What is it?
Facebook is perhaps the biggest and best known social network currently active online. You can set up a profile and connect to your family and friends and keep them informed with status updates, sharing pictures and links. However, Facebook also offers the possibility to set up a page, which are public, and groups, which can be used as discussion platforms in an open or closed format. The Facebook sign-in is also often used by other services as a single-sign-on feature. For example, you can sign in with your Facebook credentials at Mendeley, ResearchGate, and Academia.edu. Facebook is very much a walled-off section of the internet, but it has many feelers going out.
What can it do for me?
Leaving aside the personal uses of Facebook, Pages and Groups can allow you to easily communicate with your peers or your students, set up discussion groups, and follow people and institutions that are of interest to you. In this it can be a powerful broadcasting tool, as people can not only like your posts, they can also share them, enlarging your reach not just with their network, but with their network's network. But a page doesn't just allow you to broadcast, it allows you to interact, as people can leave comments and send you messages. Groups are even more interactive and can be public or private. There are numerous examples of Facebook groups being used by students and staff for teaching and research purposes.
Pro’s & Cons
- Low threshold as very many people already have a Facebook profile.
- Your posts and links are easily shared, giving them a potentially large reach
- It allows you to interact with a broader public
- It's unclear what Facebook does with the data they collect
- Might create a greater blend of your private and professional life than you're comfortable with
Who in Leiden?
Turning Over A New Leaf: Manuscript Innovation in the Twelfth Century (project page)
Humanities Faculty - Universiteit Leiden (faculty page)
English Language and Culture, Leiden University (departmental page)
Hortus Botanicus Leiden (museum page
TheLeidener (blog page)
Leyden Academy on Vitality and Ageing (research group page)