M.H. Beals has a terrific overview of Social Media for Researchers and Academics, based on a one-way workshop held at the Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services in Edinburgh. Her post provides a great roadmap of the different ways academics can use social media, ranging from delicious to Wikipedia, along with pointers to resources that can help them get started.

Her post includes a delightful list of ideas for how academics can use Twitter:

  1. asking for reading suggestions or reviews “Any recent articles on….”
  2. advertising a speaking engagement “In London? Come hear my paper on…..”
  3. searching for specialists “Looking for assistance with….”
  4. finding a peer reviewers “Almost ready to submit. Anyone fancy a read of…”
  5. locating the right room at a conference “#AHA2011 Where is Foner’s panel being held?”
  6. advertising an event, call for papers, or publication
  7. facilitating an online discussion group in large lectures

…but let me add three more to bring us to a round 10:

8. organizing a backchannel conversation during a paper or panel presentation at an academic conference by using a hashtag for that session

9. finding colleagues who tweet about a certain topic by using Listorious or a Twitter keyword search (rather than posting a general request for help)

10. identifying potential research subjects by noticing who tweets about a specific topic (for example, finding people with diabetes, single moms, finance managers, etc.)

For more great ideas about how to use social media as a research tool, read the full post.