The Society for Neuroscience are holding their annual meeting, as is their wont, and this year we're back in Washington DC. last time the meeting was in DC I had to catch the red-eye from Las Vegas the day before my presentation, where I had been attending the orientation for the new members of the Board of Directors of the National Postdoc Association. Ironically, I'm no longer on the Board and now they hold it in DC the week before SfN. Anyway, that was in 2008, I was still a Labrat and the world was only just realising how desperately bankrupt it was.
In 2010 myself and M'Belov'd Colleague Dr. Becca covered the event in San Diego, and ran a serious of semi-coherent videoblogs for it. I think they're fun, and the out-takes are simply FTW. I also ran a review of the SfN Neurobloggers, both before and after the conference.
My comment then, as now stands - the Society is making a farce of its efforts to engage a wired audience. Last year only a couple of the Neurobloggers were actually, y'know, bloggers. Some have kept up with the blogging more or less, but there was no effort on behalf of the Society to seriously screen entries based on anything credible like credentials, experience, following etc.
Surely, and really, fucking obviously, if you're trying to get more attention to your conference in the wired world, it would make sense to gather a stable of popular, talented and proven science bloggers to cover the event. Right?
They wouldn't make the same mistake twice they?
Even after a few of "us" actually contacted the Society In Real Life and spoke to them about it.
Yes. Yes, they would. #DFS.
They're making no fucking effort to advertise this at all as usual. The SfN hashtags on twitter are being run by the usual Twits, and thankfully it's self-organising well. But once more they've picked a stable of writers, with a couple of very notable exceptions, who are totes WTF.
Zen Faulks has beaten me to the punch this year, so here's linklove to Zen. To whit:
"Last year, I wrote about the puzzlement about the Society for Neuroscience’s choice of official bloggers. I didn’t recognize a one.
With today’s announcement of the Neuroscience 2011 neurobloggers, I confess I am still baffled by the SfN’s social media strategy. Unlike last year, year, I do recognize one blogger, the mighty Scicurious [Ed: I'll add Jason Snyder of Functional Neurogenesis to this too]...I’m most baffled that two blogs didn’t exist at all a week ago, which happened last year, too. The application to be a neuroblogger asked for samples, including previous conference coverage..."
Seriously, I just don't fucking get it. Why bother having a call for applicants if the entire process is so desperately farcical. Last year I worried that the n00bs were opening themselves up for a shit storm because of the possible attention. However, by all accounts traffic was so low it was moot. I know Jason and Scicurious will do excellently, and as usual they'll likely get good traffic. The rest of you, if you actually exist, have fun, but don't sweat it. The entire thing seems to be a waste of time and effort unless you're already up and running. And if you are, you don't need this faux 'boost' from a Society that clearly doesn't give two shakes of a fuck about promoting itself, or you, to the Wired World.
FWIW, I'll be attending sporadically and blogging when I can - I have some family business to take of while I'm in the area so i'm staying in Annapolis and commuting.
Most importantly::: I'll see y'all at BANTER. mad levels of props to M'Belov'd Colleague Dr. Becca for organising the whole thing while I've been Blogger in absencia this year.
This is the second (annual?) blogger and tweeter hang out and if it's even close to last year, you'll need a free schedule Tuesday morning, and a handful of aspirin with that morning coffee.
Remember, if you don't want to out your Pseud, take your fucking name tag off before you go into the bar, or write your Pseud on the back of it, wear it in reverse and geek with pride.
See y'all on Monday ;)