Science Writers: 3 Steps Toward Social Media Ninjatude

Everybody seems more digitally literate than you. I’m taking Northwestern’s Social Media Marketing MOOC, @nusocialmktg on @Coursera and the more I learn the intimidateder I get. I also found a couple very smart techno-wizards with informed opposing perspectives on how digitally savvy science communicators need to become.

In an interview with Knowledge@Wharton, “Failing In Order to Succeed in the Digital World“, @mphasis CEO @GaneshAyyar bubbles that communicators should dive head first into data science, celebrating the failures and successes.


image: wikicommons

On the other hand, Illinois’ “Technologist of The Year”, Kristian Hammond @kj_hammond writes in his @LinkedIn blog post The Myth of the Democratization of Data that the job of a technologist is to protect save the rest of us from having to become one.

GOOGLE “COGNITIVE BIAS” – Prof. Hammond says realizing how bad we are at training will make it easyto embrace thinking machines.

NET YOUR WORK – Join online sci-com groups on Facebook and LinkedIn and professional groups like Chicago Science Writers to share best online practices.

EMBRACE AND BRACE – Even if Prof. Hammond is right and especially if Prof. Ayyar is you’ll have to learn some new tricks and your rate of trick learning will have to increase starting now.

The folks we want to reach are reachable in ever-new ways and they need our passion for science translated into their media of choice. Many of them have got a head start on you but hey, we’re science writers, we’re nothing if not fast learners!
CourseraShirt2Aaron Freeman is an avid MOOCer and Artist In Residence for the Chicago Council on Science and Technology. Contact me on twitter @c2st_artist.


About Excitable Ape

Today is the best day of my life! I am the Artist In Residence of the Chicago Council on Science and Technology. I work as an expert in science communication for Harvard University. Along with my wife, the comics artist Sharon Rosenzweig, I create comics and comic videos for the Annals of Internal Medicine. I express my passion for promoting science literacy by creating science education materials that makes people laugh out loud.
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