URLs of wisdom (21st December)

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

Behaviour

  • Review of an interesting-sounding book: “Sharing our lives online: risks and exposure in social media”.
  • The readers we can’t friend – on reaching beyond social media communities for sharing of news content. “We have become supplicants to other platforms in order to get our readers. That’s already a problem, and it’s going to be a bigger problem. How do we increase both the broadness of reach and the depth of loyalty with our own names as news organizations and not as a brand page at the indulgence of fickle Silicon Valley trend-chasing? Do we collaborate with other news organizations to create our own social platforms? Will the answer be partnerships and memberships that draw readers into news brands by combining reporting with live events and entertainment and context?”
  • 2015 – the year we get creeped out by algorithms? Three significant factors are outlined. i) One: Our devices are becoming more and more central to our social, personal, financial, and civic interactions. ii) Two: Most digital mediation takes place on platforms and apps in which the true owner, the platform itself, keeps centralized control. iii) Three: Algorithms are increasingly being deployed to make decisions where there is no right answer, only a judgment call.”

Academia online 

  • The latest OKCast episode is an interview with @arfon about open science, citizen science and cultural change in academia.
  • The Mozilla Science Lab blog is reviewing their year – this post on prototyping for change in online research gives an overview of some of their projects.

Blogging

  • Big changes at the Scientific American blog network were announced this week with the network roughly halved in size as part of a “reshaping” process. Matt Shipman interviewed the blog editor, Curtis Brainard, while Paige Brown speculated about some of the decisions involved and DrugMonkey ponders about the life span of blog networks in general: “networks appear to have a natural life-cycle. The ones that are tied up to a traditional publishing entity perhaps are on a short burn from the start”.
  • “Internal motivations, ‘I blog for myself,’ are the motivations that keep us going when we can’t know whether we are truly making a difference or not to science literacy and broader public understanding of science.” – Paige Brown considers blogging motivations.

Social media

Science Publishing

Communities 

  • Bad community is worse than no community – thinking about digital engagement: “By coupling a format that encourages intimacy with a network design that encourages out-of-context amplification, Twitter has evolved into something fundamentally volatile.”

Web/social media developments

  • What are MOOCs good for? – “For all the hype, MOOCs are really just content—the latest iteration of the textbook. And just like a book on a library shelf, they can be useful to a curious passerby thumbing through a few pages—or they can be the centerpiece to a well-taught course. On their own, MOOCs are hardly more likely than textbooks to re-create a quality college education in all its dimensions.”
  • Buzzfeed CEO: “It’s not just a site, it’s a whole process” – “We went from the traditional media model of content and distribution to the vertically-integrated model of content distribution technology to the network-integrated model of technology helping at every level.”

Resources

  • Wikimedia produces a monthly YouTube recording of discussions of recent research on the platform. Find all the archives here.

Just for fun

Happy holidays!

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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.

Behaviour

  • 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 

Blogging

  • 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

Outreach

  • 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]

Communities 

  • 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

Resources

 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.