Tag Archives: surrey

23_things_surrey_researchI am an award winning documentary producer and character on Waterloo Road. Perhaps more importantly (and true) however, I'm a girl on Twitter that tweets about her PhD and pops up as the second hit when she Google's her name (how awesome is that?!). We were asked to discover our online presence this week for 23 Things. On my quest to find myself online I also found two flattering photographs, a rather crude definition of my name on Urban Dictionary (NSFW - citation definitely needed!) and some of my old Royal Society of Chemistry blog posts.

Thing five is all about personal profile; I've been building my personal profile for a long time now. My 'Emily Reacts' brand is consistent through all of my social media accounts, making this blog and I easy to find (I've pretty much screwed up my chances of becoming a spy). I am happy with the way I am portrayed online, it's a true reflection of who I am. I think that maintaining a professional presence online is important, but having a personality should not be a negative thing. After all, that is partially what this blog is about - showing the public that scientists are real people too!

23_things_surrey_researchI've signed up for another 'things' project (just to confuse you all further), however this time it's being run by the Researcher Development Programme at the University of Surrey. The '23 Things' project aims to equip us with all of the digital knowledge we need to become online social media wizards, so we can cast our magical research far and wide. We might also unintentionally work on our personal and professional development in the quest to get into the party at the end of the 10 weeks (I heard there would be free biscuits).

With the other 23 Things participants' blogs stashed safely in my Feedly, I've already managed to complete 3 of the things (already having a blog saved me some time). My final thing to catch up on is to share with you my experiences of social media, so here goes...

If I had to pick one professional online tool, I would currently choose Twitter. I love Twitter - it's great for finding out about interesting things relevant to you that you might otherwise miss, following only the people you want to hear about, networking (seriously, if you're not engaging in conversation on Twitter you are missing out), sharing snippets of your day or thoughts, feeling part of a community and so much more. Perhaps best of all, you get all of this in ONLY 144 characters! It trains you to think concisely, which as PhD students I think we all need to learn. There is also a handy hashtag for PhD students (#PhDchat) and my #TweetmyPhD hashtag, in which I share my PhD life with the world. I could wax lyrical about Twitter for the rest of this post but I will spare you...apart from one last thing - to use Twitter at it's best you should really use Tweetdeck, it's incredible for managing posts from the people you follow.

tree_hug_about_meMoving on from Twitter, my about.me profile (currently undergoing some kind of unexplained regression - the picture should be the one above and the bio more up-to-date) was recently featured as a staff pick, which completely threw me off kilter as I had forgotten about it and suddenly my inbox became clogged with notification emails from people liking my page. I didn't think about.me was that popular, but my profile gained several thousand hits per day. On top of 30,655 hits last month, I'm currently getting about 120 hits per day, which just shows the power of being highlighted on the site.

The other handful of social media sites I can be found on include Instagram (I rarely post on there anymore, but I do use it frequently to look at everyone else's pictures), Facebook (for private use only) and Tumblr (My first blogging platform that I created to post pictures of cool things I find while browsing the web).

I'm hoping that the Surrey 23 Things project will enlighten me to the more academic social media platforms, will get me talking more about my actual research (within the limits of my confidentiality agreement), allow me to meet other researchers at the University and, perhaps most importantly, offer chocolate bourbons at the completion party...