Hello . I’m Paul Baker. I’m a communications specialist at WCER. We are part of the School of Education at UW Madison. I produce research summaries for distribution in print and electronically. I have used social media user for several years. I have blooged, Tweeted, podcasted, Flickered, & YouTubed.
why do you want to blog or tweet? There are many reasons. To publicize your research? To complement other work you do? To vent?
How will you add value? What do you have to offer than nobody else seems to be offering?
You know what you want to say. Now: who is / will be your audience? What do they want to know?
How can you add value to what’s already out there, in your area of interest? What is uniquely you?
One of the joys of social media: find kindred spirits where you are, and way … far …. Away ….
Establish self as source of helpful and reliable information. Be generous. e.g. tweeting links to useful resources
be generous: give credit to others. blog: mentioning other good sources & bloggers
show interest: In any social medium, don’t just post. Ask questions. Provide feedback
credibility: yes, make clear your academic connection or affiliation or department/home, but don’t sound like a salesperson.
write as if talking to a friend who is not an expert. No acronyms, no long sentences. No jargon, no flowery language. Avoid the dry, passive, objective writing style used for most research academic papers and reports. Write directly and simply.
Don’t labor over a blog post for several days, fine tuning, trying to get it Just Perfect. Social media is not a professional journal.
Be realistic: If you love to write, and write well, you could blog. But If you’re not a writer art heart, consider tweeting rather than blogging.
Voice: Are you blogging on behalf of a department, or unit, or as an individual? That will determine how careful you need to be.
how much time are you willing to invest? What can you keep up over time?
After deciding how much time you’ll invest, set a regular schedule: one tweet per day? Five? One blog post per week? Five?
When searching for topics, you could: Tell stories about your research process. React to things you’ve read. Use personal experiences. Share impressions, anecdotes.
If you’re blogging material from an academic source, rewrite it first. A blog should have a personal voice, not a dry, academic voice
It’s OK to post material you’ve created for another purpose, e.g., a paper or report. But revise it for the new medium. As you would for an opinion piece in a newspaper. Don’t just ‘cut and paste’.
Before blogging or tweeting, read a bunch of posts over time, to see what is culturally acceptable.
It’s OK to check your number of retweets or blog hits or Klout rankings, but those indicators should only be part of how you gauge your success. You should receive personal satisfaction from the work, first and foremost.
Social media love images and visuals. Do you shoot video or take great photos? would those complement your online persona?
It’s OK to change your writing focus over time. Your interests may shift and your expertise will evolve.
Avoid one way broadcast. Don’t be a bore. What’s in it for the reader?
Create one central place that gathers all your streams/profiles, e.g. https://plus.google.com/113628350715196683362/about?hl=en
Be patient: build credibility over time by providing good content and interacting with others.
Networking: Find people to follow on twitter, blogs, Google+, LinkedIn, then go through their contacts
Professional networks: Google+ and LinkedIn are good sources for contacts, information, job postings.
Like Google+ Academia.edu us a new network. It’s well focused. It’s primarily a platform for sharing research papers. The company's mission is “to accelerate the world's research.”
Thank You. WCER logo
Social media for academics
Enhance your skills in social media Paul Baker Wisconsin Center for Education Research
• Why social media?• Your persona• Regular schedule• Content• Credibility• Networking• Evaluate success