Saturday, February 2, 2013

social media

"Put your research out there" and "Set up a professional online presence" - I hear these sentences more and more often. A colleague asked his students to search for information about me on the web and it seems they could not find much, that I am not present as a researcher in the big universe of the web. Even though I spend a lot of my time online - but de facto more as a private person and not as a researcher. Actually, this blog is the closest to my research as it gets when flipping through the stuff that I actively put out there.
The university tries to encourage us to set up and maintain some kind of research online presence and they praise all the advantages that come with the usage of research blogs, twitter, Youtube, social bookmarking, writing collaboration tools,... . I'm more wondering if anyone in my field uses social media to push their research. The only thing I know of are people recording their lectures and posting them on YouTube. And I understand the advantage of using Googledocs or something similar to speed up the progress of international publication writing processes. But this is still communication within a framework of people whom you trust and you can choose who participates in the discussion and who gets to know your thoughts.
This would be so different if I'd twitter my current research progress: anybody could follow my tweets about my current experiments but is anybody actually interested in how my samples are behaving today? Same with research blogs: it would be very difficult to figure out what can be disclosed before it's officially published, because I wouldn't know who reads my posts. The many-to-many approach seems weird to me when it's already so difficult to get people from you own institute together to talk about their stuff because they are so cautious about what to disclose (and of course they are all totally busy).
Can anybody suggest blogs or twitterers who put current research progress and thoughts about it online? I'd really like to see how this is done properly.
And are there any thoughts about social bookmarking/bibliography systems like CiteULike or Delicious? Is it worth to get into that?
And does the recent Twitter hacking attack influence your opinion about the professional usage of social media?

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