Happy New Year! 2014 was the first year that I made regular posts here on Social in Silico and I’m taking a moment now to review how it’s gone. You may remember that publicly sharing this blog coincided with me deciding to take a “sabbatical” to explore some of my work-related interests in more detail. Basically, I wanted to encourage myself to generate some visible outputs from the thinking and reading that I planned to do. I hoped that this would help me to regularly gather and share my thoughts, and possibly also connect me to new people with similar interests.
Because my explorations reached into a few different (but related) directions, the remit of the blog has been reasonably broad – anything to do with online communities and the intersection of people, science and technology online. There are still a lot of things that I’ve read about that I’d like to blog – and I hope that I’ll find to time to write about these in the coming weeks – but overall, I’m reasonably pleased with my first year in my own online, public space.
So, here’s a summary of the posts from 2014, grouped broadly by topic. Thanks for reading, sharing and commenting – more to come in 2015.
URLs of wisdom
Each week in the URLs of wisdom, I round up the links that I’ve read at the intersection of people, science and technology. These have included developments with social media platforms, discussions of big data, privacy and online identity, as well as tips and resources related to science blogging.
This is a new series that I’ve recently started that will be occasional posts focusing specifically on community management and working with communities. Expect more of these posts in the coming weeks.
- Considering Community – What types of community are there?
I wrote a three-part series of posts sharing tips for organising events with different event formats (plus an extra post listing science tweetups around the world):
- Format for discussion sessions – including panel discussions, fireside chats and a balloon debate.
- Formats for more practical sessions – including hackdays, unconferences and
- Formats for networking – including tweetups, breaks and speed dating.
- List of science tweetups
Thoughts from community events that I’ve participated in
- I led a session on Online Communities at ScienceOnline in February – these are my notes from the session.
- Open Knowledge Festival – I was one of the organisers of this 1000+ person event in Berlin this summer. Afterwards, I considered “The importance of in-person events for online communities.“
- Wikimania 2014 – I attended many of the sessions on online communities and summarised some of the discussions in “Six snippets about online communities from Wikimania 2014“.
- OpenCon, London – “From interested to invested to impactful – what’s needed to sustain a movement?” In which I consider a three tier model of engagement for the Open movement.
- Shaking it Up 2014 – A one-day event on the future of scholarly publishing. I watched the livestream of a keynote by Geoff Bilder on “The importance of infrastructure” and asked whether the 6 key items discussed could also be applied to creating an infrastructure for the science of science communication community.
Online networks – and our interactions with them
- What can urban planning teach us about online safety? Combining thoughts from Jane Jacobs’ “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” with a chapter from Danah Boyd’s “It’s complicated”.
- What do we do when we really love content that we find online? I asked in “Gone fishing: liking versus loving content online“.
- After reading “It’s complicated”, I decided to write a series of posts about the four affordances of online networks that she discusses. Post one looked at persistence of our content online. Remaining posts are in the works!
Group behaviour online
- Predicting when users will leave an online network based on language use.
- The rich get richer effect – a study of an online community helps us to understand popularity.
- Thinking about group behaviour from the perspective of individual preferences – Granovetter’s riot model.
- My friend, Eva Amsen and I also launched MySciCareer this year – it’s a site for first-person science careers stories. We’re always looking for more submissions so if you’d like to share your story – whether you stayed in the lab or ended up in a non-research role, please get in touch.
- This year I also completed my first MOOCs – and blogged some reflections on the experience.