We asked Twitter for pearls of wisdom to share with scholars who are just starting to craft their digital/public identity. Here’s what people shared:
Blogging about your research and activities is key. It helps develop a public record of your expertise. Investing in your own domain name is a good way to retain your digital presence and audience as you migrate through platforms and institutions.
— Leonardo Flores @Leonardo_UPRM
It’s not about what the internet can offer you but about what you can offer the internet. Best way to get followers is to produce good quality content that’s legible to the audience you want and to offer it regularly. Frame it in the positive.
— Christina Katopodis @nemersonian
Digital presence Is an asset, not a liability. Consistent presence and correlation is the key.
— Dommunity @dommunity
I have found Twitter to be a very useful place to occasionally criticize approaches/choices; to say “I think X is wrong.” Many people have said they appreciate those instances and critiques. I’m glad. But I don’t expect everyone to, & I think the reasons those threads work are complex. They include the fact that Twitter is *partly* a very informal platform, different than, say, a conference keynote. (Only partly though; Twitter conversations can have tremendous weight.) To that end, when I’m critiquing something on Twitter , I am generally working very hard to achieve quiet & calm precision. There are a number of reasons for this, including that I would feel vulnerable if I didn’t make the effort. That’s a personal choice on my part……as opposed to advice. It’s based on a lot of factors, including the areas of expertise that I’m trying to grow in professionally. For some of those areas, Twitter is a better sandbox than, say, traditional journals. Here’s the advice I *will* give: it’s well worth taking time to read Twitter, looking for conversations that are happening, and thinking about how you want to be part of those, or what conversations you might want to work on starting. ..and observing emotional dynamics in Twitter conversations, and thinking about how you want to position yourself, what sort of persona you want to cultivate. This takes time. & practice. That’s okay. (My own Twitter practice/persona includes cute animals & occasional squeeing about Orphan Black, plus RTs of great rants about potatoes, when I can get ‘em.)
— Paige Morgan @paigecmorgan
Don’t hide your work in fear of someone stealing it – share it with your name attached often and in multiple venues! Discussing your work via social media will get you name recognition and helpful feedback.
— Amanda Licastro @amandalicastro
I’d add that it is important to recognize that the risks of participating as a digital / public schools vary, and can be particularly intense for those already marginalized in academia. That has to be considered when suggesting everyone operate in these spaces.
–Anastasia Salter @AnaSalter
Everyone uses social media for self promotion. But if you’re *only* using it for self promotion, you’re doing it wrong (and missing out on networking and learning opportunities).
— Sheila Liming @seeshespeak
What should you put on your own website? Think about an About page and a CV to begin with. You could post syllabi next. Maybe an overview of your research. Blogging is totally optional.
Setting up a website will take less than 60 minutes if you have someone showing you the ropes of WordPress. And it can cost you less than $3/month. I recommend @ReclaimHosting to everyone, but there are other good hosts.
Social media is great, but nothing beats owning your own website. It can have the design and the URL that you want.
If *you* were interviewing someone for a job, you’d Google them, right? So make sure you Google yourself and make sure you like what you find.
–Brian Croxall @briancroxall
Make connections with as many people in your field as you can, regardless of rank — academic social networks can be extremely productive and take away some of the intimidation of networking.
— Andie Silva @andiesilva
Include everyone. Care about accessibility. Thumbnail descriptions for jpegs. Clean PDFs.
— Julia Miele Rodas @juliamielerodas
What are the hazards of a digital scholarly identity? Should a digital identity be merely scholarly? How does this differ from the traditional notion of the public intellectual?
— Paul Hyde @PaulHyde7