Having one foot in both camps, science & communications, has given me a unique perspective.
Scientists are generally not the best communicators because their energy is spent ruminating on how they can get their current experiments to work!
Why communication is important
Communicating can lead to collaborating and collaborating is a great thing in science.
For every significant breakthrough in science there has been a team of people working towards the same problem, from different angles, for years.
Communicators are natural collaborators
What great communicators have in common is their ability to deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time.
Social media is now a major strategy for marketing and advertising brands to identify customers, get people talking and sharing information.
Scientific collaboration parallels? You bet!
The traditional strategy for engaging scientific collaborators relied heavily on physically doing the miles to face-to-face communicate.
Social media can free up your time and expose you to a global audience of potential collaborators 24/7.
Try Twitter, Google+ or Slideshare to get started
I have found this great post and infographic from MagicLogix to help those new to social media understand what each platform is good for.
I would encourage all scientists to dip their toes into #socialmedia to organically generate some new collaborations.