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.