This morning we presented the elevator speeches we worked on yesterday afternoon to each other in small groups. An idea we had about this type of one-on-one or small group conversation, was to layer the information so that it’s easy to digest. For example, each sentence could provide a little bit of information about the project, beginning with a basic overview of time and place, and then touching on more complex ideas. Reading the elevator speech versus hearing it on the spot required different types of communication. We found that the ideas written down were clear, but when delivered verbally they could be too dense or heavy with information for a quick listen. Conversely, if the elevator speech is only set to be delivered in person verbally, it might be too informal for a more serious academic meeting. It’s important to hone the elevator speech with written and verbal practice, also considering body language and other nonverbal social cues from the listener.
The afternoon was a discussion of social media, and how we can present ourselves as academics online in the best ways. One of the problems many people face with online identities is that links or URLs can change over the years. An option that some researchers are using is a DOI (Digital Object Identifier). The DOI is a static reference that lives above the level of the domain name, and it can be used as a permanent location for links that might change over time. For example, if you had an important blog post at “example.com/p=25” but the URL was changed to another URL, like “example.com/june-2015/great-blog-post,” a DOI could be used to provide a permanent non-changing link. Many journals and libraries are using the CrossRef system to manage URLs, which helps prevents broken links or link rot. The ORCID (“orchid”) service provides DOIs that can be used for individuals. Funding agencies such as the NIH and NSF are using the integration of ORCID to link researchers and information about their grants. This will help reduce the paperwork overhead of applying for and tracking grants, as information can be entered into ORCID once and then applied to each particular project: https://orcid.org/blog/2014/02/19/link-your-orcid-record-your-funding