Throughout the past few months, I published a series of posts about how to be a more effective science communicator. I was prompted to take on this project through my course LSC 432: Science and Social Media. In this class, I learned how to create a personal digital brand, optimize my Twitter and LinkedIn profiles, and pushed myself to revamp my science blog. I started this blog as a vast space on the internet to basically gab about any science topic that I found interesting at that time. After LSC 432, I know see why my blog didn’t get a lot of attention, and that I didn’t know what I was doing.
Blogging is different than keeping a journal. You can’t just sit down, type whatever comes to mind, and expect people to listen to you. What I’ve learned this semester is that blogging should have a purpose, and that purpose should be to help someone in some way. If you’re not a professional (like me), the best way to blog is to share with others what you learned. I realize now that before, I was holding myself back by thoughts of inadequacy. Why would anyone want to listen to me? I’ve never written a book and I don’t have a PhD. I took a new approach to this blog because of LSC 432: my intention was to share with the world what I’ve learned in my Master’s degree program, with the hope that someone out there might find what I’ve learned interesting, or can relate it to their own professional or personal experiences.
This latest series of posts has been inspired by my professor, and the many guest lecturers we had. Did you know there are many people who make money because of their social media knowledge? I owe a lot of what I’ve learned this semester to the guest speakers who took time out of their busy days to offer advice to me and other amateur bloggers. What we found is that most of us were afraid to dive in and just start. It’s surprising how all of these now very successful people once started off in our positions: feeling inadequate, not sure what they were doing, and bound to make mistakes. However, one thing they all have in common is that they learned from their errors, kept going, and weren’t discouraged. I don’t know if this blog will ever take off, but if that was something I wanted, I now have the knowledge to pursue such a goal.
Where does this blog go from here? Soon I’ll be graduating and have my Master’s degree in Life Sciences Communication. My hope is to keep up this blog and post about new theories or methods of effective science communication as I learn and develop them as a professional science writer. One of our guest speakers, Chris Marr wisely advised: “Be a student, not a follower.” I intend to keep learning about science communication, and sharing with you my discoveries.
What topics/concepts of science communication would you like me to cover more? Share your thoughts and feedback in the comments.
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