If you asked Ernesto Priego (who makes a timely appearance on my annual WordPress report) for some tips on how an academic can best ‘curate’ their online presence, I’m sure somewhere near the top of list would be something along the lines of ‘keeping it human’. This probably doesn’t stretch to live tweeting the final of The Great British Bake Off, but it does mean offering a little of yourself to the world. Some of my favourite academic tweeters do this very well (see Kathleen Fizpatrick, Brian Croxall, Mark Carrigan, Phil Ward, Rebekah Higgitt), seamlessly combining work with play, professional with personable, projection with conversation. In the sense these are the qualities which also make a good blogger. I am no neuroscientist, but Neuroskeptic has captivated me for some time now with his no nonsense, jargon-lite, and humorous takes on bad neuroscience. It seems an obvious point, but if his blog had been dry I might never have bothered reading.
This is not to say that I have been successful in keeping my online presence either free of dryness or overly personal content (indeed the latter is something I was particularly guilty of in the early days, as revealed by my twitter archive), but I hope that when the awkward ‘I know you from twitter’ moment occurs at conferences that people know a little more about me than my academic endeavours.
One of the ways I attempt to insert the ‘personal’ into my online presence is through music. I listen to a great deal of music. Music accompanies me when I work, when I am on the way to the office, and during my travels. It would seem perverse then to consider this too personal to project, discuss, and share. So, in the interests of keeping it human, my last post of the year will finished with a list (sorry…) of the music that made my 2012. I’m sure I’ve forgotten something, but the top 10 constitute my ‘best of’. So enjoy. And If you haven’t listened to Portico Quartet’s eponymous record, I implore you to do so. Now. Right now.