Bleg: The confusing universe of online academic marketing and social media

We have discovered a topic where Dr. Lisa does not have an opinion. I KNOW, RIGHT?

I’m confused. I feel like I don’t know what I should be doing to market myself online anymore. I love blogging, and I feel like I do a service here by posting ways to think about things that interest me, even though I am wrong a lot and people tell me that. Which is fine. I learn that way.

But I don’t really have a personal webpage beyond the “Here’s Lisa” website at USC which is honestly never kept up-to-date because it’s a hassle to do so.

How important do you think personal websites are to academics?

And there are so many sites where I think I should probably beef up my stuff, like ResearchGate and Academia.edu. How important are those? Should I be pestering my PhD students to get posting on them and begin marketing themselves?

Opinions, please.

2 thoughts on “Bleg: The confusing universe of online academic marketing and social media

  1. My 2 cents: Like like all marketing plans, begin with the question: who is your target audience? Then, what platforms work best in accessing them? As an academic, I use on-line resources very differently than when I’m a citizen, friend, or activist. Facebook can be very effective for building relationships, but it’s effectiveness in providing awareness and spreading your professional research in a meaningful way is tenuous. Twitter is useless unless you are (or want to be) a public thought leader and can dedicate a *lot* of time to this medium. Platforms that work for more thoughtful professionals (as opposed to real time, tactical approaches) have used linkedin effectively. Using social media effectively requires studying each medium to understand its dynamic. I haven’t found any easy answers. I”ve personally been pleased with the effectiveness of academia.edu to give on-line visibility to my academic research. Most of my academic colleagues that use conventional social media (i.e., facebook or twitter) do this as a way to stimulate discussion within fairly well defined circles of friends and colleagues. Hope this helps

  2. 1. Is this important? Yes, if a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound? Similarly, if a paper falls from a journal but no-one reads it, does it make an impact? You have a blog, so you want people to hear you. Help them.

    2. The tools are constantly changing. Twitter I think is currently really important compared to FB, it’s where all the cool kids (i.e. the reporters, the blog rewriters into CityLab stories, the re-promoters, the advocates) hang out. It creates visibility. FB is fine for pictures of your pets or kids, or ice bucket challenges, or the local outrage of the week, or links to “7 reasons you won’t believe why academic marketing shapes our future”. I don’t get LinkedIn, but lots of people hang out there, so make sure your blog automatically sends to Twitter and LinkedIn. It can send to FB too, but FB buries it unless you specially handcraft a FB post.

    3. I left Academia.edu and ResearchGate and Mendeley. All my papers (preprints of course) are available for free online on my website – the open web, and indexed on Google Scholar and RePEc. That seems to be sufficient to get citation. Every working paper gets a blog post when it is submitted to a conference for the first time, and again when it is accepted for publication.

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