I signed up for a 2 hour workshop about building your online identity as a scientist/academic. Here are my thoughts on it:
I signed upto this workshop in order to find out how to present myself online as an academic. Afterall the importance of building a professional online outlook of yourself is ever increasing. I realise that employers do perform simple searches of potential employees. In addition I also know that there are various researches going on in the scientific community, where ideas and thoughts are blogged about. So before today’s workshop I thought that an online professional profile gave two major benefits: Employability/fame and beneficiery work.
Though I was expecting a more in-depth talk on ethics side of online blogging etc. the information given to us was very useful. Somethings I had not known before even though I have set up online businesses, which also use blogs, twitter and other social networking and bookmarking technologies.
I failed to realise before today that liability laws can be broken very easily and sometimes without even realising. It may be difficult to avoid crossing the line when speaking about mistakes and commenting on people’s work publicily, though I still feel that clever use of words can easily help prevent any legal issues from springing up.
I came across various technologies, which I feel could be priceless for creation of any professional online presence. Figshare in particular, stood out for me the most. The idea of being able to publish online parts of research, including videos, null results etc. allows research in fields to progress more efficiently.
Mark stated during his talk that it is essential for people to be passionate about building their online presence, or science blogging. To add to that I think it is also vital for us to have our own domain name, which we can blog on rather than using the many free or even paid services out there. This may mean that a little bit of technology may need to be learned, however wordpress blogs for example are extremely easy to set up on a domain name. Domain names are not expensive, nor is webhosting. The only time when costs could rise is when traffic to your site builds up and your web host becomes unhappy about it.
Searching for those who were on ‘The Apprentice’, on google, it will become clear as to why it is far more beneficial to have your own domain name and site.
I have certainly learned a lot from this workshop and would recommend it to anyone. Hopefully in the near future I will also post about some experiments I will carry out with blogging and building my online presence.