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Juggling Research

I’m currently managing three large research projects, plus our media. I’ve had two big weeks preparing for our public health trial, planning an ethics application, delivering a workshop, finalising results of a project that’s been scaled across the state, and managing our public communications under less than ideal timing.

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Twitter Tips for Not-for-Profits

Not-for-profit organisations still have a tendency to be reticent to fully embrace social media. For some it’s due to lack of funds, time or resources, for others it’s lack of confidence about technology. As not-for-profits are sometimes staffed by volunteers, social media duties may be handed to junior staff who aren’t adequately trained, or it’s otherwise done ad hoc by personnel who are looking after social media in additional to their main job.

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Photo of my laptop showing blogs on my website

Website Woes

I had Friday off. I ran around doing errands and I spent the day in Newtown. It was lovely! The rest of the weekend was pretty relaxed, though I also worked a little on my personal research. I hope to be able to tell you about that soon. In addition, there was a big technical hiccup to attend to.

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Website and Graphic Design in Applied Research

I’ve been away a long time and I wanted to restart my series on A Day in Applied Sociology, to shed light on what it’s like to be an applied sociologist. First, I wanted to show you how I manage my public sociology with my paid work. Second, I wanted to reflect on what it’s like learning website and graphic design for business, research and social policy audiences.

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Planning Research

When you get a PhD, no one tells you how much of your research career will be spent doing admin, planning, and meetings! Today was a day filled with an abundance of these auxiliary tasks that keep research projects running on time and within allocated resourcing. From ethics, to stakeholder meetings about our research, to public communications, and getting ready for our intern, it was a packed day.

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Cognitive Capital of Click Farm Workers

How do we better support “click farm” workers of the online economy? Click farm workers are paid to generate clicks and “likes” on webpages and they otherwise drive traffic to particular websites or social media posts. They are currently located in impoverished areas, especially in developing regions. Their pay is very low and the conditions under which they work are exploitative.

Economics Professor Yann Moulier Boutang argues we should draw on the concept of cognitive capital when thinking about the importance of these workers to the new digital economy. This term refers to the collective knowledge and income drawn from click worker’s online cooperation.

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Managing Blog and Social Media Comments

Business leaders who are not very active online are often put off by the idea of being trolled. This reticence then leads them to shy away from having a strong social media presence. There are different schools of thought about how to manage online abuse.

Start-up co-founders, Joel Gascoigne and Leo Widrich from Buffer, talk about three strategies:

  1. The Seth Rogen school of thought – turn off comments, so you don’t have to engage. This negates the “social” aspect of social media, but it puts your content out there for people to enjoy.
  2. Commit to active moderation of comments – this will still mean you will read negative comments, but you don’t have to let them be published on your sites or engage with them.
  3. Expect that it will happen and don’t let it get you down – the consequence of having a bigger online presence is that negative comments are likely to increase. If you don’t let it get to you, you can reap the rewards from the positive comments and engagements you do receive.

Regardless of which philosophy you lean towards, there are additional gendered, sexualised and racial dimensions to negative comments that complicate how companies manage online abuse.

these-sparks-between-us-will
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