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TalkingNutrition

Providing perspectives on recent research into vitamins and nutritionals

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Milestone: Our History in Posting this 1000th Blog

By Michael McBurney and Julia Bird

Today, TalkingNutrition posts its 1000th blog. Let’s take a moment to reflect on our history. After months of practice behind the DSM firewall, the TalkingNutrition blog was launched in the real world on July 5, 2010.

On August 9, 2010, @DSMNutrition was created. Twitter has been a great way to share TalkingNutrition posts, to interact in real-time with readers, and to live tweet from scientific meetings. Today, @DSMNutrition has almost reached its 5,000 follower milestone. We are very proud that many of our followers are key opinion leaders in nutrition, dietetics, and science communications.

For the first 9 months, Michael (@mimcburney) wrote the blogs singlehandedly. With frequent travel, it wasn’t practical or sustainable for one person.  It was a tremendous boost (for me and our readers) when Julia Bird (@juliakbird) began adding new content on April 4, 2011. As we interacted via twitter, it became apparent that a Facebook page would be complementary. Our Facebook fan page, https://www.facebook.com/TalkingNutritionDSM, was launched July 19, 2011. 

There have been behind-the-scenes activities too! RSS feed readers have been an important tool to identify newly published papers and to select our ‘main citation’ for each blog post. When the Google readers was discontinued, after a thorough search, we began using G2 Reader in July, 2013. This transition coincided with a DSM-wide decision to switch from the Web Content Management to the Adobe CQ5 platform. The bad news was that 3 years of content had to be migrated. The good news was a system with greater flexibility, faster loading times, and a shiny new look. On Oct 1, 2013, the email subscription feature of CQ5 was finally enabled. As we had realized for some time that many potential readers were not using RSS feeds, Twitter or Facebook, our wish for an email subscription service was finally granted.

In August 2014, TalkingNutrition added its 3rd writer, Eric Ciappio. Now, there is a team of 3 scientists bringing perspectives on emerging nutrition research pertaining to vitamins, carotenoids, omega-3s and nutritional ingredients. And for the team, a simpler tool to identify the contributing author.

Some TalkingNutrition highlights. The map on the website accentuates the location of readers from around the world. Our busiest day ever was May 15, 2014, and we have been seeing steady growth in readership since our early days.

Key milestone posts were: # 250: CDC report identifies global public health achievements this decade, # 500: High dose vitamin B12 supplementation cures deficiency in rural Mexican women, but highlights need for balanced nutrition, and # 750: Eating healthy in zero gravity: Nutrition during space flight.

The most read blog Controversy in the measurement of vitamin B12 levels was written by Julia. As she says, “This is evidence that controversy sells, even in nutrition science!

Finally, thank you to all our to readers and supporters. In particular, we acknowledge our first follower @MJLevinePhD who is still a loyal follower. Thanks to @nutritionorg and the editorial boards responsible for reviewing and publishing the science we write about. The support of those with common nutrition interests (@FutureFortified, @ThousandDays, @GAINAlliance, @micronutrient, @VitaminAngels, @zerohunger, @CRN_Supplements, @GOEDomega3 and @WannaBeWell), those who regularly share our content (@john_siracusa, @DoctorEndocrine, @ftissandier, @jody_moroz, @eurogene, @magarya, @regan_bailey_, @Scarlett05, @thevitaguys, @amythorlin, @queenBTwelve, @brucemoorebrown, @CurtisCNS, and @mauricebloem), and our DSM family (@DSM, @SightandLife, @Nutri_facts_eng, @DSMFeedTweet, @Fortitech, @DSMHealth, and @QFLPhilippines) is appreciated. The list of those deserving mention goes beyond these few. Apologies for not mentioning everyone.

To all of you who read, retweet, favor, and share our content, thanks!


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TalkingNutrition is remarkable in that the voice of real nutrition scientists is heard. Congratulations Michael, Julia and Eric for being pioneering scientists leading the way in dialogue through social media and to Michael for the vision to start-it-up and the tenacity to stay-with-it.
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