#GradSchool: Post 1: Social Networking Experiences

This is the first in a series of three posts for Indiana University-Indianapolis course S401: Computer-Based Information Tools. 


Goal: Create a blog posting that discusses your experience using social networks. Compare and contrast two social networks, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, that you’ve used yourself. If you do not use them yourselves, interview someone who does. What do you see as the value for library and information science professionals? Provide a personal or professional example, if possible. Also, include an example from either the IUPUI School Facebook or Twitter postings.


 

My experience with social media began early in high school. It was 2004-2005 when MySpace became popular. Before this, I was never a big AIM user (I had three screen names because I could never remember them) or one to create a LiveJournal. (Just thinking about those long-gone or long-since-changed services makes me laugh.)

Facebook had been around for colleges when I graduated from high school in 2007. I remember everyone was just waiting for their campus emails to be activated after getting accepted to their choice of university to join the realm of Facebook. Later that summer, they opened access to anyone and it didn’t seem so important. By 2008, I was on Twitter. If you go to my page, @CuriouslyJake, you’ll see the date I joined; the specifics aren’t important here.

I’m also on LinkedIn. It’s the social network that I don’t always remember of the major networks I’m on. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are always worth my time, because I feel like I get something from connecting or engaging with a friend or acquaintance. As for LinkedIn, it’s a bit more difficult for me to manage it. I feel like the best users are always updating their profiles and working to get ahead in their industry. I tend to want a more personal or business interaction to move ahead. LinkedIn also has so many marketers and head hunters soliciting information, that if you spend too much time, you’ll go “down the rabbit hole” and wind up off track from your original plans.

Comparing LinkedIn to Twitter, my primary personal learning network (PLN), I see how useful and intentionally I curate the people, services, places, and organizations I follow on this network. So much of the news I consume comes straight from journalists I follow with major news organizations. I can get direct updates that I don’t have to wait on. However, another great thing I appreciate from Twitter, is the authenticity and genuineness that people tweet with.

If I have to pick, I’m going to pick an environment like the latter over the former, any chance I get. The value for library and information science professionals on Twitter is amazing. As a teacher, I built my initial PLN before I even began my student teaching, and even today, I’m building a new PLN of librarians. I can ask a question and use a hashtag that is focused on a topic, and that will connect me to endless resources. Every librarian should “be social.”

My director at my library is an active tweeter. Her connectedness encourages me to engage more:

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It’s also helpful to be able to connect with schools. IUPUI does a great job, even by individual college, of posting information that’s essential to staying engaged and involved:

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