This is a story of the promotion of mathematics and science through social networks, digital repositories and other Web 2.0 technologies. It began in August 2008 when I was inspired by the 1999 Cluetrain Manifesto, and wrote a discussion paper "Use the Cloud to Get a Clue", which I published as a PDF file on Scribd.com and later as a slide show "Openness and Social Networking" on Slideshare.net. To demonstrate the Creative Commons licenses, I threw together a quick presentation "The Cool Physics of Heat", and was surprised that it notched up almost 1000 views on Slideshare.net and 1400 views on Scribd.com, much more than any other document that I have released. I then focussed on my interest in mathematics (not my main subject), in particular blogging about it here, at http://cmcallister.vox.com/ on the free blogging service, Vox.com. I discovered an active niche social network, Mathematics24x7, on the Ning.com platform, where teachers and other academics were expressing their enthusiasm for maths. I participated in a weekly #mathchat Twitter conference (2am GMT Thursdays). That exchange inspired me to create a public wiki "Online Mathematics Access", about math markup as a tool for discussing mathematics online. There were failures too; my "Mirimatics" forum on Friendster.com stimulated absolutely no discussion. I added a Math Problem Solving group to Mathematics24x7, which is more successful, and attracted a dozen participants in as many days. My online activity is neither scientific research nor publishing, in the formal sense. However, it is still worthwhile, and involves the exchange of academic ideas with a network of new online acquaintances. It is promising that this discourse has grown, without being published in an academic journal, or having any research focus. The discussion has drifted across such diverse topics as the solution of geometric problems and the significance of colour in cognition, which someone "Liked" on Facebook. I'm simply writing about a subject that I enjoy, not striving to maximise page hits. The only metrics are the view count on my uploaded files, and a few red dots on the visitor map on my blog. I uploaded snapshots, of both the math markup wiki and this Vox.com blog, to Scribd.com, to make them more available. The online discourse is dynamic, refreshing, and involves a broad cross section of maths enthusiasts. We exercised teamwork in solving maths problems and discussed some new ideas. The discussions are linked to other networks too, including the Math, Math Education, Math Culture group on LinkedIn.com and a Mathematics community on Orkut.com.

This story is dedicated to the many individuals who are persecuted for publishing their ideas, a few of whom I mention on my blog at http://cmcallister.blog.friendster.com/.

**Links:**

Social network: http://mathematics24x7.ning.com/ created by Rashmi Kathuria

#mathchat, hosted weekly by Maria Droujkova at http://twitter.com/mariadroujkova

Math Markup wiki: http://onlinemathematicsaccess.wikispaces.com/

Math, Math Education, Math Culture, managed by Opher Liba, at http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=33207

Math 2.0 Interest Group, managed by by Maria Droujkova, at http://mathfuture.wikispaces.com/

well worth the read. thank you very much for taking the time to share with those who are starting on the subject. Greetings Biletul Zilei

Posted by: devmobdev | 02/22/2010 at 09:03 AM