Has Twitter transformed the PhD experience?

Published on 12th March in the Times Higher, Jack Grove discusses Twitter and how it has changed the PhD experience:

‘Just a few weeks after Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey sent the platform’s first tweet in March 2006, the social media network gained its first PhD student. Indiana University computer science student Andrew Keep (@andykeep), now a software engineer at Cisco, is listed among the first 100 people to have signed up to the fledgling site, which now has 320 million monthly users. Dr Keep is still an occasional tweeter, broadcasting his thoughts on everything from home baking and everyday irritations to computer coding formulas, much like the hundreds of thousands of PhD students to have embraced the medium since then. But some advocates of Twitter, which celebrates its 10th anniversary on 21 March, believe its influence on PhD candidates has been more profound than just providing a way for them to let off steam or catch up with friends. For many, Twitter has transformed the PhD experience altogether……………………..’

What are your experiences of Twitter? Has it transformed your experience of doing a PhD?  Or are you a post doc/lecturer? Has it increased the visibility of your research and enabled you to network in a way that would not have been possible a few years ago?


#AdviceForYoungAcademics: THE-initiated Twitter trend takes off

This article by Chris Parr was published in the Time Higher on the 19th February 2015 – http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/adviceforyoungacademics-the-initiated-twitter-trend-takes-off/2018570.article

‘Twitter is often painted as a frivolous tool for procrastination; a distraction from academic life rather than an integral part of it.

It can, however, be a valuable avenue for academics to expose their work to a wider audience, and there are also examples of lecturers embracing the social networking site to make their lessons more engaging. A third use, particularly pertinent for those just starting out on their academic careers, is advice.’









Just some of the advice:

Guarding against becoming overworked was a popular theme. “Seek out mentoring; take lots of advice,” tweeted Lee Jones (@DrLeeJones), senior lecturer in international politics at Queen Mary University of London. “Learn when to follow it. Be collegial. Learn when to say no.”

Debby Cotton (@ProfDcotton), professor of higher education at Plymouth University, said the best advice for young academics she had ever heard was: “Be nice to people on the way up; you’ll meet them again on the way down!” Laura Olabisi (@Lkshumaine), assistant professor in the department of community sustainability at Michigan State University, also had some sage words. “Everyone feels like an impostor some of the time – it’s not just you,” she tweeted.