Monday, 18 June 2012

Thing 6: Online Networks

Online networks make my head hurt! The problem is, they are all different - they all have the good points and their weak points and attract people for a whole number of reasons. This is great, because there is loads of choice and whatever your particular interest, you can probably find a social networking site that caters to it. The issue for me comes when you have more than one or two interests. I want to follow what is happening professionally in library circles, but also want to keep in touch with my friends. I am a new professional, and would like to network with others who are new to the profession, but I don't want to exclude the voices of experience. Ideally, I want to do all of this in one place, as I am simply too lazy to check the news feeds/tweets/discussion lists/forums etc etc of more than one site. Clearly, my expectations are not reasonable and I will just have to make the effort and be more proactive. The question is, which networks will I find the most helpful? After a bit of exploration of the suggested networks, this is what I came up with. Facebook I am already on Facebook and although I do not often post anything myself, I find it really useful for keeping up to speed with what everyone is up to. I have also in the past used it as a means of gathering info for my dissertation and still receive some residual posts in my news feeds from libraries. I quite like this, as the libraries involved are very sensible about their level of involvement, so I don't get bogged down by their updates but instead get an interesting little titbit every once in a while. It's nice to know what other libraries are up to. I feel like joining more groups on Facebook such as CILIP could provide me with a great source of information, but I am reluctant because I don't want to have to process the sheer amount of stuff that they seem to post! Perhaps some investigation into appropriate groups/pages is in order... LinkedIn I joined LinkedIn for this post, as I have been intending to for a while. I like how much it increases your visibility online and the way your profile can represent your working history and skills to potential employers. The groups that I have explored have also been really interesting, and although I haven't got involved in any discussions yet I have enjoyed reading others' opinions on up to the minute issues in the profession. This is definitely one to be explored further. It would be interesting to know what other people use!

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