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Managing and Professionalizing your Online
October 19, 2013
Our opening assumptions
Professionalization is communication.
Your value as an academic is more than merely
your finished articles or dissertation.
Scholarship is cyclical, not linear.
Learning to be social is a skill in itself -- and a
process, rather than something that happens
Applicable DH Values
process and product
How and why do academics
What are the results of those
Which interactions result in
Most social media platforms
are made to encourage
sharing and/or conversing.
Encourage you to upload durable and sizable
Provide infrastructure that encourages you to
organize content in specific/customizable ways; and
develop individual aesthetic design preferences
Allow others to navigate freely through present
and past content as it accumulates
• Encourage you to upload smaller, transient
• Provide infrastructure to help you interact,
rather than organize
• Focus on the present, and allow limited
views of past content, especially to anyone
other than you
Sharing platforms feel more
similar to traditional academic
publishing structures, but require
greater commitments and more
Conversing platforms are
dissimilar to traditional academic
publishing structures; but are
more conducive to
experimenting, and learning
While both sharing and
conversing platforms are useful,
you need to be skilled in
conversing platforms in order to
use sharing platforms to the
Why start with Twitter?
It’s flexible, but technologically simple to use.
It comes with a large, curious, and supportive community.
It provides you with a rehearsal space.
It allows you to control information overload easily.
It’s popular enough that junior and senior academics from a
wide range of disciplines use it, and are accessible through it.
What do you do when you tweet?
Report on what you see, hear, or read
Describe what you’re working on
Ask questions (to specific people, or as part of
thinking out loud)
Experiment with different ways of phrasing ideas
Agree, and disagree
Share content that you think other people should
be aware of
What are you doing when you’re on
Discover what other people are learning and doing
Support peers and colleagues by showing interest in their work
Learn through dialogue and interaction
See academic and public contexts side by side
Watch projects and ideas evolve through conversation
Find out about processes and practices at other institutions
(academic and non-academic)
Find content through your contacts (rather than through search
Imagine that you enter a parlor.You come late. When you arrive,
others have long preceded you, and they are engaged in a heated
discussion, a discussion too heated for them to pause and tell you
exactly what it is about. In fact, the discussion had already begun
long before any of them got there, so that no one present is
qualified to retrace for you all the steps that had gone before.You
listen for a while, until you decide that you have caught the tenor
of the argument; then you put in your oar. Someone answers; you
answer him; another comes to your defense; another aligns himself
against you, to either the embarrassment or gratification of your
opponent, depending upon the quality of your ally's assistance.
However, the discussion is interminable. The hour grows late, you
must depart. And you do depart, with the discussion still vigorously
--Kenneth Burke, The Philosophy of Literary Form, 1941
Avenues of Access
Burke characterizes participation in the conversation as open.
Avenues of Access
For academics entering 70 years later, the open parlor
becomes more akin to an endurance course.
How do you prepare
for becoming active in
Who is qualified to
participate in the
What are academics discussing?
The Role of the Humanities
Race & Social Justice
Contingencies & Budgets
Are academics hacking social media?
7.One who enjoys the intellectual challenge of
creatively overcoming or circumventing limitations.
1. A person who enjoys exploring the details of
programmable systems and how to stretch their
capabilities, as opposed to most users, who prefer to
learn only the minimum necessary.
--The Jargon File, http://www.jargondb.org
Are academics hacking social media?
• How do you measure the value of social
• Commercial: through quantitative metrics,
i.e., number of followers, site visits, etc.
• Academic: through qualitative results, i.e.,
confidence and experience gained, contacts
Are academics using
Twitter to hack the
Social media encourages
the larger academic
conversation to become
more inclusive of multiple
Participating in social media
can help you become more
aware of your own
privilege, as well as broader
issues of marginalization
Understanding how the
academy manifests beyond
your own immediate
experience of it is central
Is this workshop really all
But what is
An active process of balancing
between conversing and
You can attempt to professionalize on your own,
Ingredients for social media
participation with people with
Academic interests that connect you
Desire to engage with people you don’t know
Awareness, which allows you to choose how you’re
using various tools
Varied interests and playfulness, which allow more than
You can also...
• Talk through your dissertation chapter
• Discuss and see the success/failure/impact
of your projects
• Misunderstand, clarify, and iterate
• Conduct/listen to public/semi-public forums
on issues relating to academia
Building your own Twitter topic list
What are you working on currently?What would you like to work on
in the future?What’s the last thing that you read and enjoyed? What did you
like about it?What’s a non-academic thing that has a connection with your
academic interests?What would you like to know about using social media?
What topics/activities could you help people understand? (academic or nonacademic)What would you put on your Twitter profile page?What’s the
most valuable advice you’ve been given recently?What’s a photo you took
Basic Twitter Toolbox
Twitter’s List function: for filtering different types of
HootSuite, TweetDeck: account management
platforms for reading and managing multiple feeds
Storify: for archiving tweets and conversations
Tweet-a-friend: ask Twitter!
Ways to keep tweeting
• Reading a Twitter list, or feed
• Live-tweeting events
• Participating in weekly chats #fycchat,
• Schedule Twitter time: 1 hour per day? 3
hours per week?
Considering other social media
Read and explore them first, in order to get a
sense of the culture of participation.
Investigate your options for exporting/backing up
Think about how your audience will find you, and
what sort of commitment the platform requires of
Consider integrating with Twitter in order to
promote and discuss your project.
“No! Try not. Do, or do
not. There is no try.”
--Yoda, Star Wars Episode
V: The Empire Strikes Back
• Non-threatening coding exploration
• Learning to think like a programmer
How To Parse Code Before You Can Write It
January 18, 2013
With thanks to our sponsors...
Faculty sponsors: Tyler Fox, Ann Lally, Brian Reed, Miceal Vaughan,
Stacy Waters, Helene Williams