After working in science and research for more than a decade, I have come to realize that one of the greatest mistakes that distinguished members of our research / scientific community make is to assume that the impact of their work stems from the number of scholarly publications that they produce. I argue otherwise. In our new and evolving technological age, one Facebook post, one Twitter tweet, one LinkedIn article, one Youtube video, may have more societal and life-changing impact than a handful of peer-reviewed papers. I further argue that scientists and researchers who are able to make this reality transition are those that I call the “scientists of the future.” I bet you, there aren’t many of them, but there should be.
The reality is that the world is changing. Those, including researchers and scientists who wish to get to the next of engagement with their populace must do so where those people are. The truth is that very few people read scholarly journals, but more and increasingly more people are reading social media. If you want to engage them, then go to them where they are and engage them there.
It would be fortuitous to expect scientists or researchers to be social media experts. Thus it is important to identify and hire experts in social media who can leverage their skills and reach to assist you to reach and sustain followers in the community via new and non-traditional media.