Hmmm, do I participate in any online networks? Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, FriendFeed, LibraryThing, Foursquare. I think I’ll stop there. Yep, I’m online and I’m social. The question is, what do I get out of each of these, if anything. Let’s take a brief tour.
Twitter: It’s a great way for me to share a lot of the interesting things that I find online that I don’t necessarily have anything to say about in particular. I find an article of interest and I quickly drop it into my Twitter stream. There others can benefit from what I’ve found and shared. I also have a bunch of conversation there and ask for help from my followers. Also, my blog, Delicious bookmarks, and various other things I do online feed into my Twitter account so this might be the one place where you can follow just about everything I do online.
LinkedIn: I don’t do much here. I keep my profile updated and pretty much only connect with people I actually have some sort of relationship with. If I’ve met you once that doesn’t count. If we’ve done some work together then we can connect. For lack of a better explanation I keep this one as professional as possible although there are links back to pretty much everything else.
Facebook: Ah if only I could just bring myself to get rid of Facebook. Trouble is, my folks follow me there so pretty much my blog feeds into Facebook and that’s it. Heck, even my Facebook icon is one that says I’ve moved to Google+.
Google+: The new kid on the block. With my low opinion of Facebook I made a conscious decision to try and live in Google+ instead. It’s got quirks and missing features but it does what it does very well. I especially like the Circles which allow me to post horror stuff to just other horror fans, and library stuff to other librarians.
FriendFeed: I’m there and I’d left it behind and then I was brought back by a co-worker who told me I was missing a lot of good conversation. So, I tried again and was getting into it and then Google+ happened. I can only pay attention to so many sources at once so FriendFeed’s moved to the back burner again. My Tweets feed there so you can still pay attention to a lot of my content there if you’d like. If you leave a comment I’ll notice but I don’t hang out there much any more.
LibraryThing: I’ve got a very large book collection and so when LibraryThing came along and allowed me to import my Access database into their service I jumped on the opportunity. My main use of LibraryThing is to be able to answer that age-old question “do I already own this?” using my phone’s Web connection. It has saved me from repurchasing a number of expensive books. As to the social aspects, I don’t really participate.
Foursquare: I check in and I look for food recommendations. I’ve use a special or two and I earn badges. I treat it like the game that it is and I have fun doing so. That’s about it.