I was away last week having an awesome time at a conference last week–saw some amazing birds, some marine mammals, had a hellish but cool boat ride, and got to talk to a lot of scientists.  I did a presentation there on social media for scientists and research stations, and it was really well recieved.

Actually, more than one person said “that should have been a plenary session,”  which I am still really, really geeked about!

So–Since few of my readers were able to attend that conference, or the Entomological Society meeting that I’ll be presenting at in November, I thought I would break things into a series of “Social Media for Scientists” posts.  There are some very good existing resources, but they don’t seem to be detailed enough to be useful to people that I’ve recommended them to.

People seem to want instructions along the line of “How do I…” more than “Why do I….”
But you know, we’re scientists. We’re all about procedure.

So–I asked some of this in an earlier post, but to get a more detailed read, here’s a poll!

Previous Unsolicited Advice Series at the Bug Blog:

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!


  1. Bug Girl…I enjoy your twitter posts very much (as well as the radio interview you posted), you are very much on-point. Is a copy of your presentation available? I have been in an extension role for 5 months now. The use of social media is a front-burner topic for me as I assess my current program.

    Keep up the great work…we need more people like you. Thanks.

  2. Thanks Larry! I hope to convert that talk into this series of posts. That way it can be consumed in small digestible bits :)

  3. Hi Bug Girl,

    I found this on the resouce page that you linked and it seems relevant to a topic I would be interested in seeing you cover:

    “The guide discusses the use of social media for research and academic purposes and will not be examining the many other uses that social media is put to across society.”

    How do you run a blog that (mostly) keeps your politics out of the science? I think your view would be especially interesting because it is clear you have strong political views and they seem to be mostly ones that many of your readers (or at least commentors) would support.

    Also, along these lines, how much attention do you pay to your comments? Do you have a clearly defined audience that you think you are writing for or do you find yourself influenced in what to write and what positions to take by your comments?

  4. Dave–
    as Popeye says, “I yam what I yam.” In other words, I write what is interesting to me, and for the most part am not influenced by the commenters. If you are going to do ANYTHING online, you need a really thick skin. Sad, but true.

    I pay attention when commenters tell me I write poorly, or have reasoned poorly; but most of what I write about I feel strongly that I’m right about (racism is bad; bugs are good; sex is fun; etc). I’m not likely to change my opinions based on feedback from commenters unless they bring some significant new evidence to my attention. And I have published some corrections to earlier posts, as new data comes in.

    I do pay attention to threats and nasty behavior by drive-by commenters, which is why I don’t write about DDT all that often anymore; it’s really stressful to deal with that level of hate.

    But for the most part, you have to be self-motivated. I write mostly to challenge myself to explain technical papers to a lay audience, and to convey my love of bugs to….well, everyone :)

    I have varying levels of success on both counts, but the only way to be a better writer is to write.

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