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Friday, January 8, 2010

ISCB Exemplifies Organisations Supporting Scientific Social Networking

In Bonetta's 2009 Cell article entitled "Should You Be Tweeting?", she explains the benefits---and limitations---of using Twitter as part of a scientist's online persona. Though many of those limitations are solved with the use of FriendFeed, there was no mention of this resource in the Bonetta article. Therefore, following an interesting discussion in some of the FriendFeed Science Groups, a number of people wrote a response, where the usefulness of FriendFeed for scientists was described.

Many FriendFeed scientists contributed, and the three main authors jointly posted the response to the Bonetta article on their blogs. To view this response, please see the jointly-published posts of Björn Brembs (FriendFeed; blog post), Allyson Lister (FriendFeed; blog post) and Daniel Mietchen (FriendFeed; blog post) from 7 January 2009.

What ISCB members and attendees of ISCB conferences and workshops might find most interesting about this response is use of ISMB 2008 and 2009 as examples of how scientific organisations can actively aid scientists in dissemination of conference knowledge through social networking. Through its ISMB conferences (and the co-located conferences such as the ECCB), the ISCB has provided infrastructure, support, and encouragement to scientists wishing to make use of social networking software such as FriendFeed and Twitter during its conferences. For example, the conference organisers integrated the FriendFeed threads from each talk within the ISMB 2009 website, e.g. Keynotes pages from ISMB 2009.

And it's not just the attending scientists who make use of this resource: as can be seen with articles such as the one posted yesterday by Brembs, Lister, Mietchen and other associated FriendFeeders, scientists worldwide have taken note of the good work done by the ISCB and others like it.

Please note that the author of this blog post (Allyson Lister) was both one of the bloggers at ISMB 2009 and one of the co-authors of the January 7 post written in reply to Bonetta. You can find Allyson Lister's main blog at http://themindwobbles.wordpress.com.