If considering Utecht (2008), I sit at Stage 2 – Evaluation within the 5 Stages of PLN Adoption. Initially I engaged with many social media sites and had profiles galore (Stage 1). Professional connections were mixed with personal (Cowan, 2013) and it became obvious that some social media pruning was needed. At Stage 2 I find myself deleting profiles that I do not use frequently such as Twitter (I just don’t have enough occurring in my life to warrant regular tweets), LinkedIn (I believe the chances of an employer discovering my profile amongst a sea of better qualified individuals are slim) and also culling Facebook friends (I wasn’t fond of various individuals in high school so why do I accept these requests?). Given my current studies, I have begun to focus contacts and content towards information management. Using Delicious to bookmarks resources I may find valuable in future workplaces, saving poster images via Pinterest and limiting Facebook to colleagues – it feels better.
The above changes have brought about the following:
* Connection and sensible conversation – professionally these people are like-minded. I’m enjoying reading posts and comments that are not complicated by family feuds.
* In the loop – although not working full-time, I find that I am still updated with the latest happenings such as online conferences.
* Motivation – I like to see where and what my colleagues are up to. Asking questions or brainstorming opportunities exist via Facebook and my news feed is no longer clogged with items that are a distraction.
*Still striving for Stages 4 and 5.
*initially, I had a ‘detox’ period where I felt I needed to re-engage and was missing out on important happenings – I wasn’t.
* Negative reactions of de-friended individuals.
Although I have made many positive changes to my PLN, none of these have been a part deliberate plan but a general sweep of the obvious. Time permitting, I would like to better assess how social networking can be utilised for professional use. This would involve studying examples of other librarians and perhaps considering how I may market myself for future job prospects.
A visual of my PLN:
Image source: Apple ‘Inspiration’ App
Cowan, A. (2013). How many social medial social profiles do you needs, exactly? Retrieved from http://www.aliciacowan.com/social-media-and-digital-marketing/how-many-social-media-profiles
Utecht, J. (2008). Stages of PLN Adoption. Retrived from http://www.thethinkingstick.com/stages-of-pln-adoption/