Getting started with social media – some thoughts for a talk I’m doing next week

I think social media is becoming increasingly integral to academic life & will only continue to be so –  reasons include the increasing centrality of the digital in wider society, the impact agenda, precarious academic labour and the individualization of professional  identity, normalization… I think a minimal online presence is pretty much essential at this stage and with the partial exception of the google ranking conferred by a university domain I don’t think there’s much point in using institutionally embedded services – this isn’t a criticism of them per se, it’s just that the model is becoming less and less relevant.

But this doesn’t have to be particularly onerous – it’s just a case of ensuring visibility and retaining access to online networks through which increasing amounts of professionally relevant information flows i.e. use social media enough to allow relevant people to find you and for you to be able to find relevant people and information. This can be done pretty succesfully with an profile & occasionally updating a twitter feed.

Sign up to twitter, go to the LSE Impact Blog and find the academic twitter lists, follow everyone you think looks interesting. Follow any friends/colleagues you know on twitter – there’s over 10 million users in UK now so there will be people you know. Then just share… say what you’re working on and what you’re interested in. Share ideas. Share papers and books you’ve found interesting. Share information about events. Get the app and use it on mobile devices. Using twitter really doesn’t involve anything like the time commitment which you might expect at the outset.


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