Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Thing 6: Online Networks

Another holiday, another week behind...I do actually go to work, I promise!

So Thing 6 is 'online networks', and we start off with LinkedIn...which I have just exclaimed out loud about in the office at work along the lines of "It's horrible! I hate it!".

I do in fact. For these reasons:

  • Yet another place I have to create an account, maintain a profile, share, comment, discuss...
  • It's so ugly! What an ugly website!
  • I am connected with my mother, my brother and some of my friends. Well...to be honest, I don't need LinkedIn to get in touch with those people
  • If I need a job, I'll send my CV out in response to job applications like a normal person...I don't think LinkedIn is going to help me much other than giving potential employers another way to spy on me.
  • Ok, so what about connecting with with other librarians you say - well, there are conferences, CILIP groups, twitter, emails, telephones, blogs, websites...many avenues in which I can do this if I wished. Do I need another?
  • There is SO MUCH information on there. Like, my entire life. I mean, that's a lot to put out there in the public domain. Do I really feel comfortable with people knowing so much about me?
Ok, so I'm going with my gut instinct on this one. I don't have the love to try and get into the social networking side of LinkedIn and I have other ways to connect with my peers and colleagues. Perhaps LinkedIn just isn't for me.

I've already mentioned I keep my Facebook page on lock down, as for me it's a purely social tool for sharing things like photos and birthday messages with my friends, and I don't want to use it to make new ones, and I certainly don't think it's an appropriate place for people to get a sense of who I am in a professional capacity.
Having said that...I DO use Facebook (as an administrator for the Information and Learning Services page for my work institution) to read and respond to student enquiries. So while for personal reasons I choose not to use Facebook to network, I do recognise it has many functions that can make it a very useful tools for libraries and librarians.

LISNPN I realised I joined last year - and then forgot! (Do you get the sense I'm not really into this online networking thing?). However, I like the idea of this network a lot more than LinkedIn, as it's not so large and overwhelming, and I stand a chance of connecting with people who I may get to meet and form actual working relationships with. I may give this one another go - or at least complete my profile!

LAT I didn't know existed, and I feel even more like this is a place I'd like to network than LISNPN...but I'm getting networking fatigue here...

CILIP Communities I've lurked on before, and I do like to read the blog posts and discussion forums that appear here when I get an idle moment, but I never really felt the need to contribute or comment. At this point I feel there are so many voices and opinions out there I'm exhausted with it, and even with myself for adding to them!

As far as professional networking online goes, Twitter is my tool of choice. Without a doubt. Perhaps as my confidence grows through doing this course and getting into the habit of commenting on other people's blogs, I'll feel more able to contribute to online communities like those of CILIP or LAT. But perhaps Twitter is enough! Why not?


  1. I feel like somebody COMPLETELY out of touch here but what is LAT? I tried searching for it but I have a feeling you're not talking about the Lumberman's Association of Texas! xx

    1. No, surprisingly not! I did occur to me about half an hour after posting this that I should have put in the links - maybe I'll go back through it and do that now! LAT is Librarian-as-Teacher network http://latnetwork.spruz.com :-) xx

  2. I agree that there is a lot going on with LinkedIn! I felt very odd putting so much information about myself out there. For me, I find it useful to have a LinkedIn page as I can update my experience as it happens....like an online CV. Plus I can add relevant recruitment agencies so they can see my skills. I am only in fixed term contact based work and therefore always need to be thinking about my skills and were I am going next! Your post makes very interesting reading!!

    1. Hi Sarah. I suppose I have never really been very good at updating these kind of things, and would probably let my profile become wildly out of date so it was of no use to me - kind of shooting myself in the foot perhaps? Still, I haven't yet removed my profile, which means part of me thinks being visible on LinkedIn (whether I like it or not) isn't an entirely disastrous idea...Glad you enjoyed the post!

  3. I was very resistant to LinkedIn but I realised I was finding it handy to check people out for work things. For example, I read about someone at another uni doing an interesting project - I googled them and got their LinkedIn page and could see what their background was, maybe their Twitter id, blog etc.

    Academics at our uni have their own "page" for their work interests and stuff - we don't get the same as librarians so maybe LinkedIn could act as a substitute? Just to give an idea of your professional interests and experience.

    Having said that, my profile is still a bit rubbish! Must try harder...

  4. I hate LinkedIn as well. Really can't see the point of it and it's so ugly and difficult to use. However if I was actively looking for a job then maybe it would be one of the boxes to tick, but do prospective employers look at it?