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July 12, 2011 / caitlynzim

More Changes to MP Proposal…

Fingers crossed this is the last change to my MP proposal, however, I hear that changing your proposal is so common it’s practically a required part of the process…

I’ve decided to switch my topic slightly. I will still be focusing on science communication, however will be putting more emphasis on social media and new forms of communication. Specifically, I want to compare Government use of social media with that of independent scientists.

I am currently working (interning) at NOAA’s Coastal Services Center working on a project called, the Multipurpose Marine Cadastre (MMC). I have been successful in encouraging them to begin using Twitter and blogging as a form of communication with users and other interested parties in terms of this project. The Center has been using Twitter (@coastalservice) since December 2010. The Twitter account I am helping to create is separate from the Center account and will be specific to the MMC. I will also be helping them with a blog series to be publish on the already established RSS feed within the MMC website. The blog is titled, ‘The So What Series’; it will highlight each of the datasets currently included in the MMC database and describe why anyone would pay attention to these datasets in terms of renewable resource planning. I am also in the process of lobbying for a Facebook page for either the MMC or Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP) – any good pros there would be gratefully appreciated 🙂 Lastly, I’ll be working with QR codes and analytics for all of these endeavors to see if traffic to the MMC website has increased.

On the other side of things, I want to interview independent (non-government) scientists to determine how they use social media. The positives, negatives, whether they use it or not, how often they use it and whether they feel it’s really worth it. (if this sounds like something you’re interested in participating in please contact me!!)

I want to be able to analyze the differences between free use of social media and use that is governed (no pun intended) by sets of rules. Just from my short experience here at the Center I have already discovered there is a stark difference between writing for a government website (one of my blogs is currently undergoing editing as we speak – it was 5 short paragraphs and apparently, “too long”) and writing for my own blog/any other writings I’ve done. But I want to know if these rules can or should be applied to independent scientists or if a little loosening of the rules would benefit the government.

Essentially, it will be a case study in Government use of social media compared to successful scientists’ use of social media. <Fingers crossed> I end up with a How to be Successful Using Social Media guide for either government agencies or scientists just trying to share their research.

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2 Comments

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  1. Mia Chiara Blundell / Jul 12 2011 7:14 pm

    The science centre I work at is just starting to test the waters of social media so I’m really looking forward to hearing more about this project! Good luck!

    • caitlynzim / Aug 9 2011 8:25 pm

      Thanks! Updates will be coming shortly…things move slowly in the Government realm! I’d love to hear what your center ends up doing!

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