In recent years, we have seen an explosion of social media activity within the university. In some ways, this isn’t a surprise, with students leading the way in social media becoming a ubiquitous part of everyday life. It’s also not a surprise that this has led universities to increasingly see social media as an important part of their recruitment and engagement, leading to widespread use in communications and student affairs. What is perhaps more surprising is how faculty have taken to social media, both to talk among themselves and to engage with wider publics beyond the academy.
I wrote in late 2019 about why I was deleting my personal Twitter account. This extract from Casey Newton’s newsletter perfectly captures my experience without the academic jargon I was leaning on to articulate it. My experience was that you either bleed time and energy into this dynamic or you feel like an asshole for ignoring people who misunderstand you.
Social media has gone from fringe to mainstream in higher education within the last decade. A culture has developed around it which shapes how it is used by academics and how that use is evaluated. However a range of problems are emerging which that culture is proving unable to address. I explore these problems and suggest how we could reorientate social media culture within universities and why this is necessary.
It distresses me how easily this can be explained in the terms of 00s cyberutopianism. Does Zoom somehow encourage racist attacks? Or does it simply lower the transaction costs sufficiently that scores of racists not quite motivated enough to attack physical events are now willing to do so.
These are notes for Knowledge, Power, Politics students which I’m sharing in case they’re useful for other people The easiest starting point when planning a podcast is to identify podcasts which you’ve enjoyed. My favourite non-academic podcasts are QAnon Anonymous (a weird mix of citizen journalism, comedy and real time […]
I’m taking part in a panel at the European Consortium for Political Research tomorrow and I’ve been really impressed by their e-mail updates to participants. In effect there’s a daily newsletter with the following features: Invitations to share through a hashtag or six themed walls on their website Detailed guidance […]
In this fireside chat from the Australian National University’s Get #SoMe course, Mark Carrigan and Inger Mewburn discuss social media for academics, the challenges of digital scholarship and their significance when daily life is being transformed by Covid-19.
For a number of years I’ve believed we urgently need a conversation about social media governance within higher education. This is a general term for a range of mundane issues which emerge from the use of social media by those within the university (academics, students, support staff, managers etc) in […]
I was really pleased to discover that Sage have put this chapter from Social Media for Academics online. I’ve felt somewhat self-conscious that I deleted my Twitter account soon after publishing the second edition of a book about social media. But this chapter is what led me to the conclusion […]
This extract from Xavier de la Porte’s The Imposter: BHL in Wonderland reproduces a conference opening given by Derrida in which he drew attention to the new generation of philosophers who were being put forward as a consequence of the ‘techno-politics of telecommunications’. From loc 1809 of their book: There lies, […]
How has social media changed since the first edition of this book?
I wrote this as a contribution to the Society for Research Into Higher Education’s contribution to the ESRC Consultation on Leadership Development: The research literature suggests a significant minority of academics use social media as part of their working life, with social trends suggesting this number will only grow with […]
My notes on Rainford, J. (2016). Becoming a doctoral researcher in a digital world: Reflections on the role of Twitter for reflexivity and the internal conversation. E-Learning and Digital Media, 13(1-2), 99-105 In this paper Jon Rainford brings together two of my favourite things, the internal conversation and Twitter. He […]
What does it mean to take Twitter seriously as a form of intellectual production? This is the question I’ve been asking myself a lot in the last few weeks, as I start what I hope will be an extensive break from a platform I’ve been using daily for years. My […]
My notes on Bhola, S., & Hellyer, P. (2016). The risks and benefits of social media in dental foundation training. British dental journal, 221(10), 609. One of my main interests in recent years has been social media and professionalisation. Once these platforms become a routine feature of working life, it’s […]
I did an interview with Bec Crew from Nature Index recently and it featured in a series of articles: For scientists skittish about Twitter, here’s a plan 10 tips for tweeting research How academics should use Twitter
My notes on Boath, E., Vigurs, K., & Frangos, J. (2018). Twittering Away-Is twitter an appropriate adjunctive tool to enhance learning and engagement in Higher Education?. Innovative Practice in Higher Education, 3(2). Twitter has often be framed as a potential tool for teaching and learning. It can be used for […]
I often come out of meetings feeling that what we’ve been discussing is utterly transparent to me. I feel I hold the issue in my hands, seeing how the initial steps connect to a broader horizon of action. It couldn’t feel more straight forward. However partly for that reason, I […]
My notes on Rowlands, I., Nicholas, D., Russell, B., Canty, N., & Watkinson, A. (2011). Social media use in the research workflow. Learned Publishing, 24(3), 183-195. I was fascinated to stumble across this paper from 2011 which I’d somehow managed to miss in the past, reporting on a project funded by […]