This is a guest blog post by Laura Wheeler. She is the Community Manager at Digital Science.
The role of a community manager didn’t exist ten years ago, but with the advent of new tools and social technologies, we are changing how we interact and behave online, particularly in the way we digest news. My role is to tap into this active community of people online. It is not just to tweet about the awesome things Digital Science and our portfolio companies are up to, it’s to help foster an online community of scientists who we want to engage with.
It goes without saying that most people will at some point in their day check a social account, or read news content online.
Take a step back and think about how you find your new stories – major social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn certainly play a role in the consumption and sharing of news. Blogs can also be a quick, easy and efficient way to read up on the latest happenings that interest you. Mobile devices are also improving the way we interact online.
This behaviour certainly is no different for scientists and researchers who use social sites to talk, share and spread their science – the altmetric movement highlights the importance of these conversations – aiming to give a measure of the amount of attention science gets on social media.
We want to hear from researchers, interact with them, find out what their pain points are, and look at the ways we can help. Social media is just one of the ways we can do this – we want to follow where people go to get their news and be a part of this active community.
Most recently we released a concepts video, where we tried to imagine what the lab of the future would look like. In parallel to this thought leadership we also ran a social campaign asking researchers to tell us what type of technology they would like to see in the lab. This type of social interaction is key for us – first hand feedback from the people we want to engage with:
@digitalsci (easy one) smartphone app that photographs TLC plates, generates sketches of them and calculates RF values.
— Paul MacLellan (@insidecircles) January 24, 2014
Social media is a great vehicle to provide that thought leadership. Real-time interaction and customer feedback is valuable to us. Plus, social media breaks down the geographical boundaries – we can interact with scientists all over the world!
It’s also a great place to showcase some of the talent we have within Digital Science with presentations at conferences, guest articles, and media appearances from our staff. For now, my role is to help facilitate these activities and make sure we amplify our messages to the right channels, but technology is changing fast, so who knows what my role will look like in another ten years time…
So on that note, you can follow me on a Twitter where I can be found tweeting about social media and science, I’m @laurawheelers and you can also follow Digital Science @digitalsci. Finally, if you want to know more specifics about my career path, including some advice on becoming a Community Manager, you can watch my video interview on the careers website iCould.