Social Media for Scientists: It’s All About Sharing

I’ve blogged before about how scientists can use social media like Mendeley, Twitter and Google Reader to share information.  Since social media is all about sharing, how can we make the act of sharing information easier?  Recently, a colleague of mine tweeted that she wished it were easier for her to send links to useful articles to her Twitter followers.  Here are a couple of ideas: 

Tweeting Links From Google Reader
If you use Google Reader to aggregate and read abstracts from your favorite journals, then it’s really easy to pass those links along to your Twitter followers.

  1. Open up Google Reader in your favorite Browser.
  2. Edit the Settings (you’ll find them in a link in the upper right corner of the page).  When you click the Settings link, a pulldown menu will appear, select Reader Settings from the menu.
  3. The Settings page has a number of tabs that run across the top of the page.  Select the Send To tab, and select each of the services that you want to be able to use.  In this case, Twitter is probably the one you’ll use most often.
  4. When you click Back to Google Reader, the change will be saved.

To send a link to your Twitter followers, simply find an interesting article and select Twitter from the Send To menu which appears at the bottom of each article in Google Reader.

Tweeting Links To Pages From Google Chrome
If you use Google Chrome as your Browser, you can Tweet pages that you come across to your Twitter followers.

  1. Click on the wrench icon in the upper right corner of the browser, and select Tools > Extensions from the drop-down menu.
  2. A new tab will appear in your browser with a list of the currently installed extensions.  Click the Get more extensions link in the lower right corner of the page.
  3. Type AddThis (all one word) in the search blog.  AddThis is an extension that makes it possible for you to add a link to your Tweet.
  4. Click on the first result that you see, and a page will appear describing the extension that you are about to install.  Click on the blue Install button, and the extension will install itself.  You’ll see an orange button now appear next to the wrench icon that you used in the first step.
  5. Click on the orange button, and you’ll see a menu that allows you to post a new Tweet about the page that you’re currently viewing.  If blog on WordPress or Bloggr and you want to be able to send a link to your blog, you can add them by selecting the  Options menu item at the bottom of the menu.  You’re now ready to start Tweeting.
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About aspenbio

I write software for scientists. I'm interested in Java/Groovy/Grails, the Semantic Web and Cancer Biology.
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