Universities need to take responsibility for communications infrastructure

I’ve written a piece for Research Professional. It’s currently behind a paywall but they’ve promised me this will be removed in a few days:

While there is a real potential for a more sustainable social infrastructure for scholarship through platforms like Mastodon, it will require a careful approach that looks beyond the existing horizon of research communications. Unfortunately, the tendency to regard social media as a trivial feature of academic life means such leadership has long been lacking. 

In its absence, academics have been driven into the arms of corporate platforms not fit for purpose and encouraged to think narrowly in terms of their individual careers rather than the communal purposes being served by digital engagement within the sector. Unless universities, research councils and learned societies begin to intervene in these spaces in a strategic manner, it is likely we will see this dynamic repeated. And if the critical mass of academics that coalesced on Twitter during the 2010s begins to disperse across a range of platforms then the communications infrastructure of the sector will be left in an even worse place than it is at present.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.