Just a small observation on my use of the above ‘channels’, and how I perceive other people’s use of the channels.
How I use:
- Blog (this is me, here) – OK, this is a bad example. I’ve not written much (anything) that was publishable in the last 2 months; a couple of posts that rambled nowhere fast, but nothing I was happy to publish. What I do want to do is get back to writing and publishing and using this space to share and reflect on practices, readings, and general ‘stuff’ related to my work.
- Twitter (this is me) – Now then, this is difficult. What used to be purely work-related has grown and morphed into a hybrid between work, work-related, learning related, and general chat with those of you who have been Twitter-followers-become-friends. However, how we individually use this kind of channel has changed, and I don’t really like it. Twitter, like other online spaces, is a mirror to our general daily life, feelings, and the world around us, therefore that is a lot of chatter around local and/or global events, politics, environmental issues. Twitter sucks you in to all of this and, if left unchecked in my own timeline, can take me down a rabbit hole I don’t want to go down. This is my own perspective, and we all have our own attitude and use.
I’m still not sure on Twitter, whether I want to continue using it. The platform has changed and how we use it has changed, and I’m not sure it’s the right channel for me anymore. My relationship status with Twitter is ‘it’s difficult’, and only I can make the decision to go or stay.
- LinkedIn (this is me) – Like Twitter, what was once a purely professional space has changed and grown into something more life-like, with people sharing more than just work and job stuff. Is this partly down to LinkedIn looking to gain more traction and users in the social space?
How I see others using:
- Blogs – I am in awe of the level of attention and quality of content my friends and peers have in their blogging activity. I used to be more active (have more to say?) and want to get back to blogging again, but need to change my perspective and writing to mirror/reflect my current role and work. Blogs are great for sharing thoughts and work and research, but are again becoming more personal as authors reflect on their personal lives and the (positive as well as negative) impact work has on it.
If you blog, thank you and please continue. I may read but not engage or share, but that does not mean it has not reached me on some level. Sometimes it inspires me and sometimes it does not. But this is me and that is you. Don’t stop on my account.
- Twitter – As above, each of us has our use and boundaries on what we do or do not share. I used to keep my love of Lego and Lego kits, well, personal. But that I found that lots of people I interact with regularly on Twitter also love Lego, now we all share this passion. Not to mention Lego for serious play. It’s not work related (normally) but still fun. I tend not to get involved in global events or politics or the like on Twitter (or LinkedIn or my blog), but this doesn’t mean it concerns me (hell, it depresses the hell out of me) about what we’re doing to each other and our fragile planet, but that is not why I use or want to use this channel. Some do, some don’t.
I keep a more rigid boundary on how I use Twitter, and social channels in general, but I see more and more people relaxing the boundary. Are we becoming more relaxed or ‘happy’ with sharing more personal information? The stories we tell our children or students about being safe or sensible online are still true, despite our evolving relationship with the online world and the select organisations who control our data?
- LinkedIn – Again, the platform and how we use it is changing. It’s followed the trend for adding social interaction with ‘like’ and ‘clap/applaud’ icons for posts and status updates. It has taken a professional space and made it more informal. Some like it, some don’t. Fair enough. I don’t, but I do understand that in order to maintain my presence online and develop my professional ‘persona’ I have to (?) stick with it.
Social media has been a massively beneficial tool for me in developing and learning my craft, but it becoming increasingly difficult to navigate around these channels to find the content and stuff I used to find quite easily. I use Feed.ly more now to try and curate my sources and regular reading zones (blogs, journals, etc.) but that only finds what I know I’m looking for. Twitter and LinkedIn used to be places to find new and exciting work and the people doing it (often from their blogs). Not so now, or rather it’s more difficult to find nowadays.
One obvious elephant has not been mentioned here – Facebook. Facebook is, for me, for family and friends. Some friends I have made on Twitter and through ALT are also on Facebook. Some aren’t. Don’t be worried if you’re not, or indeed if I unfriend you on Facebook, it’s just that I’m looking at my online usage and thinking long and hard about what I use, why I use it, and will I still be using it next month/year.
As always, your thoughts and feedback is important and welcome, please contact me on any of the above channels or as a comment below.