Email Newsletter: A New Form of Academic Communication


Across college campuses, various academic departments utilize newsletters to share information on upcoming events, faculty publications, and student spotlights. On the administrative side, these tend to take a long time to make. On the reader’s end, they can be informative but not exciting.

In addition, while constant communication with your reader is of great importance, in academia newsletters tend to be published at the end of each semester or school year— when we are most overwhelmed by our work and more prone to ignoring our emails. Also, while effective graphic design is fundamental to attracting the reader’s attention, it does not come naturally and easy to most people in and outside academia. As I sought solutions to these common problems, I came across email newsletters. Continue reading

What’s in a hashtag? How to strategically use hashtags on Twitter

If you use social media, you’re probably familiar with the concept of a hashtag. Hashtags on Twitter are essentially a tool for “tagging” your tweets so they appear alongside other tweets about the same topic. If you are managing an institutional (or personal) academic Twitter account, using hashtags strategically can help you expand your audience by interjecting your voice into existing conversations.

But when is it appropriate to use a hashtag, and how do you decide how many of your 280 characters to dedicate to them? When should you use an existing hashtag, and when is it a good idea to create your own?

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Dos and Don’ts on LinkedIn

As Social Mediums, we discuss at length about the use of the different online media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook or a personal website, for sharing scholarly work, networking, and collaborating. Recently, we explored another popular social media platform for professionals – LinkedIn. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is used mostly for professional networking and job opportunities. Since many recruiters and peers will be looking at your profile, it’s important that your online impression is well prepared. 

In this post, we present the dos and don’ts on LinkedIn.


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A Beginner’s Guide to Building Your Website on the Commons

As the semester winds down for students and faculty alike, there’s no time like the present to take a moment to think about your online scholarly profile. Do you have an online portfolio that gathers your various academic achievements in one place? If you haven’t done so already, consider creating a profile on the CUNY Academic Commons! Continue reading

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Facebook: Friend or Foe?

Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook, recently released an op-ed in The New York Times, “It’s Time to Break Up Facebook,” expressing concern about the monopolistic nature of Facebook and the power wielded by Mark Zuckerberg.

Leapfrogging off concerns raised about Facebook’s recent mistakes, including “the sloppy privacy practices that dropped tens of millions of users’ data into a political consulting firm’s lap; the slow response to Russian agents, violent rhetoric and fake news; and the unbounded drive to capture ever more of our time and attention,” Hughes urges for more than governmental oversight over the company: he suggests that the F.T.C. and Justice Department break up Facebook into multiple companies (and thus undoing its acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp).

He justifies this call to action based on the need to create a competitive market (which cannot be achieved organically due to the enormous amount of capital needed to “take on” Facebook) and to engender more governmental oversight over sensitive privacy and “free speech” policies, thus curbing Zuckerberg’s lone decision-making as majority share holder.

While Hughes defends Zuckerberg’s character, he questions whether any one person should be allowed so much control over billions of people. And to that end, he leaves us to ponder several important questions, such as “Should we be worried that Facebook owns all of our private conversations and photos?”; “To what extend is the company’s knowledge about our interests invasive?”; and “Is Facebook really ‘free’ or do we pay for it with our time and data?”

Read the full article here: “It’s Time to Break Up Facebook”

A counter-argument in the NYT by Nick Clergg, Facebook’s vice president for global affairs and communications, can be found here: “Breaking Up Facebook Is Not the Answer”

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