Some reasons graduate students (and any scholars) should maintain an online presence, with an emphasis on using Twitter and blogging to develop intellectually and professionally:
- Blogging is magic (I’m blogging right now!). Blogging can help you develop content for your dissertation, article, or future conference paper, without the same constraints of sitting down to produce a formal essay. Blogging helps develop your unique voice and trains you to write for various audiences—not just the colleagues you’re used to, but for those outside your field or outside academia as well (you should be able to explain your intellectual passions to a non-academic audience, anyway). Blogging publicly identifies you as actively engaged with the topics you research.
- An online presence demonstrates competency at presenting yourself: professionalism in online interactions, and the social and intellectual acumen to develop a network of collaboration and discussion.
- Employers will look you up online. An online presence (CV site, LinkedIn account, Twitter) is your chance to shape what they see. What aspects of your work do you want to make certain prospective collaborators and colleagues see?
- Twitter lets you keep up on the latest academic arguments, productions, events, and opportunities. Besides helping you track a field’s preoccupations on a schedule more frequent than your field’s key periodicals, tweeting can also serve as note-taking during scholarly events.
- Tweeting and blogging about your work can result in invitations to speak or serve on panels, take part in projects, and otherwise collaborate with like-minded thinkers.
The following are notes from my part of a February 10, 2014 panel in the University of Maryland English Department on using the digital as an academic professional. I presented with Professors Matt Kirschenbaum, Marilee Lindemann, and Joshua Weiner.
- Get Your CV/Portfolio Online
- How to Do Twitter as an Academic
- Who to Follow on Twitter
- Suggested Reading