Scientific Networking and Microblogging with Sciencefeed.com

With the growing popularity of Twitter, new microblogging sites are popping up which cater to specific communities.  www.sciencefeed.com is one such site, developed for the scientific community to network, communicate, and share the latest developments in their field(s).  It has been compared to FriendFeed and Twitter, but was developed by one of the CEOs of the scholarly social networking site ResearchGate.  There are currently over 5,000 registered members, with biological science dominating.

The site is easy to navigate and the search function is effective, allowing users three categories for searches: posts, groups, or friends. (It would be useful if these categories could be combined in a search, however this is not the case.)  The results are listed chronologically and this also cannot be changed.  An added benefit is the site’s automatic search of Twitter and FriendFeed posts of users when a search term is entered.

The site offers most of the tools available in Twitter including the ability to follow peers and be followed, to post information, and comment on others’, and access archived conversations.  What distinguishes it from Twitter and other microblogging sites is its focus on the scientific community and providing additional useful tools for these users. Citations can also be imported from Connotea and CiteUlike, and the site is directly linked to the ResearchGate literature database, so users can insert these papers into ScienceFeed posts through links.  ScienceFeed is linked to other social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and FriendFeed, allowing users to connect with peers from these networks which they follow, and update posts across all sites.  Post are also allowed to be more than 140 characters, there is in fact no character limitation.

This is a useful networking site where scientists can form new connections, find information about recent developments in their field, and increase their own visibility by self-publishing their work to their profile.

In the future the developers aim to develop stronger ties to scholarly databases such as Mendeley, PubMed, and Academia, and streamline the site’s current ability to mark events and groups (such as conferences), and present them in a better way.