You have /5 articles left.
Sign up for a free account or log in.

“No one will take you seriously if you don’t have a noteworthy presence,” said Jason Schenker, an economist who specializes in economic forecasting and has purchased at least 260,000 followers.

NYTimes, 1/27/18 The Follower Factory

Do academics ever buy Twitter followers?

Did you see the May 2017 Atlantic article by Oliver Bateman? -  The Young Academic's Twitter Conundrum

That article does a good job in exploring the benefits and risks of academic social media presence.

What is clear is that, when done well and handled carefully, a large social media presence can be beneficial to academics. The benefits to alternative academics of investing in social media may be even great than for traditional academics.

Alt-acs, after all, tend to have careers where advancement is related more to impact than research productivity. Being connected to a large network of peers via social media may be more beneficial to an alternative academic than a publication in a peer reviewed journal.  (We should unpack this hypothesis).

Without clear career advancement milestones such as tenure and promotion, an alternative academic may be tempted to use purchased Twitter followers as a signifier of impact.

To be clear, I don’t know of any cases of alt-acs buying Twitter followers. I’m just saying that there may be some structural career incentives at work that would tempt an alt-ac to do so.

Do you see any correlation between number of Twitter followers and alt-ac career success?

Which way would the causal arrow point?

Did you find this post through my @joshmkim Twitter feed? (Read shameless half-disguised effort to attract more Twitter followers).

What has been the impact of Twitter on your career?

How many Twitter followers do you have?

Next Story

Written By

More from Learning Innovation