NHGRI and Social Media

December 2, 2014

Social media is a powerful tool. NHGRI's social media presence has grown substantially over the last few years, increasing our capacity to reach relevant public and scientific communities. In doing so, the Institute has emerged as a leader at the NIH in stimulating and coordinating the use of social media. We post information about leading-edge research findings, scientific presentations, and numerous announcements on genome.gov, and advertise and further disseminate that information via social media sites- GenomeTV, Facebook, and Twitter- on a daily basis. These sites are essential for keeping the public, grantees, researchers, and staff abreast of exciting genomic advances happening and relevant information about NHGRI.

Social Media

The Institute's website, genome.gov, is our primary portal to the world. We constantly update this site with new content and stories about NHGRI funding initiatives, programs, and events. Genome.gov also hosts unique resources, such as GenomeTV, the Genome Advance of the Month, the Talking Genetics GlossaryGenomic Careers, the Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) Catalog, and links to the Genetics/Genomics Competency Center (G2C2), the Global Genetics and Genomics Community (G3C), and many others.

We leverage and promote new genome.gov content via three Facebook pages- NHGRI (genome.gov), National DNA Day, and Genome: Unlocking Life's Code (ULC). NHGRI staff members post information about research findings from NHGRI and its grantees, other NIH Institutes/Centers, and noteworthy genomics news. This month, the NHGRI Facebook page reached over 66,000 likes, and that number is growing each day. Our National DNA Day page focuses mainly on promoting the various National DNA Day activities, and has reached nearly 30,000 likes. Our newest Facebook page, Genome: Unlocking Life's Code, was just launched this year, and focuses on events associated with the NHGRI-Smithsonian exhibition.

NHGRI Facebook page cover

NHGRI also hosts three primary Twitter accounts, with staff members 'tweeting' from various events and meetings on behalf of the Institute. Our primary Twitter handle is @genome_gov (twitter.com/genome_gov) with over 13,000 followers. Numerous individual NHGRI programs have Twitter handles, including H3Africa (twitter.com/ h3africa), the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (twitter.com/ENCODE_NIH), the Clinical Sequencing Exploratory Research Consortium (twitter.com/hail_CSER), and the Centers for Mendelian Genomics (twitter.com/solvemendelian).

Our most extensive and frequently used social media tool is our YouTube channel, GenomeTV. This channel now comprises a collection that includes nearly 1,000 videos- from lectures and news documentaries to full video collections of major genomics meetings. GenomeTV has over 10,000 subscribers, and its videos have collectively been viewed over 1.7 million times. I am proud to say that one of our most popular videos is "How to extract DNA from strawberries" that starred Dr. Carla Easter (Deputy Chief of NHGRI's Education and Community Involvement Branch), with me as her sidekick. Through this video, Carla was instrumental in increasing my overall YouTube 'hit number'!

GenomeTV page screenshot

Recently, we began pairing our GenomeTV live webcasts with Twitter to create new ways to engage virtual participants and enhance our meetings and conferences through active, remote participation in the discussion. This past July, NHGRI hosted the "Future Opportunities for Genome Sequencing and Beyond" workshop and broadcasted the proceedings live. During the two-day meeting, more than 230 virtual participants tweeted over 700 times using the hashtag #GSPfuture. The powerful combination of these two technologies extended our reach to those not able to join the meeting in person and enriched the discussion about a core area of our research portfolio.

Our next GenomeTV live broadcast will occur on Monday, February 9, 2015, covering the open session of the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research (NACHGR) meeting. Please visit genome.gov/10000905/national-advisory-council-for-human-genome-research/ for further details. We hope you can join us virtually!

Posted: January 6, 2015

Last updated: January 06, 2015