Academic Profiles

I already had profiles for each of the tools explored in Thing 6, (LinkedIn, academia.edu and ResearchGate), but this prompted me to update them as well as look more closely at each.

LinkedIn is good as an online CV, and good for connecting in industry as well as in academia. I feel this is useful for those of us who bridge that gap.

ResearchGate and academia.edu seem quite similar to me, and I have used both to download papers and find connections which have been useful to my research. Some of the emails I receive from them are not particularly useful – I get a lot of alerts for jobs to which I am not suited from ResearchGate, and academia.edu’s digest of uploaded papers that match my research interests rarely throws up anything useful or even related to my study.

Googlability

Time to play catchup!

So a Google search <“Will Osmond”> threw up quite a few Will Osmonds, only a few of whom I identify with. I am there among a restauranteur, a partner in a firm, someone who plays a lot of sports and Donny and Marie, but I am fairly difficult to locate unless you know what you are looking for. The first time something of me appears is Facebook, which is hermetically sealed unless you are a member of my close family. The next is another blog I started writing back in 2013 for a Massive Open Online Course I was studying through Coursera. This links with my teaching work, so is professionally geared, though I’m not entirely happy that this comes up before my more recent academic profiles such as academia.edu or ResearchGate (the academia.edu profile I still haven’t come across). Other appearances include mentions in relation to my professional theatre work, which I think is positive and boosts my professional and academic profile. The search <Will Osmond Surrey> brings up my ResearchGate profile as the first hit, so I think I need to use this platform more to boost my academic profile. I feel that I should pay more careful attention to managing my online presence, and making sure that the information that can be found is accurate and up-to-date.

As for Twitter, I have an account, but I never use it – and I probably never will.

Social media

I downloaded a new app the other day, called the Pub. Even though you’ve probably never heard of it, this app was actually around long before Twitter and Instagram, and even before Facebook. I say I downloaded it, but the app isn’t actually available on my phone or my laptop or my X-Box, so I had to actually go through this weird process of leaving my flat and using my legs to move to another building.

As with other social media platforms the Pub enables you to share stories and experiences with friends, but the key feature of the Pub is actual interaction with live bodies in real time. With this, the main form of communication is through moving the lips and jaw in a process of what is called ‘talking’, which is like WhatsApp but without emojis. To me, the lack of emojis at first seemed like a massive drawback of this platform, until I realised that it is possible to reproduce a passable imitation of a smiley using my facial muscles.

It is also possible to engage in diverting activities such as pool, darts or skittles, competitive activities in which you play against each other in teams, not totally unlike MMORPGs, the main difference being that you are not in your flat, typing and moving an avatar, but actually using your physical body to move an object from one place to another. In fact it’s a bit like a cross between a normal video game and using the Gym, except it’s supposed to be for fun instead of getting ripped abs/bis/tris/pecs/lats. If you haven’t worked your glutes/quads/hams for the last few years (I know I haven’t!) it might be worth doing a couple of squats before trying any of these activities, as the amount of standing involved can be exhausting.

All in all, I’d give the Pub a rating of 214, based on the amount of fun that is possible. The main drawback is you have to get people to meet you at the particular building at the same time that you are there. I would say that it takes some getting used to, but once you’ve mastered it, it’s well worth the hassle.