My so called digital life


Well I think the new year is a good opportunity to take stock of my digital life. I listened to an interesting talk by @suebecks at the durham blackboard conference which got me thinking about LinkedIn, a social network that I don’t really invest that much energy into, and her talk got me thinking about how many networks I have a presence on, and why. Another factor is that I have recently had a fairly dramatic haircut, so I should probably go through and chance all my profile pictures, which is a bit of a pain! I thought I’d post up my tally, to see how I might compare with others but also so that I can have a look at myself next year and see how it stacks up!

For the purposes of this exercise I’ve included networks where I have some sort of profile and connect with other profiles. So I haven’t included some possible networks (such as wordpress, or ebay) where I have a profile but don’t connect with others.

  • Facebook : Primary network for friends. Starting to get a bit bored, think it brings out the worst in me (egoist, nosey parker!). massive time drain!
  • Twitter profile : Primary network for work related stuff. Friends have started getting on board and a few students follow me, although I don’t think they’re particularly interested in my geeky posts!
  • Academia.edu profile : Work related. Don’t use often, but like the notifications of when I’m googled!
  • Linkedin profile : Work related, but don’t use at all often. Not really sure why I have a presence there, seems very focussed on business jobs/ networks
  • Google plus : Early days, seems neat but I haven’t really decided what to use it for yet. Looks promising as a collaboration space?
  • YouTube channel: Use for sharing my video playlists for class, and uploading the odd work related video. Have a few followers and follow a few people, not really using the full social networking potential yet
  • Slideshare profile : Use for sharing my conference related stuff, just starting to think about uploading my lecture slides which might radically change my use of this as a network.

So carrying out this quick audit shows me that I am a member of 7 social networks to a greater or lesser extent. It shows me that I might quit LinkedIn (maybe I will have by next year) and that I anticipate using YouTube and Slideshare in new ways in 2012. It also shows that I don’t really have a space for interacting with students, especially as they finish my year. Maybe my increased use of YouTube and Slideshare will provide an opportunity to stay in touch with and engage students as they go on to their undergraduate studies, should they want to of course!

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About digitalscholar

I am a sociologist with an interest in new technology. Previously I’ve worked on a number of projects at Lancaster University and the Open University looking at the use of new technologies and social media by researchers. I was also a social sciences teaching fellow at the foundation centre at Durham University teaching sociology and anthropology. I am now a senior lecturer at the University of West London's Institute for Teaching, Innovation and Learning where I oversee the foundation provision and support retention. I'm sure I'll still be interested in, and occasionally blog about, tech related things. I use this blog to post thoughts about using new technologies in my professional academic life and wider thoughts and links relating to technology more generally.
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One Response to My so called digital life

  1. LinkedIn is so much more than a job board! You can add apps to showcase your blog, slideshare presentations and so much more. It is another useful channel you can use with students by setting up an alumni group. That way you keep the contact details and if the an individual moves on, they will update their profile. Here’s a link to a talk I gave with a Careers colleague on getting the most from LInkedIn http://www.slideshare.net/suebeckingham/maximising-the-potential-of-linkedin. Hope it inspires you! @suebecks

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