The power of social media in science (humour)
Exactly 1 year and 1 day ago I made up a little satiric, but mostly funny infographic of how people in science see each other. I did not expect so huge response. I want to share with you, how small funny thing can cause quite big impact and all thanks to social media.
It all started with the first tweet.
— Matus Sotak (@biomatushiq) August 9, 2011
Immediately I got a few retweets and RTs of RTs. All in the waves with increased intensity when some influencers had retweeted. It seemed that everyone from academia who saw the picture felt an urge to post it further.
All of that sharing increased traffic of my personal page (as I mentioned it directly at infographic) extremely. The most powerful moment was RT from @NatureNews, what had great impact and spreading.
How people in science see each other http://ow.ly/5ZU4b
— Nature News&Comment (@NatureNews) August 10, 2011
Only at Twitpic where it was firstly published, till now it earned almost 400,000 views, 2,600 twitter mentions and 27,000 Facebook likes. In my humble view, incredible!
However, it did not end by online impact. I was told from many sources that this picture was hanging in labs around the world. Some of my old friends, who were recently working abroad wrote me if it was me who had created that picture hanging in their lab laughing at it. As result, finally I hung it also in our lab.
[Does it hang it your lab? Do you have story of it? Share in the discussion.]
Once I got a phone call if it can be used at conference talk for postdocs and few permission request for reprint in info bulletins of some societies or PhD newsletters.
Sometimes I think, that I should include it to my PhD thesis, as it had rather bigger impact that papers I have published, however I am not sure about opinion of committee Moreover, I was retweeted by Nature. What else is dream of young scientist? Hm.. maybe Science.
And that is the next story of how I got published by Science also via Twitter help.
I found there announcement of Science survey of young scientist called NextGen Voices. Task was simple. To answer what is definition of successful scientist and how it changed from times of my mentor. I just answered with short sentence, that nothing changed and still is actual what my PI claims. That the successful scientist is the one whose name in books moved from “name index” to “subject index.” I was really excited when I got letter from editor with request of photo. To be in printed in Science is not everyday experience for young scientist from Central Europe.
So, I have made it to Nature as well as to Science. All with the help of new social media. Maybe scientist should be more encouraged to use it. It can be useful and one can be different.
Should my career end here? Not really. One ‘simpler’ task ahead. Finish my thesis. Wish me luck. It seems this time it should be rather without social media.