Things 4 and 5

This week on ’23 Things’ we were asked to consider our personal online brand and explore Twitter.

The first thing that we needed to do was Google ourselves.

Full disclosure: This is not the first time that I have ended up Googling myself! Last year, I was working on the third chapter of my thesis on the thirteenth-century lay Sir Orfeo and did a Google search for ‘queer theory’, ‘Sir Orfeo’. I was astonished to discover that within the first three hits were links to my University of Surrey profile and my academia.edu┬ápage, where I have posted a copy of my very first publication.

At the moment of writing this post, if I Google my name my University of Surrey profile and my academia.edu┬ápage still appear. If I add ‘Surrey’ to my search, links to my other accounts such as Twitter and ResearchGate are added, as well as some conference programmes, but there is no sign of my Facebook page which I use mainly to connect with friends and family.

I am quite happy with what I have discovered, even if it feels slightly strange to actively look for information on myself, and am reassured that I do maintain a professional presence online.

The second half of this week’s task required us to explore Twitter. For me Twitter is (almost exclusively) an academic space. While I do follow some friends and family (and my mum ‘likes’ everything I post), I mainly use it to keep up-to-date with conferences, research projects, and other academics working on fields I am interested in. One positive aspect of this is that my Twitter feed is inundated with fascinating images from medieval manuscripts and medieval memes that never fail to put a smile on my face.

Moving forward, I can see that I need to be more active on Twitter to enhance my impact. I have downloaded Hootsuite, an app that manages social media accounts, and can see that it will be a good way to organise my thoughts and plan tweets. Similarly, one key thing that this task has solidified for me is the importance of keeping my various profiles up-to-date.

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