The immediate and wide-ranging power of Twitter – discussion with Vaughn Bell and others on fMRI

I’ve only started using Twitter reasonably recently, but I’m finding that it’s very quickly become a near-essential part of my daily online routine, and I’d urge anyone who has a modicum of curiosity to give it a serious try. The ability to connect nigh-instantly to people around the world who share similar interests and occupations is incredible, and the 140-character limit is rarely too limiting once you get used to it. In fact, I’m constantly amazed at the high level of discussion which can be conducted within such a constraint.

As an example, this weekend there was an article in the Observer on fMRI by Vaughan Bell of Mindhacks fame. As i blearily groped my way through my regular Sunday morning routine of a cup of tea followed by several espressos, I was also engaged in an interesting debate about the article with the author (@vaughnbell), Chris Chambers (@chrisdc77), Tom Hartley (@tom_hartley), David Dobbs (@David_Dobbs) and a few others. The discussion was very kindly storify-ed for posterity by @creiner, and you can read it here.

I can’t think of any other way in which this discussion could have happened. I’ve never met Vaughn, or any of the other participants for that matter, and would have no direct way of contacting him/them otherwise. The great power of twitter (for me, anyway) is enabling groups of specialists like this to discuss in a public forum where anyone can chip in. If you’ve been on the fence about Twitter for a while, I urge you to give it a try – the more people who are active users, the richer the discussions will be!


PS. More additional thoughts on the original article can also be found on this blogpost.

PPS. Tom Hartley has also just posted up a fantastic discussion related to the same issues on his blog too.


Posted on May 28, 2012, in Commentary, Experimental techniques, Internet, Neuroimaging and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. And, you know, another cool part is to actually follow those discussions, even when you don’t directly participate. I really enjoyed it.

  2. Twitter is fantastic for this sort of thing, and increasingly useful and important in my work.

    In many cases the best discussions span twitter and blog posts/newspaper articles. For an even better neuroimaging discussion look at this one carried on in comments to @danielbor’s blog which includes many of the leading scientists in the field.

  3. I expect you’ll receive a pingback anyway, but in case not: I’ve nominated you for a Reader Appreciation Award in recognition of your very interesting blog 🙂 As a programmer/business analyst turned psychology student I find your content particularly interesting!

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