Investigating my PLN

When I first read the description of this assignment, I thought:

Uh-oh. I use my network for entertainment exclusively. I’m going to have to build one from scratch.

I have a lot of different kinds of accounts I check regularly, if not on a daily basis, but I don’t use them for what I would consider professional development or relevant learning:

  • Rdio – on constantly. Listening to music, following others to see what they’re listening to (mostly music writers – I don’t really care what my friends are listening to and our tastes don’t generally overlap).
  • Pinterest – every day. Keeping track of vegan recipes I’ve tried or want to try and those reviewed by friends.
  • Twitter – a few times a day. Following a handful of celebrities I like and some humor accounts.
  • Facebook – every few days. Mostly looking at animal pictures.
  • LinkedIn – rarely. Mostly looking at my high school friends’ new jobs.

But then I looked a little closer at my Twitter feed and Facebook friends, and realized they include the following:

  • Friends from library school
  • Friends I’ve made at conferences
  • Library professionals who are also funny that the above friends have introduced me to

Many of the members of this network post things like non-sequiturs and pictures of their cats (which is why I follow them in the first place), but they also throw in on-the-job observations¬†and new technologies they’re excited about. I realized I had a pretty good start – I learn on a daily basis about what different career paths in the field might bring, and usually hear about new technologies and ways of doing things well before they get discussed in the classroom.

Between the network these different services create and the library- and technology-related blogs I follow via Google Reader (soon to be Feedly, I think), I actually think I have a pretty good foundation!