Monthly Archives: October 2009

Which cities are the friendliest?

I recently conducted a poll on my FaceBook to ask people which cities they think are the friendliest.  These are the names that came up:  Cuenca, Ecuador; Toronto; Vancouver, BC; Chicago; Manchester, England; and Texas.  Of course Texas is a state and not a city, but I have heard that on a whole the people are very friendly from there.  I decided to create a list of factors that I feel a city should rate high on in order to be considered friendly.  Let me know what you think!

  1. How members most in need are treated (i.e. poor, sick, elderly, disabled, homeless etc.)
  2. How well strangers treat each other
  3. The number of community programs and groups (i.e. Meetup groups, local bands, not-for-profit groups)
  4. How well new-comers to the city are treated
  5. The number of open spaces, including parks and bike paths
  6. Accessibility to the downtown core, including parking rates
  7. Efficiency and ease of the public transportation system
  8. The number and size of festivals
  9. Is the city kid and family friendly?
  10. Affordability of housing

Please add to the list if you can think of anymore points, and let me know which cities you think are the friendliest.

An Overview of the Nature Network

Lately, I’ve been feeling really excited about the concept of Science 2.0. I feel that science is at its best when it is discussed and shared with everyone. Because after all, what is science, without a discussion of ideas?

The Nature Network is social networking for scientists, and has a similar look and feel to MySpace. I like the layout of this site, as it is very intuitive to use, and has some useful features such as “most popular tags,” “most commented blog posts” and “recently active people.”

Below, I give an overview of how to get started, and what you will find in some areas of the site.

Simply go to the homepage and sign up to become a member using the orange Sign Up link a the far right.

Create your profile and add information about your background and current projects.

The site explains that once you are signed up, you can:

  • post comments in discussion forums
  • list your events
  • join groups
  • create your profile and personal network
  • create your own blog


    • When creating your profile, you are asked to enter tags (or keywords) describing your interests.
    • This is very useful because the Nature Network uses those tags to find like-minded folks that you can connect with (i.e. add to your network).
    • You can also check to see if the tags you entered are rising or falling in popularity or staying steady.
    • To see if your tags are rising or falling in popularity, click on the Tags tab at the top right.
    • There is also a display of popular tags in the forums area

Home Page:

The Home Page is also great, as you can see:

      • Most commented blog posts (increase your popularity within the community)
      • Most active forums (view and join)
      • Recently active people


      • To add people to your network, simply click on the People link and use the search box at the far right, or look at user profiles under the headings “Recently active users,” “Newest members,” or “Similar people”
      • The profiles shown under “Similar people” are based on the tags you entered, and helps you to find like-minded people
      • You can click on the Network link to see who’s in your network and who has you in their network
      • One suggestion I have for this site is to add a “who’s viewed me” link so you can see who has viewed your profile


You can also join a Hub:

      • As explained on the site, a hub is an area of the world with a thriving scientific community (so far, NY, Boston, London)
      • Special sites are set up for these hubs, which helps to support local collaborations


      • If you click on the Forums link, you will find some useful headings: popular topics, featured topics, popular tags, and popular forums

Overall, I really like the look and feel of this site. It is very user-friendly and should help to aid communication among scientists and members of the general public who are interested in science. I see this as a very positive thing!