This is a post I wrote for an event at Aalborg University, a webinar of the AAUTREACH1 series organised by Roman Jurowetzki where he interviews/talks with different researchers at the university doing #scicomm. Somehow he found me and thought I was a good case. I am not sure I am but anyway…The stuff below is the outline of my presentation.
I am reading through this LIVE…
Main reason for starting a blog?
Was to write things I don’t write in papers. Engage, have (more) fun. I talked with Matt (former colleague) he had a blog. He said it was feasible and interesting, so I did it.
Jekyll, github, domain name, etc, WTF - sounds complicated. Why nerding out?
I did my homework and looked at different blogging platforms…wanted something simple and full control (no ads). I didn’t like Medium. I had somebody who helped (Emanuele, a friend). So I got my own domain, twenty bucks or so, and set up the site on Jekyll, this means that the site is on github, let’s check it.
Keep it simple. The result looks like something from the 90es…well, whatever. The typical structure is: title, excerpt, figure, text in sections. Some humour, have fun. The typical frequency is variable. I started with an idea of posting twice a month, then changed to once a month. Then too busy, or no good content (I want quality). Now occasionally. Typical content: stuff for students, stuff for the LCA community, update on research and outreach. See tags. A lot of meta stuff: talking about doing the research rather than about the content of the research. There are better people than me being serious in blogs.
Why a comment-off policy?
There are different opinions on this… I investigated and read somewhere that there are three types of comments: “very good”, “very bad”, and the meaningfully constructive/critical. The latter are very very few, and this people write you anyway a mail - so why having comments?
Not when you keep things nice, don’t insult anybody, are polite. You are basically writing on the internet with no moderation FFS this requires some higher ethical standards. Ask people before using their stuff or commenting on their work (haven’t done that once and got troubles, then fixed them but still, lesson learned…)
Who reads this?
No idea, no tracking. We are already being tracked on many things as researchers, many of them meaningless…but I could do it potentially. I am basically talking into the void. But I put it in my mail signature, and spread the word. Read this to be a successful blogger
Totally, see last post.
Now we publish a blog post live!
We include examples of what the participants to this webinar do:
Example: Allan and the competitive firms
Allan’s research explores and explains what drives competitiveness of firms. He looks at this within a number of contexts, which are defined by research questions such as: What are dynamic capabilities of firms? How to co-evolve dynamic capabilities with the value chains and ecosystems that firms are part of? How is this co-evolution shaped by the deep change involved in industry 4.0? What are the roles of strategy and innovation in the co-evolution in terms of developing organisational resilience? How is resilience translated into organisational structures and behaviour? He applies mixed methods with an emphasis on how qualitative case studies and quantitative surveys are mutually supportive in creating scholarly knowledge.
Example: Cumhur on differentiable everything
Cumhur’s research aims to understand how new advances in differentiable programming can generate rich, interactive, synthetic audio-visual media that can be applied to sound, music, and movement computing.
This area of research uses and combines knowledge in digital signal processing, convolutional neural networks, deep learning, and Software 2.0 among others. Check Cumhur’s blog to learn more about these things.
And now we tweet about it!
“I am presenting RIGHT NOW about my blog at a science communication seminar organised by @RJurowetzki. This is the blog post with the outline of my presentation. #Scicomm @aautech link here”
Twitter is great, why?
Follow scientists, learn a lot, learn before others. Get informed, scientists are communicating their own work - and those of others! Who better than them? Directly from the source not from journalists that “translate it”. Do /read fun stuff and silly sometimes.
Am I good at this?
No it’s really hard. I even took a course organised by colleagues with David Shieffman Looked some videos (recent one I got from the uni is great), in danish though. You can have tons of citations and still be very bad at attracting followers, and viceversa (…you can check your Kardashian Index here).
What do I post there?
Twitter is micro-blogging so the short sotries that are well, too short to be in my own blog. Even if sometimes they become so long and relevant to be collected into a blog (See example). Then mostly engage & discuss. Although, I am not too good at discussions on the internet, I am anxious, then I don’t sleep. But I can’t help. Another bad side is that you waste a lot of time.
Why not LinkedIn?
Disclaimer needed at this point: I think social media are here to exploit us and all of this should be taken with great care. Twitter leaves me - for now - with a good trade-off between the value I get from it and the anxiety/time wastage it brings me.
Specifically regarding LinkedIn, to be honest it has always bothered me, on LinkedIn people (me included) are simply there to show-off, and there are my friends from high-school, etc. Instead, Twitter is data, information, contacts, at global scale. However, if you are looking for exposure then LinkedIn can be good too, for example, same post two weeks ago got 268 views on Twitter, 2193 on LinkedIn. Note: I never, never, never blog on LinkedIn, why should I give these guys my content for free? BTW I am already giving a lot of it away on Twitter…see next point.
Twitter threads on topics of interest e.g. this on carbon offsetting:
Or this about a paper (well my PhD student did that, I just quoted).
@_SusanneK explains our last paper on #blockchain for food supply chains where she "exploded" 💥 blockchain-based techs into different components and their links to other techs👍 and tried to understand what positive impact they bring👇👇👇 check it out https://t.co/wY12lElcGe— Massimo Pizzol (@m_outreach) June 26, 2020
I have shared with students and colleagues when they need this, so very handy! Share stuff and retweet whatever of interest. Retweet not necessarily endorsement, see this for example on Vatican divesting:
I almost can't *believe* it but I am sharing vatican news. Apparently, "da Vatican" divests. The question— Massimo Pizzol (@m_outreach) November 17, 2020
now is...where are they re-investing, what kind of impact-projects are they choosing, by which criteria? 🧐 https://t.co/OELQfo52fV
Topics: sustainability, climate, LCA, modelling, and “meta” on research, sometimes politics. NO COVID! No personal stuff (kids, dogs). Too many GIFs maybe? I am maybe a bit noisy.
No real strategy. This is maybe why I have no followers…I have no time for this really, it becomes too much. Like Mathieu Jacomi says in the first webinar, I don’t understand what works and not works on twitter. It’s like that. What tweets get a lot of impressions and why? Who knows.
End of the notes, now…
We tweet again about this webinar!
“End of the talk! Best quote: “…” Follow the next webinars here: https://www.aau.dk/arrangementer/vis/webinar-series–digital-tools-for-research-dissemination-.cid490735”
Wait, did they just copy the name of my blog??? ↩