2016-12-06 08:44 am
Entry tags:

Online presence

Last week, as part of the 23 things for research program, we had to search our own name. This brings up an interesting thing for discussion - I got married last year and changed my last name, but I still publish papers and carry out academic activity in my maiden name. My maiden name is very distinctive. As such it's pretty easy for me to win the Google game:


First 4 hits are my Glasgow Caledonian University profile (they really should delete that, haha), LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Scholar and, a few hits down, RG. And of course, the usual smattering of youtube videos of people playing 'So Long Marianne' (RIP Leonard :() or Marianne's theme from Sense and Sensibility. My Uni of Surrey webpage is basically non-existent because the Marketing team are migrating all the Uni webpages to Drupal and therefore my Rhythmyx profile never synced any of the content I'd typed in. It's going to be like that till well into next year, so there is no point in me relying on the Uni of Surrey webpages for people to find me. I joined Surrey using my married name, but really the only impact of that is people might not find my Surrey webpage on Google. Hardly matters if I'm keeping all my other profiles updated.

If you knew the handle I used online then you'd be able to find out a lot more about me, like all the video games I play, or my sheet music website, but that's the whole point of having these things separate. The idea that my hobbies and my real name should be separate on the internet was something I picked up at a very early age, and mostly stems from the fact that I grew up in the era of message boards/forums and IRC chatrooms. As such, my internet presence based on my real name is pretty sanitised - as it should be. Not everybody discriminates in that way, though - I mean, Mhairi Black :P I've become pretty inured against most of the rubbish posted by people on the internet - scroll on by, or block it from my feed, are my standard responses. The internet is mostly something to laugh at - if you got too involved, you'd just get burned somehow. There are far too many angry people on the internet, and life is too short to waste it reading their rubbish.

Tell you what I'm proud of though - if you google distortions amblyopia, my paper is top of the list, above Ruxandra Sireteanu :D
2016-12-06 09:30 am

Live-tweeting a conference

As I said in a previous post, I use Twitter for quite a lot for stuff. There aren't that many Twitter-savvy people here in the faculty of health and medical sciences, so I volunteered to live-tweet the Innovations in Dementia Care conference on the faculty's twitter account.

Most conferences these days come with a conference hashtag. It lets you tweet your thoughts about the conference and the content you've experienced, and you can start some interesting dialogues with other attendees. When people are sitting in a talk, they'll have ears for the speaker and their eyes checking the conference hashtag, so it's not like you're shouting into the void - people will read what you've posted, even if they're not following you, if you've used the correct hashtag and your account is public. It's also handy for finding places to eat too! Or places to avoid - I remember one conference in Florida somebody warned everyone to stay away from a particular food joint using the conference hashtag after they came down with food poisoning. Conference hashtags are useful 8D Plus tweeting stops me falling asleep in talks, haha. I've never been much of a one for dark-room lectures - once the lights go down and my brain switches into listening mode it's nighty-night for me. I blame years of being put to sleep with audiobook cassettes playing in the background, thanks, Mum XD

You can read my tweets from the Innovations in Dementia Care conference here:

I used my dSLR camera with its smartphone syncing to post high quality images of the speakers, but you can just as easily use your phone camera (although the lighting in that room was atrocious so I was quite glad of the extra capability of my dSLR). Notice I attribute the speaker and use twitter handles wherever possible. #dementiafriends is an Alzheimer's Society campaign so I made sure to mention that hashtag too. It's quite easy once you get into it, you just need to be very concise about what is being said, which means you really need to listen as well as tweet! You can tweet multiple times during a single talk but it's best to just pick out one or two points that you think would be of particular interest to your followers, as I've done, in order to still have room for the conference hashtag. It's vital that the conference hashtag is included if you want your tweet to be seen by other conference attendees.

If you'd like a bit more info about livetweeting at conferences check out this article:


Don't forget to retweet and like other people's posts when you're browsing the conference hashtag - it gets a great buzz going!