On Being Networked

Posted On May 20 2008 by

You won’t find it hard to believe that I am an extrovert (ESTJ for all you Myers-Briggs people out there).  Over the last several years I have tried to build a vast array of personal and professional contact, not because I am just an obsessive-compulsive networker (which I am), but because I sincerely enjoy getting to know librarians, vendors, service providers, and various hangers-on of the library world.

Knowing others well has always served me better than being well known.

But how much is enough?  I find myself needing a social networking strategy.  What seems to have started as an implicit popularity contest–how many friends, how many followers, how many degrees of separation–has turned into an overwhelming array of networking opportunities.

So I do have a bit of a strategy that is likely similar to others’:

Facebook: Come one, come all.  “Friend” no longer means what it use to and any friend of a friend is a friend of mine.  But frankly, I don’t care too much if you would spend a million dollars the same way I would, and should I care which Indiana Jones character you would be?  I use Facebook for communication and for (surprise, surprise) seeing what people’s faces look like.  When I’m ready to thin out my garage of friends, I will likely start with those who don’t want me to know what they look like. Facebook, people…come on!

LinkedIn: Here, I am selective.  If I don’t know  who you are, haven’t shook your hand, talked to you, IMed extensively with you, eaten or drunk with you, then I’m not likely to link to you.  Add to that some assurance that I won’t be embarrassed by a connection anytime soon–harder to guarantee, even for the people who add me to their network.

Twitter: Sorry.  I don’t get it.  I don’t like it.  Don’t look for me there much longer. It’s hard enough for me to keep track of what I am doing.  I simply don’t have the time or inclination to tell everyone else.

Add to this : LibraryThing, StumbleUpon, Twine, Plaxo Plus, Iminta, etc., etc.  How many more of these must I really sign up for? For now, I will stick to Facebook and LinkedIn and continue to employ my current strategy.  Everyone else I want to keep up with has my email, IM, or phone number.  Someone nudge me when there is a clear winner in the aggregation of social networks.

Last Updated on: January 19th, 2024 at 12:22 am, by Andrew K. Pace

Written by Andrew K. Pace

5 responses to “On Being Networked

  1. This seems very like my list. I’ve seen some other people weeding and/or categorizing their social graph similarly. The one thing that I’ve found interesting in all these ruminations is that nobody even mentions either email, phone numbers or private contact software anymore; the equivalent of the digital Rolodex. It used to be that certain people got my work number, some my cell, and the fewest got my home number. Same with email; I’ve got the catch-all Yahoo! and Gmail accounts, the work email for, well… work… and home for home.

    Aren’t these part of my social graph? Where do my personal lists fit in? It may be that they’re now so secondary to the online, shared aps that they don’t deserve mentioning.

  2. Andrew,
    I was just pondering the same dilemma. Recently I canceled my Stumbleupon account, although I did enjoy the serendipity of it all. It does take time to blog, comment, and network: one more reason why I’m not enthused about adding Twitter to my repertoire.

  3. And I thought it was just the introvert in me that didn’t like Twitter! Cheers.

  4. Thank you so much for emphasizing that the library profession is not one that can be practiced in isolation from other people, which not only trounces on the old librarian stereotypes, but also highlights how important RELATIONSHIPS are to this business.

  5. I am starting to get overwhelmed by the number of social networking tools as well. You simply cannot be involved in all networks.

    Your post is very timely, because I have very recently become quite selective in what ones I’m joining as well. Also, I am liking LinkedIn more and more, but that’s just me. I’ve been able to connect with some long lost former colleagues through that network!