What ScienceOnline Means to Us – Where to Begin?
Now that my holiday to-do list is done, I have turned my focus (& excitement) towards the ScienceOnline2012 conference. I’ve already signed up to do a demo for the Techno Blitz (more on that later), and submitted one of our Video Tips of the Week to the Scio12 Cyberscreen Science Film Festival. Although I am looking forward to The Monti at ScienceOnline2012 banquet, I must confess that I did not volunteer at a chance to be a story teller. Today I’ve been reading the program & trying to figure out how I’ll be able to attend 3 sessions occurring in 3 different rooms all at the same time because there is SO much cool stuff slated for discussion at the conference. I’m really jazzed!
There have been tweets asking for links to posts about ScienceOnline to be added to the ScienceOnline2012 blog and media coverage. I clicked on & read a few of the posts, including Anton’s Sixth time around – ScienceOnline2012 coming soon post. It inspired me to look back on what attending ScienceOnline has meant to OpenHelix. We are lucky enough to have attended all but one of the six ScienceOnline conferences, and in this post I thought I’d highlight some of the benefits that we’ve gained from our attendance each year.
2008: We didn’t make it to the first Science Blogging meeting, which occurred in 2007 and had about 150 attendees (as described in this post from Bora), but in 2008 Trey and I attended the second annual North Carolina Science Blogging Conference. In 2007 OpenHelix was awarded a Phase II SBIR grant to expand our training materials and as part of our outreach & communication mandate. On Dec. 20th, 2007 we began this OpenHelix Blog, with our first full post “Pinot noir genome, for your holiday contemplation” published the next day, so it was a natural fit for us to attend a blogging conference January of 2008. We learned a lot at the conference, had a lot of our blogging theories and approaches reaffirmed, and met phenomenal people & projects. Trey discussed one of those in his post “Research Blogging (Science Blogging Conference)“, and we’ve recently reached a couple of ResearchBlogging.org milestones that we are quite proud of: we now have contributed well over 100 posts and have over 60,000 views. And we see a lot of benefit from those views because people find us on the ResearchBlogging.org homepage’s recent Post List, follow links over to our blog, and end up reading & commenting. In a recent conversation with Dave Munger, we discussed one of his newer efforts ScienceSeeker.org beta, which we are already members of. I’m sure we’ll have more on that effort in the future. I also vaguely remember sitting with a table of marine biologists at the Town Hall Grill the first night, one of whom told me about tweeting while he tweeted about our chat.
2009: In addition to learning & connecting, 2009 held a few honors for us – I was featured on one of the postcards used at the Friday night mixer event. It was organized by http://www.duke.edu/web/wise/jannetworkingevent.html and Rebecca Skloot was the keynote speaker, discussing her book “The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks“, for one of the first times! (How time flies & things change!) My postcard was a minor honor compared to Mary’s - her post “The Beginnings of Immunofluorescence” was chosen to be included in the The Open Laboratory 2008 - along with the best efforts from an amazing group of other science bloggers.
2010: As odd as it sounds, my most memorable Scio10 moments were food based. One lunch I split an Only Burger burger & fries with the wonderfully cool Danielle Lee – oh my gosh that burger was good! (@DNLee5 – let me know if you wanna split another one this year if the truck shows up one lunch!) I also had the pleasure of sitting at a banquet table with Andrea Novicki and Lenore Ramm. As we were talking, who should join us but Anton Zuiker! I got to hear “behind the scenes” stories about the conference, such as testing SignalShare to the edge of their wifi-providing abilities – and these are the people who provide for events such as the Grammys, etc. It was fun & I have been reading & sending people to the Coconut Wireless ever since. I also learned about some blog legalities from Victoria Stodden, attended a great librarian session from Stephanie Willen Brown & Dorothea Salo, and hears about Science in the Cloud with John Hogenesch. #scio10
2011: Each year ScienceOnline seems to improve but in 2011 the conference really went up a notch. The Beer and Books evening networking event was totally cool, even if it wasn’t possible to hear every word read by every author. The swag was also amazingly creative: for example lip balm being given out with The Science of Kissing fliers. In 2011 I did my first demo – I presented our free resource search portal to an interested group who asked many questions and offered suggestions. I also met John Ben DeVette, who is now acting as our rep in Asia. I was also introduced to Prezi, and met Mary Canady of Comprendia, among others. #scio11