Web-related information about microbiology is plentiful. There are a variety of social media resources available to a microbiologist, from scientific information, to opportunities to benchmark practices, obtain training opportunities, and to keep current with the latest news and developments in virtually any area of interest .All it takes is a little research and an open mind.
Available Information Sources
News and Company Sites
In recent years, there have been more and more websites dedicated to microbiology on the Internet. There are also sites dedicated to providing news, as well as, websites dedicated to providing microbiology supplies.
A few examples of major sites containing information and news related specifically to microbiology are:
The BioLumix website is updated frequently with information about the technology, new development and current events. Click on the icon to connect to BioLumix website
Blogs can be viewed as online journals that are created by individuals, groups, or companies. Blogs has exploded in recent years due to the ease of blogging and the multitude of hosting services available. The growth of the blogosphere has become so pervasive that some question the viability of print magazines.
Many blogs, of interest to a microbiologist, are published frequently and may well serve to replace printed publications in terms of timely information. Below are a few examples:
BioLumix posts bi-weekly blogs on a variety of topics in rapid microbiology, about regulations, and about the BioLumix technology. To stay current on our new developments click on the icon to connect to BioLumix blog.
E Mail discussion Groups
Email discussion groups are created to encourage discussion around a unifying topic. Users subscribe to the group. The basic mechanism is to have a central Email address to which all mails are sent. If a subscriber has a question or comment it is sent by Email to that address. The email is then resent to all of the participants. If one (or more) participant wishes to comment on the Email, that reply is then sent to the central address for redistribution and the cycle repeats.
The Email discussion group is the oldest form of social media participation. There are two Email discussion groups of use to the microbiologist – the PMFList and the PSDGList. Both focus on Pharmaceutical production and validation.
LinkedIn is a business-oriented social network and it provides a variety of opportunities to connect with other microbiologists and join discussions. LinkedIn also supports the formation of interest groups, and many people use the groups on LinkedIn as a kind of think tank or open brainstorming session. Others use it to disseminate information. It is an essential business resource of information, LinkedIn can help you stay up-to-date with industry trends and share information with others who do similar work to you. Many companies have a company page on LinkedIn.
Examples of relevant discussion groups:
BioLumix on LinkedIn:
BioLumix has a company page on LinkedIn that contains relevant information about the products as well as corporate news. To view our LinkedIn page click on the icon. BioLumix Linked In page:
BioLumix also sponsors the discussion group Rapid Microbiology Testing and Methods. To join the group and read the content of this informative group click on the icon. Rapid Microbiology Testing and Methods
Facebook defines social media today and is more of a pure social media, than it is used for personal purposes. However, in recent years it started serving also in the promotion of companies and services. Many companies have Company Pages that can promote their service or products with information and special offers.
Twitter is a messaging service that allows users to post short (140 character) “Tweets” to their followers. Its main use is not in science, but it can offer a good way to rapidly disseminate information. Many Companies and organizations are using this service to get information out quickly and to direct people to web-based information sources. The very brevity of the tweet format can encourage concise expression of ideas and concepts.
A few examples:
To view the BioLumix Twitter page click on the icon.
Google Plus was established in the beginning of 2013 and is currently the second largest social network in the world. It was launched by Google, in order to evolve the way we relate to one another, and how we communicate with the world. At the moment its presence in the microbiology world is limited, but with the Google power behind it is expected to be a major source of information in the near future. Some companies have Google+ pages.
To view the BioLumix Google+ page click on the icon.
YouTube is a video sharing service. Video provides an excellent opportunity to explain and teach scientific concepts. In the current impatient, busy world, many people would prefer to watch a video instead of trying to digest massive pieces of written information. Since more consumers are spending time online instead of watching TV, the popularity of watching videos online is growing exponentially.
A few examples are:
BioLumix has posted many videos on-line explaining the technology and dealing with a variety of topics of interest to microbiologist. To view the BioLumix YouTube videos click on the icon.
A year ago Scott Sutton and the Microbiology Network conducted a survey of the use of social media by microbiologists in a few regulated industries. There has been a significant increase in the use of social media by scientists and microbiologists as these sources provide an opportunities to keep current with the latest in news and developments in virtually any area of interest to the microbiologist.
This survey was conducted online, with a group that is part of an internet email group. It must therefore be assumed that the respondents are more technologically sophisticated than is the norm, and had familiarity with social media on its side.
The survey looked at two main questions – What social media are being used and what is it used for?
As shown in the figure, LinkedIn was the most popular social media used by microbiologists, followed by Facebook. The main reason for using the social media was for personal interest, followed by Benchmarking. This survey also shows that once a technology matures (for example the PMFList and the PSDGList Email discussion groups) participation becomes enthusiastic.
The internet and social media offer a wealth of information and capabilities to the microbiologist; it seems as if more microbiologists can take advantage of the opportunities presented. BioLumix participates in many of the forms of social media and offers a wealth of information to microbiologists