Social networks and professional affiliations

Serious title for a fairly frivolous post, although the post could turn into a more-serious essay later on…

Social networks

I have no idea how many of these still have me as a resident or member or whatever. (I know Second Life is a Hotel California application, but I may have simply never bothered to delete accounts elsewhere–Orkut, for example).

And, yes, I added one more–need I say which one, or will a “+” suffice? I hadn’t been planning to join for a while, especially not while the initial “let’s all talk about what a cool thing this is” wave of buzz was going on.

See what I’m doing there? No? Oh well…

But a colleague–one I’ve never met but whom I respect enormously–sent me an invitation out of the blue, and I chose to accept it. And, of course, logging, found literally dozens but not yet hundreds of library folk who (a) are in my email contacts list, which only means “at some time either they sent me an email or I sent them an email” and (b) are already in the network.

For now, I’ve set up two named circles–one for library folk, specifically people who either are part of LSW or should be, and another for open access folk and scientists I’m vaguely acquainted with. The latter currently has eight members; the former, currently, 64, but it probably could have more than that. Which, given that I probably haven’t yet spent an hour total in the network, is pretty amazing.

To what extent am I actually social in networks? Of those that I’m aware I’m part of, I’d say:

  • FriendFeed: Very active. I spend way too much time here, but it’s become my primary source for new ideas and comments (other than RSS feeds).
  • Google+: Mildly active. For now, I’ll probably check once or twice a day, and could see becoming involved in some conversations here.
  • Facebook: Barely active. I think my current status is two or three weeks old. I probably comment on someone else’s item as often as twice a week. I do check it at least once a day, but mostly look at recent items from a very small family group and somewhat larger “libclose” group.
  • Twitter: Almost entirely a lurker, and even then rarely more than once a day.
  • LinkedIn: Technically there, realistically not. As the Big Network for Professional Advancement, the only relationship of LinkedIn to past or present jobs is that it was taking over space that RLG was vacating, little by little, in the final Mountain View offices.
  • I don’t know of or can’t remember any others.

Professional affiliation

As I noted in my random impressions of ALA NOLA:

The one meeting I started to attend was the fledgling Retired Members Round Table. Turns out that, quite apart from the $20 dues, it probably isn’t for me–it felt like a way for Involved ALA Members to continue to be Involved ALA Members. Frankly, it made me feel old–whereas my primary professional involvement (and the only ribbon I was wearing), the Library Society of the World, makes me feel, um, less old.

That’s probably unfair to RMRT. It’s quite possible that future gatherings will be vibrant and full of fascinating discussion. But for now it really is clear: My primary professional affiliation is the Library Society of the World, LSW, a disorganization of considerable and mixed repute.

Putting them together

Just for interest, I checked a couple of places.

The primary nexus for LSW at this point is a room in FriendFeed. As of right now, there are 703 FriendFeed folks in the LSW room. Given that FriendFeed really isn’t growing and probably never had more than a million or so regular users, that’s pretty remarkable. Frankly, the small size of FriendFeed is, to me, one of its great strengths…

There’s an LSW group in LinkedIn, with a remarkable 2,006 members–and my initial reaction is “Who are all these people and what do they have to do with LSW?” The button-down business-card nature of LinkedIn seems at odds with the irreverence and informality of LSW, and that shows in the threads on this version of LinkedIn.

Then there’s the LSW site itself, with 162 members and, shall we say, not huge amounts of activity.

At one point, a Meebo room was the hot LSW spot. If it still exists, I’m not aware of it (which mostly means I’m not aware of it).

And there’s “my personal LSW,” the circle on my G+ account, with 64 people to date (some of whom are no longer in FF/LSW, and some of whom might never have been there).

But the current key group is FF. That is, of course, subject to change.

(Is there an LSW page on FaceBook? If so, I think I’d just as soon not know… And I’m pretty sure there’s no LSW Island in Second Life and no LSW MySpace page. But what do I know?)



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