Thursday, 14 February 2013

Thing Six (I know, yesterday was Thing five...)

I just went back to read the main module blog and yes, yesterday was thing five not four although we were continuing with Building a network.

Today is thing six and we are talking about digital content curation.... I know what the heck is that. I don't know and that is why I am on this module to find out more and to develop my digital skills. Anyway we have been introduced to and storify . I have just read and re-read, had a break and a cuppa but I still cannot get my head around the concepts. Anyway the point is to make things look pretty or professional looking and then link it to your accounts which for me is the millions that I have swimming about in the world wide web (scary :0)  So the point of both sites is to help publicize events and stories live. I have to say I have just about given up creating new accounts and so I'm afraid I cannot give you my views on these sites. The thought of creating one more account any where is just too much for me. I feel though that for most of these sites etc, the main aim is really from a business point. It can help you expand your target market, reach out to new customers etc. Although I see how some may apply this within academia I fail to see this. I mean take for instance - little old me doing research in a specialised field (not really but I like to say that to make myself feel extra special), there are at least 10 people out there who might have an interest in what I do, and to be honest if I don't know these people by name then I am fighting a loosing battle. After the 10 people, there may be another 5 who have a slight interest as their work may have some link, and these will contact me from my correspondence information when they read my article. And finally on the off chance, there are 2 people who might find me on google, exclude my stalking ex and we have 1. So now I have to create 10 accounts on all these sites just to reach that 1 person? Someone help me out here because clearly I am failing to see the beneficial use of all this hard work and time to find that 1 special person. I am not a skeptic but isnt there a better more efficient way to do all this?

Anyway that's all for today folks and see you next week for the final segment in our endevour to be digitally skilled :) Thing 7 : Maintaining and preserving your online identity and can I add dignity to the end of that sentence.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Thing Four - continued

I guess today we are still on Thing Four. Today we explore academia and LinkedIn. My immediate question is how do these promote networking as compared to the kind you would do at a conference. I have set up accounts with both previously and I have to say they have not helped much. I think the way that technology is advertised and promoted is slightly misleading (and this is coming from a lover of technology). Well, I do not see how having an account in any of these would increase or help collaborations etc. Although researchers are very happy to get an e-mail from anybody and nobody, it is very rare from my experience that they would take a collaboration request that seriously. This is were I still believe in the six degrees of separation. Unless you know someone who knows somebody who get introduce you to someone who has met somebody that has worked with somebody's partner then your chances are pretty slim. This still works in research and within social media. So I would apply that in either academia or LinkedIn, and make sure that you know or get a link with someone who knows somebody.

On the other hand in aspects of giving greater visibility online, yes I have to say it works as they do rank highly and are picked by google HTML robots, but still I would say you need to do twice as much if not more work than you would do at a conference. This is a playing field without visual cues etc which is quite difficult and people tend to need more assurances on deliverables etc which is understandable. So I think if you are someone like me (very limited time to network online) it might still be better to do things the old fashioned way and either pick up the phone or better still spend the money to make a personal visit. If all else fails, stalk people at conferences and meetings but please don't say you read it from this blog because by that time I will have deleted this post :). Besides I wouldn't want word to get round that I am a conference stalker!!

So back to the task in hand, I have accounts with both sites, but I could not remember my password for LinkedIn and so had to create another one. I am now trying to merge the two accounts but they will not let me as I cannot remember the e-mail account that I created the other account with (2 years ago), so I guess its goodbye to all those people I was LinkedIn with before :(. I guess this week for me is about pulling the people in before I start pushing information out. Do not want to drive people away by information overload (well not just yet:) anyway).

Liked the exeter university information on LinkedIn, I thought it was very helpful. And on that note it is goodbye for today and see you sometime soon. As I said I am trying to keep up with this blogging thing even if I may fail in everything else on the module - perhaps I am in the wrong profession - should have been a journalist, this writing thing is growing on me although I am still in the Introduction page of a paper I have to submit end of the month. ...
Anyway where was I , or yes on the farewells and all that jazz - Goodbye Folk see you tomorrow

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Thing four - Building a Network

I know I am so far behind in this module but I am determined to complete it and do the next one as well. I guess my attempt to write for 30 minutes a day has failed as well, but I do not give up so easily. I guess that's why I am were I am in life (depends which way you look at it). Anyway thing four is building a network.

So - Twitter. I have created a twitter account, but I always find I have nothing new to tweet about. I either am re-tweeting other people's ideas or have lame twits. I am not sure how I can stay on top of this. By nature, I am a round about speaker. I say what I have to say in three or more sentences and so micro-blogging may not be for me. Or maybe I need a better smartphone - that way I can always be on the ready to tweet. But then I get to crossroads with the work, life balance because if I am using my phone to twit about work etc I can never switch off completely - One can never win can one?
I was not aware that I could tweet a new blog post. Maybe if I manage to keep my writing for 30 minutes each day I could try tweeting that. I really like the idea of all this but I just wonder when people get the time to do this. Better time management - I hear someone say, but I feel I manage my time so much that I have become a micro-manager and trust me - it takes all the fun from living. My life has become too rigid, I think there is more to life than watching the clock tick and counting down the seconds and minutes to the next task - although having said that I really like the feeling that accompanies ticking off a task from my to do list. I am still not sure how I can tweet a blog post as I am not using word press (so if anyone out there knows how to do it in blogger please help!)

Thats all for today, and with the way I am feeling, I will be back tomorrow. Oh by the way I am feeling the way I am feeling because of the new book I am reading, by Dale Carnegie. I would greatly recommend the book. I am only in Chapter 3 and I am buzzing, and trust me, buzzing is not a word I use normally but in this case I am with a Capital Z, so go and beg, borrow or steal if you have to the book, How to stop worrying and start living (I think thats the Title). More about it tomorrow.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

So... Bibliometrics

As I have said several times I am still behind in the DH23 module but well I am still keeping at it. This week I am doing the Bibliometrics part of the module.

Quite interesting I have to say. As much as I do a lot of work on cyberspace I am still in awe at how much more you can do. I guess my defense is that I research how other people use the internet and not how I do it. Maybe I should change agendas and look into what I am missing out in cyberspace.

I have managed to update my profile on google scholar but as a new postdoc it just seems so scary as I do not have citations etc yet and I have had a peek at other people's citations which are very very long. Anyway I am still at an early stage of my career and hopefully will watch that list grow.

When it comes to Researcher ID, I think I am a bit safe there. This is where having a unique name comes in handy - as there are a few people that share my name. Having said that I have not created a profile on Researcher ID  as I seem to be creating profiles everywhere and anywhere which leads back to the question of professionalism etiquette in cyberspace. I do not believe I will use this facility and so I will skip creating a profile that I will probably never use although it is a brilliant idea, especially for those that are publishing 3+ papers a year - which I am not.

It was quite easy to create the profile on google scholar and I also like the idea that its linked to most of my accounts and so I don't have to remember many passwords ( Although LastPass is brilliant for doing that sometimes I have some hiccups but I have put it down to the learning curve on my part).
I am still not sure how this helps raise my profile online. For some reasons I didn't see anyone who had similar research interests as mine even though I used really common words.

I also feel that profiles online are seen by a few individuals - mostly my friends etc. As there are so many places to create a profile, I believe a recruiter, PI or whatever when you apply for jobs would go to 2 or 3 specific sites (which may/may not be the ones I have used) and thus they may/may not see my research profile online. My evaluation of this exercise is that one should create an online profile for personal satisfaction and not the intention of building a network profile. I still think the best way of networking or forming collaborations is to attend conferences and call individuals and ask to meet them  etc. Face to face contact is still the best for me. Who knows I might change my mind by the time we get to Thing 23.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

My Online Identity

I have to say I am so behind in this course but as I had a chance to reflect this week I decided that even though it mey mean a few weeks of trailing behind its still worth persuing, and so there I was at 10:00am this morning googling myself. I have to say I always thought it a bit vain to google oneself but today I had an excuse - I was doing homework for my course.

So here goes nothing - having a foreign name does not do one any good in the blogosphere or the digital world, but I have decided to stick to using my real name. Can't handle multiple personas:

  1. Google
    • the first site that came up unfortunately was an unused linkedIn page. I had the idea to create my online identity last year and so I set up a few accounts. Few months later with all the work pile up I have forgotten the passowords etc and basically havent used the account for a while. I guess the logical thing would be to find a way to retrieve and revive this account otherwise as mentioned it does look unprofessional.
    • second site was facebook
    • third was a site with information on my current research by the UKCRN (Sharing Bad News Study).
    • fourth is - really bad going for me I think
    • fifth is the university website profile
    • sixth is twitter
    • and then the rest are not worth mentioning. With the images my name is quite common in my home country and so really I do not feel this can be improved in anyway.
  2. Personas
    • I still do not have a clear concept of what this does or how it does it, but my profile looks something like this :
  3. Social mention
    • According to this tool, the likelihood that my name (brand) is being discussed in social media is 1%, but then again I dont know how accurate this tools are considering all the cultural differences of namenames, and other situational contexts.

I guess the big question as I see everyone else is asking - how do I create and maintain and online profile. There are so many tools and programs out there in cyberspace and everytime something comes I have been guilty of jumping on the band wagon in an attempt to stay visible and I confess that this does not work.

After reading the article about online personas in the times highe, I think a personal webpage is the way to go.
 Having one personal website with all papers etc and careful maintanance is good as well as manageable over a long period of time. One can post pictures, papers, articles and anything they read in one place and link it to the work page but have the ability to take it with you when you move on to the next job. There are also no limitations on the content that you can post and chances of forgetting the password are very slim, unlike having a dozen pages (facebook, twitter, linkedIn, academia etc).
Having said that I dont know whether I am ready to give up all the other accounts I have created, even though I rarely ever use them - well once or twice a month really, but I may soon come round to using them one day - when I do not have a mountain of data to analyse, grants to apply for, funding to seek etc and all the rest that comes with being a contract post doc researchers.

Friday, 21 September 2012

I have moved again!

Well it has been a while and then I lost my passwords and everything else that happens. My blog is still do with weblogs in palliative care but I am opening it up to a wider field to include academics who blog.
I have just started the DH23 Things digital course which is quite interesting. I have also installed LastPass which is helpful for me as I have so many passwords that I always have to remember.
To those who do not know LastPass, you can read about it in one of the posts in the DH23 Things  blog.

Anyway, I am hoping this will get me back to blogging and writing in general. I was told that if I try to write for at least 30mins everyday then writing will come naturally to me and so this blog is one way of doing that. Apparently it does not matter what you write e.g academic work or creative work - the point is to get into the habit of writing. 30 mins seems to be such a long time and I am not sure that I will succeed but maybe I will try 10minutes and increase that each week or month - which ever works for me.

Well, I am now working for the Centre for Family Research and the University of Cambridge.  Still working in palliative care which I enjoy and hoping to develop and set a career in the field (although funding etc in that area is a nightmare).

I will like I said be showing up on a weekly basis initially and then hopefully I will post more frequently. I am also hoping that the blog will take shape as time goes on so please bear with me and continue to read and comment as well.


Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Its been a while

I know it has been a while, but I just wanted to say I am back in the world of blogging. I dont know if I should change the title of my blog as I have finished my studies now. I might keep it the same as I still am interested in the field of weblogs in hospice and palliative care. I will update you all soon with whats new in my life and research world. good to be back