Thursday, 11 August 2011

cpd23 - things6 and 7!

Cpd23 – Thing 6 – Online networks

For a very long time I made a point of avoiding using social networking sites! Ok, so I joined friendsreunited in the very early days, and used it to contact school friends with whom I had lost touch, and later joined other sites for specific reasons. For example, I reluctantly joined facebook when my son’s school was under threat of being closed, with a view to joining the group, but when I investigated the group, I didn’t quite get the “like” idea, so never really took part. What I have used facebook for is keeping in touch with relatives who live far away, and friends I don’t see very often. Only in more recent months have I “liked” professional groups, preferring to keep facebook for the personal!

Before joining Twitter I was used to using Yammer, a microblogging site that was devoted to a specific institution, and I found this quite helpful in my work life. I then joined Twitter because I ran a “new technologies day” for my team members at which I and a few other staff talked about what was happening out there on the internet that might be of use to us as professionals. A colleague was very keen on Twitter, extolling its virtues for answering queries, so I joined to see what it was all about. I admit to having blown hot and cold about it, but now that I have “new” Twitter I can now see Tweets from people I don’t follow etc. without having to subscribe to some other service, so I’m feeling a bit more confident about its use.

I joined LinkedIn for similar reasons as I joined Twitter – to see what all the fuss was about! I am always afraid of having too many contacts on these types of websites, afraid that I will spend all my time on them rather than on meeting up with people in real life, or doing some real life work! In reality my LinkedIn activity is centred around friends! Lately, I have joined some of the groups (again, keeping them to a minimum) and found some of the discussions taking place within those groups quite useful – and I’ve even contributed to some!

Thing6 has alerted me to other networks that I have been vaguely aware of, but I am reluctant to join any more; I only work part-time and I have found myself doing more and more at home in order to keep up with all the information I’ve been extracting from Twitter etc., so I am in danger of collapsing under the weight of it all. I must keep a sense of perspective though; I’ve managed to do my job perfectly well over the last 24 years without much recourse to online networks, but I appreciate that the world is changing and I have to keep up - somehow!

Cpd23 – Thing 7 – face-to-face networks and professional organisations

I have been a member of CILIP (formerly the Library Association) since 1979. The reason I joined (when I was a student) was because without being a member it was not possible to get a professional job in a library! Over the years I have been a member of various CILIP special interest groups, but have not really made the most of my subscription, not having been to many events. Lots of reasons for this, mainly based on the fact that I work part-time and have difficulty enough fitting in all my work. I’ve never been on a committee, nor contributed anything to the groups really. This is partly because of my lack of confidence; this is something that I find difficult to deal with. I have always paid the subscription to CILIP myself and have never claimed the tax back.

When I worked for a pharmaceutical company, I was a member of AIOPI (Association of Information Officers in the Pharmaceutical Industry). This was a great association that cost very little to join and held some really useful training sessions.

Thing7 refers to Jo Alcock’s blog post on networking for introverts. I had already found and read this post with great interest, being an introvert myself (although I did puzzle over the idea that introverts think to talk (yes, I do a lot of that) and that extroverts talk to think (yes, I do a lot of this too, but it’s usually to myself or to someone I would describe as a “safe person” so does this count?!)).

Another thing that resonated with me was the idea that as an introvert I am much happier to lead a discussion in my team than I am to participate in one! I also don’t have a problem standing in front of a group presenting on something I know about (not that I have had occasion to do that much lately!)

A few years ago I read a very helpful book, “How to talk to anyone: 92 little tricks for big success in relationships” by Leil Lowndes. A bit of fun really but some interesting techniques for making socialising a bit easier and a more positive experience. I’ve never read Dale Carnegie’s “How to win friends and influence people”, but this appears to have influenced Leil; perhaps I should.

Right! That's things 6 and 7 tackled: Thing 8 - here I come!

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