Thing No 5: Social media for researchers

I read Tim Hitchcock’s article: Twitter and blogs are not add-ons to academic research, but a simple reflection of the passion that underpins it. I like the way he talks about the use of Social media by researchers as a reflection of their passion for their subject area, and as a collaboration tool.

By building blogging, Twitter, flickr, and shared libraries in Zotero, in to our research programmes – into the way we work anyway – we both get more research done, and build a community of engaged readers for the work itself.  We can do what we have always done, but do it better; as a public performance, in dialogue amongst ourselves, and with a wider public.

The best (and most successful) academics  are the ones who are so caught up in the importance of their work, so caught up with their simple passion for a subject, that they publicise it with every breath. Twitter and blogs, and embarrassingly enthusiastic drunken conversations at parties, are not add-ons to academic research, but a simple reflection of the passion that underpins it.

I joined Facebook and Twitter I think as part of a Web 2.0 exercise a few years ago, and even though I find them annoying at times I like the way breaking news appears there first and you get immediate updates on all sorts of topics.

Thing No 4: File sharing

I hadn’t come across Cloudstor+ before and was very impressed at the amount of free storage available there – I’ve passed that info on to my partner who works at a university, does research and hadn’t heard of Cloudstor+ either. I’ve used Dropbox at another workplace and also to share videos and photos with friends. Another personal file sharing service I’ve used is Wetransfer You can transfer up to 2 GB free, good for photos or video clips and the receiver doesn’t need an account to open them.

Thing No 3: Collaboration tools

I’ve used both Powerpoint and Prezi for presentations in the past, but the key difference here is this one: being web-based, multiple people can log in to Prezi at the same time. Things have moved on since the early days using Powerpoint when we were excited by it’s ‘special effects’ – text dissolving and flashing in and out, didn’t take long to realise the message needs to be clear and simple without too many distractions!