digital scholarship,  higher ed,  twitter,  web 2.0

Bless my cotton socks I’m in the news

(yes, I have been waiting a long time to use that title)

A couple of weeks ago, a journalist from The Guardian contacted me to talk about how a tweet from Stephen Fry had sent over 10,000 visitors to the OU's Devolve Me site. The angle was initially the power of new media, but quickly morphed into educational use of new twitter. I stressed the importance of one's personal network and new forms of digital scholarly activity. I didn't really have a single message though, and journalists like to have something to hang a report around, and it seemed clear that she wanted to go beyond the Fry story.

So she spoke to Brian Kelly, and in the meantime the CLex report of the use of new technologies in higher education came out, and the piece became about more general use of web 2.0 and higher education. It was published today in the Education Guardian. After all the hype and scare stories around twitter, it's a good, well balanced piece.

It was interesting to see the piece develop. I wonder though if there isn't a little hypocrite dwelling at the bottom of my heart: I praise new media, talk about the death of traditional news, and then get a little flush of excitement when a national newspaper prints my name. Is therapy required?


  • Joss Winn

    Not really related to your closing question, but I have been wondering recently about how we use social media, and in particular Twitter…
    A lot of the ‘conversation’ on Twitter is either implicit or explicit self-promotion (we do this off-Twitter, in real life too, among peers). It would be an interesting study to take a community of users (like those that are listed here: and rate the tweets in terms of self-promoting content against some agreed criteria. You could also examine the content by time of day. Do people self-promote to their peers more during working hours and then relax a bit after work into less self-promotion and more ‘self-less’ conversation? (This isn’t a complaint. I do it as much as anyone… 🙂

  • Martin

    Joss – do you think so? I don’t think there is that much self-promotion in my network. I don’t feel I do that much of it either – I do promote new blog posts but mostly it’s conversation or sharing stuff. I guess it depends on your definition eg is bliping a song self-promotion? What about sharing something you’ve found interesting?
    But that does give me an idea for at least analysing your own tweets. As you say we need one of those semantic analysis methods.

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