The Ecological problems of the 21st Century require us to work with tremendous intellectual speed and agility. But science is slow. Plodding. Methodical. We are all striving for the next great idea or solution. Most often, we find those ideas in a conversation. But whom do you talk to everyday about your science? Your colleagues, grad students, and postdocs? Maybe you drop an email to a collaborator. Maybe you even pick up the phone. This is not enough. Online, the past decade has witnessed an explosion of activity. The growth of science online is accelerating the pace of discovery, communication, review, and collaboration for Scientists across disciplines. I will discuss how four sets of tools: Blogs, Twitter, Crowdfunding, and Open Collaboration sites are changing the pace of Science. I will highlight where Ecologists have been in the vanguard, and where we are being left behind.
I show the increasing growth of ecologists using online tools. To emphasize their utility, I will present examples of 1) the discussions normally confined to the hallways of scientific meetings that now take place every day online and 2) how online outlets speed the dissemination of new tools and techniques. I will also introduce attendees to the discussions happening in real time at #ESA2012. I will show how an online presence translates to increased funding for new research projects using data from the #SciFund challenge. Last, I will provide examples of how other scientific disciplines are using online tools to accelerate discovery, review, and publication and highlight where we Ecology may be missing out.