Monday, March 06, 2006

Marketing and science

I just spent 48 minutes seeing this video where Seth Godin spoke to Google about marketing. He talks a lot about how it is important to put out products that have a story, that compels people to go and tell their friends. This type of networking marketing is usually referred to as viral marketing (related to memetics). It is a really nice talk (he knows how to sell his ideas :) and it got me thinking of marketing in science.

The number of journals and publications keep growing at a fast pace. Out of curiosity I took from pubmed the number of publications published every year for the past decade and we can clearly see that the trend for the near future is, if anything, for further acceleration in the rate of publication.

The other important point is that internet is probably changing the impact that an individual paper might have, irrespective of where it is published. It is easier with internet, for word-of-mouth (meaning emails, blogs, forums,etc) to raise awareness to good or controversial work than before.
So what I am getting at is that, on one hand the internet will likely help individual publications to get their deserved attention but on the other hand it will increase the importance of marketing in science. Before, to have attention, your work needed to be published in journals that were available in the libraries, now and I suspect, increasingly so in the future, you will have to have people talking about your work so that it raises above the thousands of publications published every year. It is too soon to say for sure what I prefer.