I ran today a one hour training session for researchers at the University of Liverpool about online presence. About 20 researchers from very different backgrounds (from language to physics, chemistry ecology, etc) mostly at the post-doctoral level attended. We started with a round table where I asked each participants to tell which social media they use and what they expected from the workshop.
Many were Facebook users, mostly for personal networking, while a few had started to use it for professional networking too. Research Gate and LinkedIn were prominent as well (often with low level of usage). Google+ had one mention. One or two had limited experience of Twitter. One question that came several times was the personal versus professional limit. How much should we keep private? I don’t think there is any easy answer to this question, except that it is useful to understand how each tool you use work and therefore how to control what you are actually sharing or not. In that context, Facebook is a bit of a pain while Twitter is simple: everything is public so don’t share what you want to keep private.
Does it mean though that everything on your Twitter feed has to be serious professional stuff devoid of any personal aspect? I asked this question to Twitter during the event itself
Vladimir Teif responded immediately
I don’t actually agree with Vladimir (you can check my reply to him on Twitter), but thanks to him for this nice demonstration of the power of real-time conversation and crowdsourcing of information.
When preparing this session, 12 hours before the event, I had asked on Twitter suggestions on of posts an points on social media for academics. I got a number of responses:
I ended up talking too much, mostly advertising the benefits of Twitter. Whether I have convinced them or not will be seen in the number of them that join and tweet me in 2015. Or participate in the comments section below. So far so good: