I set aside time this morning to look at the online networks suggested for Thing 6, and seem to have spent most of this time sorting out my account on LinkedIn. I admit I don’t have that much interest in using this tool, but thought I should try it out as suggested. I’ve always viewed it as a useful place to promote yourself if you are looking for a new job, or are perhaps a freelancer. Seeing as I am quite happy in my job, which (fingers crossed) seems secure for now, I didn’t really see the point of joining. However, this week is all about joining in these networks and making my own professional connections, so I’ve taken the plunge. I found it a bit clunky to work my way around, but have managed to get a fairly basic profile up, even adding a ‘publications’ section although I found the fields in this area rather limited. I’ve joined a couple of groups, including of course 23 Things for Professional Development and CILIP, so maybe I shall have to wait and see how it all pans out, although I am afraid it will turn out to be one of those networks that I just don’t get.
I’ve been on Facebook for a couple of years now, after some initial reluctance I took the plunge and haven’t looked back – I use it for purely personal reasons, and find it is great in just keeping up with what my friends are all doing – especially those who live distant from me. I’ve reconnected with a few people I had lost touch with, which has been good. I also use it to help promote Pentreffest the local traditional European music and dance organisation I am involved with.
Having just said I use Facebook on just a personal level, I should admit that I am hoping to set up a page in the near future to promote the CLIC (Cardiff Libraries in Co-operation) Staff Development sub-group. So I will have to see if that provides any kind of minor collision between personal and professional.
I tried MySpace for awhile but it seemed to become more and more unfriendly to use, and most of my friends migrated to Facebook (or had never been on MySpace) so I have rather abandoned my page there, probably some tumbleweed drifting across it as I speak.
One network I am on which hasn’t been mentioned is Academia.edu I attended a ‘Connected researcher’ workshop earlier in this year and this was one of the networking tools highlighted. As the name suggests it is of more use to academics than perhaps many librarians, although I guess it depends on what your role entails. There are several library staff from Cardiff University (where I work) who use it, so it can fulfil a networking need. You can post details of your publications, and ask research questions, find people who are researching a particular topic you are interested in, orwho you might want to collaborate with. I also like the feature that lets me know whenever anyone searches for me or my publications on Google – though I do end up wondering who these mysterious people are (Who is looking for me? Why?!).
LinkedIn has worn me out for the moment, so I will try looking at the other online networks a bit later on. Meanwhile I am looking forward to meeting up in real life with other South wales cpd23-ers later on today in the Yurt at Milgis.