Researcher stuff – Communication

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This is "me"

I’ve just been going over some researcher apps with a colleague and thought that may be I ought to blog some more on this topic here.

There is an awful lot of stuff going on out on the web for researchers and loads of social media apps for you to use. I’m just going to look at a few of them.

First of all of course there is RIN (Research Information Network) and their Social Media guide for researchers. That though is just the beginning. I’ll use the headings that the guide provides, i.e. Communication, Collaboration and Multimedia to pull together some of the tools available to you. Today I’ll start off with Communication. This information is constantly changing but hopefully this will at least give you a start.

As far as communicating/publishing your research highs and lows and or your final work it is a lot easier to use a blog than it is to create a web page. Blogs are just supa now at dealing with all the technical stuff that you don’t want to think about. It is better and easier to create a good blog rather than a very poor web site. At the moment most people would probably agree that WordPress is the best app for blogs. Do make sure you go to wordpress.com ‘cos you just want a simple blog, you don’t need to download anything or deal with databases at all. If you are asked to do that you are in the wrong site (wordpress.org). Do join Twitter for your microblogger but, once you have joined, download Tweetdeck. Tweetdeck is actually an aggregator (an app that allows you to write in one place and publish to all your different social media – and lots more). I use Tweetdeck just for my Twitter feeds. I open a column for each interest group I follow – it makes it a lot easier to read the conversations people are having!

Have you ever been to one of those really big conferences? You know people who are attending too but you just can’t find them? Foursquare can be really useful for those times when you are meeting up with someone or want to meet someone but don’t know where they are. Using the information from your Twitter, Facebook and address book Foursquare helps you find where people are – it can also be a great help when you want to explore a strange city – finding places of interest near your location.

Nearly everyone on the planet is joined to Facebook and some use it a lot more than others. If you want to use Facebook for research purposes then do be very careful when creating your privacy settings. Read through all the information first then create the settings to make sure that you get attention from research people and not someone else. Don’t think of Facebook as something only non-researchers use – there are plenty out there sharing their ideas and work. Another really useful app is Academia.edu. Academia.edu is rather like a LinkedIn but for researchers. You can follow other researchers, add your publications, information about your work with links to your blog, and you can also use a text chat to talk to people like yourself.

Finally don’t forget that you probably now have loads of social network places to write in. Wouldn’t it be great if you could send to all of them all at the same time. Well you can with apps like HootSuite and Friendfeed. These Aggregator apps are very easy to use, HootSuite is currently the most popular but it really is just a matter of taste. You can not only post to all your friends at the same time but you can also record a message to be sent out at a particular date and time – which can solve such a lot of problems!

ok that’s it for today, tomorrow I’ll write something about apps you can use for Collaboration.

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About timjohnson
I came through a tortuous path to the role of Adviser in Digital Literacy in the Information and Learning Services Department. In the past I was a: Senior Lecturer in Health Informatics, Senior Lectuer in Midwifery, Midwifery Sister, Staff Midwife, Nurse, Secretary, Bars Manager. I would have liked to be a jeweller and silver smith but of course there is always retirement for that :)

2 Responses to Researcher stuff – Communication

  1. Pingback: Getting organised? « Digital Literacy @ University of Worcester

  2. Pingback: A little help « Digital Literacy @ University of Worcester

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