Which web 2.0 services do scientists use?

Which web services are scientists actively contributing to?

There are ~ 1,240 Friendfeeders in science related rooms (the-life-scientists, scienceapps, science-2-0, science-online…). What percentage have listed usernames associated with the science related tools supported by Friendfeed?

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Service Count
citeulike 41
connotea 31
delicious 431
digg 208
googlereader 394
reddit 68
slideshare 143
twitter 675
youtube 341

Why this dataset isn’t very good…

There’s a bias towards services formally supported by Friendfeed – it’s easy to add feeds from supported services. Connotea and CiteULike aren’t formally supported though you can add your library RSS feeds manually. Many Friendfeed users won’t bother to do this.

People may be contributing to services (like YouTube…) for reasons that have nothing to do with science.

People who use Friendfeed aren’t a representative sample of scientists (though they may well be a representative sample of blog friendly, web savvy scientists).

People sometimes remove their Twitter feeds from Friendfeed to help keep the conversations that they start there in one place.

I picked the set of services to look at which is why you don’t see, say, Wikipedia or OpenWetWare above (some preliminary analysis suggested that the numbers would be negligible).

That said…

We can still use it to guess at broad trends.

Almost a third of Friendfeed scientists have delicious bookmarks. Don’t discount non-academic bookmarking services as a source of paper metadata.

A similar number use the share functionality in Google Reader.

Despite rumors to the contrary not everybody is on Twitter.

A surprising (to me) number of people are uploading and favouriting items on Slideshare.


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