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Won't someone help us spread the word about the Forum?

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Won't someone help us spread the word about the Forum?

Postby Dave Jensen » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:48 am

I just read a note from Promilla, a new poster here on the Forum, and she thanks us all and says what a great place this is for advice.

I would agree. I've been here for 20+ years. So have some others. This is a very unusual site and a place that can provide a lot of value.

If you thinks that's correct, can you help us? I find people promoting their "paid career counselor" sites all the time, and places that have only one point of view are constantly being pitched on LinkedIn forums and so forth. If you like the forum, can you PLEASE spend five minutes to tell others about it, somewhere and somehow?

As the founder/moderator of this site, I am not able to get on these sites and pitch the forum. Others have to do so -- others who have received value from the wonderful group of advisors and regulars who have visited here over the years, providing assistance of their own volition. Thank you for your help,

Dave Jensen
"One of the most powerful networking practices is to provide immediate value to a new connection. This means the moment you identify a way to help someone, take action." - Lewis Howes
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Re: Won't someone help us spread the word about the Forum?

Postby Bibas » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:17 pm

I am totally in agreement with you. I came across this site randomly few years ago and have been constantly a silent lurker. I told few colleagues about the forum, and will keep on spreading the news where possible.
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Re: Won't someone help us spread the word about the Forum?

Postby Ana » Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:13 pm

It has been about 12 years for me Dave, I was a PhD student back when I discovered this forum. I have just shared a message in Twitter and in LinkedIn so that anyone in my network (or reading the right hashtags) will hear about the Forum.

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Re: Won't someone help us spread the word about the Forum?

Postby D. Martin » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:29 am

I always recommend it to my students and I have found they do not even check the site. I wonder if it a generation thing...I do think it is a great place (I love to read threads). Maybe see if it can be advertised in some science blogs?
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Re: Won't someone help us spread the word about the Forum?

Postby Ana » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:52 am

D Martin has made an excellent point. We have moved from the generation of on-line forums and blogs to the generation of social media (Facebook, youtube, twitter, instagram). That's where our main target audience is today. Maybe something for ScienceCareers to consider... I do agree we might not be using the best channel.
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Re: Won't someone help us spread the word about the Forum?

Postby Ralf K. » Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:08 am

Hi there,

I might be one of the younger generation (early 30s) and I spread the word now and then in the company I work for. I think there are very experienced people in here. However my colleagues don't really seem to go there, from what I hear when I ask later.
On the other hand everytime I go to a conference/exhibition and there is a career talk it is often booked out. So there is definitively a need.

Here are also my suggestions:
- The forum has no responsive design page, so on the cellphone it's not easy to read. I often read when I am commuting.
- As others pointed out - maybe more presence in the social media like linkedin. I don't if the regulator posts by the admin are also posted there.
- How about some recording from career talks / career strategy - things you can listen in the car/train?
- Advices on Networking and Alternative Careers is something I would focus as I see many young scientist struggling with these two the most.
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Re: Won't someone help us spread the word about the Forum?

Postby Rich Lemert » Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:58 pm

For some reason Ralf's response hit me in a way that no other response has. It made me realize that this forum has been around for more than twenty years, and in our modern society that's an eternity. When this forum started there were no smart phones, internet access was often through clunky old modems, and sites like Twitter and LinkedIn didn't exist.

With this in mind, is this thread even asking the right question? After all, the first step to solving a problem is not just admitting that there is one, but also identifying the right problem. Instead of asking how to get more people to view this forum, maybe we should be asking questions like "what is our core message?", "who is are target audience?", and "what is the most effective way to deliver our message to that audience?"

Consider, for example, where this forum is hosted. At first glance you might think that it makes sense to have a site targeted at would-be scientists hosted by an organization devoted to science. However, who comes to mind first when you think about jobs and careers? For most of us, the answer would probably be LinkedIn. Do we even have a LinkedIn presence?

Today's young scientists grew up in the age of Twitter. When something happens, that's the first place many of them turn to for more "information". Twitter isn't very good for the type of discussions we have here, but is there a way we can leverage the things it is good at?

I came across a comment recently that might be applicable to this discussion. The person making the comment was celebrating the fact that a "thirty-something" had recently been elected to something like a state legislature or congress. "At last! Someone who knows what things are like today, and not what they were like twenty years ago."

What do you think? Are we asking the right question, or should we be asking ourselves a different question?
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Re: Won't someone help us spread the word about the Forum?

Postby Dave Jensen » Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:47 pm

Rich and Ralf -- great suggestions, but alas . . . there's no money flowing in our direction to develop this site further.

There are forum discussions like this one spread out all over the Internet. I have other interests besides science careers, and there are forum sites like this for every one of those. If I want to know something about reptiles, or stamps, or whatever, there will be a forum somewhere to post discussion topics.

I'm certainly active on LinkedIn. I'll check into whether there's any way to get the Forum referenced in a LinkedIn group -- but that seems like duplication. Perhaps there's a way to convert popular topics here into a LinkedIn discussion. But I think I'd prefer to direct the traffic here, so that readers have all those zillions of articles and resources that the AAAS has built over many years to review as well.

Perhaps someone who knows or uses Twitter can comment on whether that's a tool that might be used to direct more traffic to our site. Thanks,

Dave Jensen, Moderator
"One of the most powerful networking practices is to provide immediate value to a new connection. This means the moment you identify a way to help someone, take action." - Lewis Howes
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Re: Won't someone help us spread the word about the Forum?

Postby Rich Lemert » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:53 am

Dave

I agree - this being a volunteer activity does significantly limit our options. I believe, though, that there is still value in asking the question even if we may not be able to implement the solution.

I'm also not disparaging the 'forum' format. Unlike Twitter, you can have an in-depth discussion on various topics, and unlike blogs and podcasts, they are true two-way discussions. They also, as you say, allow you to archive those discussions for later reference.

A weakness, however, is that the target audience has to be able to find the forum. I just did a "quick-and-dirty" experiment where I performed four different google searches on science careers using different search terms. Here is what I found in looking at the first three pages of results:

"advice for early career scientists" - three articles from "Science" magazine on the first page (don't know if they referenced the forum)

"discussions about science careers" - this forum was the number one result

"how do I start a science career" - a couple of forum discussions appeared in the results

"science careers" - this forum was the fourth response

(As a side note, the last search also returned the AAAS "@ScienceCareers" Twitter handle. It looks like it's just used to announce positions that are available. There is also a #sciencecareers hashtag that might be more promising.)

My conclusions are 1) whether or not people find out about this forum depends on the question they ask, and 2) there is nothing in the search results that make us stand out and tell our target audience why the should check us out.
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Re: Won't someone help us spread the word about the Forum?

Postby E.K.L. » Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:16 pm

I agree with Ralf, the forum being not smartphone-friendly is likely having a negative impact on comnecting with your target audience.

If you look at the linkedin mobile statistics (not linking anything, but you can easily google it), not only are these numbers growing, but mobile visitors accounter for more than 50% last year.

Keep in mind that this isn't just about being able to browse a site on the phone. It's how social media interconnect with each other. You can, for example, easily link an instagram picture on your twitter account, and people will comment on it.
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