Research and Media Network

Bringing people together to improve communication of research findings

The good news is that the search function should be much better from mid-July onwards. And by August, the network will have a new Groups function. This will allow members to join groups within the network based on their country, field of interest, activity (journalist / press officer, for instance), language. These moves should make it much easier for people to find contacts and share information. If you have any other suggestions for improving this network, please share them and I will pass them on to the developers.

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Mike, I do appreciate this idea of allowing members to join groups based on their own country. But if we could further categorize these into topics like Environment, Health, Development etc. that would add the value. What do you think!!

In addition, if we can also include somewhere worldwide News, information on Grants, conferences, workshops, media training, job opportunities etc. related to research and communication that would make this website more dynamic.

External links to Science communications/Journalism organization/research institutions is the other way to expand this network.

Look forward for the positive steps

Great work!!
Keep it up

Hi Ashaq

Thanks for writing. We are thinking along the same lines about the groups - we can have groups for topics such as climate change, health, science policy and more. I have already started a list of external links to other organisations, etc. The three newest links appear under the map on the main page, and you can find the full list here:

Best wishes
Hi Mike,

The Short and Medium Term Priority Environmental Action Program has created, as one of its activities, a clearing house on environmental and sustainable development acitvities, projects, data etc... from 10 countries in the mediterranean region, basically the southern and eastern basisn up to Turkey except Libya but including Jordan. The clearing house is work in progress but has a lot of info already. It might be interesting to create a link. go to clearing house tab.

Thanks Charbel - I added that link to the social bookmarks:
The Ministry of Environment in Lebanon did an excellent initiative close to what you need. They found out that the press had only one source of information on all topics related to environment. They accordingly published a guide book for specialists in different fields of environment that they distributed to Jounalists. You can get in touch with them at or 00 961 1 976 555.

It would be an intresting initiative to copy

Hi Mike,

something you could incorporate now to address the demand for news, research etc. is a clip roll - I'm not sure if anyone on this site uses clipmarks - it allows you to highlight relevant bits of a page then post it to your profile or group. You can see my profile here:

If people tag their relevant clips with, say, 'researchmedianetwork', you can then create a cliproll from for the network, and just paste the code in a Ning textbox.

I think this is much nicer than just bookmarking pages, particularly since given our expertise, I trust our network members to make good editorial decisions about which bits of pages are most relevant for us!

Let me know if you want me to set it up for you - all you'd need to do is add the code (and hopefully get more people than just you and me contributing).
I am still struggling to find specific groups addressing specific issues. Could we do something to segregate?
Hi Swapnil
The groups function will be ready soon. Then members will be able to join as many separate groups as they like and have more focussed conversations.

Thanks Mike for all your efforts. I like the thematic groups more than the country group as we need to facilitate exchange between countries and experiences as well as having more focussed discussions. In addition to technical thematic groups some groups can be created for various media means (press, TV. Radio, online, blogs, etc..) since each media outlat is becoming to have special challenges and features.
Mike; Setting up the groups function is a great idea, however I think it would be important to avoid the bifurcation of the network. Growing extensions/divisions organically has worked best, in my experience. Rather than building in a structure and populating the new structure later with ideas, I think that it would be good to allow discussions to grow specific in country, interest or activity areas and then spawn off groups when there is enough energy in them to sustain themselves as groups.
I am a new member and found Ning via a Google Alert that linked me to

Congratulations Mike for the service and I like it. Thanks for making it available.

Just a couple of starter's hurdles:
(i) I did experienced slow connection and display for some pages. My concern is for those in countries where connections are already slow. If I experience this in Sweden, it would probably be slower in some other countries. I remember when I was at Makerere University in Kampala, opening a web page sometimes would take time and I would doing something else (like taking a "walk") while waiting for the page to appear. I do like to see a lot of images but wonder if the size of images that Ning permits has something to do with the ocassional slowness (that I have experienced).

(ii) GROUP, FORUM, DISCUSSION have been used to mean different things but may be used by a person to mean something else. I manage a webforum (DRUPAL) at . At DRUPAL, the top level term in the "taxonomy" is "Forum Group" which is a group of forums (under a broad subject area, e.g. "Water", or a working group with several forums, etc.). Each Forum may have one or more discussion topics that any participants can initiate and which then leads to their discussion threads. Yahoo and Google use just one term "Group" which means "forum" at DRUPAL.
Suggestion: Maybe Ning needs a glossary for some of the terms it uses.

jacky foo
Can you develop tips on how best we can conduct ourselves on such a social network? Elsewhere, I am observing the documentation of good practices for bloggers. Not long ago, you needed to carry a "fire gun" to enter a glogsphere. There has been a lot of learning in that field and things have improved a great deal. For example, the Guardian offers excellent good tips to its bloggers. I think you would make important contributions if you could help compile tips for good social networking. Being part of this network is wonderful learning opportunity for me and I appreciate the time you are putting into making it work.
Best regards,



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