So, I’m going to be speaking in a symposium on social media at the American Fisheries Society meeting in August. I’m talking about blogging, obviously, but I deliberately kept my abstract pretty broad so that I could decide later what exactly to talk about. So, if you were attending this meeting–or if you are!–what would you like me to talk about? If you were in my shoes, what would you talk about? Here are a few scattered but hopefully interesting ideas I’ve had:
(attention conservation notice: short post ahead)
- I’ve given a longer talk on blogging before. I can’t just condense everything from that talk into a much shorter timeslot. So I need to pick and choose.
- It’s gonna be a broad audience, most of whom probably don’t read Dynamic Ecology, or even any blog at all. So I probably need to start with some sort of overview of what blogs are and how they’re used. Paige Brown Jarreau has data on this.
- My goal with these sorts of talks is to be entertaining and thought-provoking. For instance, I’m thinking of arguing that blogs as a form are dying, but that they remain a great opportunity for the small number of people who have the desire, attributes, goals, and circumstances to blog really well.
- It’s telling that almost every other talk in the symposium is about Twitter and other social media, mostly as tools for public outreach and education. So I’m wondering if I should say something about that, even though it’s not at all what Dynamic Ecology does. Following on from the previous bullet, one idea would be to talk about why Twitter and social media have mostly replaced blogs. Along the way, maybe make some contrarian points about Twitter and other social media as tools for outreach. For instance, stealing Kieran Healy’s point that “successfully engaging with the public means doing it unsuccessfully very regularly”. And people who study science communication will tell you that at least some common ways in which scientists use social media for education and outreach are ineffective and based on a flawed model of public understanding of science.
- I’ve never been to a fisheries meeting before and have no idea what they’re like, beyond that the audience will probably include more government and management folks than my talk audiences usually contain. So there’s some non-zero risk that if I just talk about Dynamic Ecology–a blog very much written by and aimed at academics–I’ll be talking about something many audience members don’t care about. Then again, maybe people would like hearing about something very “off the wall” compared to typical fisheries conference material? Perhaps one good compromise is to try to find fisheries-related examples for some of my points. For instance, fisheries definitely has controversies over zombie ideas. (UPDATE: link fixed)
But those are all scattered, tentative thoughts. What do you think I should talk about?