Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Some things I learned already about Twitter

Here is a quick update on Experiment 4: Twitter. At the aforementioned advice, I searched for science recruiters, science jobs boards and HR sites. There were actually quite a few in science. Some of these literally provide tinyurls for job postings, some of them are HR staff who send out useful links and updates on their mani-pedi. Some of them are general PR voiceboxes with occasional job info, such as @OakRidgeLabNews. Some are well followed because they are a constraint stream of cool news, like @NSF, some have as many followers as I do: @NIAIDCareers.

One thing I picked up on quickly is that with the flat social structure of Twitter, 1) you can direct tweets directly to anyone, anywhere 2) I am following a bunch of UK recruiters. It just so happens I am open to the idea of living abroad, but if you aren't, there isn't always a profile identifier to clue you in that @jobsacuk, @ScienceJobs, @ParamountRec and @PeopleInScience will only be listing European jobs.

A couple of the very active job posters I'm following are @scienceposts and @ScienceJobs, but this experiment is only a couple days old. Considering my interest in drug development, I should probably see what is on Pfizer's twitter feed, and if they have one. As I mentioned, given the flat structure, I can imagine if you were reasonably embedded in the community that this might be an easy way to direct questions to hiring managers or others (Like what is GLP?).

For now, my Twitter timeline is reading like reasonably curated job board with occasional interruptions from Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome). I still have mixed feelings about this whole experiment, mostly because I am afraid I will make a fool of myself in 140 characters or less. If this experiment were a complete success, I'd have a job, but if it were a total waste of time, I would give it up.

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