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TWITTER AS SCHOLARSHIP
How Not To Get Fired(much)
BONNIE STEWART
@bonstewart
University of Prince Edward Island, Canada
La...
Prince Edward Island?
WINTER IS COMING
APRIL 2015. ew.
How did I get here?
Open networked scholarship
ACADEMIC TWITTER
scholarship
what people
had for lunch
TIMESTAMP:
2013
Rise of hashtag activism…
TIMESTAMP:
2014
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Michael_Brown#/media/File:Memorial_to_...
+ ‘Callout culture’
+ backlash & rise of alt/right
https://mobile.twitter.com/cartoon_neuron/status/618385493227642880
+ increasing institutionalization of
social media
= increased perception of
professional RISK
There are a lot of shuttered
academic Twitter accounts.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/duncan/3753886017/
This lens of risk isn’t wrong… but
it’s not the whole picture.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/the4mahers/6802850117/
So… HOW I LEARNED TO STOP
WORRYING & LOVE THE TWITTERZ
Understanding the intersections between
networked & academic premises is the
KEY to value & safe(ish) use
https://www.flic...
The work of two 20th century
thinkers helped me understand
Twitter as 21st century scholarship
…and think about how to use...
1. Boyer: Networked practices as
SCHOLARSHIP
¤ Scholarship of discovery
¤ Scholarship of integration
¤ Scholarship of appl...
Academia & social media are both
reputational economies
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8113246@N02/7932198032
We are trained & acculturated to
SIGNALS of scholarly excellence
https://www.flickr.com/photos/126451798@N05/15076855933/
Those within the academy become
very skilled at judging the stuff of
reputations. Where has the person’s
work been publish...
Enter…knowledge abundance
https://www.flickr.com/photos/piper/19904408
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jaredzimmerman/157281...
The gates are open
https://www.flickr.com/photos/vince2012/14557320666/
Structure of abundance = networks
https://plus.google.com/+DaveGray/posts/CQRVeKEsUvFpid=5751686447270321954&oid=117373186...
Networked publics:
many-to-many signals
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/it/thumb/d/d8/Do_Not_Adjust_Your_Set.jpg/280...
…Like a party line with
multiple private/public options
https://www.flickr.com/photos/94342662@N00/3869483214/
capacity to
contribute to
“The
Conversation”
scale of visibility
common
interests &
disciplines
shared ties
Network signal...
MY STORY:
My local cohort, Ph.D year 2
Me, studying networks
& education V, 6hrs away,
studying music ed
Z, working 1hr aw...
Twitter = a cohort without borders
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bswise/4457290211/
Many-to-many signals =
global communities of practice
& mentorship
Benefits as thinker:
just-in-time choral conversation
Benefits as learner: support & care
Benefits as writer: crowdsourcing
Benefits as teacher:
opportunities to connect students
to real audiences
Benefits as scholar:
connection to leaders
+ expansion of audience
https://www.flickr.com/photos/tattoodjay/4129779298/
+ opportunity. Thanks to many-to-
many communications on Twitter.
Academic Twitter = a scholarship
of abundance
https://www.flickr.com/photos/92998734@N03/8466586880/
(sometimes change is good.)
Great. But what about when open,
networked signals don’t feel good?
And don’t feel like scholarship?
https://www.flickr.co...
2. Ong: The CULTURE of an
environment is shaped by its
communications medium
Oral Tradition
¤ Participatory
¤ Situational
¤ Social
¤ Formulaic
¤ Agonistic
¤ Rhetorical
…sound kinda like Twitter?
Literate Tradition
¤ Interiorized
¤ Abstracted
¤ Innovative
¤ Precise
¤ Analytic
¤ Indexical
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki...
Academia is the instantiation of what Ong calls ‘high literacy.’
…sound kinda like academia?
Ong’s secondary orality +
secondary literacy
“The network message from one person to another / others
is very rapid and ca...
Speech-based
expectations
Call-out Culture = Collapsed
Publics
Print-based
interpretations
The ORALITY of Twitter – which
demands ongoing participation,
performativity beyond rank,
casual sociality, & a different ...
Challenge: context collapse
(Wesch, 2009; boyd, 2011)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dress_code
Challenge: virality
http://www.flickr.com/photos/21031300@N02/4076687726/
Challenge: permanence
Challenge: the ‘comments section’
Challenge: differential identity
reception & targeting
Challenge: predatory labour
masked as “exposure”
(Okay, *that* one’s a lot
like academia)
How can we navigate Twitter in a way
that contributes to our scholarship &
humanity, rather than risking either?
*assuming...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tmesis/21126825/
Remember, the internet is
people. Who read signals.
To start signaling, build an identity
You need to work on your identity
before it will work for you.
Figure out who you want to
signal to.
¤  #phdchat
¤  #edchat
¤  #ECRchat
¤  #ScholarSunday
¤  #GetYourManuscriptOut
¤  #acwri
¤  #SaturdaySchool
¤  #highered
¤ ...
Share. Your work AND that
of others. Cite & credit people.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryanr/142455033/
Be patient. Be friendly. Be part of
the conversation.
Believe in the value of your
contribution.
Twitter can help your scholarship
become many-to-many
scholarship
https://www.flickr.com/photos/122135325@N06/15117809516/...
But to succeed AND not get fired,
it helps to remember:
BE HONEST
Always do a ‘shoulder check.’
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ooocha/2632434274/sizes/z/in/photostream/
Institutions are made of people too
Don’t expect a soapbox
Don’t confuse your free speech
with your privilege
Don’t aim to be HUGE
Don’t push to tie open networked
scholarship TO academic
reward systems
https://www.flickr.com/photos/51764518@N02/9763729373/
You can inhabit both worlds
– the academic & the networked
– at the same time, to the
benefit of both.
What signals will you send?
THANK YOU
@bonstewart
bstewart@upei.ca
Twitter as Scholarship: How Not To Get Fired (Much)
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Twitter as Scholarship: How Not To Get Fired (Much)

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How can scholars and academics find use and value in the fraught networked public sphere that Twitter embodies? This presentation - a public talk delivered at La Trobe University in Melbourne Australia, October 2016 - explores both the benefits and risks of Twitter, and examines its operations at the intersection of orality and literacy.

Published in: Education

Twitter as Scholarship: How Not To Get Fired (Much)

  1. 1. TWITTER AS SCHOLARSHIP How Not To Get Fired(much) BONNIE STEWART @bonstewart University of Prince Edward Island, Canada LaTrobe University, October 2016 http://xkcd.com/802/
  2. 2. Prince Edward Island?
  3. 3. WINTER IS COMING APRIL 2015. ew.
  4. 4. How did I get here?
  5. 5. Open networked scholarship
  6. 6. ACADEMIC TWITTER scholarship what people had for lunch TIMESTAMP: 2013
  7. 7. Rise of hashtag activism… TIMESTAMP: 2014 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Michael_Brown#/media/File:Memorial_to_Michael_Brown.jpg
  8. 8. + ‘Callout culture’
  9. 9. + backlash & rise of alt/right https://mobile.twitter.com/cartoon_neuron/status/618385493227642880
  10. 10. + increasing institutionalization of social media = increased perception of professional RISK
  11. 11. There are a lot of shuttered academic Twitter accounts. https://www.flickr.com/photos/duncan/3753886017/
  12. 12. This lens of risk isn’t wrong… but it’s not the whole picture. https://www.flickr.com/photos/the4mahers/6802850117/
  13. 13. So… HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING & LOVE THE TWITTERZ
  14. 14. Understanding the intersections between networked & academic premises is the KEY to value & safe(ish) use https://www.flickr.com/photos/28537647@N06/2887726958/
  15. 15. The work of two 20th century thinkers helped me understand Twitter as 21st century scholarship …and think about how to use it.
  16. 16. 1. Boyer: Networked practices as SCHOLARSHIP ¤ Scholarship of discovery ¤ Scholarship of integration ¤ Scholarship of application ¤ Scholarship of teaching ! (Boyer, 1990)
  17. 17. Academia & social media are both reputational economies http://www.flickr.com/photos/8113246@N02/7932198032
  18. 18. We are trained & acculturated to SIGNALS of scholarly excellence https://www.flickr.com/photos/126451798@N05/15076855933/
  19. 19. Those within the academy become very skilled at judging the stuff of reputations. Where has the person’s work been published, what claims of priority in discovery have they established, how often have they been cited, how and where reviewed, what prizes won, what institutional ties earned, what organizations led? (Willinsky, 2010)
  20. 20. Enter…knowledge abundance https://www.flickr.com/photos/piper/19904408 https://www.flickr.com/photos/jaredzimmerman/15728149611/
  21. 21. The gates are open https://www.flickr.com/photos/vince2012/14557320666/
  22. 22. Structure of abundance = networks https://plus.google.com/+DaveGray/posts/CQRVeKEsUvFpid=5751686447270321954&oid=117373186752666867801
  23. 23. Networked publics: many-to-many signals http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/it/thumb/d/d8/Do_Not_Adjust_Your_Set.jpg/280px-Do_Not_Adjust_Your_Set.jpg
  24. 24. …Like a party line with multiple private/public options https://www.flickr.com/photos/94342662@N00/3869483214/
  25. 25. capacity to contribute to “The Conversation” scale of visibility common interests & disciplines shared ties Network signals do similar work… more openly Factors contributing to perceived influence & value in academic Twitter – Stewart, 2015
  26. 26. MY STORY: My local cohort, Ph.D year 2 Me, studying networks & education V, 6hrs away, studying music ed Z, working 1hr away, studying leadership in ed
  27. 27. Twitter = a cohort without borders http://www.flickr.com/photos/bswise/4457290211/
  28. 28. Many-to-many signals = global communities of practice & mentorship
  29. 29. Benefits as thinker: just-in-time choral conversation
  30. 30. Benefits as learner: support & care
  31. 31. Benefits as writer: crowdsourcing
  32. 32. Benefits as teacher: opportunities to connect students to real audiences
  33. 33. Benefits as scholar: connection to leaders
  34. 34. + expansion of audience https://www.flickr.com/photos/tattoodjay/4129779298/
  35. 35. + opportunity. Thanks to many-to- many communications on Twitter.
  36. 36. Academic Twitter = a scholarship of abundance https://www.flickr.com/photos/92998734@N03/8466586880/
  37. 37. (sometimes change is good.)
  38. 38. Great. But what about when open, networked signals don’t feel good? And don’t feel like scholarship? https://www.flickr.com/photos/edenpictures/14399024753
  39. 39. 2. Ong: The CULTURE of an environment is shaped by its communications medium
  40. 40. Oral Tradition ¤ Participatory ¤ Situational ¤ Social ¤ Formulaic ¤ Agonistic ¤ Rhetorical
  41. 41. …sound kinda like Twitter?
  42. 42. Literate Tradition ¤ Interiorized ¤ Abstracted ¤ Innovative ¤ Precise ¤ Analytic ¤ Indexical https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letterpress_printing#/media/File:The_Caxton_Celebration_- _William_Caxton_showing_specimens_of_his_printing_to_King_Edward_IV_and_his_Queen.jpg
  43. 43. Academia is the instantiation of what Ong calls ‘high literacy.’ …sound kinda like academia?
  44. 44. Ong’s secondary orality + secondary literacy “The network message from one person to another / others is very rapid and can in effect be in the present… textualized verbal exchange registers psychologically as having the temporal immediacy of oral exchange.” (Ong, 1996)
  45. 45. Speech-based expectations Call-out Culture = Collapsed Publics Print-based interpretations
  46. 46. The ORALITY of Twitter – which demands ongoing participation, performativity beyond rank, casual sociality, & a different type of conflict – creates challenges.
  47. 47. Challenge: context collapse (Wesch, 2009; boyd, 2011) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dress_code
  48. 48. Challenge: virality
  49. 49. http://www.flickr.com/photos/21031300@N02/4076687726/ Challenge: permanence
  50. 50. Challenge: the ‘comments section’
  51. 51. Challenge: differential identity reception & targeting
  52. 52. Challenge: predatory labour masked as “exposure”
  53. 53. (Okay, *that* one’s a lot like academia)
  54. 54. How can we navigate Twitter in a way that contributes to our scholarship & humanity, rather than risking either? *assuming Twitter continues to exist*
  55. 55. http://www.flickr.com/photos/tmesis/21126825/ Remember, the internet is people. Who read signals.
  56. 56. To start signaling, build an identity
  57. 57. You need to work on your identity before it will work for you.
  58. 58. Figure out who you want to signal to.
  59. 59. ¤  #phdchat ¤  #edchat ¤  #ECRchat ¤  #ScholarSunday ¤  #GetYourManuscriptOut ¤  #acwri ¤  #SaturdaySchool ¤  #highered ¤  #digped ¤  #WithaPhD ¤  #science Connect: #s help you find people with shared interests #
  60. 60. Share. Your work AND that of others. Cite & credit people. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryanr/142455033/
  61. 61. Be patient. Be friendly. Be part of the conversation.
  62. 62. Believe in the value of your contribution.
  63. 63. Twitter can help your scholarship become many-to-many scholarship https://www.flickr.com/photos/122135325@N06/15117809516/in/dateposted/
  64. 64. But to succeed AND not get fired, it helps to remember: BE HONEST
  65. 65. Always do a ‘shoulder check.’ http://www.flickr.com/photos/ooocha/2632434274/sizes/z/in/photostream/
  66. 66. Institutions are made of people too
  67. 67. Don’t expect a soapbox
  68. 68. Don’t confuse your free speech with your privilege
  69. 69. Don’t aim to be HUGE
  70. 70. Don’t push to tie open networked scholarship TO academic reward systems
  71. 71. https://www.flickr.com/photos/51764518@N02/9763729373/
  72. 72. You can inhabit both worlds – the academic & the networked – at the same time, to the benefit of both.
  73. 73. What signals will you send? THANK YOU @bonstewart bstewart@upei.ca

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