Since joining this course I have started to think more deeply about my identity as a researcher, and about how I want to communicate that identity to others. It seems that building an online identity is something that can be done in haste, only to be repented of at leisure.
In particular, there’s Twitter. I had never had anything to do with twitter before now. To be honest, I could not see the point of it. However, since signing up, I’ve discovered a whole new world of information, both good and bad. But more excitingly I’ve discovered a whole new world of possible contacts and networks to join. For instance, today I signed up for an online Shut Up and Write group hosted by an academic in Brisbane, for academic writers who wanted some encouragement to focus, and some support from others. This is well beyond anything I had expected to find on Twitter, which I had previously suspected was exclusively populated by celebrity watchers and trolls!!
But this whole new world raises two (at least) things to consider. The first is the issue of identity. How do I want to present myself; who do I want these other people to see? In the 23 Things blog, Thinking about Ideas, Suzanne talks about story – the things we include and the things we omit. I realise she’s not really talking about our personal stories, but I think what she says can be extended to that. For example: a couple of years ago I organised a meeting for Faculty of Ed postgrads, with a well-known guest speaker. We had such a high turnout, and so many responses from people who couldn’t make it but wanted to see it, that we asked permission to film the presentation and put it on the closed PGSA Facebook page. Permission was duly granted (and of course we had to get consent from everyone who attended just in case the back of their head featured in the film, but that’s a whole other story). However, we were then asked NOT to put the film up online, because it didn’t fit with the online presence the speaker was developing. That was my first encounter with this issue.
The second thing to consider is this question of curating content. Because I have spent a lot of time lately drowning in content, seeing things that interest me and then not being able to find them again. So I’m really keen to try out some of the tools recommended in thing 10. However, I’m going to have to wait. Time is short and deadlines are pressing!
In the meantime, I’m a bit unsure about how to create a link to another blog, so I’m going to reblog it in full.
I already have an account with both LinkedIn and Academia.edu but I’m not sure what their value is to me at the moment.
I joined LinkedIn mainly to keep my daughter happy (she works in Recruiting and uses LinkedIn every day as part of her work). So far I’ve enjoyed setting up my profile and making connections with people I already know, but otherwise I’m maintaining an attitude of wait and see about it. I’ve worked through the suggestions about the 5 things you probably aren’t doing with your LinkedIn account (I wasn’t doing any of them) and I’m trying to make the suggested changes. I still have to think of some wickedly catchy headline!
I agree with the John Naughton article that LinkedIn is mainly associated in my mind with finding a job. I’m not in that position at the moment, and I haven’t really thought before about how i could use it to increase my profile as a researcher, or develop a professional network around discussion of ideas. So in light of the readings for this week I’ve joined a couple of groups from the list of suggestions, and I’ll try and make the effort to join the online discussions to become a participating member of the groups I belong to, rather than just a silent watcher.
As for Academia.edu – I joined that in order to get access to an academic paper I wanted to read. I currently have no idea how to use that particular site, and so my account just sits there. I think it might be staying dormant for the foreseeable future.
I’m interested to hear how others use/view these sites. As I said at the beginning of this course, I’ve never really ‘done’ social media, so perhaps I don’t appreciate the possibilities. I think the best way to really learn about them would be to hear other people’s stories.
How do I organise my reading? The short answer is not well enough! Not only do I suffer from what has been called Obsessive Article Download Syndrome, I may also suffer from the related Obsessive Alert Subscription Disorder. Altogether, the prognosis is poor.
I use Feedly on my laptop at home as a way of receiving journal alerts. It works well with Firefox, it’s very efficient and tidy, and it presents lots of information in a well organised manner. I just need to remember to look at it! However, it only acts as an alert. If I see an article I’m interested in I have to access it separately through the Library website. And while that’s not a problem, it might be quicker for me just to search my favourite list of journals once a month through the library.
Thing 4 makes me think of a Dr Seuss character! I’m hoping that these things are as much fun as the friends in the Cat in the Hat, but that they cause slightly less chaos in my life 🙂
I’ve already mentioned that I follow the blog Patter. I am also a fan of the Thesis Whisperer: http://thesiswhisperer.com/
I’ve been following this blog since I started my M.Ed (so a number of years now). Not only does it contain a wealth of practical advice on the student researcher life and process, it’s also entertaining. I have been known to laugh out loud at times when reading it – so perhaps it’s not entirely suitable for a serious and silent workplace!
As a further recommendation, I really like the way the author, Inger Mewburn, writes. She has a relaxed-without-being-too-informal style that I enjoy reading. If you haven’t already discovered this particular blog, then check it out. Meanwhile, I am going to check out some of the others recommended in Thing 4. At the very least I expect them to provide me with some further tools for procrastination.