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Mark Carrigan understands academic engagement with social media to require more than enthusiastic exhortations or dumbed down lists of rapidly out-of-date apps. Social Media for Academics offers a rich mix of research, scholarly commentary, discussion of key debates and potential pitfalls, personal experience and practical guidance which focuses not just on the how, but also the why of digital scholarship.
Carrigan has achieved what I thought to be impossible - produced a clear cut, incisive guide for the contemporary academic who is confused (as most of us are) about how to engage fruitfully with social media. One of the most difficult things about social media is finding a way to be true to your own personal style, while projecting an appropriate academic identity. Carrigan manages this by organising the types of social media options in what I think is a way that won't date quickly.
IF you'd asked me in 2009 what the future would be in academia for a messaging/micro-blogging system limited to 140 characters, I'd have said - zilch. Yet Twitter + blogs and many other social media have transformed science and academic practice in the interim. Mark Carrigan gives the first book-length and in-depth advice on the many ways in which scientists and academics are developing new paradigms of collective thought, writing and scholarly practice using social media. If you're still hesitating, get involved by starting here.
There is no one in the world better placed than Mark Carrigan to offer advice to academics on how to operate in the new informational environment. This book is brimming with ideas and practical tips for how academics might communicate better in the Twitter age. Brilliant, thoughtful and entertaining.
The book is called Social Media for Academics and I am pretty sure academics from any discipline could gain something from it... If you are thinking of venturing into the online world then this a great place to start your journey. And even if you consider yourself an old hand there is material here that will give you pause for thought.
This is the first book I know of to present a ‘how-to’ manual combined with reflections on the wider implications of academic social media engagement... This book is highly recommended for higher degree students and faculty staff members who are interested in the possibilities of academic social media for both research and teaching, as well as researchers interested in future directions for the university workplace and academic identities.
From the start, Carrigan gives the reader an insight into his own world; yet, despite being a social media champion, he is clearly not here to deliver a sermon. This is what makes the book different from many other guides you may come across: less dry but with plenty of academic rigour. Very often social media guides are aimed at the intermediate user; whilst this title will appeal to the most novice, it also adds weight to arguments by experts in the academic community.
Perhaps the most valuable thing in Carrigan’s book is the attitude that seems to inform the writing of it – the notion that the key to using social media well is seeing the various platforms as tools that should serve the users, not the other way around. He’s promoting something I rarely see in discussions of new media: independent thinking. Carrigan’s book actually teaches people how to think-through what they, personally, are doing online and question its benefits. Inevitably, some people will realize there’s little value for them in social media.
Carrigan knows how to speak directly to academics. A scholarly how-to book, Social Media for Academics is short but academic-friendly because it is presented like a textbook with numerous references and recommendations for additional reading. Carrigan asserts there are two subgroups of academics and their social media use: those who use it and those who do not. For those of us who are social media savvy, the book includes smart tips to confirm that our strategy is on point.
This book comes at an opportune time to help academics, researchers and postgraduate students who have been thinking about using social media in their professional lives to get started. The book also provides a useful way for those already engaged on social media to reflect on their goals and purposes and refine their approach.