My Ten Most Popular Twitter Links of 2013

A list of what you thought it was worth to click on the link

It is that time of the year when we look back to find the most important past events and gain some insight from them. This list has the links that my Twitter audiences found most interesting from March 2013 to December 2013.


Year 2013 on Twitter

About the list: I have shared over a thousand links on Twitter, a lot of them never get opened, but some of the links get big responses just because they are re-tweeted by users with audiences in the tens of thousands, or because they are well tuned to the interests of the people who follows me on Twitter. I used BitLy to find the 10 most popular links of 2013, here you have the list starting with number ten and ending with number 1, the most opened link of 2013!

#10 Vote for University of Washington’s Engage Science Seminar Series!

Sometimes when you ask people to help you advertise a cause, they help you a lot. Engage Science is a student-run seminar that helps young scientists improve their communication skills. Engage was participating in the NSF Graduate Education Challenge and needed votes to have their proposal funded. Thank for the re-tweets and for the people who clicked the link to find how to vote for Engage (Total of 19 clicks).

 #9 EPA profiles of Latinos (En Español)

Not a lot of people knows that EPA has a very active social media feed in Spanish, one of their profiles of EPA employees that I shared made it to the top ten more clicked links: Evelyn Rivera-Ocasio, a compliance inspector in charge of wastewater treatment plants in Puerto Rico (Total of 19 clicks).

#8 News from Perú investing in Science

Perú tripled its investment in science and innovation this year, and CONCYTEC started an aggressive campaign to promote science education and research in the country. This is a link to a English translation of a short post I wrote in Spanish for my SalsaDeCiencia blog (Total of 19 clicks)

#7 Developing a National roadmap for communication training in STEM graduate programs

Meetings happen behind closed doors in Washington DC everyday, but some of them encourage participants to share their content on twitter. #GradSciComm participants were so generous with their sharing that I was able to write a blog post about the meeting without attending it. (Total of 20 clicks)

Blogger and scientist DNLee (@DNLee5) started a Twitter list of Diverse Science Writers, she crowd-sourced the names online, and a lot of people was interested on the list. Thank you for including me on it! (Total of 21 clicks).

Perú tripled its investment in science and innovation this year.This is the link to the original blog post I wrote in Spanish (Total of 21 clicks).

#4 Science communication for Spanish-speaking audiences event

Thank you again for helping me promote this event last November in Seattle. We had a wonderful panel that shared their first-hand experience engaging Hispanics (Total of 44 clicks).

SpanishSciComm#16:: Engaging the Invisible Americans: Science communication for Spanish-speaking audiences

There is a huge American audience with a language of its own, have you heard of it? Hispanic Americans make up 17% of the population, and…

More about science communication in Spanish

If you are interested in Spanish-speaking audiences please check the following link for the event’s recap and video. It had a total of 119 clicks, but those didn’t come from my Twitter links, so it didn’t make it on this list.

#3 Two science communication training programs featured in newspapers last March

The Seattle Times featured Engage Science from University of Washington, and the Long Island Newsday featured the Center for Communicating Science of Stony Brook University (Total of 48 clicks).

Science communication training: raising the bar inside and outside academia

#2 Proyecto Ciencia para todos (En Español)

“Ciencia para todos” showcases ongoing efforts to reach the massive Spanish-speaking audiences in the USA (and Globally). As part of this effort, I started a public opt-in list that may help science communicators match local Spanish-speaking communicators and a growing public Twitter list with more than 150 resources worldwide in Spanish. (Total of 131 clicks).

Additionally a total of 74 people click on the Twitter link for the form to opt-in on the list (and only half actually subscribed) and 65 people have consulted the Twitter link for the list already

Ciencia para todos El proyecto Ciencia Para Todos es en principio muy simple: busca ayudar a que los esfuerzos de la comunicación de la ciencia -que existen…


#1 Invited post, Scientists are Humans too

In the age of PowerPoint it is hard to remember that you are the presentation, not your slides. This invited blog post talks about my struggles as a scientist to give engaging presentations, and the lessons I learned during the Engage Science Seminar at University of Washington. Effective science communication training in academia is possible, Engage even includes a talk in front of Town Hall Seattle, a great public venue, but programs like it are still diamonds because they are difficult to find in the current graduate education landscape (Total of 148 clicks).

Student Post: Scientists are Humans Too Fernando Gonzalez is Colombian/Peruvian scientist living in Seattle, Washington. He also blogs at Science Salsa, a blog about science tha…

Thank you!

I want to thank you for sharing those links and for reading them. The year 2013 doubled the number of people following my accounts on Twitter (@gonzalezivanf in English and @salsadeciencia in Spanish) and I like to believe it is because you found the content pleasant and useful. It has been a little over a year since I started learning how to become an effective science communicator, thank you for coming along with me and helping me grow, thank you for your patience and your support.

Have a wonderful 2014 and I hope to keep enjoying the privilege of your company on Twitter!

About BitLy:

BitLy is a service that offers URL redirection with real-time link tracking. I have used BitLy on Twitter since March of 2013, and to this date it has helped me track the usage of over 1,000 links. I made this list of My Ten Most Popular Twitter Links of 2013 based on their statistics, selecting the links with the largest number of clicks. To visit my BitLy account please follow this link:

 Ivan Fernando Gonzalez | Public Profile


Nobel Prize in Chemistry: 140 characters or less

Brian Kobilka gave a talk at University of Washington just two weeks after his Nobel Prize announcement. I will write about my experience live-tweeting his talk; why I think it is important to do it, and why you should put all the information together in a single place afterwards. To learn about Kobilka’s amazing work and G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) I recommend you to check the Nobel Prize announcement and Ash Jogalekar blog post at Scientific American.

What is the value of live-tweeting scientific talks?

Live-tweeting engages multiple voices, widens audiences, and builds communities. Every person in the audience has a unique perspective. Reading a stream of tweets from a talk is more than reading a timeline; a live-twitter stream carries multiple perspectives, each one accentuating the parts of the talk that affected each person. People outside the auditorium will track the hashtag associated with the talk and become part of the audience themselves. It is not uncommon to start dialogs or to share relevant links using the same hashtag. Pretty soon you find yourself in a community of people with similar interest exchanging information on Twitter.

How do you start live-tweeting?

First check if the talk is open to the public. If it is not open to the public, ask the organizers and the speaker about their policies for live-tweeting. The key for starting live-tweeting is to find the right hashtag. Some speakers may have a hashtag for you to use, making the first step of live-tweeting very easy. But very often you need to come up with the right hashtag. Try to make it short, clear, and unambiguous. Try searching for keywords related to the talk and see if other people is live-tweeting with you. In Kobilka’s talk I started using #ChemNobel2012 but soon realized that @MillerLab was using #KobilkaSeminar. I started using both hashtags to merge the Twitter streams and then felt very relaxed knowing that other person was there to help cover the content-heavy talk.

Even if the organizers give you a hashtag you should follow the stream to check if there is no interference with other Twitter conversations. For example, the Northwest Fisheries Science Center “Monster Seminar JAM” was happening the same day as the #MonsterJam concert in Boston, so I switched hashtag mid-talk. Don’t be afraid to switch hashtags during the talk, but communicate this change as clearly as possible to the Twitter audience.

Live-tweeting is simple: set the stage and introduce the subject and the hashtag with the first tweet. Add the Twitter handlers of the speaker and organizers if they have one. Pay attention to the talk, check the Twitter stream periodically. Use quotation marks if you are quoting directly, and make sure to let people know when the talk is over.

Why is important to collect the tweets afterwards?

We live in an era of short attention span, it is hard to get pass the headline and to get complex knowledge. We give the first engagement in Tweeter a place for growth by building a timeline or topic list with more information to click. The fast-moving Twitter feed is replaced by a place where you can take your time, gain perspective, and review contrasting opinions. Make sure you add context and explanations, and links for the original data and figures, if possible.

I use Storify as a tool to curate content of talks and to add some useful links. The software is quite intuitive and the results look professional. If you are curious you can view the story “Kobilka: Structural insights into the dynamic process of G protein-coupled receptor activation.” on Storify.

I hope you consider to start live-tweeting the next public talk you attend. If you do it, have fun!

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