Day 1: Social scholarship & setting up an account

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Welcome to the first day of 10 Days of Twitter!

We look forward to meeting you at today’s in-person class, Feb. 6, 12:10-1:00 PM, in the Robarts 4th floor e-classroom. We’re looking at:

  • what you know/what you want to know
  • Twitter as social scholarship, as online scholarly conversation
  • setting up a Twitter account/profile

What you need to do today:

  1. come to class (required for GPS credit)
  2. set up your account/profile if you don’t already have one (optional: do this in class)
  3. follow:

Setting up your account/profile

You’ll want to create an effective and engaging profile. Who do you want to be on Twitter? How do you want to present yourself? Or, what part of yourself? This is sometimes referred to as building a digital/online identity or “personal branding.”

The first thing to think about:

  • your handle (@name), which people will use to identify and direct messages to you. This might be some version of your real name or, if your name is common and most variations of it have already been taken, you might think of a professional and memorable pseudonym which people associate with you in some way. Don’t worry – you can change this later without losing your followers or tweets, and you can also add your real name to your profile so that it’s identifiably you.

There are more things to think about, but don’t feel you have to tackle these all at once:

  • your avatar or profile picture, which is how people will pick your tweets out of their Twitter feed, at a quick glance. You’ll want to upload a picture pretty quickly — the default egg signals that you’re a newbie or spammer.
  • your identifying information, such as your location and personal website or webpage. Make sure your name shows up somewhere (unless you actually want to be anonymous).
  • your bio or strapline, which will sum up who you are and why people might want to follow you. A blank or minimal bio isn’t very inviting, and suggests that you are too new to be interesting, that there is little to be gained from following you, or you are a spam account. A well-thought out bio is an important part of gaining new followers. Have a look at the bios on other tweeters’ profiles, and see what you find inviting or off-putting. If you intend to tweet in a strictly professional capacity, you may want to avoid too much about your hobbies and family or quirky, cryptic statements about yourself. On the other hand, many people intertwine the personal and the professional on Twitter – cat pictures and craft beer reviews interspersed with research tweets. You’ll have to find your own comfort zone. And whatever you decide now, it’s not carved in stone.
  • the overall look of your twitter profile, which makes it distinct and memorable when people view it; for example, add a header photo

Social scholarship

Class slides – are now up!

Further reading:

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