Thing 6 is all about online networks. Social networks in other words.
Up until 2008 the only social network I knew about and signed up to was Friends Reunited. Not that it actually reunited me with anyone. In fact it was a huge disappointment, so when colleagues started saying things like “Friend me on facebook” I switched off. What stuff and nonsense! Get a life!
I went on a one day seminar about how kids access social networks and recognising what was safe and what wasn’t. I was AMAZED. I learnt there were things such as blogs, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and so on. I was very sceptical but signed up to Facebook and Twitter that evening. I then didn’t go back to them for about4 months.
Facebook I couldn’t be bothered with but Stephen Fry was big in the news about being a huge fan of Twitter. Needless to say I haven’t looked back. I use Twitter for socialising, networking, providing support for other tweeps and sending out pleas for help too. In the early days I found librarians tweeting about how they were using Twitter as a communication tool in the workplace and logging enquiries. This was interesting. I found more Librarians to follow, always astounded that they followed me back!
I currently use twitter to ask for help, advice, work practices, guidance from fellow tweeps be they librarians, teachers, engineers, retail or admin workers. All have responded in one way or another. For work I also follow conferences via the use of hashtags.
Twitter introduced me to some lovely people in real life too, big tweetups for #f1 followers at Rockingham BTCC last year, to mini tweetups at Hay on Wye. I have made some lifelong friends too. Twitter has also given me the opportunity to discover mashed library events which in turn has led to me setting up some projects of my own in my workplace. It has been an amazing few years.
I still use Facebook, but not really for networking online. I do however administer the LRC facebook pages from my account.
I’ve recently been exploring Googleplus and I have to say I really like it. I enjoy that I can put people in circles and just correspond with them, I also like the hangouts although I need to get a webcam (eek). I’m not too sure how I’m going to use another social network at the moment although it is free of restrictions at work at the moment, until they realise and clamp down! I’d like to thing it will become more of a professional tool within my (rather large) librarians circle, with hangouts prompting face to face meetings, discussions and tutorials.
LinkedIn is a network I recently came to this year. I’ve completed 75% of my profile and having looked at the “sexy” profiles on the #cpd23blog I still have some work to do, notably a summary and my skills. I am signed up to groups on LinkedIn as I was encouraged to participate in posting to these as part of my Diploma, “Using ICT for professional development”. Apart from the above, I don’t use LinkedIn much. Maybe that will change as I get more involved in real life networking.
LISNPN I haven’t explored as I assumed by the New Professionals that this would exclude me, but I was mistaken. I now know that pretty much anyone in the profession can benefit from this network so I will be exploring it further.
LATNetwork – Again I signed up for this as part of my Diploma assignment. I shall be taking a PTLLS course later this year so I would imagine that I will gain a greater benefit by revisiting this network and asking lots of questions!
I’ve been exploring CILIP communities for a while now, looking for advice on professional qualifications and the Chartership/Certification process. I find it easy to use although it has to be said it would be a great help if people completed a profile so that we all know a little more about each other. (I know, I haven’t done that yet either!) I’ve also guest posted for the COHFE LASEC blog on CILIP communities.
So that’s my social whirl of a life online ….. and hopefully it will continue to expand. If you have any helpful hints and tips on my network profiles, I’m always happy to listen.