Discussing the use of social media

There was a discussion about using social media on 18/02/12 as part of the Realising our Potential programme, with Sue Beckingham (@suebecks) as guest expert.

Participants round the table were interested in developing personal profiles as academic professionals and researchers, and in the impact of such profiles on student employability. Other possible uses for social media were also raised, for example, to market the work of research centres, to advertise courses, or to keep in contact with alumni.

Social Media icons by AltMuslimah on Flickr

Social Media by AltMuslimah

The discussion covered commonly used tools such as blogs, microblogs (i.e. Twitter), social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Google Hangouts, and social bookmarking sites such as Diigo, Delicious, and Mendeley.  This served as a reminder of the vital need to be clear about what you want to achieve, as that affects the choice of tool and particular features that are important.

Issues raised included the irreversible nature of personal disclosure, etiquette about seeking permissions before sharing media from (or of) other people, the time needed for managing comments (whether deleting spam or responding to genuine questions) and how easy it is for others to sign up and view your contributions.

So the discussion covered a lot of territory, and there was interest in a more visual or hands-on session as a follow-up.  Meanwhile a number of resources are worth highlighting:

If you have further questions or would be interested in a follow-up session, please leave a comment or get in touch.

A social media monster with many arms

Social media monster by Alison Quine

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