08 November, 2012

Real chemistry. Time.

"Quantity not quality. (We'll see how long this lasts, but everyone knows the most annoying type of blog is one not regularly updated)"
Post 1 MarvinTheFish blog
Yeah so that didn't happen! Let's move on and not learn from it and be embarrassed about it again in a few months' time.

Here we are in November and yesterday was #RealTimeChem day. I had a lot of fun following this hashtag on twitter, as well as showing people some of what I do during the week (don't do labwork on weekends these days). You can see what I was up to on my twitter. I made quite a few new "twitter friends" like @AzaPrins @Doctor_Galactic, @JessTheChemist and of course @RealTimeChem, among others. @ChemistryWorld quoted one of my tweets on their blog. It was the first time I felt the full power of this twitter-malarky, getting retweets, and people favouring my pictures. Also, some of my original followers and real-life friends got involved, responding enthusiastically to the #realtimechem event! I'll allow @Doctor_Galactic to explain the origins of the event. I recommend you go read his blog if you're interested :http://doctorgalacticandthelabcoatcowboy.wordpress.com/

Who invented #RealTimeChem?
Certainly not me. However, I have been participating for a while on an off in doing some #RealTimeChem tweets. I believe that the inventor was @azmanam who was trying to determine what was in Lemishine and happened to tweet his results using, and @JessTheChemist produced a storify page to follow all the RealTimeChem that happened. Since then it has caught on a many others have joined in to tweet their chemical reactions in real time using the same hash tag.

I was slightly concerned with IP issues, tweeting my actions live during the day and the (remote) possibility of being retweeted around the world. Even tweeting at work is frowned upon, with work WiFi not allowing it, and twitter.com blocked on PCs. When my phone told me that I had been quoted in a CW blog post, I imagined my colleagues reading it and pointing out obvious IP issues that I hadn't seen! It worked out fine though and I think the images and words I posted were fairly generic, and not something I wouldn't tell strangers anyway. Again, @Doctor_Galactic :

What do I have to do to join in? What should I tweet?
To join in you simply have to tweet about your day in your particular field of chemistry using the hashtag #RealTimeChem to show that it is part of the event.
Incidentally, pictures of your day (such as great looking experiments) are most welcome. Obviously, only take pictures of things you are allowed to show, we understand some chemistry must be shrouded in secrecy.

Overall #realtimechem was fun, and valuable for connecting chemists around the world. It gave me the sense of belonging to a community. People doing similar things (and more interesting things!) to me, using the same equipment as me. Looking forward to next year.

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