Essay Contest: How has social media enhanced your research?

Social media is generally discouraged in science today. A recent article, "I'm a serious academic, not a professional Instagrammer" castigated scholars with active online social lives. Most advisors won't ask you to "tweet out our paper" or "write a blog post about our findings" and it's likely that you'd close Twitter or Reddit if your colleague or advisor walked by. Some conferences have taken it so far as to enforce a "no tweeting" policy. But social networking is here to stay and will likely become even more integrated into our lives and research.

AuthoreaThe Winnower, and Reddit (r/science) are teaming up to explore the role of social media in research and discovery. We want to hear from you, in essay form, AND give away over $2,000+ in prizes!

The essay prompt is as follows:

"How have social networking sites improved your research, outreach, and/or teaching process? What ways do you think it could improve and what are some cultural attitudes that you'd like to see change?