How useful is twitter for academics, really?

Good post on how Twitter isn’t that effective in increasing readership of a journal article, though I think if a tweet does go viral, the conversion rate is bound to be lower than if 50 people actively engage with it. I would read at least the abstract of about %75 of the posts I retweet – otherwise, why bother retweeting it? To show an interest in the issue, that I can’t be bothered to read more about?
I think the author of the original tweet and journal paper is also important – if it’s an author you have previously read and liked (or an organisation that you actively support), surely it’s more likely to encourage the click-through than just, well, a ‘clickbait’ title?
Yep, maybe I’m deluded on that, which is why Buzzfeed and the like are so popular these days (21 Reasons Why Prawns Are Delicious) and true academic publication (The stochastic and comprehensively bland approach to garbage disposal literature) is not.

Dr. Micah Allen

Recently I was intrigued by a post on twitter conversion rates (e.g. the likelihood that a view on your tweet results in a click on the link) by journalist Derek Thompson at the Atlantic. Derek writes that although using twitter gives him great joy, he’s not sure it results in the kinds of readership his employers would feel merits the time spent on the service. Derek found that even his most viral tweets only resulted in a conversion rate of about 3% – on par with the click-through rate of east asian display ads (i.e. quite poorly in the media world). Using the recently released twitter metrics, Derek found an average conversion of around 1.5% with the best posts hitting the 3% ceiling. Ultimately he concludes that twitter seems to be great at generating buzz within the twitter-sphere but performs poorly at translating that buzz into external influence.

This struck my curiosity…

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About oceanicexplorer

https://oceanicexplorer.wordpress.com

Posted on December 9, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. All of these social web tools need to be viewed as part of an information ecosystem. Anything can be dismissed if it’s not used effectively and in tandem with the other channels. Example: Upload research and presentations on Slideshare and then tweet about them! Use proper hashtags before, during and after conferences. If you don’t understand the basics, find someone who’s making good use of the social web and learn.

    Keep blogging and tweeting, Steve!

    • Thanks for the comment Ron. As you can see my blogging efforts are limited these days and tweeting isn’t much better. But I definitely think academic conferences, for one, would be improved if the presentations are put online for attendees to comment on and share. Hash tagging is great during a confers but how often would you go back weeks or months later and see what people have written using the tag? A lot of useful thoughts and questions disappear into the ether if there are no moderators to collate and share them later

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