Activity 1: Exploring a platform's strengths and limitations

Using this platform evaluation sheet, let's discuss some common social networking platforms in groups. Use the following questions to guide your considerations:

  • Who owns and operates the platform? Why was the platform created? 

  • What is the stated purpose/mission of the platform? What kind of keywords does the platform use to describe itself? 

  • Is this platform a commercial or noncommercial entity?: Commercial entities tend to be connected to large data brokerage companies that prioritize monetizing your data over the mission of encouraging scholarly discourse and connection. We recommend working with noncommercial entities, which often have greater privacy security over the data you create on the sites.

  • What audience(s) is the platform trying to reach?: How does the mission of the platform influence the audiences that it prioritizes?

  • What features does this platform prioritize? Scholarly impact? Networking opportunities? Engaging with the scholar firsthand? Something else? 

  • What do you see as the platform’s strengths?

  • What are the platform’s limitations?

Activity 2: Reflecting on platforms that work for you

Considering which platforms work for you

Protecting yourself as a scholar

Additional resources and research guides