Wednesday, 3 August 2011

#cpd23, Thing 6: Online networks

Cooee, there are a lot of online networks aren't there? At the last count, I'm a member of at least all of the following, grouped according to my problems with them:

Stuff is going on but I don't keep up with it:
Some stuff is going on, though possibly not enough to warrant much attention, and that makes me even worse at keeping up with it:
'tangle' by Jenning Downing on Flickr
'tangle' by Jenning Downing on Flickr
As you may have guessed, I'm not very good at making the most of these sites.  My action point at the end of this Thing is to set up RSS feeds for forums and site activity so that I have more idea what's happening where.  At the moment I'm relying on Twitter to draw my attention to interesting things, but I don't really think this is necessarily the responsible action to take.

Not responsible? I think not. Relying on other people to bring me news of these communities is a bit lazy, and it also acts against the best interests of the communities themselves.  If they're worth having, then they're worth using in their native location.  I'm not, to be quite honest, perfectly sure that all of them do bring much to professional networking or anything else (I'm thinking particularly of event-centred communities), but I feel I ought to do more to helping the viable ones be viable, by contributing to a critical mass of users.

The CILIP fora, for example, were a good place to to have hustings for the councillor and VP elections last year - I feel like they ought to be a useful and successful space, but at the moment they're clearly underused. I would have thought that there's a need for a place for discussion that is less 'blink-and-you'll-miss-it' than Twitter, but maybe people prefer do interact that way in blog comments instead?

In conclusion: online networking = good idea, but having so many places to do it means that it's somehow harder than it should be. And I haven't even done anything (save put up a profile pic and check my privacy settings) with Google+ yet.


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