The Beginning — Researcher Visibility
I was quite a novice with social media. I like to text. At a push I would go onto Facebook but learning that someone had soggy toast for breakfast or that their hair was limp didn’t do it for me. I then started as an R&D Practice development and Support Lead in an acute hospital Trust. The communications department encouraged me to start a twitter account – and I did. I thought it was the most unidimensional, incestuous platform ever. I did my duty and followed, and we got followers back – and that was all – just a passing of ships; tooting their ship like horns as they passed each other.Pointless but I did try to post some great things I thought no-one else in the world had seen ….
I then went back into academia. With a clinical and research background I was keen to try this SoMe thing again. I noticed that our University @SalfordUni were very SoMe savvy with some real leaders in the clinical and academic arena (@wlasinclair @levylass @neilwithnell). I watched and monitored activity. As a researcher I could see the great potential with looking at Twitter as means of researcher connectivity. I had worked in many researcher roles, academic, clinical, commercial, educational and realised that there wasn’t one thing that connected them all together as a collective community. All may have different needs according to role but the plight remained the same. For example, the plight of the novice:
We have all been there – right? Making that transition into a researcher role can be a lonely business. I then realised how much social media could be used to connect ALL researchers together EVERYWHERE. Not all researchers operate in teams. Some are solitary. Some are singular in their quest across many sites, some work in large teams and some are singular in their quest … on their own. Researchers come in many different forms; clinical. academic. commercial …. practitioner, nurse, fellow, post doc ….. I thought tat there could be a place where researchers could connect together and join together.
What about those who wanted to chose research as a future career? Non researchers who are interesting in taking on a role? How could they learn more? Wouldn’t it be great if they could make contact with others researchers to ask about their role?
This then gave birth to @ResNurse in May 2014. A tentative step into the SoMe world for researchers. I don’t like to be involved in anything that flags so I was a little nervous; being at the mercy of the researcher community. So here we are today with 421 followers! We have been recently been embraced by the NIHR who recently promoted is a newsletter (thank you). I will outline the ‘we’ later.
Its really useful
I love to communicate. Putting to one side the difficulties in communicating with 140 characters I have found Twitter to be revolutionary. It connects people everywhere. It crosses institutional and hierarchical boundaries and is here 24 hours a day. You could be sat with you computer connecting with researchers and leaders worldwide! People learn from each other; we link together, we drive each other. Perfect for a hungry knowledge sponge like me. Researchers of all specialities – no boundaries.
Research informs practice and creates a never ending cycle of change and improvement. Sometimes it not easy: we don’t always fit in. Researchers need to connect with each other to enjoy and learn from other. With SoMe we have the ability to embrace those who wish to be involved with research and even those who don’t. Inclusivity and visibility is vital for researchers. This is the perfect platform to talk about what we do, how we do it and also dispel the myths of the white coat, clip board Tefal headed creatures performing experiments!
This is the time of partnership and sharing. We cannot just politely coexist we need to collaborate. This doesn’t just relate to researchers and clinicians (would still argue they are the same) but also collaboration between different kinds of researchers. We all have our different strengths and weaknesses, SoMe give the opportunity to put ourselves ‘into the mix’. Mix is good. Different perspectives is good. Connectivity is good.
It became clear that the development of @ResNurse needed a team. I am grateful to all involved. We will be posting another blog on who we are and why we have become involved.
We are about to host out first ‘tweebate’ looking at 7 day working of researchers and it seems to be attracting some interest.
Peter @parafinale conducted a survey on the followers of @ResNurse. This showed a rich diversity of followers with a variety of reasons providing the motivation for following @ResNurse. This was pleasing to see the diversity of followers and posed problems for our team in satisfying the needs of all.
I have read a lot about the reality of the ‘real world’ and the SoMe world. Isn’t it appropriate to say that actually SoMe is the real world. This IS our world now. We have many pictures of people sitting together using tablets etc in the same lounge/living room/ pub. Classrooms now are filled with students using notebooks and tablets to inform and shape their learning. THIS IS THE REAL WORLD.
What we have to do now is let everyone know we are out there. Know that twitter is invaluable for supporting, educating and driving development on a personal, local and national level.
Trying to get as many researchers as active as possible ON twitter and then following us.
CONNECTIVITY IS TWITTER
Thank you to all who follow us. Thank you to all those who will.
Connectivity crossing boundaries is our future!
@createyourself9 AKA Jayne Hardicre