To tweet or not to tweet?
I wonder just how many PG researchers are using Twitter to help them with their research and to keep up to date with developments in their field and HE in general? Current research sponsored by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) is looking into how PGRs use Web 2.0 technologies – the interim results suggest that this research will become crucial over the course of the next few years in deciding how people conduct their research and gain access to relevant information.
At the last count, our SkillsTraining Twitter site had 225 followers, and the number seems to be creeping up day by day. This is really encouraging but we’d like more of you to follow us and here’s why: Twitter allows us to do several things – firstly, we can ”retweet” interesting opportunities and articles concerning doctoral education and early career research; secondly it allows us to distill this information, to keep abreast of important developments as and when they happen and pass that information on to you; and thirdly it allows us to announce any new blog posts and keep up to date with other blogs of interest.
I’ll give you an example – this morning I logged onto our Twitter page (http://twitter.com/SkillsTraining) to find a “tweet” from the Times Higher (THES) about a new article from Tara Brabazon, regular columnist and a senior academic at the University of Brighton. This article is essentially about libraries and information management. It suggests that there will be many more online “Libraries of the Future” which will fulfill the research requirements for the academics of tomorrow: (http://tiny.cc/MElcn). It would appear, therefore, that this is a trend with which current researchers ought to become familiar. I probably wouldn’t have the time to sift through all of these sites individually – but by following them on Twitter I get frequent updates about articles of interest and opportunities which I can pass on to you, as and when appropriate.
Wired for Work
For those of you looking for jobs, Twitter is a fantastic job search tool. Last year during the annual Pathways Event and for our Transitions Programme this year, Elizabeth Wilkinson delivered a course on using the internet for enhance your job search – wired for work: http://tiny.cc/aQ852. As Elizabeth pointed out, most employers have a jobs site on Twitter which they use to post their current opportunities. Elizabeth follows employers on Twitter and can “retweet” and blog about these opportunities. We also follow ManchesterPGCareers which provides up-to-date tweets about job opportunities just for postgrads! And especially interesting are Elizabeth’s suggestions for people to follow (just for fun!): http://tiny.cc/3zF4f
Who to follow?
So if you are new to Twitter I would suggest checking it out. Think about who to follow (apart from us, of course!) and give it a go. For inspiration I have given a few suggestions:
- ManPGCareers – Elizabeth Wilkinson’s twitter page gives regular updates about job opportunities, delivered straight to your twitter home page
- THES – Times Higher Education Supplement – the THES tweet regularly about issues in Higher Education. Last week they tweeted live events (via THEworldunirank) from the Deering conference in Nottingham. This is good if you want to keep abreast of current affairs in the HE sector, without doing lots of reading
- Vitae – the national organisation supporting doctoral and early career researchers. Vitae (and the North West Hub) frequently tweet about opportunities in HE, including training courses and events
- research_inform – the Research Information Network is involved in promoting the information needs of researchers. This is a useful one to follow if you are interested in joining in the debate surrounding Higher Education
There are so many more, depending on your own research and personal interests. So happy tweeting folks….and I look forward to seeing some of you following us soon.