Blogging, Social media

Social media sessions Part 3: Advanced Twitter skills and a guide to blogs

Month 3 in my ongoing series, April built on some earlier skills and gave my colleagues and I a chance to talk about how blogging has evolved.

Advanced Twitter Skills

Building on the Twitter basic session, this session will provide more detailed advice and training on how to get the most out of Twitter for work purposes. Topics will include:

  • How the Wellcome Trust uses Twitter
  • Twitter Lists
  • Tweetdeck, Hootsuite and other ‘power user’ Twitter apps
  • Storify and other Twitter curation tools
  • Statistics tools (e.g. Topsy)
  • Advanced Twitter searching

Crib sheet:

A Hitchhiker’s guide to blogs

The scientific community has taken to blogging in a big way, but just what are they doing. And with so many science blogs out there, where to start? Join a selection of the Trust’s best bloggers as we guide you through:

  • What blogging is and how it has evolved
  • A survey of the landscape of mainstream science blogging including the Guardian, Nature, Scientific American, Occam’s Typewriter and other blog networks.
  • Good blogs to follow and basics of how to subscribe to them via RSS
  • Key science, policy and medical history blogs to follow why we like them
  • What the Wellcome Trust, Collection and Library are doing with blogs
  • Basics of what we do and what other scientific institutions do (e.g. AMRC, CaSE, IoP, MRC, CRUK, BHF, Nature)

Featuring the picks of Danny Birchall (Web Editor, Wellcome Collection) and Ross Macfarlane (Blog Editor, Wellcome Library).

Crib sheet:

Blogging, Social media

Social Media sessions: Part 1 – Twitter Basics & A Practical Guide to Facebook

I’m a big advocate of blogs, social media and the many ways in which digital media have helped inform and improve a writer’s craft, not to mention break down the barriers to writers communicating more effectively with each other and everyone else. And I’ve spent the last three years trying to convince staff at all levels in my organisation to dip into the conversation at least listen, if not participate.

In October 2012, the Financial Times ran a three-day ‘Digital Learning Week‘ for their staff, in a bid to “inform, educate and encourage dialogue around digital and social media topics and trends”. This inspired me to organise our own ‘Digital Learning Series’ covering all manner of social media and blogs, from the very basics to more advanced skills and an overview of what innovative and interesting things people in science, science communication and medical history are doing with these tools. With the help of our HR department, I put together 9 classes and a workshop spanning 4 months basically brain-dumping everything I know. The sessions are run roughly every couple of weeks at lunchtimes as “brown bag” affairs with staff encouraged to bring a sandwich or salad and learn while they munch. They’re mostly me talking through some sort of presentation-demonstration and trying to be somewhat entertaining for people’s free time.

The series kicked off this month and have been reasonably successful so far. Seventy people came for a session on ‘Twitter Basics’ with 40 attending ‘Facebook: a practical guide’. I’m trying to provide a decent ‘crib sheet’ for everyone to take away with them and to share more widely for those who couldn’t attend. In the spirit of sharing, I’m putting them here too. Continue reading “Social Media sessions: Part 1 – Twitter Basics & A Practical Guide to Facebook”

Blogging, writing

Blogging science

A couple of weeks ago, I arranged for Ed Yong to come to the Trust for a lunchtime talk on science blogging. It was an interesting discussion and very timely given that we’re currently establishing a Wellcome Trust science blog. What was interesting from my perspective was that Ed is someone who blogs for his own highly successful site, but also for an organisation (he writes for Cancer Research UK’s Science Update blog in his day job).

Expecting a lot of questions on Ed’s Not Exactly Rocket Science site, I was pleasantly surprised that a fair number of people seemed interested in what blogging could do from an organisation’s point of view, which bodes well for interest in our own blog.

Ed talked about his reasons for blogging, how it differed from other media and gave his tips on how to run a successful blog. He made some excellent points:

Continue reading “Blogging science”