Alas real life face to face professional development and networking took over my life (so more on this in the next post)
A quick reflection on online networks though. I liked the suggestion of three purposes and think these useful to evaluate online networking: becoming better known, becoming better connected, and becoming better equipped
LinkedIn: I’ve got a profile on and keep reasonably up-to-date. I could do more on my profile and add my CV etc, and use it to connect with people I have worked with, but in reality in academic libraries it is not a particularly useful site for finding jobs, etc though of course could come into its own if I one day decide to branch out into consulting and training (the far-off retirement plan). It is useful to have a passive presence there and I do increasing find myself checking people on LinkedIn to see current employer and contact details or previous work history.
Other people in other sectors make better and deeper use of LinkedIn but I’m happy with my relatively low key presence.
Facebook: Despite irritation at constant changes to Facebook’s interface and privacy settings, and increased annoyance at people sharing or liking pictures or trite sayings (if this is you I’m slowly converting you to most important status updates only) I like Facebook. But for me it is a personal networking tool, most useful in keeping in touch with friends overseas (though I find even in London it has a role in keeping in touch with people I see less of fce to face than I’d like). The personal aspect is key though. Some professional contacts and colleagues I’d also count as friends so it isn’t as cut and dry as all that but I like the division and to be able to say things about my life (with carefully set privacy controls) that need not impact on my current or future employment.
LISNPN: I’m NOT a new professional. I’ve been around (even in the UK) for a while now and occupy a managerial position etc so LISNPN isn’t for me – though looking from the outside it looks like a great thing. I’d recommend it (but will leave the “young people” though of course not all young to their own network without oldies like me butting in).
Librarians as Teachers Network: Good to be reminded of this network, but again not a member and teaching only a small part of my role. It used to be a much bigger part and I’m still interested in issues about teaching, training and facilitating learning, but not enough to justify another network.
CILIP Communities: A great idea, but the wrong format at the wrong time. While I joined CILIP COmmunities I rarely checked in and I think CILIP Communities made the mistake (a common enough one at the time) of creating a new specialist social networking community when people were happy with what commercial providers were coming up with and found these easier to use. Many academic related social networks have had similar fates so no blame is due CILIP on this one, and I’m pleased to have heard rumourts that CILIP Communities is to be reviewed.
Google+:How can we miss Google+. I joined as a typical twitter induced early adopter but haven’t found I return to Google +. For all its qualities my networks were already on Facebook and Twitter and without the active community there was little reason to check in and update. It wasn’t helped perhaps by going on extended holiday soon after joining. Phil Bradley suggests Google+ deserves more use – if only because if I risk misquoting him – Google is so dominant in search and in adding the social to search. So I may come back to Google+ but will need something to convinve me.