Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Thing 6 - Online Networks

I like online networks, in theory at least. I find them much easier to use than face-to-face ones and they’re definitely more convenient. However, I don’t tend to use them to their full potential. I have a tendency to join something, use it frequently in an initial burst of enthusiasm, then forget all about it. I think the only exception to this is Twitter, which I’ve used continuously since joining. Nevertheless, I definitely understand that networks can help you to become better connected and more knowledgeable if only you make the most of them.


Picture courtesy of .mw on Flickr

I’ve gone through each of the networks mentioned in turn:


LinkedIn – As Helen says in the cpd23 post for this Thing, LinkedIn results do rise to the top in Google searches – I found this to my surprise during Thing 3 when after searching my name (plus ‘library’) my LinkedIn profile was result number one. Although I joined LinkedIn last year after being prompted by my MA lecturers, added some information and connected with several coursemates, I haven’t used it much. I find it rather intimidating to be honest as it is a much more professional environment than any other online network I’ve come across.


I checked out the sample profiles and was impressed as well as being slightly intimidated by everyone’s achievements. I think I need to tidy up my own profile and bring it up to date as I haven’t done much to it since moving to London.


I had a look at the How are people using LinkedIn? article and was interested by the comments, particularly the discussion on whether LinkedIn will replace the need for CVs in the future. I would tend to agree with the lady who stated she prefers to adjust her CV for each potential employer and LinkedIn does not allow this function. Personally, though I’m happy to add my basic job history to my profile, I certainly wouldn’t want to keep my entire CV on there. I find the whole CV-writing process incredibly cringeworthy – it’s basically bragging, and the fewer people who see my CV the better as far as I’m concerned. I have serious doubts as to whether LinkedIn will ever get me a job, but I can see its worth as a professional alternative to Facebook.


Facebook – I use Facebook purely as a way to connect with friends and old schoolmates, and have my profile locked down, so am reluctant to use it for professional networking. However, I ‘Liked’ the 23 Things for Professional Development page, which should give me something interesting to look at on my news feed besides the constant stream of ultrasound scan pictures and my younger brother’s thoughts on life (he recently bemoaned that he had opened his crisp packet upside down, and therefore the world was about to end. I’m inclined to agree – they just don’t taste the same.).


LISNPN – This is a prime example of a network which I joined and then forgot about. I found it very helpful and useful when I was doing my MA but then got out of the habit of checking it. I must change this! It really is friendly and there are some very interesting and relevant discussions on there.


Librarians as Teachers network – I had a quick look at this. I don’t currently teach as part of my role, but if I ever get a librarianship role in a university this could come in very handy.

CILIP Communities – although I am a CILIP member I’m ashamed to say I had never heard of the Communities page. I am going to bookmark this and go back to it in the future!

I’ve found this Thing very useful as I’ve had a chance to re-evaluate some networks I already use and be introduced to some new ones. I would definitely like to investigate CILIP Communities further, update my LinkedIn profile and connect with more people, and rekindle my interest in LISNPN.

1 comment:

Emma Harrison said...

Your thoughts on networking sites are very similar to my own. I struggle to 'get' LinkedIn but I'm working at it. I've also reviewed my use of Facebook and removed professional contacts so I can concentrate on seeing on what my family and mates are up to. It's made a massive difference!