As most of us are aware, the number of professional – and indeed scientific – social networking platforms has increased dramatically over the last decade (or so) following the launch of arguably the most famous in 2002 – LinkedIn. The pressure, therefore, for students and professionals, young and old, to establish an online presence is greater than ever. This pressure can come from academic supervisors, bosses or even from within and often centres on career advancement – getting a job, getting a promotion, making the right connections etc. As a result it can be a daunting arena to enter – one wrong move or comment or post can have dire consequences!
My current exposure in the world of professional social media includes the aforementioned LinkedIn, and ResearchGate, which is a publication driven network and therefore much more scientifically orientated. The sheer number of networks available to join on LinkedIn means there will always be useful connections to be made and help to be found, but sifting through spam and volume to get to the prize can often be a major headache. Necessity dictated my introduction to ResearchGate following the publication of my first paper in 2013 and it has certainly helped the research reach more people than journal access alone – as my doctoral studies progress I can see the site being an increasingly frequent feature of my internet history! However, in both cases I don’t feel as if I have even close to fully engaged with the social process…and so…the aim of this endeavour is to analyse and explore my use of social media in a professional context and discover new techniques and platforms in the hope of getting more out of this expanding arena…all the while simultaneously providing some brief commentaries 🙂