Investing in Your Online Professional Presence

December 21, 2016

Dear Colleagues:

We’ve all heard about the many benefits of communicating our research to the public, in addition to pursuing our normal scholarly publishing. I write to share some thoughts on how to raise the public profile of MSU’s excellent scholarship.

Maintaining my own blog has provided me an outlet to discuss my research interests and various other topics, and to start conversations with possible collaborators. Beyond blogs per se, selected blog posts by many MSU faculty (including some of my own) are now included in Spartan Ideas, the aggregation site curated by MSU Libraries.

Dr. Chris Long, Dean of the College of Arts & Letters, explains the growing importance of informal academic communication brilliantly in this video to his faculty.

I’m pleased to announce that my office, the College of Arts & Letters, the College of Communication Arts & Sciences, and MSU Communications and Brand Strategy (CABS), will be collaborating to support a series of workshops. They are intended to promote best practices for informal academic communication with the public. I encourage you to attend a session to learn more -- and perhaps to resolve to start something new for 2017!

As one example, I’d like to draw your attention to a few excellent articles recently authored by MSU faculty for a website entitled “The Conversation”:

The Conversation“ is an independent, nonprofit platform for informed commentary and analysis written by university faculty and academic leaders around the world. Analyses typically reference books or formal scholarly articles by their authors. Because “The Conversation” is disseminated under Creative Commons licenses, other media outlets pick up its contents, to repurpose for their sites as well.

Opinions from subject matter experts showcase the public thought leadership we offer here at Michigan State, potentially augmenting our professional research reputation. Sharing informed perspectives online also contributes to general intellectual discourse within the public sphere. “The Conversation” is a terrific platform for entering the op-ed arena, and I hope you’ll consider writing a submission. To learn more, please visit the CABS online toolkit, or attend one of the upcoming workshops.

If you have questions concerning your possible participation in “The Conversation”, please contact Kim Ward in CABS at X20117.

Happy Holidays!

Steve Hsu
VP for Research & Graduate Studies