Learning Journeys: The participatory web in the context of academic practice

Cristina Mendes da Costa (Salford University) gave the first ESRI seminar of the year, on the topic of, ‘Learning Journeys – the participatory web in the context of academic practice.’

The rise of social media and in the Internet represents a significant shift in how researchers develop and promote their identity within the academic community.  Cristina started her talk by reminding us all that currently in academia it’s not just about the quality of your research but a case of who shouts loudest, or maybe shares the most, has his or her research read and engaged with.

Cristina offered us a number of useful insights for curating our digital identities.  The first amongst these is to maintain a blog.  A blog can be both your business card and provide a way to communicate your research quickly to researchers globally.  A book can take up to a year to publish and a journal article over 6 months but a blog is immediate.

Some in the audience were worried that if they started a blog that they wouldn’t maintain it and they would feel guilty of their neglected blog.  Cristina suggested that we routinely made an appointment with ourselves each week to write three paragraphs that provide an informed and passionate opinion.  Then once you start blogging, it can become addictive.  If, however, you don’t keep your blog going you can put up a notice saying that you’re taking time off.

We’d like to thank Christina for her presentation!

You can learn more about Cristina from her blog.

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