The first post for INF206

There  is a question that must be answered in this post, and that question is: What does Social Networking mean to me?  Well, right now, before getting too far into studying this subject, it means creating and maintaining contacts and interactions with people who share similar interests, beliefs, or hobbies.  Before the internet this was done by joining clubs or informal classes or groups, or meeting up on the town, with most interaction in person, or over the phone.  Social networks were thus quite limited by geography.  Now, with the internet, and ever more sophisticated ICT and networking tools, the limitations have been lifted and the definition of Social Networking has shifted to mean online.  Even those older, physical social networks have been enhanced by these new tools.  For some of my “real life” (as opposed to those I have only known online) friends, I now have upwards of 6 different ways to communicate with them.

I use a number of these tools in my daily life.  I keep up to date with friends and family with Facebook.  In some of my networks Facebook communication has replaced email as the primary contact method.  My current usage trends see me posting more comments on other people’s updates than creating my own, but I also use features to write on other people’s walls, to chat, to send messages, and create and RSVP to events.

I use Twitter to follow a few of my friends, but also a lot of authors, musicians and comedians.  My Twitter updates are syndicated to my Facebook.

I have a number of blogs and webcomics RSSed onto my iGoogle homepage, and will occasionally comment on those.

There is a bit of crossover between my Facebook friends, the tweets I follow and the blogs I follow, but there are others that I only network with in one medium.

On a less frequent basis I network by following channels on YouTube and browsing Flickr and DeviantArt.

I recently joined Google+ to check it out, but haven’t had much time to play yet.

I still have a LiveJournal, but I haven’t posted anything there in months.  Quite a few years ago I was posting there regularly and had a handful of core readers. It is interesting to see how far blogging tools have come as I used to have to be familiar with quite a bit of HTML in order to add hotlinks and pictures or change the font when writing there.  You can do all that here in WordPress by clicking on buttons.

Back then I also spent quite a bit of time in chat rooms – I was a Harry Potter fan-girl and chat was the place to be.

The majority of my social networking has been personal.  I do not use any of these tools for work, and I have only used the forums and chat in Interact for study until the start of this subject.

I expect to learn from this subject how best social networking tools can be used by institutions and library professionals to reach out to and engage their clients in the services and collections of the institution, and also how they can be used for professional development.  To this end, I have created all new accounts on the relevant social networking sites to establish a professional online profile, separate to my personal profiles, to build upon during my studies and professional life.

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~ by nomidale on November 20, 2011.

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