I’d been following #femedtech on Twitter for some time and had put my name down on the waiting list for a two-week curation slot, so when @francesbell asked me to step up, I just had to take the plunge! I’ve just finished two weeks of curating the @femedtech Twitter account, so now feels the right time to share a few reflections.
I was quite nervous to begin with. I’m normally quite discreet on social media, especially Twitter. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m a lurker, but apart from splurges of Tweet-facilitated conversations at conferences, I mainly use it as a source of information.
My first reflection is that this curation gave me a sense of what I first framed for myself as ‘responsibility for the collective voice’. The collective voice of former, present and future @femedtech curators. And as I got into the swing of things, this evolved into a plural of collective voices. The femedtech code of conduct guided me here, as I constantly asked myself “Whose voices do we want to amplify via this channel? How can we best use the growing #femedtech community to make these voices heard?”.
In practical terms, @MarenDeepwell‘s blog post A day in the life of a #femedtech guest curator helped me structure my curation – this is great advice and makes the whole process feel much less daunting for a newcomer to the exercise.
Returning to the notion of responsibility, one thing stood out in particular. I made sure I read every post and article thoroughly before retweeting, to be absolutely certain that these reflected the values #femedtech advocates. The added benefit for me personally was to develop a much finer understanding of many of the questions surrounding the notions of open and diversity. In future, I might feel more confident in raising more controversial issues and contributing thoughts on these, but, for a first experience, this was the approach I took. And that’s one of the things I truly appreciated, the trust placed in each @femedtech curator to do what you feel comfortable with.
I also endeavoured to reach out to other communities. I would have liked to see this evolve into more conversations, but can be satisfied in that the seeds have been sown. I also realise I neglected my own Twitter account during these two weeks, but can now pick up with a fresh outlook and new conversations to engage in.
Finally, as I handed over to @orna_farrell on Sunday, I have to admit a certain sense of emptiness, akin to that emptiness you feel when you’ve just submitted a project proposal or research article, and it’s no longer there. But of course #femedtech is always there! And I’m very much looking forward to re-connecting during the @VConnecting remote participation session at #OER19!