Thing 6: Online networking

I am really, really good at most online things. I actually said the other day “I’m charming by email and awkward by daylight”. And while hyperbolic, it has a ring of truth to it. I’m much more comfortable in my little online world than in the real world. However, I fake it really well in person. Few people would know I uncomfortable I am at times.

So because of that, I find myself latching on to various online social networking options. I was talking to a rep who deals in public records and said they were looking in to buying a database that included over 26 social media sites. TWENTY SIX! I can’t even think of maybe more than a few! That said, let’s move on to the ones mention in Thing 6.

LinkedIn is definitely the one place on the internet where I feel comfortable putting my actual name out there. I definitely look at it in a professional manner and treat it as such. While I do have some friendly contacts on there, I have a lot more professional-only contacts on there compared to other sites.

My  boss requested to be connected to me on there the other day and I hesitated at first. I find that connecting socially with a boss online has the potential for disaster. Not that I do anything outlandish or anything, but it’s still there. But I eventually added her as I see LinkedIn purely as a professional tool. There’s no possibility of a friend tagging you with anything incriminating.

I am a member of three professional organizations there. One for my undergraduate social, one for the state I live in and one for the ALA. While I get email updates on there, I don’t find myself participating in the conversation. However, I will read the topics depending on their nature. I just added the 23 Things group as well as the group for the library school from where I graduated. Sadly, that group only has seven members. It doesn’t appear they are very well connected there.

Oh someecards, some days you're perfect. PERFECT.

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. It’s been a source of contention among me and my friends. People seem to see Facebook as a substitute for real interactions. I cannot tell you how many times I heard the phrase “well, everything looked good on Facebook so I didn’t ask”. So people just assumed that what I posted on there was everything going on in my life and didn’t think it was critical to actually talk to me or hang out.

I got so frustrated with the circumstances, that I disabled my Facebook account for the first four months of this year. And it was a MUCH needed reprieve. But I realized that I missed some folks. Most of the folks I missed were those at a distance who I cannot see or interact with in person on a regular basis. So I’m back, but I’m still not posting everything about my life on there.

I have made a very conscious decision to avoid most coworkers on Facebook. Like my hesitation with LinkedIn, connecting with bosses and coworkers on these sites can be tricky. The fact that other people can tag you or write on your wall causes some potential trouble depending on your connections. Facebook also proves to be difficult to use in a professional sense and the website is surf controlled through our firm.

Most of my Facebook connections are of a personal manner. I have some library school friends and some professional contacts, but they are people who I would consider friends first and library nerds second.

I just i this to see what this was about, as I was not familiar with it. While my previous two writeups on social networking centered on friendly interaction and professional interaction, it’s nice to see one on this list that is specific to just librarians. While it heralds over 1000+ members from over 34 countries, it appears to be a popular with non-Americans at this point. I’m interested to see what benefit I can gain from being connected this way.

Librarians as Teachers network
As teaching is not a part of my current position, this is irrelevant to me right now.

CILIP communities
I took a glance at CILIP communities, but for right now, I’m not sure how much I would participate in this. It appears to be a very UK-centered library community. And while I’m in the states, I’m not sure how applicable it would be for me currently. However, I will keep an eye on it because you can learn something anywhere, can’t you?


About indie librarian

a recently MLS librarian's observations
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One Response to Thing 6: Online networking

  1. Pingback: In Defense of Smartphones « Suit Yourself

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