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Trip to the Museum – A Glorious Bird Collection

Posted 18 February 2015 by Paige Brown Jarreau

Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco). Image (C) Paige Brown Jarreau

Today, me and my students from #LSUSoMe (a strategic social media course in the Manship School of Mass Communication, LSU) took an Instagram field trip to the LSU Museum of Natural Science! While my students took pictures with their camera-phones (to practice their mad Instagram skills), I cheated and brought my Canon T3i and 100mm macro lens. LSU's museum of natural science is renowned for its bird collection and characterization of new species. The LSU Museum of Natural Science maintains one... Read more

Mapping a Social Network

Posted 6 February 2015 by Paige Brown Jarreau

SNA9

Today, I am going to show you how to map a social network using NodeXL and Gephi. These are open source and free software packages that you can install on your PC (NodeXL runs only on PC) or Mac (Gephi runs on PC and Mac). There are many reasons you might want to map a social network. You may want to see if a particular group of Twitter users all talk to each other, or whether they form groups that talk among... Read more

Does Science Communication have Real Positive Impacts?

Posted 5 February 2015 by Paige Brown Jarreau

A Twitter Discussion ... Read more

Science Problems: Scientists fault education and media, but should they?

Posted 31 January 2015 by Paige Brown Jarreau

Shutterstock: http://ow.ly/IgTiT

When it comes to problems for science today, scientists largely fault deficits in K-12 STEM education, public and media interest in science. But scientists should be asking themselves the hard questions. What have you done to advance the conversation? I'm going to keep this commentary brief, because dissertation writing calls my name. What I really want is for other science communication scholars to weigh in here on some of the Pew results concerning scientists' perceptions of public and media interest in... Read more

Reaching 4,000 Twitter Followers… for Science Plus

Posted 26 January 2015 by Paige Brown Jarreau

Twitter helpers.  Darren Barefoot, Flickr.com.

One of my favorite quotes from a blogger I recently interviewed for my dissertation research describes science blogging as something more than just science: "...it’s science plus. Science plus character, science plus atmosphere, science plus... description." - #MySciBlog Interviewee I realized that this is exactly what Twitter has become for me. It's about science, and science communication, in what I tweet, what I retweet, and who I follow. But it's about so much MORE than science. It's science plus friendship.... Read more

“I wanted to offer people content that they would never, almost never find anywhere else.”

Posted 12 January 2015 by Paige Brown Jarreau

Shutterstock: http://ow.ly/wCQLY

The excerpt copied below from one of #MySciBlog research interviews speaks for itself. It represents a few very common themes in my analysis (so far) of qualitative interviews with science bloggers about their practices and especially their content decisions. One of these themes is the science blog as a place for opinion, interpretation and/or personal commentary. In other words, relatively few science bloggers I've interviewed leave their personal opinions and thoughts out of their blogs. (Some do, and they tend to be... Read more

Hemingway over Faulkner

Posted 9 January 2015 by Paige Brown Jarreau

Photo by Lee, Flickr.com. 'Reader'

As a blogger, do you want to write more like William Faulkner, or more like Ernest Hemingway? "[W]hat blogging taught me is to be more immediate and more direct in what I want to write. Maybe it's the difference between Faulkner and Hemingway, I don't know. 'The paper was white, the text was black.' But, I'm more reminded what Kurt Vonnegut said, that he wrote books for people who are very busy and didn't have a lot of time to... Read more

Why Ditching Comment Sections Sucks for Science

Posted 7 January 2015 by Paige Brown Jarreau

Shutterstock: http://ow.ly/GUlfz

Warning: The following contains many opinions. How many different times and ways have we heard the 'to keep or ditch the comments' argument? Online comment sections are good because they provide a venue for open debate. Comment sections are bad because they can change readers' perceptions of the preceding article, news story, blog post, etc. Comment sections are good because they embody a departure from the old broadcast, one-way model of mass communication. Comment sections are bad because of the 9%... Read more

Science Blogging Through Time

Posted 3 January 2015 by Paige Brown Jarreau

Flickr.com, D.Reichardt,
Evolution.

"So a lot of times, like I'll write a blog post because something in the media is wrong. Right, like they misrepresented the science, or, they're talking about __ in an incorrect way, or, basically, something has engaged mass public appeal, and the record needs to be corrected, and obviously, everybody's going to be coming running to [my blog], to find out the true answer [sarcastic]. And so, it's really just more of a compulsion, where I'm like, I want to... Read more

A Network of Blogs, Read by Science Bloggers

Posted 28 December 2014 by Paige Brown Jarreau

What would it look like if you asked 600+ science bloggers to list up to three science blogs, other than their own, that they read on a regular basis, and then visually mapped the resulting data? Like this: Update: You can now play with this data via an interactive Gephi graphic here: bit.ly/MySciBlogREAD In #MySciBlog survey of over 600 science bloggers, I asked participants to list up to the top three science blogs, other than their own, that they read on... Read more