So there’s a lot going on in the science blogosphere right now. New blogging networks are launching, conferences are coming up, and there’s a ton of great writing getting published every day. Let’s get right into it.
Science Online 2011: Introducing the Participants. Bora Zivkovic is one of the organizers of the largest science blogging conference in the world. The fifth installment of this conference happens in mid-January, and Bora is already introducing the participants to his readers. (Darlene Cavalier will be moderating a panel discussion on how federal government agencies are opening data to the public and how bloggers can get in on the action.) Many of the people he’s highlighting have been featured in the weekly roundup – check it out.
Good for something: tracking social influence through Farmville. I have to admit I’m not a Facebook game kind of guy, but lots of people are, and Farmville is one of the most popular. John Timmer at Ars Technica;s Nobel Intent reports on some research that suggests a “magic number” of sorts for social influences to start having an effect on people – the researchers pegged it at 55 downloads a day. If you’re in the PR biz and you’re trying to figure out what makes something “go viral,” this should be interesting to you.
The Actor’s Memory: An Interview with Ken Baumann. Steve Silberman over at PLoS Blogs’ Neuro Tribes looks at “how actors do it” – memorize script after script and convey a character convincingly on a regular basis. And he gets to talk to the star of ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
Who’s smarter – You or an NFL Quarterback? Pro football fanatics know most draft prospects are asked to take the Wonderlic aptitude test, possibly to assess their quick-thinking skills. The blogger at Omni brain took a short version of the test (published by the Christian Science Monitor) and gives his quick reaction. Take it, too – compare your score to Tom Brady’s or Peyton Manning’s. Pssst: we’re working on something similar for SciCheer. You’ll love it.