Tags: academia.edu, resources, social networking
Almost all of your academic friends are on Facebook already and a lot of them use LinkedIn, too, so do you really need to add yet another social networking site to your list of bookmarks you obsessively check? Well, academia.edu is probably worth signing up for, if you’re a networking academic. It’s basically a hybrid of Facebook and LinkedIn geared for just for academics. You set up your own profile page, which lists your position, institution, department affiliation, and research interests. What’s really helpful and unique about an academia.edu profile is the info you can add to the left column, which includes your publications, conference talks, CV, along with the scholarship you’re interested in and your websites.
The social networking operations are pretty effective too: You can follow (and be followed by) your colleagues, which incorporates aspects of your FB friends list and the Twitter follower/following lists by updating you on new profile information and status updates. Scholars are organized according to your university affiliation, then department affiliation, although you can do a search by academic interests. The interface has a pretty good look too, something along the lines of a family tree where departments branch out under the university.
The site is still undergoing some growing pains, since the interface can still be a little glitchy and it’s no shocker that a site geared towards academics can be a bit overly complicated. Also, the category lists need to be finetuned. In terms of academic interests, there are a lot of duplicated fields, while some are too general and others too narrow. Likewise, some institutions (especially UC’s) are double-named, so some merging of data is called for. And the humanities listings are still very short and spotty, though you can tell they are growing, too.
All in all, it seems like a worthwhile and potentially valuable resource for academic research and networking. If you sign up soon, you can say that you got in the ground floor of the project.
(Hat tip to reader Stacey for referring us to the site!)