Social Media & Science

When I started using social media, I didn’t begin using it with the idea that it would be a venue for sharing my research. Instead, things slowly evolved to the point where I’m now managing numerous Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram accounts, as well as writing for several different blogs/websites1. Each has an intended purpose.


Interestingly, what began as a fun way to connect with friends and the local community now occupies a non-insignificant portion of my day-to-day. And it turns out that many of the accounts that I manage or co-manage are now used to disseminate findings and share knowledge from my lab and my colleagues’ labs.

Of course, while signing up for a social media account isn’t difficult, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you haven’t yet waded into the swarm of activity. How does one find a way to have their voice heard among the din? Where do you begin when it seems like we are drowning in fake news, anti-science sentiments, bots, and trolls? How do you stand out?

While I’m not going to pretend that I’m an expert in social media2, nor can I tell you what will go viral and what won’t, I’m excited to be part of an upcoming Faculty Information Exchange Series workshop where I will talk about my experiences using social media as a researcher. I’ll be joined by Dr. Malcolm Campbell (Vice-President Research, University of Guelph), and Melanie Parlette-Stewart (Blended Learning Librarian, University of Guelph Library).

The seminar, Social Media Use For Researchers: Managing Your On-line Identity will take place March 19th at 12 pm in UC 442. If you can’t make it in person, you should be able to follow along online. More details are available here. The formal description of the event is below:


Social Media Use For Researchers: Managing Your On-line Identity

Why use social media like Twitter, LinkedIn, video and more? This session will explore how to use social media technologies to make your research more visible. In this session, there will be practical tips for building your social media identity. Join us as we review examples of various social media tools and discuss how to build an effective social media strategy.


1 Twitter: @DrDanielGillis, @thedangillis, @UofGComputing, @IdeasCongress, @UofG_ILC, @MathStats_UofG. Facebook: UofG Computing, Ideas Congress. LinkedIn: Daniel Gillis, SOCS Alumni. Instagram: dangillis, UofGComputing. Blogs: ConsumedByWanderlust, BridgingTheCanadianDivide, IdeasCongress.com.

2 Using social media a lot does not necessarily make one an expert.

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