In a couple of weeks I will be in Belfast discussing how arts and humanities PhD students can use social media (likely to focus on twitter and blogs but could include others) to build networks and raise their profile. This is all part of a larger Northern Bridge doctoral training partnership winter school.
I’m really looking forward to this, it should be fun and interesting. There are going to be about 50 odd students there I thought that it might be a good idea to see how many of them were already on twitter.
I did a pretty simple search, so might have missed a few, and only included accounts where I could be sure it was the right person, but I still found 21 accounts out of the 50 names I had and I drew up a quick graph of their follower counts.
As you can see there are a few pretty connected people and then quite a long tail of people with fewer connections, and 29 people with either no account or one that I couldn’t easily find. There’s no particular reason to suppose that these students are more or less tech savvy than the general population of arts and humanities PhDs, so 42% penetration for twitter seems quite an interesting finding.
I’d be really interested to hear how these students, and others in the arts are using twitter and their blogs to make connections and networks and promote themselves. Also when I discussed these rough findings with a colleague ( @bissetjm ) he mentioned that the most active twitter profiles were being supervised by very active twitter academics. I wonder if those not on twitter are being actively dissuaded by their supervisors?