Week #4: Evolving Social Media

Our last discussion garnered a lot skepticism with regards to the usefulness of online social networking sites. Despite the sentiments that many of us expressed I do believe that as technology continues to become more influential and sites as these are more normalized t something such as Twitter can be converted into a space of collegial and communal discussion. The notions that these spaces are devoid of an academic atmosphere have more to do with one’s own personal use of them than their actual capacity. With that said, I would venture to say that at this point I view Twitter more as a place for ephemeral group work. As the discusion #digped demonstrated there are people utilizing the site for reflection and brainstorming, although the success of the conversation can be questioned I think the intent is clear and rather positive. There is an attempt and a move towards appropriating social media sites and platforms into the academic sphere. The article “What do Girl Digs” does a good job of showing how a social media platform can succeed at this task.

With regards to incorporating this into ones academic life without crossing the lines of the professional that is more of a question of self policing that not sure anyone can truly answer. I think we are all aware, well there is a general consensus of what will no longer deemed as professional despite the manner in which you phrase it or intend it. There is always a risk to what one posts online specifically because of the accessibility the public has to it and how easy that can be reproduced and misinterpreted. All I would suggest is a very clear awareness of that and seeing as Twitter has a limit on characters I can only believe that said constraint results in concise and clear thoughts which aid in avoiding that very feared misinterpretation. Now notion of using such tools simply for the sake of using them will surely become a thing of past. This isn’t about becoming obsolete, but rather becoming accessibly in a way no scholar could’ve imagined being before. Ultimately, the advent of these platforms will continue evolving and so will academics and the manner in which one does research or engages in conversations. If the first DH project is credited to Robert Bousa in the 1940s than we cannot be so daft as to think that humanities, academia and scholarship as we know it is coming to an end- no it is simply evolving in the same way that is has for centuries as proven by our visit to archives a few sessions ago.

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