Biostar Flyer For Outreach
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11.8 years ago
Mary 11k

Hello BioStars community--

We were thinking about ways to do some outreach for BioStar to grow and build the community. I know there were some ideas in a previous thread with good social-networking suggestions ( http://biostar.stackexchange.com/questions/651/helping-biostar-grow ). But we recently approached Istvan and offered to do a flyer/information sheet that we can bring to the American Society of Human Genetics meeting next week in DC. We'll have some at our booth (1337), and we'll put some on the "free" table that most conferences have.

First: here's the proposed v1 flyer, as a PDF. It's kinda big for mailing around, but that preserves the image quality, just FYI.

Feel free to download it, have a look, and print some. We've found that good places to put materials like this are near lunchrooms (if there's an announcement sort of place), mail rooms, and quite often your science librarian would help with some placements. And if there are conferences you are going to, and if you could print out a couple of dozen, you can also usually put them on "free" tables.

Also, as this is a v1, we'd be happy to take suggestions for a v2. Or if the community has comments about the flyer (and that we maybe used some of your text...thanks for those great questions) do let us know.

Comments? Questions? Other ideas for good places to locate items like this?

Thanks for your input.

PS: We'd be interested to know if you have printing issues; we are using US standards and I'm not sure what will happen elsewhere.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

EDIT 1 by Mary after numerous answers/comments: Thanks for the feedback everyone! We'll have a look at all of it and consider the options. To summarize quickly: some people want more information, some people want less. Heh.

Just a word on our philosophy on this: this flyer is an awareness tool. It can't convey all the information about the site. That's better done in some of the other strategies discussed below. This item does not preclude any other stuff, it's just one tool. This is designed to intrigue people about the possibilities, and bring them over. And give them a few quick tips on using the site.

We find often the best thing is to talk to people with fresh eyes. We'll discuss it with people next week--people who have never seen the site, and see what their questions are. You may have similar conversations at your sites. Please bring that feedback along as well.

Also, feel free to develop other flyers. There may be some that are designed for sub-groups. We picked stuff that we hear from people a lot to highlight. You may work with other groups who have other types of questions/interests.

biostar • 5.0k views
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I better place to discuss this would be http://groups.google.com/group/biostar-central

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Very nice flyer!! I wonder if this can also be used as a poster to present biostar at some congress or workshop.

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Maybe you should update the URL to "biostar.stackexchange.com"... I know it's more complex-looking than biostars.org - but I think anyone that takes a mental note of the address and tries it later might end up going to biostar.org instead of biostars.org.

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If this isn't going to be discussed on the 'meta' Google group, then the question should be Community Wiki.

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I've just posted a snapshot of your pdf on FriendFeed

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Looks good and nice idea

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Also I think stackexchange already has a fair amount of brand recognition, especially among bioinformaticians that might have used stackoverflow before.

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@Paulo: We could raise it there, but seemed to need wide discussion. Not sure if everyone reads over there?

@Bio_X2Y: We went with the URL as provided in the green "Spread the word!" box. And this might still work if the site moved away from stackexchange. Thanks for the other comments + printer test too, btw.

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Oh, that's good to know. Hadn't noticed that checkbox before (but I think I haven't asked a question yet). I see it's in the faq which I've read before but apparently not close enough :D

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Is it coincidence that the booth number is 1337? I think not.

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@Zach. lol, that had to be explained to me. Guess I'm not as much of a geek I thought I was :D

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Thanks for the flyer Mary! Great idea and concept!

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Thanks for sharing this Mary. Innovative idea. Along with other suggestions by Bio_X2Y, you may consider adding the geographical location of BioStars plotted by Neil.

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11.8 years ago

just put up 1 flyer on the poster wall, EBI East Wing http://twitpic.com/31w7kt

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11.8 years ago
Bio_X2Y ★ 4.2k

Looks good, the flyer sounds like a good idea, any exposure to the site is welcome!

Some points (off the top of my head, I'm sure many will disagree):

  • Perhaps get permission from Khader, Lee, giovanni and Daniel before using their names on a public flyer?
  • Perhaps mention the answering rate somewhere - at the moment 97.9% of questions are considered "answered" (at least one upvoted answer). Compared to other sites, that's very impressive.
  • Not sure if you can copyright the flashcard? :)
  • Have you tried a maroon banner instead of green?
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It prints OK for me from Adobe Reader on A4 landscape.

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no problems at all for the permissions. The other suggestions are also great, especially the second.

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11.8 years ago

As I put forth on Twitter just a few minutes ago, I would advocate that a paper be written around the trends in the questions posed. The point to this article could be where bioinformatics education needs to be focused. What such an effort implies is bringing BioStar to new audiences by a different vehicle. While web presence (users on BioStar, Twitter, etc.) are growing, there are still a lot of researchers who won't join those groups soon. So, add a parallel approach or two:

  1. Let some of the editors of BioStar write a paper (for a journal or a white paper) for wide distribution

  2. If a someone receives help that finds its way to a publication, presentation, etc., then that person should acknowledge BioStar. "I got through this obstacle because of help I received on BioStar..." With #1 in print, there would be something to cite.

  3. a Flyer for wide distribution will also help. I don't disagree with that.

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Completely agree with the suggestion that a manuscript targeted at a wider audience level will provide a broader out reach for BioStar (I hope Istavan is already thinking of such an initiative). The option to acknowledge or cite BioStar answers is a fantastic idea. IMHO, The answers in BioStar are as detailed as a Wikipedia articles and the answers are up-voted/edited by the members. Citing answers from BioStar using a URL in manuscripts will be very relevant and provide a further reach and attract new members to BioStar.

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Yes. And, even in onformal gatherings - student seminar, lab meeting - to say that this bit of the work went forward because of BioStar will also help.

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@Khader I think having BioStar mentioned in larger circulation journals will happen naturally as the site and community matures. Probably either in editorials or other news sections. Moreover I think those type of mentions (as well as Mary's flyer) might end up being more effective than a traditional publication format.

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11.8 years ago
Suk211 ★ 1.1k

The only comment from my side is that all the question shown on the flyer might give the impression of Biostar being a genomics related site. I will suggest to put other questions which have been asked earlier,related to structural bioinformatics and systems biology.

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11.7 years ago

The WikiGenes article to which I and several others have referred in the past week brings to mind the idea of doing the same kind of thing with PLoS Comp Biol or Bioinformatics or another well known journal. One option is to coalesce responses to various "SNP function" questions and place those into the WikiGenes article on "Principles for the post-GWAS functional characterisation of risk loci" with mention of BioStar. A second option is to identify a topic from the BioStar community that can be addressed by a similar wiki approach. The trick here is find the right journal, one that is open to this.

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11.8 years ago
Peter 6.0k

Wasn't the name BioStar chosen from Bio* which is the accepted short hand for BioPerl, BioJava, Biopython, BioRuby, BioSQL etc (the Open Bioinformatics Foundation projects, http://www.open-bio.org)?

Yet I see no mention of these names on the current draft - in fact my impression is you are thinking of BioStar as something else entirely. Maybe my understanding of https://www.biostars.org is at fault. I'd suggest some kind of "About BioStar" page be added to the website.

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This is a very good explanation of what BioStar could stand for. Yet the name originally was intended to pay hommage to the "true stars" of modern life sciences research ... bioinformaticians ... ahem

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Have seen the FAQ Biostar Flyer For Outreach . I think that's the About equivalent of BioStar.

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How about BioStar FAQ I think that's the "About" equivalent of BioStar.

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I think I'm confused. What is your impression of what biostar is that is at odds with what this flyer suggests it is? I got the flyer as a sort of a 'awareness/how-to' outreach to Biostar as a "A Question and Answer Site for Bioinformatics" and community. Would you consider Biostar something different than that?

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This actually is a very good explanation of BioStar could stand for. Alas the name originally was intended to pay homage to the "true stars" of modern life sciences research ... bioinformaticians

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OK, so BioStar != Bio* but by the nature of the subject area there is overlap (not least in terms of the participants).

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11.8 years ago
Ian 5.9k

I like the presentation, but there is enough information it for an A3 poster. If you want something that is eyecatching/quick-to-take-in (e.g. to be near a photocopier, on a noticeboard) why not have a single screen shot and the bold bullet points underneath. I like it but i think a more condensed version would be useful.

The URL is quite small and understated.

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