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Martin Paul Eve

Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London

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I have some qualms, which have been growing recently, about the vast number of meta- posts that have accumulated on the use of social media in academia. I need to state this is not a critique of any one of those individual pieces, or the people who made them. I agree with their content. Indeed, in the last week or so there have been several excellent articles published by colleagues for whom I have a great deal of respect. I myself have published such articles. The critique I want to put forward though is meta- in itself; an abundance of meta- posts, at the expense of non-meta-, serves to discredit the very meta- argument.


We spend a great deal of time and effort calling for the use of social media, blogging and so forth in academia; making the case for the cause. I'd like to ask whether, though, if we concentrated our efforts more upon furthering the utopian environment we so often describe, the self-worth of these technologies might not be perspicuous? I appreciate the battle is not won, but the self-valorising approach is clear here -- whenever I write a piece on EdTech or social media in academia, my hits rocket. It's tempting to write these pieces because the community, which already values such things, will value the appraisal that others should also value it.

Thoughts, comments welcome. In the meanwhile, I'm going to think up some material from my research about which to blog for a future post.

Featured image by Christopher S. Penn under a CC-BY-NC-ND license.