Cameron Neylon came to talk at a genetics departmental seminar yesterday. Alan and I have followed Cameron on twitter for a while and so it was an ideal opportunity to meet him through Mummi Thorisson who had invited Cameron to speak. Several of us amplified the event on twitter using #uolneylon.
Cameron talked about dealing with information overload in science and while the audience may have not been openly receptive to his thoughts, he certainly made me stop and think.
Alan, Mummi and I all went for a curry after the talk for some regular face to face networking. We talked about a lot of things, including, teaching science and how to encourage our colleagues to change their networking practices, the nature of science and how it should be conducted, open notebook science, open publishing, REF/ impact scores/ research IDs and FriendFeed.
I have struggled with FriendFeed since I first signed up back In February 2008. I get facebook, I live in twitter, I love delicious, I’m trying hard to be disciplined about using citeulike (but have to admit that it is reading papers that I struggle with not bookmarking them!). I like to think that I am web 2.0 savvy and will try any new service passing. However, FriendFeed leaves me cold. It took Cameron to make me realise what was wrong. I have the wrong network on FriendFeed. The people I’ve subscribed to were suggested by the system because they are in my twitter network. However, very very few of them are resident in twitter (@daveowhite has a lot to answer for in my massive overuse of that word, but it is oh so succinct :-)). Finally I get it. The conversations I am looking at on FriendFeed are mostly not happening IN FriendFeed, they are autoposts from elsewhere. I need to move into FriendFeed and talk to a different bunch of people. Just as I have my facebook peeps, I can have FriendFeed peeps. The light has dawned. I can find a third audience to converse with.
So, I am starting to unsubscribe from anyone who is posting only their twitter feed into FriendFeed because I can (and do) have a conversation with them on twitter. I suspect I will soon need some new people to subscribe to, that are resident in FriendFeed, so come and say hello! Finding a whole new group of people to talk to is going to be fun.