Forum:Starting a collective twitter account "Bioinformatician Underhood"
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6 weeks ago

Important UPD: Thank you for your support and ideas! This GitHub page describes how it is planned to be working https://github.com/GermanDemidov/compbio_underhood

Dear members of the community,

I was thinking to start a collective twitter account for bioinformaticians.

Which means that each week a different bioinformatician (or a whole lab) takes the control over the account and is "responsible" for the content there. What I mean by content:

  • the career path
  • the educational path
  • interesting practical cases
  • current projects (s)he is working on
  • methods, large and small lifehacks
  • published papers
  • even lifestyle advices, interests outside of science
  • open positions etc.

How it is different from the current twitter accounts of bioinformaticians and labs? Typically they don't describe anything retrospectively and don't give any advices. Also we usually tend to follow only people from our small sub-field.

Why it is good for the readers?

  • one can learn about other fields of bioinformatics
  • one can follow the career path from BSc to the current position and maybe change something her/himself
  • one can ask questions not, as at a conference, only about the latest research, but also about all the past research

Why it is good for a author-for-a-week?

  • one can promote hers/his research
  • can get visibility and followers for the main (personal or lab) account
  • can get feedback and advices from the audience
  • advertise some open positions (but a limited amount of ads - maybe 10% of overall content generated)
  • can help someone to get better and avoid your mistakes

Typically for other specialities (IT developers, data scientists, project managers, etc) it takes from half an hour to 2 hours per day (there is no limitations on this) - so it is not an incredible burden for an author. Usually it takes 20-30 tweets per day for the listed specialists.

What do you think about this idea? Do you have any suggestions? Would you support this?

Currently I am not brave enough to just jump in and create it - I'll most likely have to be the 1st author just to show how it works and I am rather afraid if this format is interesting for our comp biology community.

UPD: Here we are, the handler is CompbioU . I don't promise that it will finally work, but at least I will try to push it a bit and see how it goes. If it won't be supported, it will be discontinued. Enjoy!

sci-comm • 474 views
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This is quite an interesting idea, but what would be the requirements to be part of that collective account ? How would you decide who can join ?

20-30 tweets per day

Isn't this a lot too much ? about 1-2 tweets a day sounds more reasonable to me. I certainly would not have the time to read that many tweets/threads, let alone to write them (even if its just for a week).

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what would be the requirements to be part of that collective account

Personally I would not make it senior-bioinformaticians-only account, however, I doubt that people who just finished their MSc can lead such an account for a week (no disrespect, it is only about the amount of material one has, not about intellectual abilities whatsoever). So I'll select any author who applies and satisfy minimum criteria, but taking care that bioinformaticians from the same field/lab/scientific center do not go sequentially.

It can be that the account has to be "retrieved" back. If an author violates the rules, e.g., promotes anti-science, or just advertises - it happens. There is no way to control it. Then this week becomes "empty".

Isn't this a lot too much ? about 1-2 tweets a day sounds more reasonable to me.

Then 1-2 threads per day. One can't e.g. describe the motivation why (s)he decided to choose this field of science in 1-2 tweets, I believe. Or even describe one project - usually a tweetorial takes 10 or more tweets in one thread. It is just 280 symbols per tweet. Not much. Even 10 of them don't make anything close to a proper blog post.

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Sounds interesting, but I would not allow any ad for positions and would limit to 3 tweets per day

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But imagine you want to share with the audience how you solved some project - will it be enough to have only 3 tweets for you? E.g. you want to show some links, some figures, go into details? They can be organised in threads so you may skip the whole thread if you don't like it. But 3 tweets is incredibly small amount. Imagine you want to share why you chose bioinformatics (this is an interesting thing!) - I doubt it fits into 3 tweets.

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3 tweets / 3 threads its fine but subjects should not go into all direction. I really think it is not a good idea to have a huge flow of information. Few but of good quality. Otherwise I think tweeter is not the correct format for what you want.

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I am "porting" the idea that functions for a while but on Russian twitter, so it works in general, I am just doubting that non-Russian/compbio audience will like it.

I see - people from compbio field really value their time and they prefer shorter format - this one I'll try to implement, but just 1-2 tweets per day never worked in Russian segment (e.g. data scientist underhood, it underhood, frontend developer underhood etc).

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Good idea!

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Thank you Lasse! I've created an account - https://twitter.com/CompbioU . It would be very interesting to have you as a guest and listen how did you came to your position, also about Impute.me , so please consider it in some future! =)

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