From social media to generative media: the confusing landscape of post-pandemic research communication
There are two shifts underway within the landscape of research communication which have occupied the academic community over the last year. Elon Musk’s purchase and subsequent mismanagement of Twitter (today called X) has provoked a fragmentation of academic audiences across multiple competing platforms. The release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT 3.5 sparked a new hype cycle within big tech with the potential to transform the political economy of cultural production. These developments each have substantial ramifications for research communication as a set of interconnected practices but the interconnection between them have yet to be adequately analysed. Not least of all with regards to how they have both been shaped by the civilisational disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mark Carrigan, Manchester Institute of Education, offers an interpretation of the significance of social media within higher education, building on a decade’s work as both a theorist and practitioner supporting academics in their use of digital platforms.