Dr's Russo and Kelly, courtesy of Shelley Bernstein
By Lynda Kelly
OK, just to take a reality check at what actual social networking sites am I on. To date there’s Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Wordpress, ning, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube, SlideShare, del.icio.us, wikispaces and ExhibitFiles, as well as contributing to a range of sites such as the Connected Republic and the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes sustainability blog. Seems a lot, but I do actively use them all for a range of purposes and dip in and out as my needs change. Once I accepted that was OK I don’t worry so much about keeping these up-to-date and just go with the flow.
Being in these spaces have led me to the following thoughts:
- Our professional and personal lives are blurring thanks to sites like Facebook and Twitter – this might be challenging and a bit scary, but is really exciting
- Using the web successfully is all about your outlook on life, not how old you are
- You develop much richer personal relationships (especially with your family and close work colleagues) through using social networking sites
- Building an online community takes time and patience (and late nights/early mornings) but is totally worth the effort as you realise how many generous, wonderful people are out there
- Stress less about keeping up-to-date with web developments – as long as someone in your organisation is out there leading the charge you’re better off keeping an open mind, following their lead and trusting their judgement
- Join Museum 3.0 – it’s a great space to stay informed
- The web is crazy, fun, frustrating and, at times, bemusing. My advice? Don’t try to understand it, just embrace it!
What final confession does this 5am blogger/midnight social networker need to make? Well, I don’t need to blog at 5am anymore (although I do still occasionally like the late nite Facebook frenzy!). Social networks are here to stay and I have decided to mainstream them into my working life. Once I accepted the fact that activities such as uploading fotos to Facebook fan pages, writing blog posts, Twittering links and ideas to colleagues and answering queries on Museum 3.0 are all legitimate work practices I’m getting more sleep (well, actually I’m not but instead of writing a 5am blog post as I would have in the past it’s a 5.30am walk around the park – much better methinks!).
Thanks James and co for the opportunity to reflect on the wonderful world of social networks. I’ll leave you with one of my life’s philosophies that has worked well for me – just do it and apologise later.