My name is Nicola Osborne and I am the Social Media Officer for EDINA, a JISC-funded Data Centre based at the University of Edinburgh. I have held this role since May 2009 and I am thrilled to be in such an innovative and varied role.
Prior to becoming Social Media Officer I worked on the SUNCAT project team where I munged (programmatically manipulated) data, learned all about MARC21 and AACR2, and set up various social presences for the service. My background before that was a slightly peculiar blend of libraries, techie interests, film writing, website editing and creative interests which, it turns out, is an almost perfect grounding for becoming entirely obsessed with all facets of social media and online communication.
What Does a Social Media Officer Do?
My role is extremely varied including some very practical aspects and a broad tech watch brief. At EDINA we run well over thirty services and projects and I work with most of these to some degree. If you’d like to connect with any of these projects and services the best place to get an overview of all our social presences is on the EDINA Social Media page. On that page you will also find a link to the EDINA Social Media Guidelines, which I authored with support from colleagues and which are available for all to use . I am currently updating these guidelines and am also working with a group looking at updates for the University of Edinburgh Social Media Guidelines, which were originally based on the EDINA guidelines.
As part of my role I regularly give talks and presentations on social media and engagement. If you are interested in attending one of these or would to have a look through materials from previous presentations see the dedicated Presentations & Publications area of the blog – these materials usually also appear on our fantastic official EDINA Presentations and Publications page which is well worth exploring. I will also try to share news of events I am planning to attend – so do say “hello!” when you see me out and about.
A significant amount of my time is spent working as part of EDINA project teams. Currently I am part of the 4 year European Union FP7 funded COBWEB project, for which I developed the Communications Plan and work with 13 project partners across five countries advising on social media and broader communications activities. The project is developing a generic infrastructure for citizen science projects, particularly focused on environmental projects based in UNESCO Biospheres including activities in the Dyfi Biosphere reserve, the Mount Olympus and Gorge of Samaria Biospheres in Greece, and the Wadden Sea and Hallig Islands Biosphere in Germany.
I am also currently working with colleagues in the Institute for Academic Development (IAD) and the Moray House School of Education on the University of Edinburgh “Managing your digital footprint (research strand)” project, funded under the Principal’s Teaching Award Scheme. This project is associated with a wider student awareness campaign which I am also working on, alongside IAD, IS, Student Information Points, Careers Service, and EUSA (Edinburgh University Students’ Association).
I am also part of the AHRC-funded Palimpsest project, working with colleagues in the School of Informatics, the English Literature department and the University of St Andrews Computer Interaction Research Group. The project is using text mining, georeferencing and visualisation to bring Edinburgh’s literary heritage to life for scholars as well as the wider public, via interactive and mobile-friendly interfaces. This project builds on the recent Trading Consequences project, which involved applying similar data mining techniques to 19th Century trading records. This project was funded under the second round of Digging Into Data and my work involved guiding social media presences and managing the launch publicity around the project, working with project and press office partners to ensure that this work had impact in both specialist and mainstream press.
Previously I have also worked on the Spatial Memories (supporting several workshops), Will’s World (particularly the December 2012 Will’s World Online Hack event), AddressingHistory, JISC GECO, STEEV, USED and the “Support for Repositories and JISC Digital Infrastructure“, UK RepositoryNet+ project which is led by EDINA. I also work closely with colleagues on services including Digimap, Statistical Accounts of Scotland, JISC Mediahub and Digimap for Schools.
For the last six years I have been part of the organising committee for the annual Repository Fringe events and I am also part of the Host Organising Committee for the Open Repositories 2012 conference which is being hosted in Edinburgh.
From August 2012, until the completion of the work in Autumn 2014, I was a Member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Spreading the Benefits of Digital Participation in Scotland Inquiry Committee. We investigated the opportunities and challenges of increasing digital participation and supporting associated skills across Scotland. Read more about the inquiry at digiscot.net or read this blog post. The interim and final reports from the Inquiry can be accessed here.
Since October 2012 I have been the Course Leader for the “The Role of Social Media in Science Communication and Public Engagement” module for the MSc in Science Communication and Public Engagement at the University of Edinburgh, which launched in 2012/13.
Since April 2012 I have been a member of the Journal of Open Research Software Editorial Board. The Journal of Open Research Software (JORS) features peer reviewed software papers describing research software with high reuse potential.
I am also (since Spring 2012) the editor of the Social Media page for the University of Edinburgh BITS Magazine. So, if you have a fantastic Social Media activity or project anywhere at the University I’d love to hear about it for future issues!
About This Blog
I use this blog for occasional mulling on social media, for sharing upcoming events and key news, and for sharing live blogging of events as they occur. Occasionally a bit of semantic/linked web, open data, API, mobile and similar thoughts will creep in as well since social media covers an awful lot of bases and my role has an even broader watching brief. As I work for EDINA I inevitably flag up interesting things that we are up to as an organisation but I try to also look out at interesting work and ideas elsewhere and I am keen to hear any ideas you may have for topics, tools, or ideas for me to discuss here.
Finally I should say that this blog is a work in progress – expect a fair few aesthetic tweaks and improvements from time to time. I also tend to have very busy spells where this blog may not be updated for a few weeks or more – though that will usually mean that some interesting materials will appear on my Presentations & Publications page! I would also like to add a small health warning: although this is a professional blog about my work and area of specialism at EDINA, the views are my own.