• “Facebook for Academics”: The Convergence of Self-Branding and Social Media Logic on Academia.edu

    Author(s):
    Brooke Erin Duffy, Jefferson Pooley (see profile)
    Date:
    2017
    Group(s):
    Cultural Studies, Digital Books, Library & Information Science
    Subject(s):
    Academe, Academic labor, Altmetrics, Scholarly communication
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    academia.edu, academic social networks, scholarly communication, social media
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6CD2F
    Abstract:
    Given widespread labor market precarity, contemporary workers—especially those in the media and creative industries—are increasingly called upon to brand themselves. Academics, we contend, are experiencing a parallel pressure to engage in self-promotional practices, particularly as universities become progressively more market-driven. Academia.edu, a paper-sharing social network that has been informally dubbed “Facebook for academics,” has grown rapidly by adopting many of the conventions of popular social media sites. This article argues that the astonishing uptake of Academia.edu both reflects and amplifies the self-branding imperatives that many academics experience. Drawing on Academia.edu’s corporate history, design decisions, and marketing communications, we analyze two overlapping facets of Academia.edu: (1) the site’s business model and (2) its social affordances. We contend that the company, like mainstream social networks, harnesses the content and immaterial labor of users under the guise of “sharing.” In addition, the site’s fixation on analytics reinforces a culture of incessant self-monitoring—one already encouraged by university policies to measure quantifiable impact. We conclude by identifying the stakes for academic life, when entrepreneurial and self-promotional demands brush up against the university’s knowledge-making ideals. This is the published version of "Facebook for Professors: Academia.edu and the Converging Logics of Social Media and Academic Self-Branding," (http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M61327) deposited here in January 2017.
    Notes:
    This is the published version of "Facebook for Professors: Academia.edu and the Converging Logics of Social Media and Academic Self-Branding," (http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M61327) deposited here in January 2017.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    6 months ago
    License:
    Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

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