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Making social media work for you – notes from a workshop

About a week and a half ago I was part of a panel on social media for Cornell graduate students. The goal of the panel was to respond to inquiries from students about how to use blogging, tweeting and other means of social media to talk about their research and how to use it to their advantage in creating an online professional identity. The panel was organized by Natalie Bazarova (also @nataliebazarova) for the Graduate School Office of Professional Development. There were just three panelists – Natalie, Dan Cosley (also @cosleydr), and me – and I found the panel to be pretty interactive and conversational. Since it was about social media, I thought it could actually be nice to post a brief summary of what was said. Maybe someone will find it useful.

We spoke mostly about our personal experiences and practices we have noticed by observing our colleagues. Dan made a point that using social media shouldn’t be thought of merely in terms of self promotion, but as another way of finding and engaging with your community. Natalie, focusing on opportunities offered by social media, emphasized them as another way to network and do outreach. I talked about the costs of participating and not participating.

It is worthwhile to note that we all agreed that today it may not be practical to distinguish between social media and other kinds of online presence. Everything is linked. So, we all talked more generally about online presence, rather than specifically about social media. The main takeaway points from my point of view were:

Below the fold you will find more detailed accounts of each point. You can also use the links above to navigate to the section that interests you.

The bottom line is that there are benefits and costs associated with maintaining your online presence, particularly through social media. It is important to be thoughtful about what you do and why you do it. There are many tools out there and it takes time and effort to figure out what works for you and how to integrate it in your mundane professional activities.

Hope some people will find this useful.

As always, you are welcome to add your thoughts and suggestions.

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Help with Veronica’s study

Veronica is recruiting participants for a study. For now she is recruiting at Syracuse University only, but soon she will also start recruiting at Cornell as well. So, if you are in one of those institutions and meet her criteria, feel free to drop her a line!

Here is her announcement:

Are you?

  • A Syracuse University Student
  • A native speaker of English
  • At least 18 years old
  • Able to use Google’s search engine

Sign up for the study and influence future search engine design!

  • We will schedule the session at your convenience. Overall anticipated time commitment is 1.5-2 hours.
  • You will be asked to search with Google, your search will be recorded, and then you will be interviewed about your decision-making.
  • You will be paid $15 for your participation and you will enter a raffle to win a $50 Amazon gift card.

To sign up email Veronica: vmaidel@syr.edu