Last week was all about real-life-networking-whilst-talking-about-social-networking at the LIKE ideas conference. I was lucky enough to receive an early careers award sponsored place for the conference and dinner courtesy of Sue Hill and from the number of people who recommended the LIKE crowd to me as ‘a nice bunch’ I suspected I was in for a good time. I wasn’t disappointed.
The slides from the conference are all online, so I’ll just highlight a few of the themes that I think relate to my work in an academic / special collections library. Unfortunately (and ironically) the slides don’t give much of an impression of how engaging the speakers were, so you’ll just have to trust me on that one.
Noeleen Schenk’s presentation on research communities was probably the most relevant to our users. Her talk focused on the ways researchers were supplementing traditional networking, information gathering and dissemination using social networking technology. Take a look at her research lifecycle slide for some insight into how researchers are integrating these tools into all the stages of their practice – and Noeleen was keen to stress was that relationships built up in this way could cross disciplines in a far more natural way than has traditionally been the case.
Bertie Bosrédon from breast cancer care talked about the way that organization has encouraged its staff to become online advocates. Staff who were already keen uses of twitter were trained as social media champions and given tips on how to use their own media accounts to promote the charity – for example monthly emails suggest upcoming events they might like to tweet about. He was keen to point out that all of this is entirely voluntary and something the staff had really enjoyed getting involved in.
Andrew and Simon from Kingsley Napier were there to take us back down to earth – their talk on social media law stressed the importance of keeping work and private social networking separate – even making sure staff don’t log in to twitter using work email addresses for fear of litigation over the opinions they express online. Nevertheless, their fascinating talk was the surprise hit of the afternoon (yes, really!).
After all that, if was off to the pub for dinner and a chance to mull it all over with some fellow info-pros. I even took home a couple of business cards – and a tiny paper duck. Turns out this networking stuff (online and otherwise) isn’t so bad after all…
29th June 2012