Club-Admiralty

v6.2.3 - moving along, a point increase at a time

On Social Networking...

The other day one of my long time friends and colleague posted on Facebook a quick pondering: is LinkedIn the right place for academics? The underlying thought is that LinkedIn is very instrumentalist and positivist in how it represents someone. Essentially what this means is that we setup profiles that represent a reality that we want to market to others, and we want to pass on that reality (our reality) as the word.

It's not that I disagree with this assertion, but anyone who's ever written a resume, or an academic CV, partakes in those practices for portraying your reality in the most positive light so you can get that job.  The idea behind LinkedIn is, certainly, networking and finding some communities that can benefit you as an employee, but it is also an online resume (increasingly it's sort of becoming like a CV as well with the section for publications - which I must admit, I haven't updated in a while). It is through these resumes that people find jobs and companies find people.

Going back to this notion of positivism and instrumentalism, I think that anyone who has ever used a social network goes by these principles, unless you are a gag profile like the terminator on Twitter (I always get a smile when it/he/she sends me a message). I don't think that most people will not show off in some way on a social network.

This brings me to Academia.edu. I do have an account, and I do follow some people, but I think it's a bit of a failure. I do get notes from them when someone searches for me on Google or Bing, but so what?  The main allure for Academia.edu is the sharing of research (something you can also do on Mendeley), but I don't see many people sharing what they've written. If I am going to connect with someone, for work purposes, I will do it on LinkedIn because the cost/benefit ratio is more favorable (even academics can find work outside of academia). If I am looking to connect with others on intellectual matters, I may just find a MOOC to do so, because on academia.edu people don't seem to be sharing (unless I missed something) ;-)

Your thoughts?
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