Digital Public Sociology at #BritSoc14

It was interesting to follow the #BritSoc14 tweeting last week. The quality and quantity of the live tweeting was quite striking relative to previous conferences. Not surprisingly, it was the digital sociology sessions that provoked the most live tweeting. If Twitter is a reliable guide, which it probably isn’t, digital sociology seemed to be one of the most high profile topics at the conference. I was a bit dismayed to have missed the session I organised on Digital Public Sociology but thankfully Huw Davies recorded the talks:

I’m not sure if ‘Digital Public Sociology’ is a useful expression. But it’s how I’ve come to think of a topic that’s been one of my main interests ever since the first year of my PhD when I encountered Pierre Bourdieu’s public sociology at the same time as I was starting to see the academic relevance of blogging (which had long been a fairly directionless hobby of mine). There was a great day at Warwick, organised by Michelle Kempson and Lucy Mayblin, called the Politics of Sociology which helped connect these things in my mind. But I’m finding ‘digital public sociology’ useful because it’s the first time I’ve been able to articulate my interest in a way that doesn’t feel reductive, having formerly found myself saying rather sheepishly “er I’m interesting in sociologists blogging and tweeting and stuff”.

Edited to add: the disparity in the stats between the three talks is really striking. I hadn’t actually thought about the running order (I just added them in the order I uploaded the files) but it does seem as if Deborah’s talk is much more visible as a consequence of being first in the playlist.

3 responses to “Digital Public Sociology at #BritSoc14”

  1. And the quality of the tweeting I think is in part due to you! Much of what I learned and have refined came from listening and talking to you at the 2012 BSA conference.

    The more people read and the gage with live tweets, the more they develop their ‘craft’ and I do believe it is a craft. If you remember back 2 years, a large % of the tweets came from you so a lot of good practice has evolved out of the hard work you put in.

  2. cheers jon, that’s very nice of you to say 🙂 it’s a more helpful way to look at it, as opposed to “damn why did twitter take off with the bsa just as I quit it?” which is how I’ve tended to look at it since the conference…

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