My social network

Giving LinkIn and Google+ another go has made me think what is the role and purpose of my social network? At the media and learning conference last week we had a great panel session on the implications of social and participatory media. As usual the room was divided… some people were very into social media, buy cialis others couldn’t see the point and just didn’t understand how those using these tools find the time and energy to interact.

Now I am the first person to admit I am rubbish at email, check as anyone out there who has found that I have taken ages to reply will testify ;-) but Twitter and fb have become essential daily tools for me. I use them in different ways, troche fb is more about social stuff connecting with friends and family, banter with the likes of Martyn Cooper, etc… but also a good way to keep in touch with/connect with people I meet at conferences. Twitter is more about knowledge sharing on work related stuff. It’s also great as a means of asking questions of the network. Recently I couldn’t find a full references for a paper by Kay, I spent hours looking for it on Google, tweeted and in five minutes had five replies all giving me the same full reference! Now that is the power of the network!!!

Of course new social media are emerging all the time. I am in Google+ and LinkedIn, but to date haven’t found any value in them beyond what I have with fb and Twitter, maybe I just haven’t had my ah ha moment yet….

But surely there is a limit to how many networks we can be part of and is there an issue of defragmentation across these different tools? I don’t know the answer to this and if anyone else does please let me know! Also interestingly as a result of using these tools I am blogging less, but blogging (like this) IS useful, it is a different more reflective tool, I must find more time to give some tlc to my sadly neglected blog. 

21 Responses to “My social network”

  1. John Kirriemuir Says:

    The older we get, the more valuable each hour in each day seems.

    So the duplication of social networks is driving me to gin more than library advocacy, or Second Life in universities, is. Finding myself putting the same updates every now and then on Twitter, Linked-in, Facebook and Google+. They all seem to be merging, gradually, into one (and Posterous is heading in that direction with its fudged Google+ circle-like feature), especially with status updates and live activity (of people you follow) feeds.

    You’re very right about blogging. I’ve recently got back into it, and it’s surprisingly pleasurable. Like tweeting is sitting cramped on a plane for several hours, but blogging, with the freedom of no character length, means I have lots more writing-legroom to argue, detail, points more.

  2. AJ Cann Says:

    Of course you’re right, and with most people at social network breaking point, that’s why the uptake of Google+ has been slower than it might otherwise have been. But I have two words for you to explain why you will be assimilated:
    1. affordances
    2. Google ;-)

  3. Sue Beckingham Says:

    I have found LinkedIn to be very valuable. I recently gave a talk about this (slides are available here:

    I agree that each of the social media tools offer different affordances and this is determined by the individual.

    For me…
    LinkedIn = the corporate office
    Twitter = the water cooler (quick conversation)
    Google + = the staff canteen (extended conversation)
    Facebook = the bar/virtual family dinner table

  4. Jonathan Vernon Says:

    There are many vibrant Linked in groups. I recommend E-learning 2.0 - there are 22 new discussion today alone and Social Media Today. I now moderate three LinkedIn Groups for the OU Business School, with 6,000 now in the alumni group (where one discussion is topping out at 189 threaded posts) and 1,200 in the student group. I find myself applying what I picked up on the MAODE from the better tutors: seeding discussions, sometimes moderating, chivvying some people to take part. But does it lead either to registration or retention of students? Meanwhile I am on Google+ but prone to sending tutor group friends family holiday pics while friends and family get a constant stream of e-learning and social media infographics. a for Facebook i have three accounts, cannot merge any and repeatedly post to the ‘wrong’ me.

  5. Emma Says:

    You think your blog’s neglected …

  6. Gráinne Says:

    Good words Alan ;-) and yes Emma it is needs some tlc ;-)

  7. Emma Says:

    Mine needs resuscitation, me thinks!

  8. Gráinne Says:

    John I agree and yes was nice to blog again today forgot how valuable it was and distinct from the other media and have lots to blog about so need to get on with it!

  9. Gráinne Says:

    LOL Emma ditto;-)

  10. Gráinne Says:

    Thanks Jonathan will take a look

  11. Gráinne Says:

    Nice distinction Sue will take a look

  12. Sheila MacNeill Says:

    Hi Grainne

    Totally with you re the aha moment with LinkedIn and google+ - the former I still feel more like a social service - - more than happy to connect with people who know how to use it:-) but I do know post links to any my personal blog there now. I used to do that in fb but it really much more real friends and family who mostly don’t really understand or care about my work life. Like you Twitter is my “go to” place for work ( and mid week distraction!). Google+ I really don’t know - but tbh find it slightly scary the number of people I don’t know and can’t be bothered to find out who they are

    However do think an established blog is best place to explore these ideas more and colate/collate comments


  13. Gráinne Says:

    Hi Sheila noce points and totally agree…. can’t keep track of google plus and feel I know people there least…. Good to be blogging again as I said forgot how valuable it was as a personal voice space….

  14. Jeffrey Keefer Says:


    One thing your post made me think about is how I struggle with various aspects of (sharing aspects of) my identity, and how writing or sharing only in a single place about a single thing somehow seems to fracture it.

    I tend to use Twitter for my academic work as well as for my research, professional activities, and the like. Some colleagues there have nothing to do with those areas, though switching to another account will somehow seem to compartmentalize me. I know the challenges with writing for some people who are only interested in some elements of my life or work or thinking, though that is only part of all of my own complexities.

    How to manage complexities of life with social networking; now that is a path well-worth efforts to try to navigate.


  15. Jeffrey Keefer Says:

    One other thing about blog posts; have you consider adding a subscribe to comments for individual posts? The one that is here is an RSS for all comments, rather than email notifications specifically for this post (or individual posts).

    Anyway, just a thought.


  16. Jeffrey Keefer Says:

    Ahh, for one more comment in a row, there is the comment tracker for this post. Missed where it was hidden in plane site!


  17. Gráinne Says:

    LOL thanks Jeffrey totally agree and I use Twitter in much the same way whereas fb is more social. I also wonder sometimes how my digital identity comes across - do I appear to flippant for example or work obsessed or both!

  18. le rudulier Says:

    As much as I agree with you about e-mail and (from what I understand) you sort of distancing yourself from it in favour of social platforms such as FB and Twitter I don’t quite understand why you haven’t managed to make use of LinkedIn. It is pretty much like FB in terms of features and, at least, without the noise associated with the latter.

  19. Gráinne Says:

    Dunno why I havent engaged with LinkedIN I can see the idea, am giving it another go….

  20. Erik Duval Says:

    Wonder how people feel about posting the same thing to different networks - sometimes, coming across the same message in different contexts annoys me.

    For me, Google+ has certainly been a rewarding experience - though I like the brevity and serendipity of more open twitter most of all…

    Apart from that, I think there is a HUGE opportunity for tools that aggregate all the communication flows and enable you to filter, prioritize, etc. across system boundaries.

  21. Gráinne Says:

    Yep agree Erik need for an aggregation tool for sure - think there might be a bid in there ;-) Feel guilty about cross-posting and also get annoyed but at the moment dont know what else to do… I try to keep it to a minimum.

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