Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wished-for data in the #sciwri11 plenary: Digital consumers of science news

I recently heard a plenary talk that was supposed to enlighten us about the digital news consumer, and since it opened the National Association of Science Writers annual conference, I was expecting data focused on consumers looking for science news. I came away feeling as if I'd left a banquet still hungry, mainly because the scant amount of data was mostly old and out-of-date. And there's much more to be had, if you want to begin to assemble a current picture of what consumers are seeking in science news.

Maybe you were at the meeting and didn't realize what you were missing. Maybe you weren't at the meeting, but have a part of your operation focused on corporate, university, government or nonprofit research--and need to reach public audiences with news of your findings and progress. Either way, you should know about these additional sources of information on who's consuming news about science in the digital world, and where they're finding it:
Want to see something more up-to-date about overall Internet trends, beyond science? Sure you do. Check out this excellent summary of  Internet trends from October 18 (just after our plenary) from the well-respected venture capitalist Mary Meeker. Slide 5's footnote indicates that its 2011 data were current as of October 11, just a week prior to the conference--a good standard to aim for when you're speaking about matters web 2.0.

KPCB Internet Trends (2011)

(Thanks to Tiffany Lohwater, Ginger Pinholster, Jennifer Santisi from AAAS; Karl Leif Bates from Duke: Jenny Leonard of Futurity; and Joe Bonner from Rockefeller University for sharing thoughts and pointers to get this post started. Please do add links and sources for more on digital consumers of science news in the comments.)


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