As the new academic year comes hurtling into view I’ve been asked to prepare a few seminars based on how undergraduates might use social media to present themselves professionally. The immediacy and global reach of social media tools, twitter in particular, are among the reasons for doing this. I am keen for the students to reflect on what tools are available to them and how they might use them in a professional manner.
Whilst preparing the session I was reminded of an example of what can happen to a brand when the conventions of a site are not followed as the users expect. Habitat UK decided to use hashtags to piggy back on topics that were trending on twitter and therefore spam the trend to try to get maximum exposure. This massively backfired for the company and caused a lot of bad press. See the link below for examples and the full story.
The old adage “no news is bad news” can still apply in this case as it did mean that the Habitat brand got exposure. I would not recommend this type of behaviour for undergraduate students trying to move into the employment market. Employers are looking for responsible employees who can present themselves in both the digital and face-to-face environments appropriately.
This is just brilliant!
Following on from my recent posting on digital methods seminars I wanted to write about another seminar series I’m involved in: “Collaborative ethnography as a model for public engagement”. The series is run by some of the other PhD students from The School of Education at The University of Sheffield.
The seminars aim to explore different ideas and perspectives on what collaborative research / ethnography means and how it does or could work. The initial ideas are very much based on the work of Lassiter (2008).
The first seminar explored the theme of planning research and how the attendees had used or planned to use a collaborative approach in their own work. There was a multidisciplinary feel to the attendees, with people from education, health care professions, biology and sociology (to name a few), and it was really insightful to hear of the work being undertaken in other subject areas.
The focus of the second seminar, coming later this month will be on method and data collection as a collaborative process.
For further details as the seminars take place, see: http://collaborativeethnography.blogspot.co.uk/
Lassiter, L. (2008) Moving past public anthropology and doing collaborative research. NAPA BULLETIN 29, pp. 70–86.