23 Research Things – 5: Social Media for Researchers

This reading list – Using Social Media for Research Collaboration and Public Engagement from the London School of Economics contains many posts about social media and research. Read just one post and discuss/comment on it. You may need to briefly describe the post to give context etc. Reflect on the huge topic of social media and research.

I read the article Using Twitter for Curated Academic Content by Allan Johnson, who has designed a whole workflow around using Twitter. This is something I find appealing because it provides guidance for those daunted by the prospect of becoming active on twitter among all the demands of academic life.

The article highlights that one “role” you can play on twitter is that of a curator. You link to interesting content, probably make a brief comment about it. It seems like a fairly easy way to get involved in the Twitter conversation.

He also recommends an app which I had no idea about – “Buffer”. It lets you queue tweets, so if you come across a few things at once that you want to tweet, you can add them to your buffer instead and they will be saved or added to a queue to be tweeted at a rate you decide (e.g. 5 tweets a day).

My reflection on queuing your tweets is that it serves the dual purpose of not “flooding” people who follow you with 20 tweets in 5 minutes, and it also keeps your Twitter account active throughout the day/week, so you don’t need to be online “all the time” to have an active twitter presence. Buffer also recommends optimal times to tweet, which is a good strategy for getting your stuff noticed by other Tweeters. I had a play with it and if you set it up to tweet twice a day, it recommends 11am and 4pm.

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