Category Archives: Academic Life

Parallel Tracks: First reflections on the use of twitter at conferences

This week I attended the PMI Global Congress in Istanbul.  It was the first conference I have been to since I became an avid user of the social networking site Twitter and it struck me that with continuous wifi access to Twitter by smartphone, tablet or lap-top you are in effect attending two conferences simultaneously – the live face- to-face conference track and the virtual social media enabled one.  This richness of experience brings benefits and presents a number of challenges for both speakers and attendees: Continue reading Parallel Tracks: First reflections on the use of twitter at conferences

Part-time working in Academia

A colleague of mine has recently reduced her working week from 5 to 3 days, and has been struggling to contain her work within the new 3 day week.  Given that I have been wrestling with the same issue over the last 7 years, we met for lunch last week to swap tips on how to manage reduced hours working in the open-ended and pretty unstructured environment of a UK university.  Here are some thoughts for those of you who may be in similar situation or considering a switch to reduced hours working.

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Twitter: A font of knowledge or the ultimate distraction

Twitter_FS2I was at first a reluctant convert to Twitter. It took a fair amount of cajoling from academic colleagues here in Manchester, before I took my first tentative steps into the Twittersphere. My first foray was short-lived. Signing up early in 2012, I immediately encountered the unique language of Twitter. I found the notion of “followers” and “following” a little disconcerting. I heard myself shouting inwardly “I don’t want to be anybody’s follower. I am an independent free thinking individual”. This sense of being a follower of a particular individual, and worse still, being defined in part by the number of Twitter followers that you have seemed to embody and promote the contemporary cult of celebrity in a way that I found slightly uncomfortable. I promptly closed the Twitter App on my phone and moved on to more substantive items on my To Do List.

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