Bora Zivkovic is telling the scientists here how to make social media work for them. His big point is that there’s no longer a relevant difference between blogs and traditional media – the war between blogs and print journalists is over. The existence of quacks on blogs doesn’t invalidate the enterprise of good bloggers, any more than Fox News invalidates TV journalism or the Washington Times invalidates the New York Times. In any media, you choose your sources based on their expertise and their track record.
He isn’t mentioning this here, but that’s the basic response to Matt Nisbet’s anti-pseudonymy. True anonymity may well make dialogue impossible, but it’s false to claim “if you can’t participate in a dialogue about issues without using your full name and true identity, then what you have to say is probably not that valuable.” Your full name is irrelevant to the quality of your ideas, and if your professional qualifications to comment on an issue are not evident from what you say, then who cares? And Matt knows this, because he’s taken part in peer review, where his own anonymous comments are either accepted or ignored by authors on the basis of their own quality, and where papers he’s reviewed have had author information removed to ensure that he engages their ideas, not the authors’ identities.
The internet is all about peer review, and the trick is to have good systems for filtering and managing data.
Bora touched on those issues by mentioning the way he filters his 3000 Twitter friends through sites like Twitter Times. The first question touches on this issue as well, asking about time management. Bora responds that, yes, you have to manage your time, but that Twitter is the fastest way to get information, and in ten years, Twitter will be as common in science labs as email is now.