Is social media an antidote to academic futility?

Here’s an interesting discussion of the value of Academics using blogging and social media platforms. The author makes a good point about the ‘sort power’ that comes with academic blogging. I particularly liked the following reflective point:

Blogging is a great antidote to that feeling of anticlimax and futility that comes after you send off the paper or the book manuscript, and suddenly the true indifference of the universe becomes apparent. You can keep discussing and communicating with interesting people, and keep the existential crisis at bay.

Another important advantage is the increase in readership of your work and establishing your expertise and profile in your area. The post quotes World Bank research that concluded

Blogging about a paper causes a large increase in the number of abstract views and downloads in the same month

Kris Greaves demonstrates this in his experiment in promoting his scholarly article by consistently tweeting about the work 5 a day for a month. His article then rose to the 3rd most read/downloaded article in The Law Teacher for the previous 5 years! It’s an unusual experiment, but easy to replicate if you want to try.

Are you blogging or tweeting your research? Have you found it helps your scholarship and your scholarly identity? Or is it just too far out of your comfort zone?

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