Thing 23: The End is Here

The final thing is here. It has been a long but satisfying one.

Through these 23 tasks that we had to do I explored a different side of the internet. One that can help my professional carrier. These days the internet is a part of everything. Through these course I found ways to use it for my benefit. Until now I only thought that I can share my research and inform people about me, only through conferences and papers. But there is so much more. I understood that I can have a complete image of me online. A brand that I have to be careful to keep it professional. My image can be reflected through Twitter, LinkedIn or Academia.edu. I can promote my work through podcasts or youtube.

I will try and keep updating my blog as frequently as I can. I found it to be a really good way to communicate my thoughts

Thing 22: LinkedIn

At this point of my academic life, since I have two years left to finish my EngD, and I don’t know what I want to do in my professional future I believe LinkedIn is the best choice for me. I already have an account, but I would like to update it more frequently and I want to be more active. Also, I think through LinkedIn it is easier for other people to find me and connect with me.

I would like to have an ac.uk profile and this is something I will definitely look into in the future. But at this point I am really busy with my confirmation report.

Thing 20: Dropbox

If I had to choose 5 of my most used applications on my computer, Dropbox would definitely be one of them. I use Dropbox everyday and since I found it I was more productive and my documents were safe.

Because I have 2 different laptops I use at work daily and a personal laptop I use at home, I needed to find an easy way to have my documents synced between them. I tried applications that synced my usb drive, but I found myself forgetting to connect it. With dropbox everything is synced without me needing to do anything. I just seamlessly move from one computer to the other to continue my work. Also, I have accidentally deleted an important file. With a usb everything is lost. Dropbox saves the previous versions of your files, just in case something goes wrong. Another advantage of Dropbox is sharing. Sometimes I have a powerpoint presentation that is too big to send it by email to my supervisors (I like adding a lot of pictures). Sometimes I am collaborating with multiple people. With dropbox I just create a folder and share it with other people. Then they can make changes, add files and anything else they want, quickly and effortlessly.

I could continue to praise Dropbox for a while, but these are only words. For me it is the number one productivity tool. You need to try it in order to see how useful it can be to anyone.

I am sure google drive and other equivalent applications are good as well, but I am sticking with dropbox because it is the one I am familiar with and I trust it that nothing will go wrong. Sometimes I use google drive to store files that I am not accessing everyday, just in case I need them when I am out, just because I have run out of space on dropbox.

Thing 17: Creative Commons and Copyright

I knew the existence of copyright laws and licences but I never really thought about them. As young researchers it is very easy to share your work, but without thinking how you will take credit for it. By copyrighting your material you are safe and you can get credit for them.

As a start I added a CC licence to my blog. Not that I think that it is needed, but because I think it is a good practice. Now it is something that I will keep in mind every time I share information online.

Thing 12 and 13: Making and Sharing Media and Research Online

This week’s things were very entertaining. I got to play with different applications and got new ideas about ways to share my research. I had never used most of them before, so I gave the a try. I found screencast to be to most useful and easy to use of them all. I recorded a presentation of mine. I am not sharing it here, since whenever I listen to it all I can think of is how much I hate my voice.

Prezy is one of the applications that I had used before. If used right it can make presentation look very professional and artistic. But I feel that it is not the best tool for research oriented presentations, since it makes the presentations very flashy and could result in the audience not paying attention to the content.

Podcasts is a platform that I would like to use in the future to share my research or even my thoughts in general. Until now I thought that it was too much work, but after learning about all the tools available, I am reconsidering. If I find the time and courage to make a podcast I will share it here.

Thing 9, 10, 11: Wikipedia, Podcasts and Reference Managements Tools

Since I am currently writing a report, the Reference Management Tools drawn my attention. I am an passionate user of the on line version of Endnote, since I frequently switch between work, personal and library computers. I have been using this for the best part of the past 4 years for all of my assignments, reports and dissertations. I think it is a must-have tool, since it is almost impossible to keep track of all your references in a document if you don’t write it in one go. I downloaded and tried Mendelay. The PDF editor feature caught my eye, since I sometimes loose track of my annotations. I gave it a try and it looks very good, especially for a free product. But I can’t see my self changing Endnote, since I am used to it. When I am stressed about writing my thesis, I don’t want to rely on tool that I am not confident how to use.

Thing 7,8: LinkedIn, Academia.edu and ResearchGate

Social media is a phrase that isn’t particularly appealing to me. I feel like I need them to be social. But this perspective is created to me by Facebook. I don’t particularly like Facebook and I only use it to catch up with old friends that I don’t have their numbers or emails. This “Thing” though is about professional social media that can be used for networking. I already have an account on all three networks, but I only use and update LinkedIn. I first set these up when I was looking for work, especially LinkedIn, but I have stopped visiting the rest. I currently mostly use LinkedIn as an online storage of my professional and academic milestones, so I don’t forget when the time to update my CV comes. Since I haven’t published any academic papers yet, I was never intrigued to update my Academia.edu or ResearchGate profile. Today, since I logged in, I did a quick update. I will try and use them more, but only time will tell if these networks fit me and keep me interested.