Social media platforms come and go. Some reach critical mass and persist for many years, while others burst onto the scene and then disappear just as quickly. For many community managers in STEM, social media platforms are a key way to connect with their members. Whether that looks like reaching members somewhere they already spend time or amplifying collective efforts so that they reach a broader audience, social media has become part of many community manager roles.
But when a platform goes away, or users stop engaging with it in the ways they once did, how does that impact member engagement and broader norms about sharing online? This is a conversation a lot of community managers are having, both within their organizations and in our Slack-based community of practice. That’s why our April community call will be an off-the-record opportunity to come together, reflect on the current state of virtual networking, and think through what the future holds for community-building online. All are welcome.
Read a recap of our March community call, at which we asked the Oblique Thinking Hour crew to showcase their signature experimental facilitation skills.
Take a look at the Bicycle Principles: A new framework for planning and evaluating short-form trainings that was published in a preprint earlier this month.
And check out our guest post for FEBS Network, which focused on the ways that CSCCE supports community managers through professional development training, free resources, and peer support.
Registration closing soon for Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals!
This 8-week online training offers community managers of any experience level core frameworks and vocabulary for understanding, growing, and evolving their communities. Our Spring session will begin on 12 May and run through the end of June. Live lessons and Co-Labs will take place on Tuesdays and Fridays at 12pm EDT / 4pm UTC. Find out more.
On this month’s call, we invited the Organizational Mycology team to facilitate an Oblique Thinking Hour activity for CSCCE community members. Beth Duckles and Dan Sholler led us through a series of prompts, culminating in breakout conversations where participants looked at community manager challenges from a range of surprising perspectives.
During this month’s salon-style community call (Wednesday, 19 April at 11am EDT / 3pm UTC), we will investigate how the upheavals in social media platforms (and how people engage with them) are impacting community-building activities online. Please come ready to share your experiences and opinions, as well as any ideas you have for what’s next.
On the CSCCE website, you can find a number of guidebooks and tip sheets related to community building online. You can also find reflections on why STEM community managers have switched platforms, how they have worked to build trust online, and ideas for your next virtual gathering.
This month, CSCCE’s Communications Director, Katie Pratt, penned a guest post for the FEBS Network blog that summarizes some of CSCCE’s work for an early career researcher audience. She offered some context for readers about the importance of community building in STEM today, and the potential of community management as a career path tangential to more traditional trajectories.
Preprint on creating and evaluating short-form trainings
Last year, CSCCE’s Founder and Director Lou Woodley participated in an international collaborative effort led by Jason Williams and Rochelle Tractenberg to discuss best practices for short-form trainings in the life sciences. The results from this work, the Bicycle Principles, were published this month on the preprint server BioArxiv.
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