I realized the other day that I now have information on about eight different websites which have some type of public media performance. Myspace (mostly for individual stuff) and Tweets (mostly work-related stuff) are the ones I usually use the most, but I also have information on LinkedIn and Google+. I also have information set up on a variety of more professional academic/researcher systems – Universities.edu, BiomedExperts, ResearchGate and Mendeley. The only one of these I use consistently is Mendeley, and that is almost entirely for the reference-management functions, rather than the public connection part of it. For most of them I finalized up to see what they were about, and then hardly ever checked out them again.
Keeping a record of them all is beginning to become a significant throbbing headache. When I submit a new document, theoretically I should go to all these individual records and add it to my user profile on each one. In exercise of course, I hardly ever hassle and so my records languish mostly empty.
The purpose why I’m not more definitely using my records on, say, Universities.edu or ResearchGate is that they provide me very little that I cannot get elsewhere. Each one provides a a little bit different feature-set, and they all seem to be reasonably well-built websites, but if I want to discuss analysis, then I’m more likely to do it in workshops, conventions or in the pub than on internet websites. The exclusion to this guideline is of course Tweets, which I’ve discovered to be an amazingly highly effective way of giving, finding and discussing new analysis with more and various fascinated and professional conversants than I ever thought.
The monster function (as with any web page these days) is of course articles, and in the situation of public media websites the articles is the individuals that use them. Myspace is now very much important to my self confidence because almost all of my buddies definitely use it. If a system endured which provided almost all of the individuals that I was considering speaking with about analysis, then definitely using it would be well value my while. Unfortunately, none of the professional educational systems seem to have taken off with regards to their user-base in the way that Myspace has for a more common viewers. There was a brief quantity of pleasure (ironically, mostly on Twitter) about Google+, and particularly its ‘hangout’ function, for educational cooperation, but that all seems to have passed away down, and after a several several weeks of enjoying around with it, my Google+ consideration is now as moribund as all the others.
So, where can we go from here? There seems to be a lot of positive outlook (and investment) around the concept that a specialized public media for scientists might be a useful factor, but so far no-one seems to have damaged it yet. As this content notices, the only way scientists will begin using these resources consistently is if they complete some type of currently un-met need. My inspiration for using facebook is that it creates my lifestyle simpler – instead of sensation accountable for never e-mailing or getting touching my buddies I can just study their position up-dates and at least sustain the impression that I’m touching their lifestyle. Researchers are usually fast paced individuals and would probably welcome some on the internet device which could create their lifestyle more effective. Unfortunately, most of our needs seem to be very effectively met by relatively easy resources which are currently available (e.g. RSS visitors for monitoring the newest publications/blogs). Until a system comes along which has a) a really monster feature-set and b) a completely large user-base, these professional educational systems are probably meant to battle, and many will likely fall short once their start-up financing operates dry.