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Networking online

Web 2.0 technologies

Web 2.0 Technologies are internet applications that offer users with the opportunity to share information, network and collaborate. There are hundreds of Web 2.0 platforms on the web, so careful attention must be paid to deciding which are the most appropriate ones for research. The questions below may help:

  1. If raising the profile of your research means building a community around your topic what kind of information do you need to put up on the web to boost your research profile?
  2. When and where are the discussions happening in your discipline (on the web and face-to-face)?
  3. What web 2.0 platforms might be appropriate for your research? Where is the conversation occurring in your discipline?

Over the last year or so, researchers have begun to realise the benefits of using web 2.0 technologies to share information, to network, to raise their profile and to interact with people. 

Common web 2.0 tools for research

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Academia.edu
  • Ning

Social networking sites - public and private - can be used for social interaction, networking and collaboration for research

  • RSS feeds
  • Twitter
  • iGoogle
  • Digg
  • Stumbleupon

News-sharing, information-sharing – ensure that latest updates reach you faster – can be adapted according to your interests

  • WordPress
  • Blogger
  • Google Sites

Blogging and personalised websites – ideal for raising your profile, reflective practice and sharing knowledge and information

  • De.li.ci.ous
  • Evernote
  • Mendeley
  • Scribd

Sites that can help with cataloguing, building resources and databases, annotation, reviewing, bookmarking, creativity, sharing and dissemination

  • YouTube
  • Audacity
  • Prezi
  • VoiceThread
  • Flickr

Sites can be used to upload media – videos, podcasts, presentations, photo’s/images and share them with others

 Using Web 2.0 to Develop a Research Profile

There are hundreds of sites out there – the most important thing is to find out which ones will benefit research. When using several web 2.0 tools, try to find ways to link them up. For example, try linking up a twitter feed to a website and email signature – that way anybody interested in following a research project will be directed to the relevant website. This is called ‘creating a digital footprint’ and can save a lot of time.

The key to creating an effective research profile is to get the researcher’s name linked to/associated with the key terms/words of their topic. When somebody performs a search for that topic, the researcher’s name comes up as somebody currently working in that field. Research profiling is becoming very important for those wanting to make contact, through the web, with other researchers and people interested in their work. Many Web 2.0 platforms are compatible with Google Analytics or Search Engine Optimisation.