What Science Online Means to Me

January 7, 2006 we held PodcasterCon in Chapel Hill. It was an event I organized. One of the first in the world on Podcasting. Later that year I co-organized the first Science Online, then known as the Triangle Science Blogging Conference, which was held on January 20, 2007.

Both of these events are unconferences. A self-organized democratically conducted learning event. Another common thread throughout both of events are my friends Anton Zuiker and Bora Zivkovic.

Fast forward seven years and we’re on the cusp of Science Online 2013 aka #scio13. It’s been a few years since I participated in a Science Online. But this year I’m going to make it! I’m even co-moderating a session. It’s really something special for me this time. A time to celebrate!

About ten months ago I got a job at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences as the Chief Webmaster. I’m working really hard to redesign our website and develop social media strategy.

I heard about the job opening from a tweet by David Kroll. I’m pretty sure I met David via Science Online or a Blog Together event hosted by Anton. I applied for the job.

Then with their permission I offered Anton and Bora as my personal and professional recommendations for the job. I built a WordPress theme for Duke with Anton. Both he and Bora have good knowledge of my professional accomplishments. Plus the fine folks at the Museum knew Bora and Anton well from Science Online holding a reception at the museum in 2012. It didn’t hurt that they’re both the most famous science communicators in the Triangle.

So now thanks in part to Anton, Bora, and David my professional course has converged with Science communication the raison d’être of Science Online. I spend my days and nights working and planning how to promote science discovery and education. I love it!

How did this happen? First I’d like to thank Science Online. Without it’s community I wouldn’t have this awesome job. Fundamentally it’s because I participated in a social network. I connected both virtually and physically to great people, first by Blogging, then unconferences, and also Twitter. All of these things kept me close to people who love to connect others. In this way the old maximum that “It’s who you know” is so true. But not in a good old boy way but in the best example of “Love your neighbor as yourself”.

Thank you so much Anton and Bora. My family and I are so fortunate to know you.

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