Today’s post in our Scholars Strike Back  series is a nod to the Friday Follow (#ff) hashtag on Twitter, as well as others like #ScholarSunday , started by Dr. Raul Pacheco-Vega (@raulpacheco ). In a conversation that began on Twitter on April 25th- check out our (@UVenus ) and Janni Aragon’s (@janniaragon ) timelines for additional suggestions! - University of Venus editors and writers told us who they follow and offered some tips for using Twitter to create community, in and outside of the university halls.
Lee Skallerup Bessette, Kentucky, USA (@readywriting ): Goodness, who DON’T I follow? Because I know that I follow many of the same people as the rest of my Uvenus tweeps, I want to offer some advice to how to connect on Twitter and find the “right” people. First, find scholars and activists who are geographically close to you. I live in a relatively isolated community, and this has allowed me to integrate into activities taking place both locally and within the state and region. Then, go and find scholars and activists from anywhere and everywhere. Listen, learn, engage.
Liana Silva-Ford, Houston, TX, USA (@lianamsilvaford ): I follow an eclectic group of people. Some folks are clearly academics, which shows the professional background I came from. However, I also follow feminists who work outside of academia, baseball fans, and people who just seem interesting or funny to me. In a nutshell, I use Twitter as a way to stay sharp intellectually but I also use it as a way to meet people. I’ve moved around a bit in the last six years, and given that I’m not extremely outgoing until I get to know someone, Twitter helps me connect with people in my new community.
That being said, some of the folks I follow that other scholars might be interested in? Aside from the University of Venus crew , here are a sampling, in no particular order. Whatever they post, I read.
Lastly, I must put in a plug for @womeninhighered ! If you love @UVenus’s Twitter feed, you’ll enjoy our feed too.
Janni Aragon, Victoria, BC, Canada (@janniaragon ): I follow lots and they cover the array of things that I am interested in with work and play. I follow people who tweet about pedagogy, feminisms, politics, popular culture, women's studies, political scientists, women in higher ed, educational technology, parenting, mentoring, snark, and more. What gets lost in the noise, though is how my timeline moves so quickly. I try to engage with people in meaningful ways and this might move to private messages on Twitter, email, or a Google Hangout/Facetime chat.
I follow lots of the same people that my @UVenus colleagues follow, but what perhaps is different is that I also follow lots of local people from the city or greater regions where I live and this means that I have developed some wonderful friendships and connections.
Ana Dinescu, Berlin, Germany (@AnaDinescu ): I use Twitter a lot, and I am always interested in finding out interesting people that have something to say. I am very much following academics - as I am preparing a book about social media in the academia - but also fiction and non-fiction writers, travel bloggers, journalists. More than any other social media tool, Twitter helps me to get in touch instantly with news and information, and to be part of brain-storming chats.
Elizabeth Lewis Pardoe, Evanston, IL, USA (@ejlp) : I wrote about my eccentric Twitter use in the recent “What We’re Reading ” post. I have many people listed but tend to follow only those I know personally and upon whom I rely to retweet items on any number of topics I might find of interest.
Bonnie Stewart, Charlottetown, PE, Canada (@bonstewart ): A lot of my Twitter connections have already been mentioned here: I think there’s a fair amount of overlap in UVenus circles, at least in terms of our shared interests in the state of contemporary higher ed. At the same time, we all have separate geographic AND disciplinary locations that open us to different influences and conversations: a lot of mine have ended up being among edtech bloggers and fellow Ph.D students in particular. Also, I blogged long before I lurched back into academia in 2010, so some of my favourite people to think aloud with are not in any way scholars, but nonetheless have contributed to the shaping of my research into social media. I use Twitter to bounce ideas off, and the following collection are all people whose ideas always make mine better.
Who do you follow? List below or follow us @UVenus to join in the conversation!
If you are interested in participating in a future edition of our Scholars Strike Back series, please contact assistant editor, Gwendolyn Beetham (@gwendolynb ).