Day 3: Following people

Today we’ll focus on ‘following’ people on Twitter and building-up some followers, who will be an audience for your tweets. To get started watch the short video and review the list of suggestions on to who to follow (both below). Don’t forget to do today’s task (scroll to the end).


Who should I follow?
At this point, it might be useful to know who else is participating in the course so I’ve compiled a list via Twitter of all colleagues on the course that have a Twitter profile and the list can be found here:   We will continue to update this list throughout the course as other participants become active but for now we suggest you follow each other.  Tweet @UCDTL if you are not yet on the list but are participating in #UCD10DoT. 
Here are some suggestions to build a useful feed of information that might work well for you as an academic.
1. Colleagues in your discipline
Following other colleagues in your field on Twitter is a great way to network and keep up to date. Search for people you know or have heard of to see if they have a Twitter account. 
2. Professional Bodies
For updates about events, news, policy, or funding opportunities, professional bodies will be very useful. Here are some examples of bodies that ‘tweet’ – Royal Irish Academy, Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland, Engineers IrelandIrish Humanities, Law Society of IrelandPsychological Society of Ireland, Teaching Council and Royal Dublin Society. You can also follow specific universities’ research institutes if they have twitter feeds, such as UCD’s Conway Institute. 
3. Funding Bodies
4. Academic and Professional Press
Education press such as TimesHigherEducation or Inside Higher Ed will give you access to general HE news stories which may interest you or your followers.  Irish Education News compiles news from around the country on all education matters.
Discipline specific publications such as The Economist and New Scientist also have their own Twitter feeds, as do many academic journals and publishers. Examples include the various Nature journals, e.g. NatureChemistry, or NatureMedicine and Oxford University Press
5. Academic mentors
There are several academic bloggers and tweeters who create a supportive community for other academics and research students and share useful advice and experiences on the various aspects of being or becoming an academic. You might want to follow these for yourself or to pass on tips to your students. Keep an eye on University vacancies and follow Research Whisperer, Pat Thomson, EarlyCareerResearchersChat, PhD Forum and PhD Comics
6. Associated services and professionals
Stay in touch with what’s happening around UCD by following the main UCD account and some/all of the following services: Teaching & Learning, Research, Innovation, Library, SU, Careers, InternationalGraduate Studies and IT Services
7. Policy makers 
If you’re interested in government education policy, you could always follow individual politicians, the Higher Education Authority and Department of Education & Skills. You could also follow Irish bodies such as the Irish Universities Association, National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning, ESRI, and international bodies such as OECD Education.    
8. Light relief!
Check-out Lego Academics




  • As an individual professional, you’re probably going to get the most benefit in the first instance from having roughly the same number of followers and following. Remember – Twitter works best as a dialogue, and this won’t happen if you’re doing all the talking, or if you have no one to talk to.
  • It’s useful to follow some people, services or institutions so you have other useful information to pass on as well as just promoting your own interests.  Also, following people will give you a sense of how it’s done when you send your own tweets.
  • One way to add people to your Twitter feed is  to look at the profile of the people you’re following – who do they follow, and who else is following them?  You can see who’s following you, or anyone else, by going to your or their profile, and clicking on ‘followers’.
  • #FF or #FollowFriday is a convention on Twitter that on Fridays you can tweet the names of people you think are worth following to others. Watch out for these, or tweet your followers and ask them for recommendations.
  • One of the key features of Twitter is that following is not necessarily reciprocal – the people you follow may not be the people who follow you. There is no obligation to follow someone just because they follow you.
  • You will be notified when new people follow you so you can look at their profile to see if they are someone you want to follow back. If you suspect one of your new followers is spam, you can ‘block’ them using the head icon next to the ‘Follow” button, and selecting ‘block’.

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