2023 in Review – The end of academic social media as we know it?

2023 in Review – The end of academic social media as we know it?

Following the acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk academic social media has undergone a period of change and fragmentation. This review highlights the range of responses featured on the blog this year, from coverage of new and emerging platforms, to reflections on what made academic twitter good and why we even bothered with it in the first place. Enjoy!

Social media has changed – Will academics catch up?

Since its purchase by Elon Musk last year, Twitter has undergone a series of rapid changes, largely with an eye to making the platform profitable. Considering these developments and those on other platforms, Mark Carrigan, suggests that just as academic social media has become relatively mainstream the dynamics underpinning academic engagement on social media have fundamentally shifted towards a pay to play model.

1703071793 834 2023 in Review – The end of academic social media | lifefromnatureBuilding an alternative to academic twitter relies on centring the experiences of lurkers

As Twitter, now ‘X’, the preferred social media platform for academics, undergoes a period of change, Gina Sipley argues that part of what made the platform and may make new social media platforms attractive to academics, were the benefits it afforded to those who didn’t publicly engage with the platform, or ‘lurkers’.

1703071793 316 2023 in Review – The end of academic social media | lifefromnatureWill Threads be the new academic Twitter?

With over a 100 million new users, the launch of Threads has a real potential to unseat Twitter as the default platform for academic social media. Taking stock of Threads, Andy Tattersall, examines the positives and negatives of the platform and suggests how it might develop as a platform for academic communication.

1703071793 806 2023 in Review – The end of academic social media | lifefromnatureThe fediverse is an opportunity learned societies can’t ignore

Just as social media has become ubiquitous in academia, its established formats and dynamics have been brought into doubt. Björn Brembs argues that learned societies concerned with their core mission as societies should engage and lead developments on federated social media platforms, such as Mastodon.

1703071794 715 2023 in Review – The end of academic social media | lifefromnatureCould Bluesky be the replacement for Academic Twitter?

Elon Musk’s unanticipated acquisition of Twitter (X), and the rapid alterations he has instituted have led many academics to look for alternative social media platforms. Mark Carrigan proposes Bluesky, a social media platform derived from Twitter, as a plausible alternative, but questions whether we are now in a period of constant social media migration.

1703071794 403 2023 in Review – The end of academic social media | lifefromnatureObserver, Connector, Promoter, Influencer – How to leverage social media to be an open academic

To be an open researcher is more than simply openly sharing research papers. Marcel Bogers and Ian McCarthy draw on their research on open practices in business research to outline four ways of leveraging social media to be more ‘open’ as a researcher, the potential trade-offs this can entail, and how it can help forge connections beyond the ‘ivory tower’.

1703071794 196 2023 in Review – The end of academic social media | lifefromnatureSocial media ennui – the end of academic social media?

Is social media in a period of change? David Beer considers whether trends towards repetition and uniformity are prefiguring a new standard for the way in which social media intersects with academic life.

1703071795 782 2023 in Review – The end of academic social media | lifefromnatureX, LinkedIn, Bluesky, Mastodon, Threads… TikTok? How to choose in a fractured academic social media landscape

Over the past year the landscape of academic social media has become increasingly complex, leaving researchers with the question of where best to spend their energies. Taking stock of the current platforms Andy Tattersall weighs up their pros and cons and how they might best be used by academic for social microblogging.


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