It’s time for all you to set your goals for this year we’re starting. Let me add one to your to-do list:

Have a strong presence online!!!!

This goal has four big advantages over any other goal you may have set to accomplish this year:

  1. It’s simple
  2. It’s completely up to you (so no reviewers to blame for)
  3. It can have the biggest impact ever on your research career
  4. It helps in our common goal of bringing research closer to society

I don’t think any of you will oppose to items number 1,2 and 4 in the list. You may disagree with number 3. To be perfectly honest, I don’t have any scientific data to back it up so this is just a personal opinion.

As you may be aware (or suffer 🙂 ) already, I’m quite active in a variety of social networks and I do believe the people I’ve known and interacted with in those networks have made a difference with respect to other colleagues when it comes to attracting people to the team, taking some roles in conferences, getting more citations thanks to people being more aware of my published papers,…

Obviously, you will not just choose me over others because I have more followers on Twitter but in a world where there is so many bright people, everything counts.

Let me just give you an example. As I wrote about in a past post, creating a slideshare account and uploading your paper presentations there will help your work reach all the people that won’t be sitting there in the conference room listening to your presentation.

I’ve over 90000 views on my slides there. Again, I will never know what impact these 90K views are having in my career but is undeniable that reaching this potential audience (instead of the few hundreds of people that have seen me presenting those same works, life in a conference) is not going to hurt you and basically costs zero since you have to prepare them to present your work in the conference anyway.

I’ll just finish with a quote from the Team Geek book:

The problem is that genius is such a commodity these days that it’s not acceptable to be an eccentric any more

and today part of not being eccentric means being active where life happens. And like it or not, nowadays life happens online.