We got the idea for this from David De Souza (@dds180) and his hugely successful HR book of blogs Humane, Resourced which topped the best seller nonfiction business charts last year. We want to try and replicate this success and believe it will be a great showcase for network members to share their experiences and views about social media research with a wider audience. The broad idea is to reach 100+ pages of content collected from a multitude of contributors from across the social science world, in the UK and elsewhere. In the spirit of the network this will be a crowd sourced, digitally published volume.
Our best guess at the moment is approximately 50 contributors giving one blog each of 3 pages each = 150 pages of insight & personal reflections.
The theme of the book is how are social media blurring the boundaries of conventional research methods and practice? You can write about your experiences of using social media for research, new tools or methods you've used/developed or more conceptually about the challenges or opportunities shifting methodologies present to us as researchers. Give us a case study or not... Tell us how using new approaches improved or complicated your project... how you present your ideas or reflections is up to you. We're also interested in how the research community is developing it's capacity for using these approaches so if you want to write about teaching social media methods hop on board too!
Once we can see the content coming in we'll try to organise the volume thematically.
The rules/guidelines/principles for anyone interested in contributing are below - See the following blogpost for detailed instructions on contributing -
- It must be your own work, if you use diagrams, images they must be free to use & respect copyright.
- You can contribute one or two blogs. No more. We're hoping to get to 50 blogs, more if more authors come forward.
- It can be new material or an old favourite. Just be sure to write within the overall theme. If you've already published a blog on the #NSMNSS blog or other blogs then we're happy for you to review, revise and submit an old favourite
- You don’t have to be a regular blogger, this could be your first or your hundredth blog
- You can be as provocative as you like, but anything offensive won’t make the cut. Also you don't have to be 'fan' of digital social research, we're interested in blogs questioning these approaches too.
- You don't need to be an established 'name' we're interested in blogs from people at all stages of their research careers.
- We want the book to be interdisciplinary so don't feel constrained or excluded if you come from a non-social science background or context. We're positively encouraging blogs which look at interdisciplinary work and welcome co-authored blogs
- The book needs to be accessible so please write for a wide audience with varying levels of technical expertise and practical experience, if you are writing about complex methodologies or philosophy include links for less experienced readers to explore other resources on the subject
We hope (and expect) that we don’t have a cut to make. We're assuming the average blog will be about 1000 words long – a bit longer or shorter is fine, but we won’t publish a paragraph or a long treatise – unless they are really good ;-) if we do have to make a cut we'll talk to potential contributors about a fair way of doing that.
We aren't planning on a protracted editing process but we will offer to review your draft blog for you and make suggestions, give constructive feedback. We're looking for volunteers to form an editorial support group to provide informal feedback, let us know if you're up for that.
The book will be self-published as a digital volume, and distributed electronically. We are planning to make a small charge for the final volume (we're thinking less than £5) any proceeds will go towards supporting #NSMNSS network events in the coming 12 months. The main focus and goal of the book is about is about sharing knowledge, showcasing some great work and not about making money. It’s about giving people a chance to express new ideas, share what they've learnt and challenge accepted orthodoxies of research practice. It’s about creating a volume of interesting perspectives from a new and developing field of social research.
How to join in? If you are interested please let us know in the comments section below or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Once you are signed up just get writing. We'll let you know more about the process for collation in the next month, we'll collate blogs over the next eight weeks and publish within the next three months.
If something is worth doing it is worth doing quickly.
Hope to hear from you – and we're accepting proposals for titles too! Please share this widely and let your fellow researchers know, the more the merrier!
You can read more guidance for contributors here.
The #NSMNSS team
With special thanks to David for showing us the ropes and providing the initial inspiration. You can read David's blog here