I had a shock on Monday, I thought this week was a reflection week, a week to catch up on those pesky Things I’d previously skipped over (intending to relook at)- but not to be, we are continuing straight on into social media.
One of my reasons for starting cpd23 was to find out about more social media tools and make myself actively try some, rather than spending months dithering about them. I think the most successful for me so far has been Twitter – yes, one of the most obvious, that most of you were probably already using. I gained followers really quickly (thanks to cpd23) and am still collecting them, in many ways much to my amazement, but I put this down again to cpd23, and by the fact that I tend to tweet when I’ve done a blog post. So maybe people are reading my blog too (that would be nice!). Aside from the real life network we held in Cardiff in the yurt, which came about with the help of Twitter and blogs, I’ve yet to really use my new community in a professional way, but I’d like to think if I started asking some pertinent questions, that there would be some equally pertinent answers winging my way from people I have not necessarily met in real life – and that feels good (in potentia!). And of course the week after I joined Twitter I was able to follow what was going on at Umbrella which was really interesting.
I’ve been struggling a bit with LinkedIn, but will persevere there too, not the least because yesterday I was asked to connect with someone (my first connection!) who I had met on a professional basis last year. He’d noticed/found me on there, and is a good contact to have. (and I’m going to count him as the ‘one new contact’ we got asked to make!)
I am certainly planning to carry on using the tools I am discovering with cpd23 once the course has finished. I will be quite sad when it finishes as I quite like having someone telling me what new things to look at! I am also going carry on with my blog, and am hoping to insert more work related posts in between the cpd23 ones, to ease me into continuing once cpd23 has ended.
I do think that social networking can foster a sense of community, I think it does a great job, and it is up to the individual to get as much out of these communities as they can, (whilst of course putting in to these communities as much as they can too). They are however just one aspect of ‘professional communties’ and we shouldn’t forget our real life contacts either – nor forget to let them know about things we have learned about online. Not everyone can/will/wants to embrace social media/networking for whatever reasons, and some people may feel isolated or left out, because they aren’t a part of ‘social networking’ as individuals I think we should try and be inclusive and informative where we can. Hmm my head is a bit fuzzy here, but I hope you know what I mean. 🙂