Since I’m apparently in fess-up mode this month, let’s get started with this bombshell: in terms of my publishing-related fancies, I’ve tended towards fashioning myself as more of a trade girl. Sure, I’m an avid fiction reader (the dirty little secrets continue), but it’s not just that. When it comes to digital marketing in the publishing world, trade was the most immediately obvious beneficiary. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest: that screams “Twilight” far more than “academia”, right? Wrong. Social media is about content. There are many different ways to present that content (with assured eternal regret is one example), but it’s all content, just the same. (Interesting fact: the term “blog” was coined as a short form for its original name “web log” to describe the practice of regularly logging web content. Sexy, I know.) What exactly are we talking about here? What does social media content really facilitate? Curiosity. Ideas. Opinions. Philosophy. Discourse. Knowledge. What does that sound like? Academia.
So, maybe it’s casual academia. And yes, often, it’s not even close. But the intellectual value of such a far-reaching method of content sharing is very real. Out with the pub—the academic’s historic meditative debate venue of choice (yes, that has been thoroughly personally researched)—and in with social media platforms. Well, not really out with the pub; some things will never change that much, and for good reason. But once the scholarly masses discover Foursquare, guess where they’ll be? At the pub. But we’ll know about it. Maybe we’ll even start joining them there.
So scholarly publishing doesn’t really benefit from jazzed up Facebook contests and hashtag hype (yet), but it is ALL about content. And that content is all about substance. Aren’t we just starved for that? So, the next time you’re in the mood for some intellectual nourishment, remember that you may not have to go far. Substantial knowledge goes social, too. Use it.
They are letting me keep a web log, after all. #knowledgerockstars