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Katie Fraser's blog and website

I'm an academic librarian, working in the UK Higher Educational sector, supporting academics and students. Prior to this, I was a researcher, working with social and learning technologies.

My interests include the application of emerging and traditional technologies, research support in libraries, learning spaces, evidence-based practice and the professional development of library and information workers.

You can find out more about more about me from the links to the left. Note that the views expressed on this website/blog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other individual or organisation.

CPD23 Thing 6: Online Networking

July 21st, 2011

Online at work

Shot of my old PC at work, whence I networked.

This blog is part of 23 Things for Professional Development, a course encouraging information professionals to explore online tools.

Thing 6, Online Networking covers a bunch of online social networks of which I am already a member. Namely, LinkedIn, Facebook, LISNPN, the Librarians as Teachers network, and CILIP Communities. I’ve linked to all my profiles on these networks, in case any CPD23ers are interested in adding me on them. You’ll see the one exception to this is Facebook: I use this for personal rather than professional networking.

Over the last couple of days I’ve been looking at these profiles a little bit and thinking about how I use them. There was some discussion which prompted this in the online chat CPD23 I participated in earlier this week. That was a little bit Thing 6, a little bit Thing 7 (face-to-face networking)!

Professional Networks

LinkedIn is where I really see myself networking professionally online, but during the chat it occurred to me that my profile is actually fairly static (I mostly maintain my profile as an enhanced professional CV). I’ve made the effort to join a bunch more groups this week in the hope that this will prompt me to be a little bit more dynamic! I did have a similar account on the network Naymz, which I found out today had been rebranded It’s not something I used or updated much, so I’ve done a little bit of housekeeping and deleted my profile.

I’m a member of both LISNPN and LATNetwork, and I think they’re both great ideas, but I don’t interact on them as much as I’d like. There’s a fair amount of lurking going on on both, I suspect, as neither is highly active, with LISNPN (which has greater numbers) seeming a little more so. However, I like being part of both as I think the topics which are discussed are important. Similarly, I’m not particularly active on CILIP Communities, but I think it’s important to be part of that space and have the option of engaging with conversations when they are happening.

Academic Networks

There’s another category of social network that isn’t mentioned in Thing 6 as it isn’t relevant to all information professionals, and those are academic networks. I’ve got an account which is static in a similar way to my LinkedIn account. is a site where the academics and postgraduate research students I support have accounts, and so it’s nice to put myself in that space, and demonstrate that I’m also a researcher. On a related note, I have a Researcher ID which allows me to promote my own identity as a researcher, and test some of the features in Web of Knowledge it provides. Just like with LinkedIn and Naymz I was also half-heartedly maintaining a ResearchGate account alongside, but it wasn’t getting any use, so I’ve given that the chop as well.

So what’s the winner?

At the moment, LinkedIn is the king of all these accounts for me, and it’s where I’ve made the most connections by a landslide. It’s also a place where I interact with contacts from my pre-library life, so I think it gives a broad picture of my experience and skills. Most of the other networks I maintain because I think it’s important for me to join the discussions which happen in those spaces, rather than because I get a huge amount out of them, and the relationships I do have in them are usually maintained in Twitter.

The new challenger is definitely Google Plus. In fact, I just went onto it to get my profile address, and then got stuck reading things for ten minutes until I remembered what I was doing, suggesting it’s pretty compelling. I love that the circles feature allows me to interact with different kinds of people in very different ways, and I’ve already got a lot of friends, librarians, academics and others in circles of various kinds. The main thing I think it might be missing is a way to form a self-nominated group, otherwise it could pretty much cover all the networks I use. One to keep an eye on.

One Response to “CPD23 Thing 6: Online Networking”

  1. […] expanded my social networks much (perhaps a little during the online chat I participated in for Things 6 and 7) but mostly consolidated relationships with those I already knew. I think that’s i) […]

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