OpenWetWare:Steering committee/Town Hall Meeting/2008/06/12

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Welcome to the OWW Community Town Hall Meeting

Use these URL's to get to the chat room if you can't get there from here:

Follow-up Topics


Check out DIYbio

for an example of posting an RSS feed from an external site on OWW. In the above example, the feed is from All recent items tagged with diybio will show up on the list.

You can also aggregate multiple feeds, just by adding more feed URLs, one per line.

Bill implemented this feature a while ago, but we need to get better help documentation around it.

wjf 17:25, 12 June 2008 (UTC)I'll add a help link here.

Hi All,

Here is the link to San Diego Science Festival Social network (facebook for scientists) we discussed in Town Hall.

Please feel free to join my page to test!


Other Links Cited



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Chat log

  • [12:16] Cameron Neylon: really depends critically on the right people being there
  • [12:16] Reshma: I feel like we might be focusing too much on the technologies and not enough on the problems
  • [12:16] Cameron Neylon: Couldn't agree more with that
  • [12:17] jason: yeah me too
  • [12:17] Reshma: basically, the issue is that if I have a question, I want to know who the right person is to ask
  • [12:17] jason: there s a lot of real research discussion here:
  • [12:17] Ricardo Vidal: The social aspect I think is a way to help finding others working in related research areas. So, potencially it could help your research because you'd be exposing your work/ideas/questions to a group of peers.
  • [12:17] jason: I can't paste links
  • [12:17] Cameron Neylon: but discovery is the key problem there - and discovery requires people to be looking
  • [12:18] jason:
  • [12:19] Reshma: yeah protocols online is the only active forum I know about in the U.S.
  • [12:19] jason:
  • [12:19] Reshma: there are some active Chinese research forums i think
  • [12:19] Cameron Neylon:
  • [12:19] Cameron Neylon: are some other 'facebook for scientist' type thing
  • [12:20] Meebo Message: guest923784 is now known as John Cumbers
  • [12:20] John Cumbers: Hi
  • [12:20] John Cumbers: sorry I'm late
  • [12:20] John Cumbers: about to call in
  • [12:20] Ricardo Vidal:
  • [12:21] Cameron Neylon: hi john
  • [12:21] Reshma: Cameron, I think that you've named all the social networking sites that I know about
  • [12:21] Reshma: there is also nature network
  • [12:21] Cameron Neylon: oh I better come up with some more then
  • [12:21] jason: and laboratree
  • [12:21] jason: and biomedexperts
  • [12:23] jason: theres gotta be some other places ppl are dsicussing research openly?
  • [12:23] jason: other than protocols-online forums
  • [12:23] Cameron Neylon: I would say there might be a place for a one click rating of protocols - could pull that in from Google Friend Connect?
  • [12:24] Meebo Message: guest220873 is now known as Federico C
  • [12:24] Cameron Neylon: But I think its right to focus on protocols and lab books at OWW
  • [12:24] Ricardo Vidal: Cameron, I agree with ratings.
  • [12:25] Reshma: well it seems like none of the social networking sites have that much traction
  • [12:26] Ricardo Vidal: Hi Federico, thanks for joining us.
  • [12:26] jason: yeah seems like its worth just hanging out and waiting to see if one of them sticks
  • [12:26] Cameron Neylon: Also worth mentioning the biogang wiki
  • [12:26] Cameron Neylon: in terms of collaborative projects
  • [12:27] Meebo Message: jason0 is now known as jasonk
  • [12:27] jasonk: biogang -- cool, havent seen that. cameron do you know the BG on that?
  • [12:27] Cameron Neylon: sorry BG?
  • [12:27] Ricardo Vidal: jason, it's deepak and company that are setting it up
  • [12:27] jasonk: biogang - cameron do you know the bangground on that project
  • [12:27] jasonk: sorry BG is not really a recognized acronym
  • [12:28] jasonk: oh cool
  • [12:28] Cameron Neylon: yeh - started off with a blog post from Deepak - all around the idea of bursty work - kicked off a big discussion on friendfeed and then someone decided to do something about it
  • [12:28] Cameron Neylon: Or at least provide a place to talk about specific projects
  • [12:28] jasonk: neat i like the bursty work idea alot
  • [12:28] Ricardo Vidal: setting up of BioBarCamp is related to that too. Also a demonstration of how networking works.
  • [12:29] Cameron Neylon: the problem is resourcing - having pairs of hands that make that feasible
  • [12:29] Ricardo Vidal: Cameron, you know why biogang was set up at wikispaces and not at another place, such as OWW?
  • [12:30] Cameron Neylon: No I don't - possibly slightly political thing - but I suspect Deepak just reached for the quickest easiest thing - also Wikispaces does OpenID which is very popular with that group
  • [12:30] Cameron Neylon: Possibly also OWW seems slightly more formal?
  • [12:30] Reshma: how so?
  • [12:32] Cameron Neylon: the comment was made today that the biogang is very 'anti-institutional' whereas perhaps we see OWW as 'group' oriented? dunno. I think there is a sense that having a presence on OWW means a formal group exists and that wasn't the stage it was at
  • [12:32] Reshma: huh that's interesting ...
  • [12:32] Cameron Neylon: maybe I'm just odd though
  • [12:32] Ricardo Vidal: Cameron, not really the case. For example, the recent DIYBio group set up camp on OWW
  • [12:32] jasonk: no that might be the image were giving though
  • [12:33] Reshma: well I can see Cameron's point
  • [12:33] jasonk: yeah me too
  • [12:33] Cameron Neylon: I'm trying to articulate my own thoughts - but I haven't really thought this through before
  • [12:33] Reshma: we set stuff up around academic labs for example, which means that informal ad hoc groups might not feel as comfortable posting
  • [12:33] Cameron Neylon: these subconscious images are very powerful though
  • [12:33] Reshma: yeah
  • [12:33] Reshma: definitely
  • [12:33] Ricardo Vidal: Good point.
  • [12:34] Ricardo Vidal: So should we give more exposure to ad hoc projects on OWW?
  • [12:34] Cameron Neylon: I think the key question is how do find the willing collaborators? Its down to discovery.
  • [12:35] Cameron Neylon: good question - if things are ad hoc you don't necessarily want to put them on the front page from a prettiness issue
  • [12:35] Reshma: well there might be a way to support ad hoc groups better without advertising
  • [12:35] Reshma: on the front page
  • [12:35] Cameron Neylon: yes that's really important
  • [12:37] Meebo Message: guest353426 is now known as Maureen
  • [12:41] Cameron Neylon: item is here
  • [12:45] wjf_oww: open science craig's list.
  • [12:45] jasonk: yeah there it is
  • [12:45] jasonk: i like that
  • [12:46] jasonk: so instead of org by city would org by research area?
  • [12:46] wjf_oww: pft: phd in search of tech... etc.
  • [12:48] jasonk: use the best tool for the job i agree
  • [12:48] Reshma: we really need to be able to make posting of RSS feeds easier on OWW
  • [12:49] Reshma: seems like no one is taking advantage right now
  • [12:49] jasonk: might just need better instructions for the existing extensions
  • [12:49] wjf_oww: that's a good one.
  • [12:49] Reshma: even though we have the capability
  • [12:49] jasonk: yeah
  • [12:49] Reshma: yeah it might just be instructions
  • [12:49] jasonk: can we grab 10 min to talk about the blogs here at the end?
  • [12:50] Meebo Message: guest4871895 is now known as COCOHELL
  • [12:50] COCOHELL: hi
  • [12:50] Reshma: can any of these social networking sites accept RSS feeds from external sources?
  • [12:51] Reshma: i.e. it would be cool if my facebook stream could say, "Reshma has edited X page on OWW"
  • [12:51] Federico C: nice idea
  • [12:51] Cameron Neylon: Most can - I've asked Bill whether there could be a feed of everything I've done on OWW
  • [12:51] Cameron Neylon: But both are good. Pull and push.
  • [12:52] Reshma: yeah
  • [12:52] Cameron Neylon: Show my citeulike stuff on OWW
  • [12:52] Reshma: Cameron, so we can actually do that already
  • [12:52] Reshma: we just need better instructions and examples
  • [12:52] wjf_oww: someone mentioned there was a syntax issue with OWW feeds but no confirmation.
  • [12:54] Reshma: Cameron, I'll try to follow up to show how to get RSS feeds on OWW pages
  • [12:55] jasonk: is OWW blogs just replicating nature network or blogger?
  • [12:55] jasonk: i.e. are we reinventing the wheel?
  • [12:55] Cameron Neylon: its better than NN blogs
  • [12:55] jasonk: ok how is that?
  • [12:55] Cameron Neylon: compatible with other services because it is built on a standard engine
  • [12:56] Cameron Neylon: NN seems like a closed garden to me
  • [12:56] jasonk: and why better than blogger?
  • [12:56] austin: do people go to blogger to find science blogs?
  • [12:56] Cameron Neylon: its probably pretty similar to wordpress or blogger to be fair. I would argue though that there is a need for blog type things to complement lab books
  • [12:56] austin: or how do you find a blog in a specific area?
  • [12:56] Cameron Neylon: Google
  • [12:56] jasonk: yeah
  • [12:56] Cameron Neylon: or through other bloggers
  • [12:56] jasonk: google
  • [12:57] John Cumbers: do people go anywhere to find science blogs? don't you just search for the subject you are interested in
  • [12:57] John Cumbers: ?
  • [12:57] austin: I've never specifically searched for a blog
  • [12:57] wjf_oww: right. nature may sponsor but people find via google.
  • [12:57] Cameron Neylon: I find new people when they link to people I link to
  • [12:57] jasonk: yeah you just stumble upon them
  • [12:57] wjf_oww: good point. that's a smart way. but not for most users looking for info.
  • [12:58] Cameron Neylon: I do
  • [12:58] wjf_oww: ergo.... cameron... finds people.
  • [12:58] Cameron Neylon: mostly - sometimes they find me
  • [12:59] austin: but for some reason, people seem to be requesting OWW blogs
  • [12:59] Maureen: hi guys I have a meeting at 10, gotta run. Ricardo please email me about the feeds OK?
  • [12:59] austin: maybe scientists want the stamp of "openwetware"
  • [12:59] wjf_oww: relationships are more important than data. knowing about what you know and being able to corroborate your standing as an expert is key.
  • [12:59] Cameron Neylon: It is a good way of building community
  • [12:59] Cameron Neylon: Does it bring people into OWW?
  • [12:59] wjf_oww: trust or relationship base. an imprimatur: stamp of approval. we vouch for him or her.
  • [13:00] Cameron Neylon: yeh
  • [13:00] wjf_oww: if they want to comment on the person. or become a trusted source.
  • [13:00] wjf_oww: it's not always about the content, it's about who you are.
  • [13:01] wjf_oww: bye Maureen
  • [13:01] jasonk: yeah its definitely a good way to bring ppl into OWW i think
  • [13:01] Cameron Neylon: bye
  • [13:01] Cameron Neylon: to maureen that was
  • [13:01] wjf_oww: like ricardo does...
  • [13:02] jasonk: i gotta run to a meeting too, thanks everyone for great discussion. ill keep talking about blogs issue on friendfeed!
  • [13:02] John Cumbers: cya
  • [13:02] Cameron Neylon: bye jason
  • [13:02] Meebo Message: Cameron Neylon2 is now known as Cameron Neylon
  • [13:03] John Cumbers: bye
  • [13:03] wjf_oww: bye cameron
  • [13:03] Ricardo Vidal: Cheers.
  • [13:04] Cameron Neylon: see you round