When I first joined PLoS in 2005, I was largely clueless about blogging or the use of social media which was at the time a speck on the media horizon. That was until Richard Cave (our IT Director) suggested to me, with some insistence, that I would really benefit from attending the NTEN (Non Profit Technology) Conference in Seattle so that I could get educated about how to use these largely free tools to evangelize for PLoS ONE.
After five minutes of listening to Guy Kawasaki delivering a keynote, I was a convert and returned with some ideas, a few of which have come to fruition. Since then we have:
- Started the PLoS blog
- Hired Bora Zivkovic, our online discussion expert
- Developed a Facebook page with nearly 4000 fans
- Recently started a Twitter stream which now has nearly 600 followers and is growing fast.
PLoS ONE has been using this blog since before its launch in December 2006. We’ve recorded anniversaries, acknowledged our achievements, and interviewed authors and editorial board members but now, with a community of 30,000 published authors and 160,000 site users per month we’ve really outgrown the functionality of this technology platform.
Last Thursday, we let a few staff, blogging allies, and friends loose on the new PLoS ONE community blog called everyONE and asked them to pick holes in it. This is grandly called a soft launch but really it just means showing people (who you aren’t afraid to embarrass yourself in front of) the fruits of your labors. I am so glad that we did this – the Flickr stream contained some “interesting photos” that needed cleaning up and we found various broken links and typos.
Rather than telling you more about the site myself, I am going to re-post a piece that I saw on a blog that I personally enjoy about research into the biology of aging called Ouroboros, here’s what it said:
“PLoS ONE, one of the more radical open access journals, now has a blog: everyONE. The inaugural post lays out the goals and raison d’etre for the effort, and answers such burning questions as…
Why a blog and why now? As of March 2009, PLoS ONE, the peer-reviewed open-access journal for all scientific and medical research, has published over 5,000 articles, representing the work of over 30,000 authors and co-authors, and receives over 160,000 unique visitors per month. That’s a good sized online community and we thought it was about time that you had a blog to call your own. This blog is for authors who have published with us and for users who haven’t and it contains something for everyone. We’ll continue to post to the ONE stream on the PLoS blog as now before finally closing it down and fully migrating to everyONE.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that Ouroboros is on the blogroll — possibly (OK, probably) because I’m on the editorial board, but it’s still nice. I figure that plugging their new blog is the least I could do: They’re still on their first post but I’m sure there’s great stuff to come, so visit early and often!”
As I mentioned in my reply to this post earlier today, I didn’t put this blog on the blog roll of everyONE because of their relationship to the PLoS ONE Editorial Board (although that’s a nice bonus of course) but because I was enjoying their post yesterday about 405 year old clams and marvelling at their headline writing ability (“Remain clam: Bivalves as models for aging research”) when I should have been launching everyONE!