Home > Online identity, Online networks > Thing 6 of 23–Online networks

Thing 6 of 23–Online networks

Online networks are something I use every day.  Facebook is becoming more of a mixture of friends and professional contacts, although I’m careful who I “friend.” I also belong to a couple of “secret” groups on Facebook, supposedly invisible to those who are not members.  I actually don’t even remember when I joined–2006 or 2007, and I use it to keep up with friends in a central place.  I have a friend who has set up a professional network on Facebook, but I prefer to keep it for personal contacts and have not responded to her invitation to join that group.

I use LinkedIn less but lessons in this course have given me some ideas on using it in more and better ways professionally.  I enhanced my profile (although still have to add an updated resume) and have enlarged my circles of contacts on LinkedIn recently.  I’ve joined some of the groups on LinkedIn but have less time than I’d like to participate in those discussions, since my work-related professional responsibilities must take priority.  However, it’s occurred to me that LinkedIn could be a good place for communities of practice/discussion groups with some of the groups of librarians with whom I work.

I’ve recently joined Google+, and while there aren’t enough people whom I know yet who have joined (with invitations from me, since they don’t seem to understand that they need to set up a Google account in order to participate), but it has some interesting features–and should give Facebook some competition down the line to improve its product.

I’m still making my way through Jaron Lanier’s book, You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto, which has gotten me to think in different ways about software lock-down and the limiting effects these networks can have on us cognitively.  As a result of my slow reading of this book (it’s a challenging read), I’m beginning to use these tools somewhat differently–to see them as tools with which I can extend my identity, not as part of my identity itself.

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