There is so much debate around the use of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the multitude of social media channels that are available – much of it negative (and often from those who don’t use it). I am constantly surprised at the number of people who think Facebook is for teenagers only, and that Twitter is just a time waster, and they don’t care what someone had for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I have to admit I have not heard as much criticism of LinkedIn.
I have now reached a stage where much of my information is gleaned from these sources, and I love the fact that often the overload of information I normally receive via email is now condensed into 140 characters. I find that by following others with similar interests to me (story, knowledge management, librarianship, information management, sustainable living), I am exposed to so much more than I would normally gain access to. For example, one person I follow only tweets journal citations on Knowledge Management – I know this saves me so much time and effort that I no longer have to search for material in this subject area as someone else does it for me. He is also a librarian, and his search results are so comprehensive I would be very foolish to attempt to duplicate his efforts. Another example is the story or narrative network members on Twitter – I am constantly exposed to new material and ways of thinking.
If you want to follow us on twitter the Australian River Restoration Centre can be found @AustRiverRestor
When it comes to Facebook, I mainly use it for maintaining connections at a personal level, but there are also some brilliant examples of corporate and environmental organisations with information rich pages which I can access. One of the best I came across during the Queensland Floods was Goondiwindi Regional Council - an old school friend lives in this area and pointed me to it, and I was stunned at how the Council kept all its community members up to date, as well as encouraging them to share their knowledge of what was happening in the region. I also love the I care about water page. So many wonderful posts about innovative practices around the world when it comes to water and water health. The ARRC also has its own Facebook Page.
My all time favourite is definitely LinkedIn, which not only allows me to keep all my business contacts and networks current but also gives me access to some of the most fantastic groups on topics such as Catchment management, Knowledge Management, Librarianship, Natural resource management and many many more. The best part is that having managed very large teams in the past, I can access many of my former staff’s profiles, write a public reference for them, and also be reminded about the dates that we worked together, and the roles they had while working together. You can even access the ARRC on LinkedIn.
These are only three of the social media sites you might like to visit. There is a terrific posting by Ross Dawson on building success in a connected world which gives a lot more detail of the social media channels you might like to use. We can integrate training on social media into our workshops, so contact us if you want to know more.