This afternoon I told my Average is over story to the new Honours class. Part of it is to say that everyone of us need to keep learning and one of the best ways to build a personal learning network is through Twitter. What follows is my list of recommendations for students starting to use Twitter for academic purposes, updated for 2015.
Step 1: Follow your lecturers on Twitter. In the School of Economics @ekonoom is on Twitter, but you will also find Requier Wait (@RequierWait), Carike Claassen (@carikec), Alicia Fourie (@Alicia_Fourie), Dr Henri Bezuidenhout (@HenriBez) and Prof Marianne Matthee (@MattheeMarianne). You can add Prof Parsons (@RWKParsons) to your list as well.
Step 2: Follow other South African academic economists. At Stellenbosch I recommend Johan Fourie (@JohanFourieZA) and Neil Rankin (@NeilRankinZA). The Bureau of Economic Research tweets as @BERcoza. John Luiz (@JohnMLuiz) is at UCT Graduate School of Business and first President of the Economic Society of South Africa who is active on Twitter. Ed Kerby (@Edkerby) is an economic historian working at UCT and the LSE. Adrian Saville (@AdrianSaville) is a visiting Professor at GIBS. There are a few others out there, but they tweet very little.
Step 3: Follow people who will keep you updated on what is happening in the South African economy. The options are many and we would love to hear some recommendations. The ones that we find helpful are: Cees Bruggemans (@ceesbruggemans) and Chris Hart (@chrishartZA) at Investment Solutions. John Loos (@john_loos) focuses on property, but also covers more general economics issues. Mike Schussler (@mikeschussler) links to an article every now and then. Amongst the finance types I follow George Glynos (@George_Glynos) and Paul Theron (@paul_vestact) but there are many more (but beware of following too many the “Austrian economists” or libertarians). Amongst the economics and financial journalists I like Bruce Whitfield (@brucebusiness) who hosts the Classic Business show. Also out there you’ll find Alec Hogg (@alechogg) who hosts the excellent BizNews blog, as well as the always excellent Felicity Duncan (@FelicityDuncan).
Step 4: Go international. There are many people out there to follow and here it depends what you are looking for: US economy, EU, specific issues. For broader economic development related content I follow quite a few.
Marcus Eberhardt (@MEDevEcon) has some excellent research datasets. His colleague Dietz Vollrath (@DietzVollrath) has the Growth Economics blog. Morten Jerven (@MJerven) is a specialist of African data (or the lack thereof). At the World Bank it is worth following David McKenzie (@dmckenzie001) and Berk Ozler (@BerkOzler12) of the Development Impact Blog. At the CGD you have Justin Sandefur (@JustinSandefur). Don’t forget Michael Clemens (@m_clem). Marc F Bellemare (@mfbellemare) brings the argricultural economics and Chris Blattman (@cblatts) the political economics. For all round excellent tweets and links you have to add Tony Addison (@TonysAngle) who is at WIDER.
That is a lot to get you started. As ever I would love some recommendations for this list.