Transcript of my ESA talk about Social Media

Sorry this took so long to create! This is the transcript of my Entomological Society of America talk that I posted last week. I have taken the liberty of editing and prettifying things up, and including some feedback on the draft version I got.  You can download the PDF handout from this talk here, including some recommended links and resources.
I am still not happy with this, mostly because the topic is so huge, and there is so much very good info and thoughtful stuff out there. This isn’t meant to be comprehensive, but hopefully this will help you find some new ideas to chew on.  Without further ado:

The Adventures of Bug Girl
OR: Everything you wanted to know about entomological social media but were afraid to ask

In a 12 minute talk, I tried to address these topics:

  • Why do this social media stuff, anyway?
  • Why was Bug Girl successful?
  • How can you measure your success?  (An overview; I’ll leave the question of tools you can use to measure and assess online success for a separate post/presentation.)
  • How can YOU become an online entomology goddess?


I’m off to the ESA

meeting logoIf you aren’t a major bug nerd, you may not know what goes on at a big scientific meeting like the Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America.  It is the largest insect meeting in the world. There are usually ≈4000 insect scientists of all kinds, from every continent. (Except Antartica. But if I’m wrong, let me know!)

Unfortunately, it’s not anything like a science fiction convention. Nearly everyone is in suits, and it’s a time to make professional networking connections and present your research. There are organized symposia about some topics I’m really interested in–the way in which media has covered Colony Collapse Disorder in honey bees, for example.  Multiple bed bug symposia.  I’ll be sure to report back about those topics, as long as I’m not revealing anything that seems to be publication bound.

Titles of talks or papers usually have formal names like “Update on medical consequences of bed bug biting,” although sometimes you get a bit more humor; I liked this one: “To Baetidae or not to Baetidae: comprehensive phylogeny of baeitid mayflies.”  

Talks start at 8:00 AM and run until 9:00 PM at night. For 4 days.  By the end you just feel like your brain is swollen.

It’s also a great time to hang out, talk to old friends, and commune with bug people.  I’ll be distributing “I am Bug Girl” stickers in the spirit of “I am Spartacus” in order to:

  1. Confuse the issue on just who Bug Girl is; and
  2. Help bloggers and blog fans find each other at a huge meeting!

There will also be a Bug Blogger/Friends of Bug Blogs party Tuesday night; check out the Facebook Event Page for more details once we get on the ground in Reno and scope out venue and liquid refreshment options.

If you are an undergrad or a graduate student attending ESA for the first time: DON’T BE SHY! Seriously, entomologists are fairly laid back, even if they do insist on wearing suits. Anyone with an official ribbon–even the ESA President–will make time to talk to you.   If you see someone with an “I am Bug Girl” sticker, odds are good they also are a good person to ask questions of as well.  Don’t sit alone when you have meals–ever! That is a great time to sit down next to someone and start a conversation.

I’ll be revealing the winner of the Ribald Tales of Entomology Limerick Contest later this week, as well as other updates.
Stay Tuned!