A tale of two doctoral students: social media tools and hybridised identities

Liz Bennett, Sue Folley


This paper explores the experiences of two doctoral students who embraced Web 2.0 tools in their digital scholarship practices. The paper gives an insider perspective of the challenges and potential of working with online tools, such as blogs, and participating in online communities, such as Twitter’s #phdchat. We explore by drawing on our personal experiences as to how this participation was affected by our hybridised identity as both members of staff at a UK university and as PhD students. We argue that social media tools provide access to a community of doctoral students and knowledgeable others that reduce isolation and provide challenge and support along the challenging journey of undertaking a doctoral study. Whilst the tools involved exposure and risk in relation to managing our hybridised identities, our experience of their use was one we would recommend to others.

Keywords: doctoral students; liminality; blogging; Web 2.0; Twitter

(Published: 26 May 2014)

Citation: Research in Learning Technology 2014, 22: 23791 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v22.23791


doctoral students; liminality; blogging; Web 2.0; Twitter

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