This is a fantastic book, full of practical advice for those wanting to know more about whether and how to use different types of social media platforms for their research.
The book was written by a team with hands-on experience of communications and media production, including managing the social media presence of popular academic blogs. And it shows!
The book goes well beyond the popular social networking, blogging and microblogging platforms that form the bulk of other sources of advice on social media for academics. Moreover, there is a broad range of examples and a wealth of advice, which shows knowledge of how to use these tools in a variety of scenarios. There are also numerous references, should we wish to learn more about the topics covered.
I was a bit worried that this book would either be too basic for someone who has been using social media in their research for a while; or too enthusiastic about the benefits of social media. Luckily, it was neither of those.
While the book provides a very simple introduction to social media, and covers basic matters such as different types of social media, popular platforms, etc… it also goes into helpful detail about more advanced uses, such as creating infographics, or recording podcasts and videos. I have found something of value in every chapter! I also found the book very pragmatic in its approach, encouraging us to consider a range of questions before embarking on a particular form of social media. The book also included sections on difficult but important matters, such as conflicts of interest, protecting the privacy of research participants, or online harassment.
I particularly liked that the book covered the research lifecycle, rather than just dissemination or profile building. Hence, for each chapter, there are examples of social media being used for inspiration, collaboration, primary research, dissemination, engagement and impact.
The main downside of this book is something that is inevitable in a book about social media: it gets outdated. Vine is gone, for instance. And one of the podcasts mentioned is on a hiatus. Having said that, the message of the book remains valid. So, I am giving this book a 5 out of 5 rating.
Have you read this book, yet? What is your review?