History is making its way into today’s web 2.0 culture and it is being more readily available to the public because of said transition. That is to say that in today’s standards for historians is to have an online persona.
I will say that I am at fault for my own online persona as a historian. Prior to taking this class and attending the American Historical Associations annual meeting I did not have a presence on the web in relation to my intended career. I have a twitter, a Facebook, a LinkedIn profile, a tumblr, and other various profiles on other social media sites, but I have not used them to benefit my career. I had never thought of the prospect of putting my own work into the product of the web 2.0. It wasn’t until taking Digital History that I created a blog and posted on a weekly schedule.
I see this blog as a gateway to a better career. For one I can post updates to my research for insight and help when I’m stuck but ultimately having a presence on social media as a historian is beneficial in the long run.
Looking at the sites and profiles that I follow I see a blueprint as to how to run and maintain a presence on social media as a historian. I look at Liz Covart’s twitter as the perfect #twitterstorian profile. She posts frequently giving historical facts as well as using the site as a way to promote her own research.
I look at other people on twitter for examples of how to promote my own research and what I discover is that just using #twitterstorian can promote your work and help establish a following for not just my twitter but also my blog. Undoubtly, historians look at the hashtag to see what work is being done and click on links. That motion of clicking a link to an article or a blog post can link your research to many people because even though we have social media we still rely on word of mouth for our research to be read by others. By also promoting our research on sites like twitter and Facebook we create an open dialogue with the public talking about the subject and informing the public on something they might not have previously thought about.
Social media is an outlet for everyone but it is a great outlet for historians. Its a wonder why so many historians have not posted on sites like twitter, because the benefits far out way the disadvantages. I may be new to the sphere but the benefits that I have had encourage me to continue with my blog after the requisite time for my class.