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Tips for Academics: Social Media Lingo


Platforms are networks where users can share content and engage with followers



Blogs are platforms where web content is published. Posts are indexed by search engines for easy retrieval. They allow users to post material such as articles, news, pictures, videos… Blogging platforms include Blogger and WordPress.

Relevance to researchers

Blogs can be used to post long articles about current research or your ones take on things that are going on in the news.




It can be very time consuming to regularly post content on social media. There are services such as Buffer and Hootsuites that let users write posts ahead of time and schedule when they will be put online.

Relevance to researchers

Buffer allows researchers to write when they have time and post when the content will be read by the most people. They also offer analytics to understand what your followers want to see.



Facebook is the world’s most popular social networking website. Through Facebook, users can connect to family, friends, colleagues, fans and customers. They can add photos, post status updates, create events

Relevance to researchers

Facebook can be used to create a community with people interested in your work.




This is Google’s social network and like Facebook it is used to connect with friends, families and colleagues. Users can share photos, send messages, and comment or like content.

Relevance to researchers

Google+ can be used to create a community with people interested in your work.




Instagram is a free photo sharing platform where users can post photos, apply filters, edit and post to their Instagram account or cross-share on other networks, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Relevance to researchers

Researchers can post pictures of their labs, experiments and excursions to show followers that what they do is pretty cool.




This social network is geared towards professionals and businesses. Users create connections with their colleagues and can follow organisations’ pages.

Relevance to researchers

LinkedIn can be used to post resumes and professional credential to gain followers in their field of work.


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Tips for Academics: Doing an Interview on Reddit’s Ask Me Anything

AMAs are an opportunity to participate in a conversation with ‘a raging community of people with boundless curiosity’ (Neil deGrasse Tyson)

What is a Reddit Ask Me Anything

Reddit, commonly called the front page of the internet, is an extremely popular and informative social news site. It is place where users comment on links, texts, videos and images posted by their peers.

With 15 million subscribers, Reddit’s most popular feature is the Ask Me Anything (AMA) subreddit. It is a place where experts and people who accomplished something of significance are interviewed by users for an hour. The interviewee begins the process by publishing a post describing who they are and what they do. Jane Goodall, the famous ecologist, started her AMA with “I am Dr. Jane Goodall, a scientist, conservationist, peacemaker, and mentor. AMA”. Users then leave their questions in the comment section; the best ones are upvoted to the top. Once posted, interviewees can respond to any question that they like in any way that they choose.

AMAs are such a popular feature because of the quality of the interviewees and of the questions. Although high-profile individuals garner the most attention, academics do well because having a niche interest is enough to have a successful AMA. Remember that AMA is a friendly community and users will flag and remove abusive or harassing comments.

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Tips for Academics: Why It’s a Bad Idea to Purchase Followers

Thankfully as an academic, your work and not your following determines your worth

Users consider the number of followers when deciding whether to subscribe to an account. As a result, it is common for individuals to buy thousands of followers in the hopes of attracting real users. In fact, countless celebrities, politicians and companies have been caught buying fake followers.

Account holders can purchase inactive followers or, for a premium, there are services where these fake followers will occasionally comment and like posts. With a market rate of about $3 for every 1,000 inactive followers or $100 for 1,000 “active” followers, purchasing followers can be quite affordable.

Although it may be tempting, we highly recommend avoiding these services and building your community organically. Thankfully as an academic, your work and not your following determines your worth. Unlike celebrities and politicians you can build a strong community by regularly posting interesting fact based articles or even pictures of your experiments. Continue reading “Tips for Academics: Why It’s a Bad Idea to Purchase Followers”