As promised (threatened?) here is the first draft of my Entomological Society of America Talk. I will probably update this later on, and I invite feedback.  Clearly, I need to cut even more out to fit into the 10 minute limitation.  I’ll be putting together a second screencast to cover how to measure broader impacts online with more specifics and tools later this month.

I have used some screenshots from public conversations on Twitter or on my blog in this; if you do not want them used in this way, please let me know!

Here is the Transcript, and a link to my handout.

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Entomologist. Educator. Writer. NERD.


  1. (Question Authority in the online world)
    Hi Bug Girl,
    I really like your presentation. You have a good speaking voice and are easy to listen to as you go from point to point. Your speaking speed is dead on, just fast enough to be interesting and not become “plodding.” You are also animated and sound enthusiastic about your topic, which helps to hold your audience’s interest.

    The only issue I have is that the volume on playback seems low, even though I have my various computer volume controls turned all the way up. That might just be an issue on my end, though. I’m getting familiar with a new laptop.

    I don’t see that you can shorten this much by increasing your speaking speed. You may have to grin and bear using a sharp editing knife on your presentation. That’s a shame, because I think it works very well as it is. Cutting it from about 18 minutes down to 10 minutes without losing too much is going to be a challenge for you. :/

    If you’re ever in our area, we’ll gladly buy you lunch/dinner and let you crash here, as long as you don’t have any dog/cat allergies. :-D

  2. Awesome, can’t wait to see the live edition next week!

  3. Great video, and good luck on the presentation! Thank you for posting this; I’ve recently started blogging, and there are a lot of tips here for me to try out in the coming months.

  4. Great advice! I even wrote down a few of those tips to apply to my blog. I’ve been bug blogging for about half of a year now, i’m supprised that this is the first time i’ve visited your site. Linked!! -Beetle Brained

  5. That was an excellent and thoughtful presentation. I really enjoyed learning how you got started, and I especially like the point of how blogging is changing the face of science communication. Also, from now on all my blog posts will feature insects with exploding cleavage.

  6. Yay! I’m excited that it made sense. Sometimes I’m not entirely sure that I am clear to anyone besides myself. Which is another reason why I put things on the blog :)

    Alex also pointed out an important thing I left out–You can drive traffic by (a) pissing people off; (b) making them laugh; AND (c) being useful. The posts of mine that consistently get the most traffic are how-tos–how to take a tick off, for example.

    I think I just enjoy the pissing off people /humor parts more, so forgot to mention (C) :D

  7. Excellent! Very nice job, insightful, well-presented, and I agree with another commenter that your voice is “easy on the ears.”

  8. Good talk BugGirl, but I will still try to see the final version if I can orienteer my way through all the concurrent sessions. I suppose practice and faster delivery will shave 3 minutes off, but something will probably need to go to meet the deadline. How did we get stuck with this soundbite approach to presenting science?

  9. Well, at least in the finished version I should have resolved the issue of whether or not Jessica Alba’s chest should be treated as singular or plural :D

  10. Very entertaining and insightful from a fellow blogger who also tends to educate as well as tick off readers. Good luck with editing, as that will be the toughest part. As far as those folks who need an ID on a presumed pest or ectoparasite, send them my way. I’m serious. But, have them read my online resources before they send body parts!

  11. I am missing ESA for the first time in more than 15 years! Would have loved to talk to you there – so this is the next best thing. Will track you down at #Scio12. Good luck next week.

  12. Blue water/red water. When I started my now defunct website, “Insect pollinators”, about eight years ago, there was just one pollinators website, as far as I know (Dave Green’s Even the USDA website didn’t have pollinator pages until a couple of years later.
    Now blogs on pollinators or bees are proliferating. So, I guess that the water is turning red.

  13. Pollinator–but you can still do something that is unique. Or, you can tell stories in a way that more official websites can’t. While people search for answers to questions, they also enjoy reading about real people and their work. Which isn’t always what a USDA or a Xerces site can provide.

  14. Nice presentation! As far as finding “blue water” when talking about bugs, the most straightforward thing to do is just to browse around the other blogs, and then ask oneself, “what would I like to see, that nobody else is doing?” This has the added benefit that it pulls one into the community in the process.

    Oh, and anybody just starting out should allow at *least* one year for people to notice their blog’s existence. Maybe two.

  15. As a nearly deaf guy (and a Luddite, to boot!), I don’t do videos very well. I am, however, eagerly anticipating the transcript. Thanks.

  16. Fantastic. I especially appreciate your distinction between collaborators/competitors…my thoughts exactly.

  17. […] watched this presentation by Bug Girl on social media a couple times. The part that intrigues me the most is who she finds her competition to be. And it […]

  18. […] a part of this community makes being a bug blogger an amazing experience!  If you listened to Bug Girl’s draft talk for the Entomological Society of America meeting next week, you’ll notice that she mentions how bug bloggers should foster a sense of […]

  19. Your collaborators vs. competitors slides are great. I think this also ties into having a unique authentic voice because that’s one thing the competition (at least those identified in your slide) will never have.

    In terms of marketing and science I gave a brown bag talk at the GTM NERR (an acronym that imposes marketing challenges in it’s own right) last friday. I spent the first half hour sharing my experimental animated films constructed from natural objects and the last half hour talking about the concept of the social object I’d read about online. I shared multiple examples of what I thought were some of the most effective science and ecology themed social objects (a few of them featuring insects and spiders). If you’re interested I posted a recap here: I’d actually be interested in your feedback if you have some time.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  20. To me the colleague/competitor issue is part of the amazingly generous world of academic scientists. I write things outside my specialty and am always astonished at how readily people I’ve never met will answer my questions, share unpublished work, and point me to good references. Of course, that’s when I’m writing for the public, so there is no danger of being scooped, but I still think it’s an unacknowledged benefit of being in the science community. And bug people are among the best — I can’t tell you how many people I sent queries to about my latest book, all of whom responded with enthusiasm (including Bug Girl!).

  21. Great presentation – it’s a real shame you’re going to have to cut it down (at least we got to see the long version here!) I’ve only been blogging for about 9 months now so it was great to hear advice from someone so well established :)

  22. Just found your blog! (Someone thought I’d enjoy the limericks… which I did!)

    Loved the presentation. I’m not a blogger but am an entomologist, doing public education for mosquitoes. I think I’ll go talk to our marketing section now!!

    You’re bookmarked!

  23. […] Bug Girl, who did a great job raising the profile of insect blogging! You should go watch her presentation right now, and also be sure to check out her interview by Guelph grad student Laura Burns for more reasons to […]

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