Where would we be without online networks?!
I love that online networks make communication so easy, news, (personal and international) can travel so fast to so many people. I can find out about something happening around me (such as, why the rail station I was in just got evacuated) immediately thanks to twitter; and I can keep myself entertained (and maybe even educated) whilst waiting for a bus. What I don’t get on so well with is the effort it can take to prevent feeds from becoming almost entirely noise, and I don’t always have the time I would like to keep up with the things I am interested in. I do use custom lists on twitter and Facebook to help.
I run the social media accounts for my library, and it has all the benefits you might expect, such as providing an additional way to connect and meeting the expectation that we will have a presence. It’s great for new resource discovery, keeping up with trends, and “market awareness”, you know, being nosey about what is happening in other libraries. After having the account for a few months another great benefit became clear, and that is what a great tool for reflection it is. It’s so easy to see what has been happening all in one place. It also helps to raise our profile, we once even made it into the local news!
From a professional perspective, Twitter can be an amazing tool for CPD. I can get an overview of current issues and viewpoints, discover new things and share ideas. I haven’t found other online networks as useful from a personal professional viewpoint. I still very much prefer to keep Twitter for professional networking and communication, and Facebook for personal use, it’s nice to have some separation, like going home at the end of the working day.