Is there science to retweeting? Dan Zarella thinks so

Links, intelligent tweeting and forthright asking are some of the keys more likely to get your Twitter tweets retreated, according to a new study by scientist Dan Zarella.

He lists nine scientifically proven ways to get retweeted on Twitter.

Links were found to be three times more prevalent in retweets than other tweets, with the URL shortener of choice (unsurprisingly).

The ten most popular words in retweets were: [Read more…]

Science journalists turning to blogging?

It’s not news that many journalists working in traditional print media are feeling the pinch, but a new survey published in Nature journal suggests that science journalism is really under pressure.

Surveying nearly 500 science journalists from Europe and North America, it found that jobs are being lost because the science sections of newspapers aren’t making money.

Conversely, it found that science blogs and web sites run by researchers are growing in number and readership, and are often looked to by traditional journalists for story ideas.

Of course there are plenty of issues to contend with when it comes to science blogging — authenticity and trustworthiness, for a start, as well as how to monetise, particularly when sponsorship and advertising could come from drug companies, threatening readers’ perception of a site’s impartiality.

Are science blogs a good substitute for the in-depth research and analysis found in the papers?

(Via Xinhua Net)

Blogging May Change the Future of Publishing

Grand Text Auto, a group blog about computer narrative, games, poetry and art, has recently launched an interesting blogging experiment that may take blogging and publishing to the next level. Noah Wardrip-Fruin is putting the manuscript of his upcoming book Expressive Processing, about digital fictions and computer games, online so that the Grand Text Auto community may participate in an open, blog-based peer review. The community is invited to give feedback on the work in the form of comments and/or trackbacks which in its turn may be picked up by the author.

It is the beginning of a more social and networked book.

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Science bloggers debate need for code of conduct

Attendees at the North Carolina Science Blogging Conference have been discussing whether there is a need for a code of conduct amongst science bloggers, which may include elements such as conflicts of interest disclosures, comment moderation, and protection of anonymous colleagues.

The first session of the second annual event was led by Janet Stemwedel. According to Ivan Oransky, who attended and reported on the conference, a lot of the debate focused on the differences between journalists and bloggers. Sound familiar?

I mentioned that, and Stemwedel’s response was telling: “Consider that science journalists are parents, and science bloggers are teenagers. The bloggers don’t really want to be like their parents, but they know journalists have been at this for a while and might have something to offer as they make their way.”

Worryingly, at one level, was the possibility that science bloggers might want to take a look at, and adopt, O’Reilly’s general bloggers code of conduct draft.

Possibly a better idea, though open to abuse, was a “science blogging ethics code wiki”. This idea was met with some enthusiasm.

While a general, blanket code of conduct for bloggers has been widely met with harsh and impassioned opposition, there may be a place for particular niches to develop their own, voluntary, codes or “best practice” guidelines. Not all blogging communities are as large or as outspoken on the technicalities of blogging as the tech and metablogging ones, so what may not work in one area could work very well in another.


Geometric Boners and Stayin’ High on the Hog in Dog-Worlds

Some great stuff out there in science blogland, once again confirming that spring is a time of spirit renewal and expanding thoughts. In the esoteric realm, Chad Orzel over at Uncertain Principles offers a hilarious dialogue with his dog – who claims to be able to sniff out extra dimensions with her canine nose – about alternate universes, the meaning of quantum superposition and decoherence. Many Worlds, Many Treats gives us a dog’s grasp of quantum mechanics, which is more than enough for me! Besides, Orzel’s dog is very pretty even though he says she is rather silly. I can pretend he’s talking about me…

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Superman’s Evil Baby Nemesis Wagging Dogs and Reading Palms

Good news! These past couple of weeks have seen a resurgence of actual science and interesting science factoids for all the sci-blog watchers out there, the political infighting has thankfully moved into the background where it belongs. Not that political infighting isn’t fun for political junkies to watch and get a giggle out of, but when science bloggers won’t blog about science there’s a real dearth of fun stuff to write about.

As you can probably tell from this installment’s title, there is humor, fear, factoids and stranger-than-comic book discoveries out there to delight the seeker. Starting with stranger-than-comic book discoveries, Chris Rowan at Highly Allochthonous blog informs us that Scientists have discovered ‘Kryptonite’ !

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All Hell Breaks Loose In Sci-Blog Land!

The science blogging community has been inundated over the last week-plus with commentary on the subject of “framing” and whether scientists should be framing things in easy-to-digest sound-bytes for consumption by the general public. It started with an article in Science Magazine by Matthew Nisbet and Chris Mooney, entitled “Framing Science.”

This was followed by an NPR On the Media segment and another article by Nisbet and Mooney in Sunday’s Washington Post titled Thanks for the Facts. Now Sell Them., and it seems like everyone who is anyone has weighed in on the topic.

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The Most Silent Spring, ‘Going Grad’ and Neuronal Equality

Happy April to one and all! This year it went from freezing all the way to mid-summer 80+ degrees in 12 hours, making me just that much more concerned about global warming. In this science blog round-up I’m going to start out with some positively apocalyptic signs and omens almost as weird as the fact that dogwoods beat azaleas this year for early blooming. Before I get into regular old ‘weird science’ and brain-stuff, that is.

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Spring: The Season for Scientific Fun and Games!


Spring Is Here! After too many dark, cold February days spent poring over seed catalogues and nearly 5 months worth of winter time-switching designed for no rational purpose I can think of other than to mess with our internal clocks and depress half the population with induced SAD [Seasonal Affective Disorder], it’s about time! But in case it’s still cold where you happen to be, thus you aren’t spending your so-called “free time” preparing your garden or listening to birds from a porch chair, there are some good science blog outings I can recommend in this installment.

Better yet, they switched to Daylight Savings three weeks early too. Now if we can just convince them to leave it alone we might find that human beings actually CAN handle the seasonal shortening and lengthening of daylight hours without induced economic productivity losses or suicidal tendencies.

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