THE DIGITAL SCHOLAR BY MELISSA DE WITTE
HOW ACADEMICS CAN BUILD THEIR ONLINE PRESENCE AND HARNESS SOCIAL MEDIAÂ
TABLE OF CONTENTS ABOUT THIS GUIDE
WHY YOUR ONLINE IDENTITY MATTERS This introductory chapter highlights why digital and social media is an important part of your academic profile.
BUILDING YOUR PERSONAL BRAND This section goes over how to cultivate your online presence and how going digital can help you achieve your professional goals.
WRITING YOUR ONLINE BIO This part of the guide goes over the do's and don'ts of writing your online bio.
WEBSITE BASICS This chapter reviews what you need to have on your website and even includes a handy checklist of assets to prepare before you build your website.
UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL MEDIA This section provides a brief historical overview of social media and online networking.
REASONS TO GO SOCIAL This chapter lists all the reasons why social media is important for you and your career in academia.
SOCIAL MEDIA TO CONSIDER Wondering what platform is right for you and your research? This section explains the variety of media available.
WHAT IS A NAME? EVERYTHING This page discusses the importance of naming conventions and consistencies.
OVERCOMING OBSTACLES FOR SOCIAL MEDIA ADOPTION Advice for integrating social media into your life.
GETTING STARTED ON TWITTER This section reviews terminology, etiquette, and advice about what scholars can and should Tweet about.
TAKING YOUR HEADSHOT This article reveals tips on how to take a professionallooking photo for free.
WHAT ABOUT BLOGGING? This chapter discusses pros and cons of blogging.
CAUTIONARY TALES This chapter briefly provides some examples of when social media went wrong for professors and what you can do to avoid that happening to you.
DEALING WITH NEGATIVE SITUATIONS
RESOURCES This section includes a list useful resources and other readings that can help you expand your knowledge of digital and social media.
FINAL THOUGHTS & THANKS
APPENDIX This section includes a personal branding worksheet.
ABOUT THIS GUIDE In an era when public engagement is needed more than ever, The Digital Scholar: How Academics Can Build Their Online Presence and Harness Social Media, is a practical guide for scholars at any stage in their career who want to create a public presence for promoting their research and ideas. Communications expert and higher education professional Melissa De Witte shares how academics–in their already busy lives–can seamlessly integrate social and online media into their work and transform themselves into a scholar for the digital age. This guide addresses questions such as: What do I have to offer? Who should I connect with? What do I say? When do I have the time for this? Will I lose my privacy? How do I distinguish between personal and professional boundaries when my work is such a huge part of who I am? Also, academics will learn how to make their scholarship accessible to the public through: Useful worksheets Step-by-step tutorials Online etiquette explanations Do's and don’ts Definitions of key terms
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Melissa De Witte received a B.Sc. sociology at the London School of Economics and earned a M.A. in Media, Culture and Communication at New York University. She worked for four years at UC Santa Cruz where she is responsible for the web presence for the Division of Social Sciences and advises faculty and students on how to use online media for professional development. In February 2018, she will join the Office of University Communications at Stanford University. Melissa has also worked in various communication positions for New York University, the Financial Times Newspaper, Monsoon Accessorize, and other global brands.
INTRODUCTION As a scholar, you are addressing urgent questions that need to be answered. Whether it is on issues like inequality, governance, social justice, human rights, migration, climate science–you are identifying problems that must be addressed and finding solutions that require a collective response. Many scholars want to make the world a better place. They entered the academy because they were passionate about addressing a problem and understanding what the solutions are to solve it. But it’s only useful if people read it, hear it, and engage with it. Going online is essential to making your work discoverable. “Scholarship and science must be public, and researchers need to seek to maximize the reach and accessibility of their work to relevant audiences in any way they can,” says London School of Economics professor Patrick Dunleavy in his blog, Writing for Research (1). Many academics I work with are nervous about putting themselves into the public sphere. Maybe you are too. Maybe you are wary about the collapse of professional and personal boundaries. Maybe you are cautious about adding to your already overwhelming workload. You might ask, “How can I find the time for this?!” But don’t let that intimidation stop you. This guide includes tips about making it part of your everyday life–because everyday life needs you. Just be smart and educate yourself as you enter the world of digital and social media. You are well on you way if you are reading this guide.
1 Dunleavy, Patrick, “Are you an academic hermit? Here’s how to easily change, if you want to,” Writing For Research, March 1, 2014, https://medium.com/advice-and-help-in-authoring-a-phd-or-non-fiction/are-you-an-academic-hermit-6d7ae5a0f16a (accessed November 9, 2017).
THE DIGITAL SCHOLAR
PUBLIC SCHOLARSHIP "My sense is that what creates a public scholar is related to a profound urge to participate and intervene in the political practices of the world – to fight injustice or correct misinformation or provide a needed service – in short, to try and make the world a better place." Katharyne Mitchell, UC Santa Cruz (2)
(2) Mitchell, Katharyne. Practising Public Scholarship: Experiences and Possibilities Beyond the Academy. Wiley, 2011.
WHY YOUR ONLINE IDENTITY MATTERS
WHY YOUR ONLINE IDENTITY MATTERS Your online profile is how you communicate who you are and what you’ve accomplished as a scholar. Your online profile is already out there–whether you like it or not. Thanks to search engines like Google, you are already in the digital space. In many ways, your Google search results is the twenty-first century CV. When did you last Google someone? Be honest. We Google each other all the time. Even if it’s just to track down the email of a colleague or find the latest journal article from a potential collaborator, turning to Google is the first step in any fact-finding activity. Maybe you even Googled me before reading this guide. Now, let me ask you this: when did you last Google yourself? Take a moment and see what comes up. Chances are you search results will include a university directory listing, an incomplete Academia.edu page, a LinkedIn profile you last updated in 2015, a Rate My Professors link, and maybe an abstract to that old paywalled journal article from 10 years ago that you are last author on. Or worse yet–maybe your Google search results are not you at all. I’ve come across many doppelgangers when I've sought out information online about academics. I've even found a pro-wrestler, an international politician, and even other academics with the same name (this has happened quite a few times)! What you see in Google is what your students see when they search for you online. Or a conference organizer looking for a speaker or panel participant. Or a collaborator who wants to share your information with a graduate student they are encouraging to apply to your institution's Ph.D. program. Or the communications team at your campus. Or a journalist looking for an expert to interview. There are many advantages to actively maintaining your online identity and taking control of how the world sees you online is one of them. Your online presence matters more than you think. It is up to you to share what you want the world to know about you and your research. If you are not active with maintaining your online identity, you are letting Google’s algorithm piece together your profile: the good, the bad, and the ugly. You need to be protective of your online reputation.
WHY YOUR ONLINE IDENTITY MATTERS
WHAT SHOULD BE PART OF YOUR ONLINE IDENTITY? Here is a checklist of musthaves that are important to keep up-to-date (I recommend allocating time once a quarter to updating information, including adding recent publications and current research projects).
A website with two or three static pages. A robust campus directory listing A current headshot Being active on one social media platform
BUILDING YOUR PERSONAL BRAND
BUILDING YOUR PERSONAL BRAND For many academics I work with, taking the time to build their online identity often sits at the bottom of the long list of things they hope to accomplish. Academia does not tangibly reward scholars who engage online–especially over social media. Amassing a large following on Twitter is not going to land you a tenured position or earn you a distinguished title. It is not deemed a legitimate scholarly activity and you can’t count a conversation on Twitter as a type of publication. By and large, academics are mostly concerned with establishing an excellent teaching record, publishing in peer-reviewed journals, applying for competitive grants, speaking at international conferences, serving on committees, securing a book deal, mentoring doctoral students, and more. But what if I told you digital media can be used to complement all of these objectives? “So, why should I care? What does social media and being online do for me except increase my workload?,” are some of the questions I’ve been asked. These are good questions. It's all about your personal brand. Branding is a term marketers use to describe the act of differentiating a product from other products in an attractive and engaging way. In academia “branding” is a dirty word. If you want to be successful online, stop thinking branding is bad for you. It's not! Branding is not about selling yourself or selling out. Putting yourself online is about public scholarship. It’s about demonstrating the significance of your work to people’s lives and public policy. You need to establish first why YOU need to be build an online presence. You might still be thinking: “That’s what I’ve been saying: 'What’s the point?'” Exactly. This is a question to ask yourself as you start using digital media. Even the most seasoned marketer will ask similar questions to themselves and their client: What is our vision? What is our goal? What do we hope to achieve? Who are we trying to reach? Who is our target audience? How will we measure our success? Knowing your purpose will be the bedrock to your communications strategy. I developed a personal branding worksheet to help you figure out how to use digital media to enhance your scholarship and reputation. You can find this worksheet at the end of this guide in the appendix.
BUILDING YOUR PERSONAL BRAND
ESTABLISH YOUR GOALS One of the first questions I ask a scholar is what they hope to accomplish long-term. Some professional objectives I’ve heard include: “I want to secure a tenure-track job.” “I’d like a book deal out of my thesis.” “I need to get my name out there.” “I’d love to be cited.” “My research should be in the press.” “I want to help spread facts, not fake news.” “I hope to find research participants.” Having a goal should guide you in how you use your social media. For example, if your goal is to be cited you might want to start engaging over social media with scholars in your field. Be social but don’t spam–we’ll get to rules of engagement later. Make yourself visible by retweeting links peers share, mentioning them in your tweets, and asking them questions. You can also use a hashtag related to your discipline, for example #anthropology, #archaeology. Some fields even have dedicated hashtags for scholars. Do take a few moments to research how your peers are using social media.
BUILDING YOUR PERSONAL BRAND
CULTIVATING YOUR BRAND Less than 55% of web users spend 15 seconds on a web page (3). That means you have an incredibly short amount of time to make a good first impression. That’s also why it’s important to distill who you are and what you do in a clear and concise way. Once you know what your personal brand is, you should have a clear idea about what you need to put on your website and social media profile to stand out. There are three parts of developing your personal brand. One, why should I believe you? What are your credentials? What is your experience? Two, what are you known for? What are you known for in your field? What are you known for by your colleagues and in the workplace? And three, what do you want people to think you do? What do you want to be known for? How do you want the world to see you? Take a moment and fill out the personal branding worksheet, available in the appendix.
(3) Haile, Tony, “What You Think You Know About the Web is Wrong,” TIME, March 9, 2014, http://time.com/12933/what-you-think-you-know-aboutthe-web-is-wrong/ (accessed November 9, 2017).
WRITING YOUR ONLINE BIO
WRITING YOUR ONLINE BIO Your web presence needs an awesome bio. Here are Some Do's and Don'ts for writing your online bio: DON'T USE COMPLEX WORDS. It’s not about dumbing down your ideas or background. If anything, writing in simple terms is harder than it seems. Here are some tips: – Skip academic terms (e.g: concepts and words like intersectionality, cosmologies, dialectics, immateriality, binary). – Keep language to what a smart 8th or 9th grader can understand. You don’t want to risk alienating people or making them feel intellectually inferior. – Choose language that will inspire people to support and importantly, share your ideas and work. DON'T USE LONG SENTENCES Keep sentences short and punchy. DON'T GET TO PERSONAL Remember to maintain a professional boundary in your bio and keep it to top level information and your qualifications. DON'T BE VAGUE Do you study problems from a social, political, economic, and environmental perspective? So does everyone else in the social sciences. Avoid generic and overused phrases like that. DO RUTHLESSLY EDIT YOURSELF For example, you can edit “I have studied” to “I studied.” DO USE THE ACTIVE VOICE The active voice is when the subject performs the action. Active: “Melissa studied sociology at the London School of Economics.” Passive: “The London School of Economics was where Melissa studied sociology.” Active: “Melissa wrote The Digital Scholar: How Academics Can Build Their Online Presence and Harness Social Media. Passive: The Digital Scholar: How Academics Can Build Their Online Presence and Harness Social Media was written by Melissa.
WRITING YOUR ONLINE BIO
DO MAKE IT RELEVANT Show why your voice matters.
Pro tip Consider crafting several bios of different lengths. Think about slightly adapting your bio to accommodate the needs of each outlet. These will include bios for Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, your campus directory listing–platforms that all have different length requirements. Example: When I helped organize marketing materials for the UC Santa Cruz annual Climate & Science Policy Conference, I stumbled upon this profile of one of our speakers, Ken Caldeira. He lists 13 bios of various lengths–from 1 to 488 words. It was very cool, and as a marketer I found it very useful! See more: https://dge.carnegiescience.edu /labs/caldeiralab/Caldeira_bio.html
BUILDING A WEBSITE
BUILDING A WEBSITE Your website does not need to be complicated or elaborate. It just has to be current and informative! Four or five pages of content can suffice. The less you have, the less you have to update. Here are things your website should have:
A bio A high res headshot A CV and list of publications A Research Statement Contact information UPLOAD YOUR OWN HIGH-RESOLUTION HEADSHOTS Upload a high-resolution version image of yourself. Conference organizers, journal editors, the communications team on your campus, and even your own department might independently look for images of you and instead of asking you directly for one (or maybe they did reach out but their email was forgotten about) they will just pull the photo from your website. It is common that people will just use what they can find. Sometimes they’ll only find a low-res version because that is what is on your website. When that happens, it often becomes pixelated when it is reformatted for their needs (yuck). I see this mistake time and time again. It is easy enough to avoid by having a high-res photo accessible. In a later chapter, I share tips on how to take a photo for your website/online profiles. INCLUDE YOUR RESEARCH Also, including one or two short paragraphs explaining your current and past research projects is also useful. Keep this up-to-date when you can. Updating every few months or if something changes (e.g. you received a grant or an award) is good practice. WONDERING HOW TO BUILD A WEBSITE? There a range of platforms to use. At UC Santa Cruz, faculty, graduate students, and researchers can set up their own site through the campus Wordpress program. It is free and easy to use. There are a diverse set of templates for you to choose from. You can also use website builders such as SquareSpace, Wix, WordPress, and GoDaddy for a small yearly charge. No platform is perfect. I encourage you to watch the demo videos available on each platform. Decide what you like the look and feel of to determine what will be the easiest for you to use.
For some comic relief (cause we all have to laugh once in a while)...Â
BUILDING A WEBSITE
UNDERSTANDING AND USING SOCIAL MEDIA
UNDERSTANDING & USING SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media can complement your Google search results. If you Googled me, you will see that half of the search results on the first page of the search engine results come from a social media source. But there is more to using social media than improving your searchability. It’s about making yourself accessible in an authentic and engaging way. Immediately, people can hear your voice and ideas. They are not obstructed by a 2007 campus news article about your now out-of-date work or your old class syllabus posted on a department website. A BRIEF HISTORY OF SOCIAL MEDIA Online media is relatively young. The first email was sent in 1979, the same year Michael Jackson released Off the Wall, Sony introduced the Walkman, and Jimmy Carter was president. The concept of a 24-hour news cycle didn’t come along until CNN was founded in 1981. The first social networking platform launched in 1997 with Six Degrees. Friendster and MySpace came along in 2002. These sites have since shut down or faded into obsolescence, but they paved the way for a suite of other successful networking platforms. LinkedIn was founded in 2003. Facebook infamously began from a Harvard dorm room in 2004. In its early years, it was only available to Ivy League students, and then undergraduates in the Boston-area. It gradually widened access to other campuses and by 2006, anyone over 13 could join. As of June 2017, the site boasts 1.32 billion daily users and 2.01 billion monthly users. YouTube was founded in 2005, the same year as the social news organization, Reddit. Twitter came along in 2006 and now has 328 million monthly active users. Academia.edu began in 2008 (which despite its .edu domain, it is important to know that this online networking site/repository is a for-profit business organization). Instagram came along in 2010, Snapchat in 2011. In sum: social media is in its infancy. But it’s clearly moved from being a fad to being the norm. UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA While social media might come naturally to your students, for many it seems foreign. A hashtag is still a number sign, and tweets are noises birds make or what Donald Trump is infamous for. Even younger academics find it hard to see the value of it-after all, their mentors made it as a successful
UNDERSTANDING AND USING SOCIAL MEDIA
academic without “errr, twittering” (and it’s “tweeting” by the way). But we live in a different world, where their mentors didn’t face the same problems the new generation of scholars encounter today. Competition is stiffer, funding is shrinking, and the value of higher education is shifting. We all have an idea of what social media is. Thanks to Donald Trump, we hear about it on the news all the time now. On your own campus, you’ve seen hashtags like #blacklivesmatter in student demonstrations, or seen #metoo graffiti-ed on bathroom walls. Maybe you even heard about admissions offices using social media to screen applicants. And you definitely received an email from a colleague inviting you to connect on LinkedIn. But you are cautious. Perhaps you have read about professors who lost tenure because of a tweet (I cover this later). Indeed, there are cautionary tales with social media–but it is similar to any media. Professors have lost positions over controversial opinions printed in journal articles, books, and in newspapers. But you do not let these stories stop you from promoting your research. Instead, you learn from them. As you know, these cases are the exception. It is by no means the norm. At the same time, it is also important to remember that social media is public. So use the “front page news” rule as your guide: If you would not feel comfortable seeing your words quoted on the cover of the New York Times, don’t say it. Similarly, if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, especially to your students, don’t say it at all. It is that simple. It is not about censorship, it is about being respectful, courteous, and professional towards your peers. While I am all about free speech and open access, civility is critical. Social media is called social for a reason. Yes, there are people online who are less than civil but be the bigger person. Social media is here to stay. It is a powerful tool to connect and communicate ideas and issues - and it is at your fingertips. Now is the time to embrace it.
REASONS TO GO SOCIAL
REASONS TO GO SOCIAL SOCIAL MEDIA PROMOTES YOUR RESEARCH Studies show that Twitter increases downloads for a publication. For example, the London School Economics’ Impact Blog reports that thanks to a tweet, one paper saw an incredible 860 downloads in 24 hours (4). As another professor shares, “upon blogging and tweeting, within 24 hours, there were on average seventy downloads of my papers. Seventy. Now, this might not be internet meme status, but that's a huge leap in interest,” writes Melissa Terras from the University College London on her blog (5). A study published in PLOS ONE found that papers uploaded to Academia.edu receive a 69% boost in citations (6). A downloaded paper is the first step to a citation, and a citation is a critical step to showing your department chair and review committee your impact as a scholar. Stop worrying about self-promoting! You might be saying to yourself “I’m not a narcissist! Social media is just for self-promoting people that have an overinflated egos and an agenda.” I have heard that statement so many times and when I hear it, it tells me how little the person saying it knows about social media and their lack in realizing its full potential. Social media is not about promoting. It’s about sharing. It’s about engaging. In sum: it’s about making meaningful connections. I have yet to meet a scholar who does not want people to read their work and engage with the topics they research. Social media opens new channels for you to communicate your insight and observations in the field. Sure, there are people on Twitter and social media that self-promote. But remember, that happens offline too.
(4) “Who gives a tweet? After 24 hours and 860 downloads, we think quite a few actually do,” May 18, 2012, The London School of Economics and Political Science, http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2012/05/18/who-gives-a-tweet-860-downloads/ (accessed November 9, 2017). (5) Terras, Melissa, “Is blogging and tweeting about research papers worth it? The verdict,” April 3, 2012, Melissa Terras’ Blog, http://melissaterras.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/is-blogging-and-tweeting-about-research.html (accessed November 9, 2017). (6) Niyazov, Yuri, et. al, “Open Access Meets Discoverability: Citations to Articles Posted to Academia.edu,” Academia.edu, February 17, 2016, https://www.academia.edu/12297791/Open_Access_Meets_Discoverability_Citations_to_Articles_Posted_to_Academia.edu (accessed November 9, 2017).
REASONS TO GO SOCIAL
What matters is how you do it. At a conference you’ll present a paper, or you might even include an article or chapter from a book you wrote on your class syllabus. That’s self-promotion, right? As you already know, there is a time and a place for how you self-promote. You know there is an etiquette and even expectations of when and how it will happen. It’s the same on social media. SOCIAL MEDIA ENSURES YOUR INFORMATION IS CURRENT Updating your LinkedIn profile, uploading new papers to Academia.edu, conversing about your research interests over Twitter are part of an ecosystem of digital media that shows you are an active academic. SOCIAL MEDIA GIVES YOU CURRENCY FOR INTERNET SEARCHES Thanks to social media, you can take control of how the internet sees you. Social media helps improve your visibility in search, and if you harness it correctly–it puts you in control of how you want people to better understand and appreciate you and your work online. Use it to help build trust. SOCIAL MEDIA IS PUBLIC SERVICE According to the University of California’s mission statement, disseminating research results and translating scientific discoveries into practical knowledge is considered public service. By harnessing social media in this way you can help achieve this goal.
Pro Tip Want privacy? If you use a social media platform for personal use (like Facebook), check your privacy settings. It’s astonishing how many academics I’ve searched for and seen that they’ve left their Facebook wide open. They’ve clearly not realized that the posts they share or photos uploaded are public.
REASONS TO GO SOCIAL
SOCIAL MEDIA MEANS YOU CAN STAY ON TOP OF TREND IN YOUR FIELD From climate change to democracy, health and wellness, immigration to curing cancer, there are realtime conversations on social media that deal with the issues you study. Academics, think tanks, researchers, are all already online discussing relevant questions to your research. Knowing what people are talking about can inform your work and can keep it relevant. “One of the most important lessons I've learned is that social media is not just marketing for academic work. Social media platforms can inform every step of the research process: helping faculty get a pulse on movement in their industry, providing feedback during research and then assisting in the promotion of the published work,” writes Amanda Alampi from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service in the Guardian (7). SOCIAL MEDIA PUTS YOU IN THE PUBLIC EYE For some academics, being in the public sphere is not considered a positive advantage. Instead, they see it is another objection and obstacle for taking control of their online presence. But here is where I find a big misconception. You don’t have to share everything. In fact, I encourage you to not share everything. There is a big difference between you as Professor/Researcher and you as Parent/Friend. You are in control of what you share and you can make the distinction between your public and private selves. Just be clear of your different identities and maintain boundaries.
Pro Tip Reserve one social media that is kept private and personal (e.g. Facebook and Instagram) and another that is public and professional (e.g. Twitter and Academia.edu). There should be a careful distinction between your professional and personal personas when your social media is public. Do not mix them up. While some personality adds authenticity to your voice online, consider sharing only one or two hobbies/interests, show them minimally if at all. For some people it’s their pets, for others it’s their fitness. While you might be a proud parent (go you!), I firmly (and personally) believe in keeping your children out of the public eye. Children have their own agency and as their guardian it is important to respect their privacy rights and protect their online image for when they are of age to decide for themselves how they want the world to see them.
(7) Alampi, Amanda, “Social media is more than simply a marketing tool for academic research,” The Guardian, July 24, 2012, https://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/blog/2012/jul/24/social-media-academic-research-tool (accessed November 9, 2017).
REASONS TO GO SOCIAL
SOCIAL MEDIA CONNECTS YOU TO YOUR SCHOOL COMMUNITY Your campus will have a social media presence, and most likely even your division/school or department. Being on social media and interacting with your campus online is a great way to show support and involvement in your community. For younger academics, social media connects you to other academics in the same position and situation as you. There are whole online communities that rally around important topics related to higher education. For example, the hashtag #PhDchat talks about many of the problems doctorate students contend with such as overcoming writing blocks, connecting with their advisors, or dealing with students. SOCIAL MEDIA CAN CONNECT YOUR SCHOOL COMMUNITY TO COMMUNITIES AT LARGE Social media can connect your network to other networks. This can be useful when organizing events and rallying around a cause. SOCIAL MEDIA CAN POSITION YOU AS A THOUGHT LEADER A thought leader helps shape the public conversation. By being active online, you can harness your expertise and reputation to drive (or at the very least, contribute to) conversation. People turn to thought leaders for inspiration and insight. You can network with influencers (like journalists) to get your opinion out there and heard. THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA YOU CAN REINFORCE CREDIBILITY “I’m already an expert, I have a Ph.D.! I’m a professor at a top school” you might rebuff. You certainly do have the qualifications. There are over 7,000 post-secondary institutions (8), of which, almost 5,000 grant degrees. Social media puts you out there and can help differentiate you from the rest. SOCIAL MEDIA KEEPS YOU RELEVANT Twitter can be a place for meaningful interactions within your field. As a writer and published author, you can remain relevant to your readers and peers in between publications. SOCIAL MEDIA CAN PROMOTE PROJECTS YOU ARE WORKING ON Remember, it’s not just you in the public eye. It’s ideas, events, projects, research, and other general activities associated with your scholarship.
(8) “Fast Facts - Educational Institutions,” National Center for Education Statistics, https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=84 (accessed November 9, 2017).
REASONS TO GO SOCIAL
SOCIAL MEDIA CONNECTS THE OFFLINE TO THE ONLINE Did you know that at any event or conference there is a whole other conversation happening online among organizers, attendees, participants, and speakers? You might see a hashtag on a presentation slide at a conference or in an event's brochure. That hashtag bridges the offline together with the online. Thanks to tweeting at conferences, I’ve made some meaningful, professional friendships. My offline experience is heightened because of the interactions on Twitter. Even Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo agrees, he recently remarked (9): “We think of Twitter as this companion experience for what’s happening in your world.” SOCIAL MEDIA IS A TOUCH POINT FOR INDUSTRY PEERS Social media is a great way to stay in touch (10). It can also be used to help with your research. I’ve seen professors stumped on a question and turn to social media to ask their peers for advice (which is also a clever way to engage others with the work they do). SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOW REQUIRED Some academic publishers now ask their authors for a social media plan in anticipation of a book publication. Many conferences use a hashtag to create an online conversation at the event. In sum, social media is now a part of the academic world.
(9) Hanley, Blair, “Twitter CEO: People know what Twitter is, we just need to convince them to use it,” GeekWire, April 30, 2014, https://www.geekwire.com/2014/twitter-ceo-people-know-twitter-just-need-convince-use/ (accessed November 9, 2017). (10) “Ten Reasons for Academics to Use Social Media and Twitter,” August 11, 2014, The Online Academic, https://onlineacademic.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/ten-reasons-for-academics-to-use-social-media-and-twitter/ (accessed November 9, 2017).
SOCIAL MEDIA TO CONSIDER
SOCIAL MEDIA TO CONSIDER TWITER Twitter has never been more in the public eye than it is at this current moment. For all the reasons why you think you shouldn’t use it are exactly the reasons you should. It’s a social media site where you can share ideas and important information. As Twitter simply describes, “Twitter is the place to find out about what’s happening in the world right now.” And right now, your work and ideas matter more than ever. I talk more about Twitter in the following sections.
FACEBOOK Some faculty ask me whether they should have a professional Facebook page. I would only recommend doing this if you are an active public scholar who regularly publishes/speaks in front of wide public audiences. Remember, social media takes a lot of time and you should carefully consider how much time you are able to invest each day/week on building an online presence for yourself.
LINKEDIN While LinkedIn initially developed as a recruitment tool for businesses and corporations, it has now grown into it’s own publishing and networking platform. “As an academic whose primary focus is the education of undergraduates (as opposed to living a publish-or-perish life), I use LinkedIn as a tool for keeping track of graduates, making contact with professionals whose expertise could enrich our educational programs (e.g., through guest lectures in courses or seminar series), and helping current and former students network professionally,” (11) says Jason Miller in a blog post about LinkedIn's value for scholars.
INSTAGRAM Instagram is great if your discipline is visually rich or you are working with interesting-looking objects/artifacts/ephemera/places. But be careful, many researchers need consent from their subjects–so unless you’ve obtained permission, don’t use images of people. Similarly, share only images you have copyright for.
(11) Miller, Jason, “Do academics find value in using LinkedIn? Why or why not?,” Quora, January 11, 2011, https://www.quora.com/Do-academics-find-value-in-using-Linkedin-Why-or-why-not (accessed November 9, 2017).
SOCIAL MEDIA SITES FOR ACADEMICS
SOCIAL MEDIA SITES FOR ACADEMICS ACADEMIA.EDU Academia.edu is a commercial business. Because they monetize off of academic work and research and don’t share its revenue with the users it is profiting from, some academics question the platform’s integrity. But with the risks involved there are some trade-offs that other scholars are willing to make. Rather than going into too much detail here, this article addresses the controversy incredibly well (12). Make your own judgement call. Link: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2016/02/01/should-you-deleteacademiaedu/
MENDELEY Owned by Elsevier, Mendeley is a reference manager and an academic social network. Mendeley allows researchers to organize research and references, submit a dissertation for review, collaborate in project teams or lab groups, identify collaboration partners, build your researcher profile, create awareness, promote yourself and your research, and more.
GOOGLE SCHOLAR Google Scholar is a search engine for scholarly literature. They work with academic publishers to index peer-reviewed papers, theses, preprints, abstracts, and technical reports from all disciplines of research and make them searchable on Google and Google Scholar. Keeping your profile up to date on Google Scholar can boost the visibility and accessibility of your academic work.
RESEARCHGATE ResearchGate is a social networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers. The site’s mission is to connect the world of science and make research open to all.
(12) Mangiafico, Paolo, “Should you #DeleteAcademiaEdu? On the role of commercial services in scholarly communication,” February 1, 2016, London School of Economics and Political Science: Impact Blog, http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2016/02/01/should-you-deleteacademiaedu/ (accessed November 9, 2017).
WHAT IS A NAME? EVERYTHING!
WHAT IS A NAME? EVERYTHING! Are you Joe Doe? Joseph Doe? Joe S. Doe? Joseph Samuel Doe? Be consistent with your name. This will be important for ensuring you have consistent search results. Once there is variety in the formation of your name it is hard for search engine algorithms (and even users) to know if the person they find online is the right person they are looking for. If you actively use an initial or middle name, make sure you use it across all your accounts online. Is there already a combination of names out there? Take a moment to do an online audit and edit what you can. Decide what “handle” you want to go by and stick with your name throughout. This "handle" includes your social media usernames and your web domain. If you can, register the .com domain name to match your social media handles. Buying a .com domain costs around $25 a year and check with your accountant as this might be tax deductible.
Pro Tip When sharing a PDF of your final article or book chapter online, check with your publisher about copyright issues. Chances are, you are not allowed to post any final versions on your website or social media/academic network accounts. However, often it’s okay to share an earlier version of the piece. Most academics just share the page proof versions. But again, do check the agreement you signed with your publisher! If it’s an open access journal, they might be fine with, but be warned that others might only allow sharing of manuscripts and not the final PDF. Not sure? Check the journal using SHERPA: (13)
(13) “Publisher copyright & self-archiving,” SHERPA/RoMEO, http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/index.php (accessed November 9, 2017).
OVERCOMING OBSTACLES FOR SOCIAL MEDIA ADOPTION
OVERCOMING OBSTACLES FOR SOCIAL MEDIA ADOPTION Before you start using social media, I want to emphasize that there is no such thing as overnight success. Being successful on social media takes time and energy. Maybe I’ve lost you right there. Social media is work, but it can be incredibly rewarding and in some cases, fun. Success on social media takes time and it involves consistent effort-not a sporadic Tweet or an annual LinkedIn update here and there. For many of the academics I speak with, time is one the biggest obstacles to social media adoption. Simply because they just don’t have it. With a few simple tricks, social media can be seamlessly worked into your daily life. You might be thinking “but I don’t have time in my daily life! I don’t need one more procrastination from my work.” It is important that you change that mindset. Instead, think of social media as complementary to researching, teaching, and publishing. USE IT! Reserve one social media that is kept private and personal (e.g. Facebook and Instagram) and another that is public and professional (e.g. Twitter). The more you use social media, the less work it will feel. Also, the more you check your news feed, the more you will get out of it. If you’ve followed my advice and followed peers in your field, you won’t know what they are talking about and won’t see what they are sharing (which will most likely be of interest to you) if you aren’t logging in regularly to see what is happening in and around the world around you. WORK IT INTO YOUR ROUTINE Take a five minute break to check your social media account(s) as well. LET TECHNOLOGY HELP YOU There are apps that let you schedule messages in advance. You can plan your social media posts several days and even weeks in advance through apps like Buffer, Hootsuite, or TweetDeck. The types of content to schedule include things like: “Evergreen” content (information that won’t be seen as old in the news cycle) Build up to an event or conference you are involved with (two weeks out, one week out, several days out, etc.)
OVERCOMING OBSTACLES FOR SOCIAL MEDIA ADOPTION
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA PROMPTS Did you read an article online that you found interesting or useful? Chances are there is a share button at the beginning or end of the article next to the author's byline. It takes only seconds to share content over social media this way.
UTILIZE THOSE "IN BETWEEN" MOMENTS When you are waiting for a meeting to start, a lecture to begin, your morning coffee to finish brewing, or the bus to arrive - take advantage of these “in between” times to reply or post a message.
USING SOCIAL MEDIA
USING SOCIAL MEDIA FINDING YOUR VOICE ON SOCIAL MEDIA What should you be sharing/ doing? Share current newspaper articles related to your subfield/ discipline. Offer your professional, disciplinary opinion about a current event from your perspective remember you are an expert in a particular subfield. Show your expertise! Draw disciplinary connections about current topics. Share blog posts you’ve written or news articles you've been featured in. Figuring out your voice and finding things to talk about will come easier when you know what you want your online “brand” to be on social media. RULES OF ENGAGEMENT Social media is the exchange of user-generated content, current news, various updates, and ideas. You might have heard of it being described as a community. It is important to think of social media as your online community or neighborhood where your peers, colleagues, and students gather to share thoughts, news, and advice. Do show respect to other members, even if they are rude to you or you don’t agree with their opinion. Do contribute to the platform more than you take or ask from it. Do play nice. Don’t belittle other people’s thoughts. Don’t say anything over social media that you would not say to a colleague's or student’s face. Don’t be sarcastic or snarky. It will only come back to hurt you. Remember, tone is lost and what might come across as a joke could be easily misconstrued. Do balance self-promotion carefully. Think of planning your social media presence like your class syllabus: you are not going to share only material you authored. You are not going to ask your students to read only your work (sure, you might include one or two pieces you wrote as supplementary text) but the majority of readings will be from other experts in the field offering different perspective and nuance. Similarly with social media, you should be sharing other people’s content as well. You should engage your audience with the subjects, topics, and issues you find interesting.
GETTING STARTED ON TWITTER: PRACTICAL DO’S AND DON’TS
GETTING STARTED ON TWITTER: PRACTICAL DO’S AND DON’TS DO WRITE A BIO You only have 160 characters (including spaces) for your bio. Here are key things it should include: Current affiliations: Link your current university affiliation(s) & department (e.g. Environmental Studies Professor at @UCSC). Targeted: Your niche, targeted area of research (e.g. @UCSC Environmental Studies professor studying climate change). Credentials: Showcase significant accomplishments and contributions that distinguish you from other Environment Studies professors. (e.g. Fulbright Scholar, Carnegie Fellow, Huffington Post Contributor). Use one or two relevant hashtags that you want people to use to find you. (e.g. @UCSC Environmental Studies professor studying #climatechange). Something fun/interesting (e.g. Environmental Studies Professor at @UCSC studying #climatechange. Fulbright Scholar, @HuffPo contributor, and surfer). DO UPLOAD A PROFILE PICTURE Profiles with photos see more engagement than those without. Your profile picture should be the headshot you use on your website and LinkedIn Profile. Images for Twitter are 400 x 400 pixels (displays at 200 x 200) for your profile photo and 1,500 x 500 pixels for your header photo. DO ADD A LINK Twitter lets you add a link to a website. Link to your website. If you don’t have a website yet, link to your campus directory page (but make sure it is also robust, filled out, and kept up to date). Another good alternative is your department, division, or research center you feel strongly affiliated with. DO MENTION PEOPLE RELATED TO YOUR TWEET OR SOCIAL MEDIA POST If you are talking about a person or sharing a piece of their content, do mention/tag them in your post. Tagging relevant organizations and affiliations is useful as well. This shows appreciation and acknowledgement to the person and their institution. This flattery can sometimes even result in a retweet, increasing your own visibility. Win win! DO RESPECT PEOPLE'S PRIVACY
GETTING STARTED ON TWITTER: PRACTICAL DO’S AND DON’TS
DO USE ONE OR TWO HASHTAGS This helps make your content searchable. DO RESPECT THE CHARACTER LIMIT If 280 characters isn’t enough, reconsider your medium. If you need to say something much longer, consider writing a short blog post on an online publishing platform like Medium or writing an oped, and link to that longer piece instead. DO FOLLOW YOUR PEERS Connect with peers and people in your industry that could follow you back. DO LIMIT RETWEET'S Instead of just retweeting an article, add a question about it or what insight it provided you. DO BE ORIGINAL Don’t copy other people’s jokes. WHEN PROMOTING YOUR SCHOLARSHIP, DO MAKE IT RELEVANT Stay timely and make big picture connections. Do connect your work to a policy and/or current problem.
DON'T SPAM No one likes receiving a random Tweet about a random paper to read or a random conference they have to pay to attend. Don't do any hard selling and do make it relevant. DON'T TELL SOMEONE TO RETWEET YOU OR READ YOUR STUFF Instead of Tweeting at the @FamousPerson “My paper features you,” be more discreet. Try subtle flattery instead. For example, a Tweet like “Here’s what I think @FamousPerson got right and what we can do moving forward” gives a nod without being seen as spamming. DON'T MAKE IT ALL ABOUT YOU Remember social media is called social for a reason. Interact with other people. Start conversations. Reply back to people’s Tweets. DON'T BE SHY People are on Twitter because they too want to connect. Don’t feel shy to make connections with people (in a non-Spammy way). “I heard you talk at Conference X. I’ve been thinking a lot about what you said about XX.”
GETTING STARTED ON TWITTER: PRACTICAL DO’S AND DON’TS
DON'T OVERDO IT ON THE HASHTAG Remember, #you #don't #have #to #hashtag #every #word. Instead, focus of a select few words to target the audience you want to reach. Be intentional! DON'T COMPLAIN Your complaint could become the next #meme (#firstworldproblems) or a punchline to a joke on the parody account on Twitter, @shitacademicssay. JUST LIKE UNDER POSTING IS BAD, DON'T OVER POST Consider your cadence. Pace your posts. This is when scheduling your content and messages can help. DON'T SHARE ANYTHING YOU DON'T HAVE A COPYRIGHT FOR
GETTING STARTED ON TWITTER
TWITTER KEYWORDS A Tweet: A message sent on Twitter that is 280 characters or less. A Retweet (RT): Is when a Tweet is repeated by another user. Reply: When someone responds to your Tweet through their timeline. Mention: When someone features your @username in their Tweet. Important note: If you start a Tweet with a @, it will only appear in your timeline and not appear in your followers news feed because the system will think it’s a reply. This mention also acts like a hyperlink to that person. A Direct Message (DM): Is a feature only available when users both follow each other. Favorites: A way to bookmark a Tweet so you can easily find it later. People also use it as a way to recognize being mentioned over Twitter without replying back. Handle: a username on Twitter, preceded by an “@” sign. Hashtags: a keyword phrase. It ties conversations from different users together in one stream. It is marked by the # sign in front of a word (or words not separated by commas or numbers). Using a hashtag makes your content searchable. Many events can have a unique hashtag to follow and participate in. Timeline (TL): A timeline has posts from you and the people you follow in chronological order. Your timeline gets updated every time someone posts. ICYMI: This stands for "in case your missed it." It's used when sharing old but important news.
GETTING STARTED ON TWITTER
AVOIDING INFORMATION OVERLOAD Pro Tip It is easy to feel overloaded on information quickly. As soon as you sign up to Twitter, you will be prompted to follow hundreds of accounts that most of the time will be irrelevant. Staying organized through lists and being selective of who you follow will be key to keeping the online chatter manageable.
Twitter allows you to organize who you follow through lists - which is a group of Twitter users you curate. So as you start to follow people, think about how you want to categorize them: By relationship - are they a colleague? a peer? By subject By type - are they a news outlet? think tank? NGO? Keeping track of your news feed will allow you to easily peruse information when you want just news, to find out what your peers are talking about.
GETTING STARTED ON TWITTER
ACADEMIC TWITTER ACCOUNTS TO FOLLOW Academia Obscura Twitter handle: @AcademiaObscura https://twitter.com/AcademiaObscura Shit Academics Say Twitter handle: @AcademicsSay https://twitter.com/AcademicsSay Pat Thompson Twitter handle: @ThomsonPat https://twitter.com/ThomsonPat Jennifer Polk Twitter handle: @FromPhDtoLife https://twitter.com/FromPhDtoLife Academic Batgirl Twitter handle: @AcademicBatgirl https://twitter.com/AcademicBatgirl Writing for Research
Research Whisperer Twitter handle: @researchwhisper https://twitter.com/researchwhisper LSE Impact Blog Twitter handle: @LSEimpactblog https://twitter.com/LSEImpactBlog Times Higher Ed Twitter handle: @timeshighered https://twitter.com/timeshighered Guardian Education Network Twitter handle: @GdnHigherEd https://twitter.com/GdnHigherEd Angus Johnston Twitter handle: @Studentactivism https://twitter.com/studentactivism
Twitter handle: @Write4Research https://twitter.com/Write4Research
AND SOME ACADEMIC HASHTAGS TO FOLLOW A hashtag is a wonderful way to find and create community over social media. Here are some popular hashtags in academia: #HESM (Higher Ed Social Media) #AcademicTwitter #Phdchat - the latest discussion from Twitter's academic community #acwri - tips for scholarly writing #phdadvice #phdforum #phdlife Find more information about the fun and engaging ways academia harnessed social media, read this article on the Times Higher Education website: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/blog/weird-andwonderful-world-academic-twitter
GETTING STARTED ON TWITTER
WHO AT UC SANTA CRUZ IS ON TWITTER At my home institution, here are some UCSC profs and pros on Twitter: Chris Benner in Sociology and
Karen Holl in Environmental Studies
Twitter handle: @KDHoll5
Twitter handle: @chrisbenner
https://twitter.com/chrisbenner Sherry Main, Chief Marketing Officer Alan Christy in History
Twitter handle: @sherrymain
Twitter handle: @aschristy
https://twitter.com/aschristy Mark Fathi Massoud in Politics Rachel Deblinger in Digital Humanities
Twitter handle: @ProfMassoud
Twitter handle: @RachelDeblinger
https://twitter.com/RachelDeblinger Marlene Tromp, EVC Lindsey Dillon in Sociology
Twitter handle: @MarleneTromp
Twitter handle: @lindseyld
https://twitter.com/lindseyld Dana Takagi in Sociology Sylvanna Falcón in Latin American and
Twitter handle: @dytakagi
Twitter handle: @profe_falcon https://twitter.com/profe_falcon
Pat Zavella in Latin American and Latino Studies
Jonathan Fortney in Earth & Planetary
Twitter handle: @ChicfemmZavella
Twitter handles: @jjfplanet https://twitter.com/jjfplanet
I also have a list on Twitter with 500 professors on Twitter: https://twitter.com/melissadewitte/lists/academics-tweeting
TAKING A PHOTO
TAKING A PHOTO A professional photo for your social media and web presence is key. It is an important part of your personal brand. But a professional photo does not mean it needs to be taken by a pro. It just has to be professional looking–that means no selfies, vacation snaps, or wedding pics. While it’s nice to have a headshot taken by a pro, it can be expensive and cost prohibitive–especially if you are a recent graduate or just starting your career. But at your fingertips (literally) is the tool you need to get you on your way: a smart phone! With a few simple tricks of the trade, you can take a decent, professional looking headshot with your iPhone, Android, or digital camera if you have one. What you will need: A smartphone or digital camera A willing friend to take the photos (maybe ask a pal who wants a new photo too and you can help each other)
Pro Tips Adjust your camera phone settings If you are using a camera phone, set the camera to shoot in high resolution mode. This will make for a better quality picture. Take advantage of natural light Unless you are in a professional studio with special lighting, it can be tough to get the right light. Overhead lights, fluorescent bulbs, dark corners are a camera’s worst enemy and unflattering in the best of circumstances. Avoid them. Instead, use natural light when you can. Go outside or look for a spot that is naturally lit. Watch out for too much sun Too sunny of a day can wash you out, make you squint, and create shadows - all things that can get in the way of a good photo. Early morning or late afternoon are good times to go outside to take photos. Look for a simple background Remember, the focus of the shot needs to be on you. Make sure there are no people or objects in the background. Look for a concrete or brick wall, metal, or something with a simple texture
TAKING A PHOTO
works best. Watch out for things like trees, lampposts, parking signs, telephone poles, or any other structure that could easily look like it could be growing out of your ear! Warm up If you are not used to getting your picture taken or are camera shy, the first few shots will be awkward. You might feel embarrassed about getting your photo taken. This will show in your shots. Allow time to warm up, move around, and get used to someone taking your picture. It will feel more natural after a few shots. Take lots of pictures Even though you only need one great image, take lots of pictures. Try different backgrounds, experiment with different poses. You never know which one is going to turn out best. This is just a small screenshot from my iPhone camera roll when I experimented taking my colleague Rachel's picture:
Allow enough time When you take your headshots with your buddy, don’t rush it. Plan on at least 30 minutes to an hour to experiment with poses and test different backdrops.
TAKING A PHOTO
Try different smile and expressions Teeth? No teeth? Try a few different smiles and expressions to get a variety of shots to select from. Here is Rachel smiling with and without teeth. This image was taken with my iPhone:
Create an angle with your body When I used to work in fashion, I assisted on a few photo shoots. One model told me one of the best tricks ever: You need to create angles with your body! Even if it’s just the head you are taking a picture of. A hand on the waist or arms crossed can make a difference. Don’t just stand with your arms hanging, do something! Here is a photo I took of an alum, Eric. Note how his torso is angled slightly away from the camera and has his arms folded.
TAKING A PHOTO
Wear something simple Dark solids work best. Avoid wearing anything with stripes or patterns–even a basic gingham and checkered print can look distracting. Iron your shirt, and make sure it’s clean. This may sound obvious but you’d be surprised! Also, consider the industry you are in. Business casual might work for someone in sales, but a finance executive might need to be suited and booted. Similarly, a suit might look too formal for a field like graphic design or architecture. Research what your industry peers wear in their photos to get an idea. Edit your image There are free web-based services like Pixlr that mirror many of Photoshop functions where you can crop, brighten, sharpen, and straighten the photo. Doing these simple things will make your photo pop. There are even apps for your phone. I am a fan of Afterlight to edit images on the go. This is a photo I took of Rachel on my iPhone and edited with PicMonkey (no longer free). I straightened the bookshelf behind her, brightened the image, and cropped it:
Create different photo sizes When you edit your image, create a few different crop sizes, a standard portrait and a square as many social media sites (such as LinkedIn and Twitter) use a square thumbnail as your profile image - so this is important to consider when you adjust the photo.
WHAT ABOUT BLOGGING?
WHAT ABOUT BLOGGING? I remember the first time I hit publish on my first blog entry in my college dorm room in 2001. Putting my voice out in the world was exciting. Until all I heard was silence. No one responded, not even a cricket. I realized it takes more than just broadcasting an idea over the web. For people to read it, you need to tell them about it. “Publishers look favourably on blogging: It clearly demonstrates that a scholar is actively engaging with a research community and is interested in promoting their work. It's a marketing tool publishers cannot ignore,” says Mila Steele, a commissioning editor at Sage (20). A blog post is a lot of work, and regular blogging is a time-intensive commitment. I’ve seen academics use it as a place for experimentation, sharing links over social media for immediate feedback. My advice for academics wanting to start a blog is to consider guest blogging first. Guest blogging is a foundational step of being a public scholar. There are many advantages to guest blogging: One, there is already a captive audience there to read your work. Two, you will be working with a team (or at least one other person!) that can help you edit and promote it. Three, similar to points one and two, there is a wider community you are engaging with. Four, as it's not your own blog, you can set the pace of how often you want to write. Finally, you won’t run the risk of having a section on your website get stale (think about when you visit a website and see the last blog post was several months, if not several years ago! It’s both painful and boring right?). Once you start regularly guest blogging you might consider starting a blog on your website where you can share recaps of your blog posts elsewhere. Like anything, there is a learning curve. I can guarantee you that the first few blog posts you write will take you the longest and will be the hardest. Persevere! 20 Anyangwe, Eliza, “How to get ahead in academic publishing: Q&A best bits,” The Guardian, August 23, 2011, https://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/blog/2011/aug/23/academic-publishing-summary (accessed November 9, 2017).
You may have heard the infamous story of Steven Salaita, a University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign Professor, who sent out a flurry of controversial Tweets (14). Salaita’s actions led to his tenure offer revoked and legal action triggered. Salaita claimed the Tweets were taken out of context and were part of a larger political conversation over Twitter. However, what is undeniable is the lack of civility in Salaita's messages, which are documented across the web. As the Chancellor of University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign Phyllis M. Wise stated, “What we cannot and will not tolerate at the University of Illinois are personal and disrespectful words or actions that demean and abuse either viewpoints themselves or those who express them. We have a particular duty to our students to ensure that they live in a community of scholarship that challenges their assumptions about the world but that also respects their rights as individuals.” (15)
(14) Mackey, Robert, “Professor’s Angry Tweets on Gaza Cost Him a Job,” September 12, 2014, The New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/13/world/middleeast/professors-angry-tweets-on-gaza-cost-him-a-job.html?_r=0 (accessed November 9, 2017).
THE MEDIUM IS NOT THE MESSAGE Don’t blame social media for Salaita’s mistakes. Losing jobs (including tenure) for disparaging remarks can arise from emails and even journal articles too. For example, in 2015 at West Point, William C. Bradford resigned after coming under fire for his remarks about legal scholars in an article for the National Security Law Journal (16). As The Washington Post reported: “A West Point law professor has resigned after arguing that fellow legal scholars who criticize the war on terrorism are “treasonous” and should be arrested, interrogated and even attacked as “unlawful enemy combatants.”
(15) Wise, Phyllis, “The Principles on Which We Stand,” August 22, 2014, http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/sites/default/files/article/ file-attachments/PhyllisWiseStatement.pdf (accessed November 9, 2017). (16)“West Point professor resigns after calling legal scholars ‘lawful targets,’ September 2, 2015, http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/09/02/west-point-professor-resigns-after-calling-legal-scholars-treasonous.html (accessed November 9, 2015). Miller, Michael, “West Point law professor resigns after advocating attacks on colleagues ‘sympathetic to Islamist aims,’” The Washington Post, September 1, 2015, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/09/01/westpoint-law-professor-resigns-after-advocating-attacks-on-u-s-legal-scholars-sympathetic-to-islamist-aims/? utm_term=.0dafc277ee63 (accessed November 9, 2017).
University of Colorado Ethics professor Ward Churchill came under scrutiny in 2005 after an essay he wrote circulated (17). He said the 2001 terror attacks to the World Trade Center were unavoidable and a consequence of unlawful US foreign policy. He described employees working in the World Trade Center as “little Eichmanns.” Churchill was eventually fired because of academic misconduct and dishonesty, but this case shows that what you say–over social media or not–matters. It’s not a Tweet that can get your fired, it’s your words. You can can get fired over journal articles and essays too. It’s what you say and how you say it that matters not where.
(17) “On the Justice of Roosting Chickens,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Justice_of_Roosting_Chickens (accessed November 9, 2017).
DEALING WITH NEGATIVE BEHVIOR
DEALING WITH NEGATIVE SITUATIONS While there are many benefits of using social media, there are a few risks of having a public presence online. Some of those risks include potential exposure to negative behavior from other people including cyberbullying, online harassment, and trolling. Bullying or harassment is content that has the intention to degrade or shame a person. Trolling is when a user makes a disparaging remark or posts inflammatory material with the intent to cause a disturbance and disruption to you and your community–most often for their own amusement. Their messages may be homophobic, anti-Semitic, sexist, misogynistic, and xenophobic in nature. Acts like bullying, harassment, hate speech, and violence is against Facebook and Twitter’s community standards. IF YOU RECEIVE THESE MESSAGES, THERE ARE A VARIETY OF ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE: – Ignore the message – Delete the message – Block the user – Report the user to the platform you are using – If life-threatening, do go to the police and report the user to the platform you are using. Here are links for what to do when this happens: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/help/263149623790594 Twitter: https://help.twitter.com/en/safety-and-security#abuse
RESOURCES I’m often asked about useful resources about building an online presence and harnessing digital and social media. Here are my recommendations: SPECIFIC ARTICLES Handling the media (pdf) by CIVICUS: World
New year, new career goals by Zofia Niemtu
Alliance for Citizen Participation
Tip more, pitch less by Denise Graveline http://www.dontgetcaught.biz/2011/02/pr-media-
Social Media Strategy in 8 Steps by Jay Baer
Social Media toolkit for higher education by
Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association
The lazy person’s guide to personal branding
by Yohana Desta
How to write a blogpost from your journal article
60 ways to use Twitter in the classroom by
by Writing for Research https://medium.com
the Global Digital Citizen Foundation
journal-article-6511a3837caa Twitter directory for higher education by Ernest top 5 tips for writing well by Brian Clark
Inside Higher Ed
I ALSO HAVE A LIST ON TWITTER WITH 500 PROFESSORS ON TWITTER https://twitter.com/melissadewitte/lists/academics-tweeting SOME BLOGS AND WEBSITES I READ Writing for Research
Guardian Higher Education Network
Duke’s Scholarly Communications https://blogs.library.duke.edu/scholcomm/
Sprout Social’s blog https://sproutsocial.com/insights/
LSE’s The Impact Blog http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/
HubSpot’s blog https://blog.hubspot.com/
Mark Carrigan’s blog https://markcarrigan.net/tag/blogging/
FINAL THOUGHTS & THANKS Getting started on social media and building a website can be intimidating. Instead, think of it as fun. As you get started, don’t rush yourself. Dedicate a few solid hours of uninterrupted time to think about how you want to present yourself to the world. Feel free to follow me on Twitter at @melissadewitte and let me know what you think of this guide and your beginning experiences using social and digital media. I promise I’ll say "hello" back!
Thank you to Sheldon Kamieniecki, the former Dean of the Social Sciences Division at UC Santa Cruz, for his enthusiasm when I told him I wanted to write The Digital Scholar. A big thank you to David Sonnenberg for encouraging me to write and put my ideas to paper and to go out into the academic community to discuss the issues in this guide. And a big thank you to my colleague and friend Jackie Powell for her excellent copy edits and encouragement to complete The Digital Scholar! And thank you also to my two wonderful assistants at UC Santa Cruz, Katia Castañeda Resendiz and Kimberly Balmorez, for their help in the final steps of layout and design. Thank you also to my "Jour Fixe" ladies: Alexis Morgan, Karyn Skemp, and Ilse Ungheuer, three amazing women at UC Santa Cruz, for always openly sharing communication resources and most importantly, laughter! Finally, a big thank you also to all the faculty, students, and staff at UC Santa Cruz who invited me to speak to their classes, departments, conferences, and clubs on social media and online branding over the years, including Kyle Borach, Rachel Deblinger, Sylvanna Falcón, Evin Knight, Alison Land, Susan Leach, Colleen Messengale, Irena Polic, Pamela Schleissner and Dalia Terleckaite. Thank you for providing me with the opportunities to hear about the issues scholars in your disciplines and communities face. This has been both pivotal and crucial to my process. Thank you Lin Weyers for your positivity! Finally, thank you everyone who attended my talks over the years and sharing your concerns, ideas, and enthusiasm. And thank you, Dear Reader, for getting this far. Enjoy the journey.
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BACKGROUND: WHAT ARE YOUR SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE? Your skills and experience should convey your exceptional experiences or areas of knowledge.
WHAT IS YOUR MISSION? Your mission statement should convey why you do what you do
WHAT IS YOUR VISION? Your vision statement is a one sentence description of the long-term desired change resulting from your research/ work.
WHAT CAN YOU OFFER TO YOUR NICHE/ AREA OF FOCUS THAT NO ONE ELSE CAN?
WHAT ARE THREE THINGS YOU ARE PASSIONATE AND INTERESTED BY?
WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS KNOW YOU FOR?
WHAT DOES YOUR COHORT/ COLLEAGUES/ WORKPLACE KNOW YOU FOR?
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE KNOWN FOR?
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE GOALS? Your goals are where you want to go in your career. Be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely (SMART). S: M: A: R: T: S: M: A: R: T: S: M: A: R: T: After you have completed the above, take a moment and craft three bios, a long one, a medium one, and a short one. LONG VERSION This should be five short sentences, written clearly and concisely.
MEDIUM VERSION This should be three short sentences, written clearly and concisely.
SHORT VERSION This should be one sentence, written clearly and concisely.