Posts Tagged ‘social networking’

So long and thanks for all the fish

The final post! (well nearly – I’m saving my wordle for last). Time for a bit more reflection methinks:

In my first post I wrote that my hope for the outcome of the  Cam23 project was that “I will have marshalled some convincing arguments in support (or otherwise) of web 2.0”. And now we’re at the end I hear you ask? Mission accomplished 🙂 and I have to say (much to my surprise) that most of my arguments are Pro web 2.0, not against. Obviously not everything I’ve tried has been to my taste, but there has been nothing on the course that I would dismiss out-of-hand. To have tried the Things and come to a balanced conclusion about whether they’re useful to me now/in the future/not at all is very satisfying – and to have tried them thoroughly enought to be able to recommend them to others, regardless of my own opinion of them, is a win-win situation.

Here’s a brief run-down of what I’ve found useful:

  • iGoogle has made it into everyday life, along with Google Reader and RSS feeds
  • Facebook I already used in a personal capacity, but I’ve becom more aware of it as a tool for reaching out to users
  • Doodle I’ll use as and when I need it
  • Flickr has already proved very useful, and I may even set up a personal account on there one day
  • Creative Commons is a great idea
  • GoogleDocs for accessible-anywhere work

Here’s some Things I’ll keep in mind for the future:

  • Delicious I might revert to when my bookmarks dropdown menu becomes so large it obscures my screen
  • LibraryThing I might delve back into at some point, but it’s ended up as one of those gimmicks that I’m enthusiastic about for 5 minutes and then forget about
  • LinkedIn, for when I’m feeling a bit more professional!
  • Zotero, definitely for recommending to users and for my library course
  • Wikis for collaborative projects
  • Blogging, to keep users abreast of events, interesting snippets of information and generally to give our wonderful library a bit more of an online presence
  • Podcasts (but mainly for personal use)

and some Things I don’t think I’ll be using again (but you never know):

  • Twitter – I can see the point, it’s just not for me
  • Slideshare – I found this the least engaging of all the Things
  • YouTube – not in a professionalt capacity, and hardly ever personally


At the end of the programme I’m a lot less intimidated by web2.0, trying out new things, and making my own mind up about what’s useful and what isn’t. Whether we like it or not, social networking is here to stay and we should use it to our advantage as much as we can, but never to the detriment of the face-to-face service we provide for our users. All the resources we’ve discovered over the last 12 weeks should enrich the service we provide, not forgetting that librarians can often be the most useful resource of all.

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LinkedIn

I’ve been aware of LinkedIn for a little while now, but have never really thought of creating an account for myself on there until now. It seems to me to be the perfect solution for those of us who want to perserve the distinction between work and private personas, but would still like to take advantage of what social networking can offer in terms of career development: keep Facebook for socialising and use LinkedIn for work relationships.

I haven’t created an account yet, partly because I can’t face creating yet another personal account, partly because it’s Friday afternoon and I’m feeling lethargic, and partly because I’m not entirely sure that an account has a huge amount to offer me right now, but may well do in the future. Perhaps I’ll wait until I’m qualified and feel like a ‘proper professional’ (!) before registering.

Having spent some time nosing around other people’s accounts I can see that it’s great for keeping in touch with other Information Professionals, people you’ve worked with, people you hope to work with, making contacts in other (related or unrelated) professions, and generally keeping up with what’s going on in the industry. Overall it seems like a sensible use for the Facebook format.

I’m currently unaware of any downsides to an account on LinkedIn, aside from the obvious having an extra account to keep up to date, but this is mainly because I don’t actually use it yet. I’ll be very interested to read the posts by current users of the service to get a better idea of the pros and cons of it as a network.