Social-Media Sabbatical

tumblr_m1rbuwwVgO1r028o8o1_500I’m taking a 3-month break from social media from September through November, to finish a book manuscript. That means a hiatus from my Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest accounts — and even from this blog. I’ll be back at the beginning of December.

Ignoring Twitter will be the hardest part. I owe it my current project, because digital humanists actively share news and ideas on that network. Twitter introduced me to my collaborators; it informed my grant applications; and now it’s where the project posts regular updates to its 102(+) followers. Using it for teaching earned me media attention. Whereas Facebook is for news of old friends and family, Pinterest for aesthetic and design ideas, and Google+ Hangouts are great for project meetings. I can do all that through other channels.

So these networks give me a constant stream of news and ideas and information. They add as much to my Pocket reading lists as my Feedly RSS feeds.

But the next three months are about the information I already have. I’m finishing a book about early modern rhetoric (whittling it down from 117 000 > 85 000 words) that’s been in the works for years. My Devonthink database for this book alone has 2250 documents. I’ll say more when it’s sent away to the press.

Then on December 1st I’m starting an administrative job that will rely on social media for what it does best: forecasting the future of higher education, keeping current with new research and teaching ideas, and communicating with colleagues, friends, and students. I’m already planning to use social media in my administrative job, from Reddit AMAs to Twitter chats to G+ Hangouts with students. This blog will get a redesign, and new post categories. But not yet.

In the meantime, my research assistant on the digital project will keep posting Twitter updates, and I’ll still be available via e-mail < ullyot {at} ucalgary {dot} ca >. See you in a few months.


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