Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Linky Things

In a recent comment, I found a link to academia.edu, which seems to be something like Facebook for academics (with listing of papers). Another social platform, just what the Internet needs! Did any of you know about that platform before? Am I the only one who was in the darkness?

To blog in earnest about that, I think it is a brilliant idea to have some sort of academical network like that - you can list books and papers you have read, maybe discuss them with colleagues, follow other people's work, and so on. Just like Facebook is a brilliant idea, keeping track of old colleagues and friends, instant chatting to just drop a word or two, and so on. And like Xing and LinkedIn are brilliant ideas, building a network of business acquaintances and partners, getting recommendations and seeing who trusts whom in business things, and so on. And like Ravelry, where you can connect with knitters you know and new folks, see who knits what, find new pattern ideas, message around, hang out in groups and so on. But is having so many different network platforms still a brilliant idea?

The problem of all this, as I see it: There's too many of them platforms. And each and every platform presence of a person means you need to dedicate time and energy to your place in that network, keeping your status and your information up-to-date, keeping track of your network connections, dropping a comment here and an answer there. And more and more I get the feeling that all those social networks are a good idea, but a great big honking single one would be an even better idea - because the idea of each of these networking sites is to collect everybody into the site and database, and every single platform wants as many people as possible, but my time is limited, and my energy that I am willing to devote daily to my presence on the Net is limited too. And that is exactly why I am blogging, but not going online to check Facebook or Xing or LinkedIn or whatever often: because this blog is my main bit of internet presence, and all the other groups and networks have to take the back seat. With this blog, what I write is there to read for everybody with Internet access and sufficient knowledge of English, and there is no need to be in any of the social network sites - and no need to know in which of these many sites I can be found...

3 comments:

A Life Long Scholar said...

I do use Academia.edu, but I don't use it for networking. Instead I use it for for job-searching--I keep it up to date with the papers I publish, my CV and statement of research interests. Then, when I send e-mails to people with whom I might like to work, I include the link to that page, rather than sending them information as an attachment. There is also a link to that page on the bottom of every e-mail I send out from my Uni address, available for the curious to click upon it.

a stitch in time said...

Thanks! That is a good idea for the use of that portal!

Jonathan Jarrett said...

I agree with both of these points of view; the use above is very much what I set up my homepage to do, and actually having that information somewhere shared may well look better. On the other hand, though I've known about academia.edu for some time I've never found the time to do anything with it, because I already sink more internet time than I should into the blog...