URLs of wisdom (23rd November)

URLs of wisdom is a weekly round-up of interesting links about topics at the intersection of people, science and technology.


  • Why do we need to have so many meetings? – asks Krystal D’Costa “Participating or being invited to participate reaffirms our place in the group. It solidifies our role and communicates our value to other group members. One of the reasons shyness has long been viewed as a negative personality trait is because it prevents the individual from participating, and participation is a type of social currency: the more people see our participation, the more important we become.”
  • Lonely natives – Dave White on more observations about why thinking of Internet users as digital natives (or digital immigrants) is unhelpful. “The influence of the digital is being framed here as entirely social, not technical. This, for me, is more evidence that we are becoming Postdigital, wherein the digital permeates everything so the focus shifts back to the human.”
  • Networked mortality – thinking about what happens to your digital life, including your passwords, after you die.

Academia online 


  • Science blogs and online trolling – do below-the-line comment spaces help or hurt science communication? “…there is a real need for a nuanced discussion of online comment spaces: it is important to recognise the value and potential positive impact of such spaces, as well as their risks.”
  • Innovative science blogging – summarising research using infographics


  • On publication and self-promotion – Liz Neeley shares some tips, and an interview, with the author of a recent paper who approached COMPASS for advice about promoting an upcoming paper “I’d get these nuts-and-bolts questions about a general recommendation and you realize, “I’m not really sure how to respond to that.” I think journalists want specific examples they can use to make their piece real. You realize during a lot of those questions you’re not the right person to be commenting on that. I’m comfortable saying things up to a certain point, but some of those very specific applications of our recommendations were challenging.”
  • Buzzfeed – a new home for research? – “Much to our surprise, that post garnered a lot of attention. ‘A lot’ is a relative term, of course, but our ’7 things’ Buzzfeed attracted about ten times as many views in the first week of its posting as a blog we put on the FHS website (albeit on a completely different topic) the week before.” [NB – “a lot of attention” was less than 700 views in a week]


  • A conference for members of the open community, OpenCon, was held in DC last weekend. Ross Mounce has a super round-up full of useful links.
  • Round-up of the talks and related content from the CMX summit on community management.

Web/social media developments

  • Twitter is now indexes every tweet since 2006 “Since that first simple Tweet over eight years ago, hundreds of billions of Tweets have captured everyday human experiences and major historical events. Our search engine excelled at surfacing breaking news and events in real time, and our search index infrastructure reflected this strong emphasis on recency. But our long-standing goal has been to let people search through every Tweet ever published.”
  • Facebook at work “The company’s new, enterprise-focused product will be similar to the functionality of its current site, with a newsfeed, groups and messaging capability. However, it will also include collaborative tools for work on shared documents. Facebook at Work will be entirely separate from personal accounts, with no information from a user’s social profile appearing on his or her professional page, and vice versa.”
  • Facebook launches stand-alone Groups app. “the Groups app opens to a clean grid of circular Group icons. The ones you interact with most are positioned at the top of the screen. Once you enter a group, posts and images take up the full width of the screen for a more enjoyable viewing experience. As before, the option to write a post or share a photo sit at the top of the Group page.”

Digital marketing


 Upcoming events

Just for fun

  • 3D printed viruses for your Christmas tree – with money going to science outreach projects.
Contagious festive spirit! Image credit: @genegeek.

Contagious festive spirit! Image credit: @genegeek.

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