers & audiences Be honest with your audience, calls to action can be inspiring and empowering Consistent branding! Find out what your audience needs & deliver... Our bloggers and press wanted high resolution images, we took them (with a mid-range DSLR) and shared openly under CC licence Brand and customise Facebook
(we use an app to create new landing pages for visitors that haven't yet "liked" us) very consistent branding and look and feel... We use images to highlight what's in the service.

This sidebar means text posts still look visual and appealling. Tweeting snapshots from a rich resource encourages followers to understand the content and explore it more fully.

All posts have a link and the same #statacc hashtag - letting others join in. Videoing events makes them accessible...

Labelling and playlisting them adds context...

YouTube makes them findable, embeddable, sharable. CC licences adds to this sharing value... For schools our target audience is teachers, learning assistants, parents rather than kids... Content fits with this - informative, inspirational, accessible... Tweeting helps us make the best of events and learning and teaching networks We also use each presences to cross-promote others - tweets here drive followers to the blog, the service, etc. We have a big audience so lots of Facebook activity for Digimap... Lots of likes!

We answer user support questions here on Facebook Cross-promotion of relevant Facebook pages, particularly our own... Cross-promotion of Digimap blog and related blogs and news items... Lots of visual sharable content... These are established services but new tools appear all the time... ? some of our succesful combinations include...
Social Media is tightly integrated with the content, location and branding of many of our websites... Content elsewhere that links back is also part of the blend... spot the
terrible pun Use Google Analytics on Blogs, EventBrite, etc.
Use Facebook Insights
Use YouTube Insights
Use Twitter follower/listed/reply counts
Set up RSS Feeds to capture what others are saying...
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