When I was a student, announcement boards — with flyers for conferences, graduate courses, seminars, new books etc. — were centrepieces in the hallways of Academia.

In many departments they still are. Like this well-groomed one in the Dept of Philosophy at the University of Leeds (where I visited to give two talks last May).

But with all these emerging new social web media, will the academic announcement board have a future?

Well, maybe not if you think in terms of the board above. Seen without people in front of it, it could as well be substituted with a Facebook dashboard. But what about this:

(from here)

This image (from the University of Kaunas, Lithuania) illustrates the fact that a physical announcement board allows you to touch the news of the academic world, even touch them together. Touching news together (even if it’s news in text and image format) is an entirely different social experience than viewing the news on a screen.

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