Social networking is often deemed a place for grumbles or exposing life dramas. However, if used effectively it seems that it can indeed prove as a powerful tool.
More and more scientists are taking a ‘leap of faith’ and entering the virtual world of twitter, blogs and facebook. It is quickly being understood that social networking can be used to an advantage which in turn is changing the way scientists interact.
It’s a great way for scientists to network not only with other scientists but also journalists and a strong online presence certainly has its benefits. The attention social networking can provide has been shown to increase funding efforts by 40% and being a networking ‘BNOC’ will always have its professional perks.
However, with all its benefits, the problem lies in the ability to condense a life time of work into 140 characters or so. Is it really possible to convey meaningful science in such a shortened and simplified way? I believe with a little effort and creativity, it definitely is. In fact, I think it’s a great way to reach out to those who aren’t science geeks and lure them into the science world.
One personally favourite of mine is Neil deGasse Tyson on twitter (@neiltyson). He cleverly spins science in a way which appeals to a massive audience – over 1 million followers – which normally causes some controversy along the way.
Check out his latest scandal!