3 comments on “#DH23 Thing Four: Building a Network

  1. I’ve been using Twitter for a couple of years or so as @carolatack, and now that I’ve slowly built a network and identity there find it useful in many of the ways above. It did take time to find people in my area, and for the Twitter community of people in my core discipline (Classics, which outside the excellent work people are doing in digital humanities isn’t by and large the home of technology early adopters) to grow. All of the above advice is excellent: here are a few of my own thoughts and experiences from putting some of those suggestions in place.

    Live-tweeting conferences is a current hot topic, as noted above. I’ve done this a few times now, from both a large annual conference (Classical Association 2012) and a smaller specialist one in my faculty, the latter at the request of the organisers as a kind of official reporter. My take is to treat conference tweeting as a kind of social and news reportage, and give a flavour of what’s going on in occasional, separate tweets, rather than try to pump out the substantive content of papers as a series of tweets. I think this works better than deluging your followers’ tweetstreams, too.

    Think of yourself on Twitter more generally as a reporter and your followers as your readership, and try to edit what you tweet for consistency. Your Twitter identity can have different sections, just like a newspaper, but I think it’s best to be consistent, especially in the news pages. But it doesn’t mean you can’t have a gossip column or syndicate the occasional cartoon, just like the most serious of newspapers.

    Follow some accounts that relate to your interests, especially in arts and music. My favourite museums and galleries (@HepworthGallery, @FitzMuseum_UK) often tweet pictures of new exhibitions. And I like to tweet mini-reviews of exhibitions and concerts I go to (that’s the arts section of my Twitter newspaper). Other friends keep me up-to-date on the progress of their football teams, so I know when to commiserate with them.

    Following research groups and publishers in your area is really useful. I’ve spotted several highly relevant new publications via tweets before I encountered them through more formal channels, and been able to forward the links to my faculty librarian.

    Connect your Twitter identity with other aspects of your online presence. I’ve given my academia.edu page as my website on my Twitter profile, and there is clearly traffic between the two. Obviously Twitter is a great way to announce papers you’re giving or conferences you’ll be attending, and you can use it to support real-life networking. There are several researchers whose support and friendship I really value whom I first encountered on Twitter and then ran into at conferences and seminars.

    Final point: you can be a helpful contributor to your Twitter community. In the past few weeks I’ve provided details of a local piano tuner and help with translating a tricky phrase in Plato to fellow researchers via Twitter, as well as passing on sympathy and congratulations to friends in line with the ups and downs of their research.

  2. Thanks for your comment and for sharing your experiences of how Twitter works for you, Carol! If any other ‘lurkers’ who either can’t commit to the whole module, or feel they are already confident with this or any other area of the course would like to comment with their tips and experiences, that would be very welcome!

  3. I love the idea of thinking of your Twitter like a newspaper. I’ve been struggling a little with establishing my identity, but that’s a useful way to think about it. It’s a great way to establish academic relationships and share information. Likewise I often find exhibition and museum sector info on there before anywhere else. I’ve had help with tricky questions, and I’ve shared mid-PhD blues. Not sure how I’d cope without it these days.

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