Tim Squirrell is a PhD candidate in Science and Technology Studies at the University of Edinburgh. His research focusses on construction and negotiation of authority and expertise on the internet, with a focus on fitness and nutrition communities.

Episode 1 of PhDigital is here!

Episode 1 of PhDigital is here!

After months of navigating various technical and logistical issues, the first episode of my new podcast, PhDigital, is here! (If you're not an iTunes user, you can get the podcast here at Feedburner). The podcast is about the internet, the people who live on it, and the people who research it. It's being released on a biweekly schedule, with an interview format in which I talk to researchers (in the broadest possible definition) about the internet, digital society, online communities, and the interactions between digital technologies and the wider world.

The aim is to get deep into cutting-edge research being done in the social sciences and humanities, and to promote that research to a wider audience. If you're an academic in a related field, I hope you'll find it relatable and thought-provoking. Maybe you'll even find a new potential collaborator or seam of literature you hadn't previously discovered. If you're just listening because you're interested, I'm hoping you'll come away with a new understanding of the kind of work that's going on in these disciplines, and an appreciation of its depth, relevance, and impact.

In this first episode I'm talking to Annie Kelly, a PhD researcher in American Studies at the University of East Anglia who works on anti-feminist communities including Return of Kings, A Voice for Men, and the KotakuInAction subreddit. We're talking about the changing face of misogynist communities and the alt-right; getting hatemail from Twitter eggs and then trolling them right back ("Come and get me, my cat is armed"); and the vicissitudes of researching the radical right.

You'll notice that the format is a little unstructured, the music isn't perfect, and the artwork is still quite basic. Someone told me recently that you only really know what you're making when you've made seven of them, and I think they're probably on to something there. This podcast is very much a work in progress, and things are changing with every recording (the next episode, which I've already recorded, is quite a bit more structured in the line of questioning for example). But ultimately you have to start putting it out into the world or else you'll spend forever trying to reach an unattainable perfection.

I hope you like it. If you do, please please please give it a rating and review on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. Right now, you can't even find it if you search "PhDigital" on iTunes - you have to search "PhDigital Tim Squirrell" - so even the tiniest nudge would make an enormous difference to visibility. The most important thing, though, is to tell your friends about it! I've got some great guests coming up, and they deserve all the visibility they can get.

This wouldn't have been possible without the wonderful support of the Edinburgh Futures Institute, particularly Prof Melissa Terras who is a genuine wizard of making things happen. Biggest thanks go to Barry Topping at the Digital Innovation team. He toiled over nearly every aspect of this, and I hope he thinks it was worth it.

See you in two weeks!

 PhDigital Podcast Episode 1

PhDigital Podcast Episode 1

This blog's continued existence is made possible by the kind patrons over at Patreon. If you like my work, and you'd like to see it continue (and expand into more media), I'd be very grateful if you would consider supporting it through this means.

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