02 November 2011

The official SfN neurobloggers, 2011

Colour me puzzled.

Last year, I wrote about the puzzlement about the Society for Neuroscience’s choice of official bloggers. I didn’t recognize a one.

With today’s announcement of the Neuroscience 2011 neurobloggers, I confess I am still baffled by the SfN’s social media strategy. Unlike last year, year, I do recognize one blogger, the mighty Scicurious.

I wonder if the strategy is to shine a light on new bloggers.

Looking at the Twitter accounts, Scicurious has more followers on Twitter than all other ten neurobloggers combined. Most have tens of followers when I checked, a few hours after the announcement. The Twitter feed of one of the neurobloggers is currently protected, not open, which seems contrary to the spirit of covering the meeting. (Of course, the person could make their feed public when the meeting starts.)

As for the blogs themselves, one – Neuroflocks – doesn’t seem to be a blog in the traditional sense. It’s a cool-looking tweet aggregator and analysis site, but I’m not seeing any posts.

I’m most baffled that two blogs didn’t exist at all a week ago, which happened last year, too. The application to be a neuroblogger asked for samples, including previous conference coverage. I bow to the two blog authors, who I can only assume wrote great proposals for what they would do.

I’m looking forward to all the coverage of one of the world’s biggest scientific meetings, both official and unofficial! Neuroscience is so big that even 100 bloggers could not cover it all...

11 comments:

katiedid said...

I agree! I clicked through to one blog and the first post seemed to be the one celebrating being chosen as a neuroblogger. WTH?

I do read Functional Neurogenesis though! And, of course, Scicurious!

thoughtfulanimal said...

I recognize 4 of the blogs, having served as psych/neuro editor at RB.org these last 2 years... still though, the other items you mention are...puzzling.

Zen said...

And one more thing... one blogger per theme? That’s down from last year, where most themes had two bloggers.

Attendance at the meeting keeps going up, One would think that would mean more bloggers, not fewer.

Bradley Voytek said...

Yeah, Jason Snyder (Functional Neurogenesis) is a great writer and scientist. Other than he and Scicurious I've heard of none of them.

Not a bad thing, of course. I hope they excel!

But I do wonder what the process was. I wonder why SfN doesn't crowd-source the voting process?

The Neurocritic said...

Dude, looks like you have a short memory. Functional Neurogenesis and Dormivigilia were official neuroblogs last year. Along with Jason Goldman, I had heard of four of the blogs, which are aggregated at http://twitter.com/neuroghetto. Indeed, I hadn't heard of you or your blog until I started Independent Neuroblogs.

Zen said...

The number I personally recognize is not all that important - or surprising, given that my interests in neurobiology barely overlap with most people in SfN and most other neurobloggers.

When I went back and looked at some of the blogs, I did recognize coverage from SfN 2010 last year, though I didn't remember the blog or author names. I also remembered this when I revisited Tideliar's post about this from last year.

I am glad to see some repeat performances, and that some of the bloggers who started their blogs for SfN 2010 have continued to be consistent bloggers.

I like continuity. I like people who build track records.

That’s why I’m most interested in the reasoning for giving the big official seal of approval for blogs that didn't exist until days before the meeting. (Even if the bloggers, as Drugmonkey rightfully pointed out on Twitter, have been writing elsewhere, possibly under a different name.)

Jason said...

I just want to clarify that I have exactly 673 followers on Twitter. I don't want people to think I'm one of those people that only have tens of followers.

-Functional Neurogenesis guy

Zen said...

And again: having ten Twitter followers is no indication that the coverage will be bad.

But it does suggest some limits to the potential reach of the coverage.

Jason said...

Yeah, I agree. Mainly just joking around. Colleague applied and didn't get accepted, which is a loss and probably stems from the apparent 1 blog per theme rule. A shame they didn't seem to learn much from last year...

Melissa Jo said...

We at psychneuro (SUN writers) are not blogging a theme but I wanted to point out that even though I definitely fall under the category of 10's of followers on twitter (all as of the announcement), our blog has been active for 2 years. I dusted off my twitter account for this when they asked me for one and I'm glad I did. But I'm not sure I think # of twitter followers would necessarily be a useful criterion... and thankfully for us it wasn't of concern :).

Zen said...

Certainly SfN said they were looking for bloggers, not tweeters. But this makes me wonder why put the Twitter account on the page at all?