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Success stories in science blogging

What makes a good blog post, and what sorts of content make readers click? Alan Boyle and Mary Guiden shared their success stories with NSWA members and guests at our monthly meeting on Sept. 10 at University House.

  • Alan Boyle ( @b0yle ), science editor at NBC News Digital and Cosmic Log blogger, shared lessons learned on what makes for popular (and unpopular) blog posts, how to sustain a steady stream of content, and other highlights of what works and doesn’t work in blogging.
  • Mary Guiden ( @marygseattle ), currently at UW’s Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering and previously at Seattle Children’s, talked about her experience setting up a blog and working with researchers, funders and others on content.

Big data: Delving deeper into
the latest scientific buzzword

Has “big data” always existed, or has something changed in recent years to bring this catchphrase to the surface? What research is being conducted using big data, what repositories are available or being built, and what stories should science writers potentially cover on this topic? During our program on April 9, the following speakers explored these topics for NSWA members and guests:

  • Sally James, who recently looked into this big data topic for Seattle Business Magazine and shared a “shallow dive into big data” on her blog. James began her career as a newspaper reporter in Portland, Oregon. Over a long career in Northwest journalism, she has talked her way into autopsies, murder scenes, surgeries and medical research labs.
  • Justin Thompson, UW student in Mathematics. Thompson is working on sparse sensing algorithms, with a focus on developing code for distinguishing difference among data sets (images, sounds) with minimum information.