CPD23: Working the net

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This week’s CPD23 Things are all about networking, online and off. I’m going to take a look at Thing 6 today, which is about social networks.

Social networking

My first real experience of social networking was possibly myspace. Although the renamed ‘my____’ now pitches itself at ‘a Gen Y audience’ of music types, it was once a veritable museum of awful amateur web design (my first flirtation with HTML). Next there was Facebook, which I signed up to during my Freshers week at university in 2006. Unlike myspace, I still have a Facebook account. I barely use it and the only reason I haven’t deleted my account is that I need it to check and update the library’s Facebook page every day.

In fact, I’m not sure I get the concept of a social network. Why? Because I find them a bit anti-social. I actually quite like seeing my friends, talking to my friends and writing to my friends without being limited to 140 characters. If you’re from my primary school, and I haven’t spoken to you in person since I was about 10, you’re not really my friend, are you? You’re not actually part of my actual, real life, social network at all. I can’t be bothered to pretend that I have 193 friends (the number of friends I have on Facebook) when that is blatantly, blatantly not true.

Online professional networking

Ok, Facebook rant over.

Social networking just doesn’t really work for me, I guess. But online networking does. I get quite a lot out of my professional online network. I was persuaded to use Twitter after attending the CILIP UC&R and CoFHE conference last year, where I found that everyone was talking about tweeting. I use my Twitter account to discuss professional issues and talk about things that are going on at work, and I follow people who do the same. The support and information I get from my peers on Twitter is really invaluable.

I’m also part of LISNPN, the network for new information professionals. You can take a look at my profile here if you so desire. This is a brilliant initiative and it’s particularly good for longer, in-depth discussions about professional issues.

New networks

And this week, thanks to CPD23, I’ve started to explore 2 new networks. I’ve finally had the push I needed take the plunge with LinkedIn. I’ve been putting off creating a LinkedIn profile for ages, but I’ve finally done it. Take a look, and let me know what you think!

I’ve also started exploring Google+. After my tirade against Facebook, you’re probably wondering why I’m even bothering. Actually, its not that I dislike Facebook in itself, as a platform. The reason why I don’t use my Facebook account is because it represents me back in 2007, rather than me today (which is very much my own fault, and I can’t help thinking that at some point I should give it another chance, a la Cheryl and Ashley). So why have I created a Google+ profile? Because I’m curious, that’s what. And if it ends up being a big player amongst the online networks, it’s kind of my job to know about that. I haven’t done much with it yet, but I’m interested to see how I might use it.

I think online networking is beginning to work for me.


Written by missrachelsmith

July 22, 2011 at 17:05

Posted in CPD23

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