Archive May 2012

Introducing a new blog: kidney punch aimee whitcroft May 04

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Sciblogs has a new blog, huzzah!

We’re very luck indeed to be syndicating the blog ($100 Dialysis) of University of Otago’s Dr John Pickering (aka kiwiski, for those of you who know him as that), under the blog title kidney punch.

kidney punch

As John says in his ‘About’ section:

Of the writing of blogs there is no end.  So why another? Because I can and because the world needs $100 Dialysis.  $100 Dialysis is a vision.  I try and articulate this in the first blog post.  Expect other blogs on the topic.

I also write because as a publicly funded scientist I believe I have a responsibility to be public about what I do.  At some stage I shall try and share (in lay language) just what I do to justify my existence — my bit of the exploration project called science.  For those who want a sneak preview you can find links to most of my papers on google citations.

Welcome, John!

A toolkit for organisations and social media aimee whitcroft May 01


…Well, a little bit. Certainly, this post is for those of you who know organisations which are looking at social media and considering whether to get involved or not.

Now, before a number of you cough and splutter, dear readers, it’s worth noting that many organisations are, really, honestly, I absolutely promise, still pondering this most vexed of questions.  Particularly large ones, or complicated ones, or ones which deal with sensitive information, or competing interests, or are conservative, etc and so forth blah blah blah.

Weeeellll, last year I had the opportunity to collect a whole bunch of research, and talk to people, and write some discussion documents. Which was kinda fun, my not having done something like this for some years now.

The documents discuss what this social media thang is, some of the major platforms on which organisations choose to engage, and a couple of cases studies.  They _also_ discuss those ever-tricky issues of tone, of how free social media operants in an organisation should be, of monitoring, of performance*, and so forth.

And behind them there’s a bunch of research, most of which I’ve collected into a pearltree of mine available here**. And into which I shall continue to put things :)

These documents are now being released, by me, under a general CC-BY 3.0 license. That means you’re welcome to use, share, distribute and anything-else-of-you-can-think-of them.  From me, to all of you.  All I require is attribution.

Why?  If nothing else, because there wasn’t anything like this while I was writing these, and I’ve now acquired the necessary permissions to give them away (something I thought was important).  I hope they’ll be of use to someone. Who knows — maybe they can help you champion your organisation into the 21st Century :P  Also, I’m a big ‘open’ fan.

If they are useful to you, of course, please feel free to leave me a note (I’d like to see where they end up), and, of course, get hold of me with any questions you might have!


FIRST: social media discussion document — aimee whitcroft — july 2011 (also linked to in imge above)

SECOND: social media research findings and discussion document — aimee whitcroft — november 2011 (also linked to in imge above)


Some notes on these documents

I’ve released them as written, except where removing specific references etc.  Which means that the content hasn’t been updated since the date on their front page (and hence they don’t mention things such as Pinterest).  It also means that the behaviour of some of the case study accounts is now a bit different (particularly in the case of the July 2011 document).

They are, necessarily brief.  One could write books about this sort of thing, but these were intended for digestion by a non-technical (or techy at all), time-poor audience who was entirely new to this sort of communication, apart from having heard of it. Essentially, they were written to make the argument for engaging in social media, for using a less PR-like tone and for fewer hoops in the reponse process, and some simple thoughts about how to go about that (I have since written more detailed ‘going forward’ steps, but they are, of necessity, still private).

There are likely a couple of typos in these.  This happens when one has read a document umpteen times in the editing process :)


* I now have some more updated performance metrics, which, if anyone’s interested, I’d be happy to share.

** Yes, it’s Flash-based. Sigh. Come up with something in HTML5 that does the same thing, and I’ll happily move.  For those of you on iOS devices, there’s an app now!

Herd thinking, meet herd immunity aimee whitcroft May 01

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A fantastic cartoon, courtesy of Scientific American and by Dwayne Godwin and Jorge Cham, explains herd immunity (and highlights the problem with herd thinking).

Cheers to Explore, where I found this!

herd thinking vs herd immunity

By Dwayne Godwin and Jorge Cham

Network-wide options by YD - Freelance Wordpress Developer