When I first started my business all of my colleagues said Brian, you need to focus, you have some great ideas and you need to build a biomarker company ASAP and make a ton of money. Some of their advice rings true. I would love to be dining on something other than 25 cent ramen noodles and whatever the next BOGO deal is at the local shop. However I felt as if I wouldn’t be able to make much of a social impact if I only built a private business entity.
That’s why we post!
Social media takes on so many different forms and flavors, it can be tough to keep up on these platforms. And it surely is a full time job to keep up with it. Yet there is a greater payoff in the end. That is to change the conversation in this country regarding what information is true, which is false, and how we should use that information to make more effective evidence-based policies in this country.
Science seems to back this philosophy.
In a recent study, 110 academic scholars’ Twitter accounts were examined and some interesting bits of information were identified. The first is that people tend to flock together. So academics with under 500 followers are primarily having Twitter audiences of about 65% other scientists, 20% public forum, and 10% media organization as well as outreach groups. And it takes about 1-2K followers to have an audience comprised of 40% public forum and 12% media outlets.
That’s a fairly sobering statistic for many of us young scientists. I started my Twitter account a year and a half ago and I have some 100 followers. However I haven’t been posting much content on Twitter either. By comparison my website gets about 8K views per year with around 2k being unique visitors, and I post way more content on my webpage.
Yet the point here is that the content you post has to be relevant and reach people outside your network, otherwise your just a bunch of academics talking amongst yourselves about making change.
My group is pretty darn good at this, since many of my followers already are the outreach and advocacy groups who are the key groups that give out money to those lucky few researchers. Now we turn our attention to the public forum and media sectors. The louder we get, the more we can inform our citizenry of the proper evidence-based information we should be discussing in order to make our communities happy healthier, and stronger. This is why we post.
We thank you for the support!
– Let’s End This!
Written by Brian D. Adams, President, CEO, Director of Research, The Brain Institute of America
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