We are starting now with @dontgetcaught. She promises not to make designers out of us #sciencepinsBut in promoting the talk, I heard from scientists, science writers and communicators all over--in the U.S. and beyond--and from nonprofits, companies and organizations that don't deal in science but deal in the geek/wonk/nerd territory in their respective fields. They also are hoping for a non-consumer, still-useful path on Pinterest.
— ScienceWriters in NY (@SWINY) March 6, 2013
And then I heard from an executive at Pinterest itself, with an interest in the discussion and what, if anything, is holding science types back from using the service. (Nothing if not smart, Pinterest.) So we started last night with a short discussion of what's keeping science journalists and communicators from using Pinterest, if they are not using it yet. Their feedback included:
- For the novices, "we need tutorials," so much the better if the tutorials show journalists and communicators specific ways the site can be useful to them;
- For those getting started, it's not easy to find the people you are already following and stay on top of what they are posting without searching for them individually--which isn't any easier when you start following even more people; and
- For some, the "pillows and dresses" image lends credence to the thought that science writers won't find their audiences there, so it would be a help to share other use cases.
For me, and for many savvy communicators, bloggers and journalists, it's all about the traffic, since Pinterest drives more traffic than YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+ combined. And if you're a big believer in Twitter as a traffic-driver, think again: Pinterest even has been shown to drive more traffic to blogs than Twitter.
I'm sharing the slides with you in this post, because they link to 17 ways science writers and communicators can make use of the popular social network. Freelance science journalist Allie Wilkinson joined me to speak about This is What A Scientist Looks Like, a creative set of boards on which scientists share photos of themselves in the lab, in the field, and doing their hobbies. Some of the other examples I featured include ways to:
- promote your own work as a science writer, whether that's by driving traffic to a blog, widening your audience, finding jobs and writing opportunities, collecting images for a project or collecting your talks, interviews and articles easily and making them widely available;
- engage public audiences with science, ranging from sharing science explainers and experiments they can do at home, to giving them access to scientists who can answer their questions or encouraging them to visit scientific institutions or volunteer for research projects; and
- share new information about science, from high-resolution photos, charts and graphs with research data to images from new discoveries and panels of experts who can comment on them.
What are some ways your science institution, news organization--or you--are using Pinterest to communicate science? Leave word in the comments, or share your examples on Pinterest or Twitter with the hashtag .#sciencepins. You can steal other good ideas on my great ways to use Pinterest board.
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