Tag Archives: social media

The Dress

I was not particularly interested in “The Dress” for I had long ago accepted the fickle nature of both human and technological perception. That, however, does not mean one should dismiss* “The Dress” as trivial, a distraction, or a waste of time. Andrew David Thaler expresses the key point of this social phenomenon extremely well:

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*One should probably dismiss all the cheap marketing attempts to capitalize on “The Dress”, as well as Time naming the original poster as one of the 30 Most Influential People on the Internet.

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Dr. Twitter

EvaCameraOur travel guru, Eva Amsen, was recently interviewed by Times Higher Education about using Twitter and other social media productively as an academic in her role as outreach coordinator for F1000. The article includes a handy list of reasons you should be on social media in case your superiors question the number of tweets you posted last month.

Are you a Twitter Science Superstar?

by Brainleaf Communications

In the beginning, there was Neil Hall’s tone deaf “Kardashian Index”. Then there was Science Magazine’s list of 50 Twitter science superstars. Combined they painted a pretty clear picture that being active on social media was only considered a desirable characteristic in a thin slice of the population – you know, white dudes.

Hall did so by mocking young scientists who are active and effective on social media. Science Magazine did so by featuring very few women or people of color in their list.

PZ Myers, who did make Science Magazine’s list, takes them, particularly the editors, to task:

Isn’t it weird how invisible people suddenly become apparent if you just look for them?

In doing so, PZ reminded me of a Blues Brothers themed piece I wrote a few years ago for Nature’s Soapbox Science about finding audiences where they are on social media. Rather than fighting over the niche audience of science fans, we need to be convincing people to be science fans – much like Jake and Elwood convinced people to like the Blues. Continue reading

Creative output, social media & the tragedy of the commons

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Ed Yong’s comment on Alexis Madrigal’s article at The Atlantic is spot-on.

Can you spot the fundamental flaw in the logic of self-justifying logic of the owners of @HistoryInPics*?

“Photographers are welcome to file a complaint with Twitter, as long as they provide proof. Twitter contacts me and I’d be happy to remove it,” he [Xavier Di Petta] said. “I’m sure the majority of photographers would be glad to have their work seen by the massives.”
-from “The 2 Teenagers Who Run the Wildly Popular Twitter Feed @HistoryInPics” by Alexis Madrigal

If you don’t tell people who took the pictures, how do the photographers benefit from having their work seen by the “massives”? Sure, having one’s work make an impact is a reward unto itself, but it doesn’t pay the bills.

When our artists can’t pay their bills, we get less art. Or as the internet would say,  “This is why we can’t have nice things.”

*In general, I avoid linking to folks that are making their bank on the backs of uncredited artists.

At-twitter-bution

I’m not proud of that title; but I also lack shame. Ben Hedlund, however, should be very proud of his web app Tweet2Cite. Tweet2Cite takes the URL of a tweet and converts it into a properly formatted citation for MLA, APA, and Wikipedia styles. Here are the citations I generated using the tweet from Stephen Turner that brought Tweet2Cite to my attention*:

Screenshot of citations for Stephen Turner's tweet about Tweet2Cite generated using Tweet2Cite

Screenshot of citations for Stephen Turner’s tweet about Tweet2Cite generated using Tweet2Cite

And, for those of you wondering, yes, you do need to provide a citation or attribution for information/quotes/images/links extracted from other people’s tweets.

*I am ever so meta.