January 18, 2010

9 Take-aways from ScienceOnline10

Jonathan Eisen, aka @phylogenomics had a great post today entitled Top 11 things I learned at Science Online 2010 (#scio10). I wanted to blog about the conference myself but was stuck as to how to get started, and I thought I'd follow @phylogenomics' lead. I'll expand on some of these topics in future posts.
  1. Getting the Science Right, subtitled "The importance of fact checking mainstream science publications — an underappreciated and essential art — and the role scientists can and should (but often don’t) play in it" offered great insight into several different ways fact-checking is done (or not done) and how long it can take. It was great to hear experiences of the three speakers, Rebecca Skloot, Sheril Kirshenbaum, and David Dobbs.
  2. My presentation with Dorothea Salo on helping scientists find information was not incredibly well-attended, but between us, Dorothea and I made a big difference for a few people.
  3. The energy of bloggers, twitters, and science geeks was impressive and inspiring. It was a small conference (~250 attendees) and folks seemed eager to connect with all sorts of other attendees. This led me to be ...
  4. Motivated to start blogging again. It's been a hectic several months, including a 700-mile move, starting an awesome new job, and a 700-mile road trip to see the friends from whom I'd recently moved away. I foresee having a bit more time in the coming weeks, so I pledge to blog more - maybe once a week or so.
  5. The difference in writing styles in blogging, tweeting, and other kinds of writing. Blogging is harder than tweeting, srsly. Reading blogs is different from reading tweets, and also different from reading dead-print media such as magazine articles. Reading journal articles and books is different still. While this is obvious, it was good to talk about it.
  6. The value & simplicity of video. Lots of attendees were documenting the conference with Flip cameras. After seeing the ease of using the video cameras, and the immediacy of the message they conveyed, and a great session by Mary Spiro on video storyboarding, I was intrigued.
  7. Google Sidewiki sponsored a contest for a Flip camera for the most sidewiki annotations during the conference. Since I had achieved a modicum of interest in video (#6 above), I decided to explore Sidewiki. I'm glad I did, as it seems to have a lot of potential for libraries (about which more later, as in #4 above).
  8. Meeting tweeps, previously known and unknown, in person. Also, finally meeting a mutual friend after several years of mutual friendness. In both cases, meeting in person was greatly facilitated by prior connections, and good conversations started almost immediately. Next year, will meet even more previously-known tweeps.
  9. Speaking of next year, plan to stay in conference hotel. I live 30 minutes away from the festivities, and that was about 25 minutes too far. I was reminded of how difficult it is to attend a conference while living at home, as there is a disconnect between home life and conference life. Both would have benefited from my staying at the conference hotel for at least one night.
Take-away for all of you: if you're interested in the intersection of science and online activities, consider attending ScienceOnline2011.

1 comment:

Natalia Envy said...

Thanks for all of your Sidewiki contributions. Your entries were ranked among the most useful of all 200 submitted. I hope you enjoy your Flip cam! We'll have to talk soon about how librarians can better engage with annotation technology. Also, thanks for the suggestions for other conferences to attend - and most of all, for pointing me towards the right Locopop flavor. Mexican chocolate was definitely delish! Keep up the good tea habit!