I’ve set up a new Facebook Page as one of my first goals for 2019.
I did this despite being constantly told that Facebook is dead and, even if it’s not dead, it’s where all the old people are (which is, apparently, as good as being dead).
I beg to differ, and it’s probably because I use Facebook for different reasons, and am old.
I’m not there to gain a mega follower count, or launch a start-up, or create a professional presence. I already have a significant online profile.
As a bit of background: I was following along and doing bits and pieces of La Trobe’s version of the ‘30-Day Impact Challenge‘ (led by Laila Hugrass, Gemma Lamp and Melanie Murphy; an initiative funded by our university’s DVC-Research portfolio). While reading the links and seeing what other people were doing, as well as reflecting on my own digital presence, I realised how strangely underdeveloped some aspects of it were. Despite the fact that I think about academic identities and scholarly profiles a lot, I’ve never sat down and had a longer look at what I had already set up and what might need more work (or deleting!).
My digital profile is most apparent on Twitter (as @tseenster), and associated with Research Whisperer (RW) and my work with Asian Australian Studies. I also have this website (formerly called the Banana Lounge and now still known as that to my longer-term colleagues) and personal blog, ResearchGate and LinkedIn accounts, a Google Scholar profile, Wakelet account (@tseenster), an ORCID, and two random hobby tumblrs that attempt social commentary through anthropomorphisation (Sad Chairs of Academia and Tired Bags of Melbourne). I also run the La Trobe Researchers blog (RED Alert) and our unit social channels.
I also also have an Instagram account but it’s not a work-face presence as such – if you can’t find it without me telling you the handle, then my cunning crafting of my online identity is all for naught! You can just search on my name, too – just realised that I use both there. Huh. (see – learning, learning…)
My aim with starting a new Facebook Page was to streamline how I share my professional news on that platform. My personal Fb account had grown unwieldy as time went on. I’m on Fb mostly because I’m monitoring and posting to pages I manage (RW and La Trobe Researchers; previously AASRN). Lots of people friend me on Fb because of these facets of my professional identity – some of them are close colleagues and friends, many are like-minded activist travellers I may have met only once or twice (but have ‘known’ for a long time through, say, Twitter), others still are not directly known to me but we have very strong friends in common. I do have a shut down filter on my personal account that is close friends and family with whom I share some family pics, etc. It felt messy and not quite what I wanted.
So, I have been meaning to tease out the strands of digital identity, particularly the ones for personal and professional Tseen. On Twitter, it feels easier to be just professional Tseen who happens to share some personal sphere stuff once in a while. On Fb, it felt trickier. Hence Fb page (for professional colleagues and interested friends and family) and personal account (reserved for close friends and family). There’s a bit of transitional angst (for me) because I miss browsing many colleagues’ feeds but many of them are on Twitter as well so it’s just keeping track of their doings and thoughts in a different way.
After talking about it for hundreds of words, here’s the actual page: