Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Thing 6 : Online networks

Thing 6 asks us to explore some online social networks, happily not expecting us to join them all!

I have a Facebook account, but I'm not a heavy Facebook user and I don't often post on my "wall". I use it mainly to keep in touch with friends and family. I don't find it as easy to use as it was (some people's posts seem to appear more than once on the same page, others never seem to swim past at all) and I find the targeted advertising very irritating. Seriously, has anyone ever bought anything as a result of having an ad pop up on their Facebook page? I know I'm not as young as I was, but is it really necessary to go on about my supposedly wrinkly face and the need for Botox/reconstructive surgery/facelifts? I removed the educational details for the same reason (astonishingly, Oxbridge graduates get bombarded among other things with requests from a company apparently willing to pay them to write essays for current students. That is SO not a good idea, in my case!) Still, it's a convenient way of keeping in touch, especially with people you don't see often. What I can't really envisage is the idea of students using it to connect with the library, but I'm willing to be proved wrong!

I don't have a LinkedIn account. I've had a snoop for a few people on Google, strictly for the purposes of Thing 6 of course, and noticed how high up LinkedIn comes in the results. I had a good look at my cousin's profile, which seems to comprise a very full CV with lots of tags (and some surprises - Russian martial arts? He didn't put that on Facebook!). I think the main purpose of LinkedIn would be for those who are or may be actively seeking employment or building a career: it would be a useful part of one's online profile for potential employers and I would certainly think about using it if my situation changes. I do have an account with Plaxo - I was invited to join it by a friend with a Very Important Job (she it was who got me onto Facebook and Twitter, too!). It seems to be for people working at a higher level than I am, although I do get updates telling me about other people in my organisation who are using it. This network is apparently not as well known as some of the others, but it has been around for quite a while : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plaxo

LISNPN looks fantastic. Too late for me - despite its kind words about not being exclusively for the recently qualified, I don't think I could recycle myself as a "New Professional". It's good to see so much energy and enthusiasm from and for people at the start of their careers - I only hope that there will still be a profession for them to be in! LATnetwork also looks useful. I don't do much teaching but it looks like something that might interest some of my colleagues. Thanks CPD23 for nudging me back in the direction of CILIP Communities, which I haven't been using. I found some useful feeds and blogposts there, and will revisit it soon and edit my details.

However, one stumbling block to all these networks: the plethora of usernames and passwords you need for all these things! I use different ones for everything in the possibly vain hope that this is more secure, and none of them is like any of the public names or obvious words people might associate with me. Am I making life unnecessarily complicated for myself?


  1. I've never heard of Plaxo... I must investigate that one for the Connected Researcher workshop... thanks!

    Facebook keep changing their privacy and other settings and, a while back, changed them so your posts only displayed people you'd recently communicated with... daft! I don't know if this setting is still in place, as I overrode it, but if you can be bothered and can find the time, may be worth investigating your account settings.

    I'm seriously impressed that you have different passwords for everything, as I make do with about six that I rotate. I keep being told about password managers, such as http://lastpass.com/, but have never used them. If you end up going down that route, let me know what you think.

    Are you enjoying blogging? I am thinking evil thoughts about convincing someone else to deliver a blogging workshop I did for library assistants for Eirian's training whatsit... ;)

  2. I'm struggling too to remember my usernames, passwords and all that! When you add in pin numbers, phone numbers and everything else we have to keep secure it's a minefield. Maybe one of the 'things' should be about improving your memory! ;-)