Increasing advocacy/engagement on Twitter+other SocialMedia?

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Increasing advocacy/engagement on Twitter+other SocialMedia?

Postby YosiMor » Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:31 am

As one who only recently discovered Folding@Home and is trying to to spread his enthusiasm and excitement to others via social media (in my case, Twitter), I think that there is room to strengthen the amount of both [1] similar, original, social media posting by others, as well as [2] mutual "engagement" between those who are active on social media.

More specifically, if we take Twitter as an example:
  • Although some of my FAH-related tweets have gotten Likes and even a Retweet from Dr. Bowman himself, I would have liked to see more of such amplification also from other individuals, as well as from the official @FoldingAtHome account.

  • It would be nice if others on Twitter would more frequently search for new tweets using relevant hashtags, such as #FoldingAtHome, and more frequently "engage" in some manner, by Retweeting, Replying, or at least Liking ... where relevant or merited.

  • I see quite a bit of tweets boasting of achievements (in Points or Work Units) for an individual or a team. These certainly have their place within the FAH community, in order to further motivate others who are already folding.

    But it should be clear that such tweets are meaningless to the vast majority of the Twitterverse, who do not yet even know what "folding" is, or what the technical jargon and stats really mean!

    Thus, I think that there should be many more tweets directed at the "uninitiated" -- explaining to them in very simple language what "folding" is, how important it is to mankind, how simple it is to contribute, and how important even one-more-individual's "tiny" contribution can be.

For the record, here are some of my own FAH-related tweets:
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Re: Increasing advocacy/engagement on Twitter+other SocialMe

Postby JimboPalmer » Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:24 am

I spent many years as a computer programmer, and through out my career I would get comments like "JimboPalmer writes all the programs and reports we ask for very promptly, but he never attends our meetings" I would offer to attnd their meetings if they did not need any programs and reports.

You seem to want the Biochemists to quit doing biochemistry and type on social media instead. I am skeptical they studied Biochemistry for all those years to abandon it.

(as you do research, I think you will find Dr Bowman is legally blind or nearly so. Social Media is going to be a tough job for him)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGGzMQ2oFrA

I would encourage you to give up on 'them' and decide to do what you can. For me, I do a pretty good job of looking at problems from the computer's point of view and compare and contrast that with the human point of view to find solutions. So I read here and answer when I feel I understand. (Sometimes the humans get frustrated that I want the computer's point of view, as well) Would I be good at twitter?, no idea, never interested in finding out.
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Re: Increasing advocacy/engagement on Twitter+other SocialMe

Postby YosiMor » Tue Jul 28, 2020 11:26 am

JimboPalmer wrote:You seem to want the Biochemists to quit doing biochemistry and type on social media instead. I am skeptical they studied Biochemistry for all those years to abandon it.


No, I do NOT necessarily expect the hardcore biochemists at the heart of this awesome and virtuous endeavor to fully abandon their precious work -- which only they can perform -- and devote all of their time to social media instead.

But I do think that, out of the hordes of individuals who have joined the project as volunteer folders, many of whom are at best laypeople in the field of biochemistry, surely there exists a decent-sized subgroup that does actively participate in social media (without connection to FAH), and it would be nice to think that they would want to self-organize as best they can in order to execute the necessary "marketing" activities (of which social media is only one part) as effectively as possible.

As scientists and/or techies, it should only be natural that we view this amazing Folding@Home project as a system-based enterprise/business/entity. The main goal of this business is obviously to do the hardcore science and find a cure for diseases such as COVID19. But like any "living" entity, it also has a secondary goal of [1] first-and-foremost ensuring its continued existence, and [2] doing whatever is necessary to help forward its primary goal(s). And for any business-like enterprise, that's where "marketing," "public relations," and -- today -- "social media" come in.

For FAH, efficiently "doing the science" ultimately depends on having enough compute-power. So doing whatever is necessary to ensure (and grow) the necessary compute-power is ultimately almost as important as the hardcore biochemistry know-how itself. And somebody has to do it.

And of course somebody is apparently already doing it, as evidenced by the massive amounts of compute-power donated by big corporations, which surely are the result of somebody high-up doing the necessary corporate PR. But, as you say, the biochemists are very busy and apparently need our help.

And just as a big corporation whose primary job is to churn out high-tech widgets to generate big bucks will not say to itself "do people expect us to abandon our production line and invest in marketing?", and will instead make sure that part of its organization and resources are indeed dedicated to marketing activities, so too must our "organization." And if our organization is not well-funded enough to proactively create such a full-time "marketing department" on its own, then we as volunteers should be doing our best to self-organize in that direction.

JimboPalmer wrote:I would encourage you to give up on 'them' and decide to do what you can.

For me, I do a pretty good job of looking at problems from the computer's point of view and compare and contrast that with the human point of view to find solutions. So I read here and answer when I feel I understand. (Sometimes the humans get frustrated that I want the computer's point of view, as well) Would I be good at twitter?, no idea, never interested in finding out.


I am simply suggesting that each of us try and do as much as he/she honest can -- and preferably in as coordinated a manner as possible.

If you, personally, are not the "social media" type -- then that's fine.

But for each of us who are active on social media, I humbly suggest a bit of introspection to see what more we can contribute on this front.

I see many of the FAH researchers actively and prolifically tweeting hardcore science, and this is perfectly fine! This is obviously important for scientific collaboration, as well as for "social positioning" within the clique. ;-) Many of these researchers are also actively tweeting politics, or other "fun" personal stuff -- and that is perfectly fine as well. I would like to see, however, these same researchers -- especially those with big followings -- tweeting a bit more FAH advocacy with the "common folk" in mind. Or at the very least, more frequently Retweeting and/or Liking such advocacy tweets by others.

IMHO, the same goes (even more so) for the general members of the folding community and its general supporters in the world of tech.

Just my "two cents." Hope that it might help to incrementally trigger some additional marketing-related efforts.
Last edited by YosiMor on Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Increasing advocacy/engagement on Twitter+other SocialMe

Postby YosiMor » Tue Jul 28, 2020 11:43 am

By the way, I just posted the following to the FAH Discord channel:

https://discordapp.com/channels/573870689056981003/699098318349008936/737620024172347422
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Re: Increasing advocacy/engagement on Twitter+other SocialMe

Postby Jonazz » Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:12 pm

I'm not at all active on Twitter but I like this idea! Good luck and I hope we can get some new folders this way.
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Re: Increasing advocacy/engagement on Twitter+other SocialMe

Postby YosiMor » Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:04 pm

Also, I'd like to humbly suggest that the entire "How can we help FAH grow" sub-forum is an important enough topic to merit appearing directly on the main Board Index (somewhere inside, hopefully even at the top of, its "General Discussions" section), instead of being buried (albeit pinned) inside the "Discussions of General-FAH topics" sub-forum, where I suspect it might not get enough attention.

Any way to flag this suggestion so that one of the admins will see it?
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Re: Increasing advocacy/engagement on Twitter+other SocialMe

Postby Neil-B » Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:46 pm

From my experience it is fair to say the admins/mods will see/respond if appropriate to every post on the forums - give then time to see your post
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Re: Increasing advocacy/engagement on Twitter+other SocialMe

Postby Burlingtonian » Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:11 pm

Any and all efforts to attract more FAH contributors should be encouraged. The ultimate hook would be a major news item citing FAH as instrumental in finding a cure for (fill in the blank). I do not use social media but suspect the Twitterverse would immediately kick in to overdrive. My personal experience is with a Gastro Intestinal Stromal Tumour (GIST) which I was diagnosed with 3 1/2 years ago. The protein folding for this relatively rare cancer is known, which has resulted in an increasing number of targeted therapeutics - most prominently, Gleevec, without which I would probably not be alive today. That is why I donate my time and available computer resources to Folding@home and encourage all my family, friends and associates to join. Each day I look forward to that next news announcement and wish the dedicated scientists and researchers Godspeed.
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Re: Increasing advocacy/engagement on Twitter+other SocialMe

Postby gunnarre » Tue Jul 28, 2020 8:26 pm

Personal stories like that one, as well as posts about newsworthy and hardcore science breakthroughs help raise genuine interest and awareness for the project. Those are interesting both to the science press and as human interest stories for the national news.

On a social level, the friendly rivalry between folding teams and the drive to increase the folding power of ones own gaming PC, or businesses donating resources, also helps drive general awareness for F@H and distributed computing. Besides the medical research goal, beating the other team can help motivate. The massive boost from tech YouTubers and tech media also still pays off as people come across those videos and articles online.

Us volunteers can certainly do more to like and share content both from F@H, the scientists, and each other - that doesn't cut into the biochemists' time. We could also actively recruit our actual friends to fold, and show how easy it is to do so. F@H has already trended globally, now we can help it trend locally among our actual friends.
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