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Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Things 10, 11 and 12

Marching on with the 23 Things catch-up!

Thing 10 - Facebook
I joined Facebook back in 2007. I can't remember why, probably because everyone else was doing it and it was the new in thing! I use it fairly frequently to communicate with friends and family, and my  friendship group is small in comparison to many but is comprised of the usual suspects (old classmates, former colleagues, friends both near and far). I post photos, usually of holidays/trips or things that catch my eye, and like many others, share links to things I find of interest (articles, quizzes/tests etc). I've been known to share (or vent) my thoughts on everything from politics to tv shows.

My privacy settings are pretty high so that those not connected to me as a 'Friend' see very little, although Facebook does seem to implement changes to what can be seen publicly, requiring some dedicated time to endless clicking and tailoring of audiences. My personal profile (work details etc) is fairly oblique as I don't use my Facebook account in a professional context.

I use Facebook in a work context as well, we have a College presence on Facebook and find that many students will make connections via Facebook before they even arrive in Oxford. The College's MCR has an active group on Facebook where plans are made for social gatherings, information sharing etc, and we also have an Accommodation group so that students can find housemates for private housing, advertise rooms to let etc. Currently our Twitter feed automatically updates to Facebook but there may be a move to change that as the College's Communications Officer strategises across various platforms and concretises a specific purpose for each.

Thing 11 - LinkedIn

Ah LinkedIn. A quick check in my account settings confirms that I joined LinkedIn in May 2005. I think, though I can't recall, that a friend sent me an invitation to connect on LinkedIn and so like a sheep (or maybe I had time to kill) I created an account. Whilst I've added/updated some details I'm not making full use of the functionality and every time I log in I'm helpfully reminded that my profile isn't quite complete. I view LinkedIn as an online CV and as I hate writing my CV......

There's an overview of my employment to-date with job titles but a description of roles I've held is either minimal or non-existent. I always find it hard to summarise a job into a pithy paragraph or two and can't quite get to grips with the personal statement/Blind Date style introduction that is so commonly used today. I'm sure if I did put more effort in then updating a paper CV when applying for a new role might not be so difficult, but then I always try to tailor my CV to the role I'm applying for, giving more emphasis to the skills and qualities that I think are pertinent to that role.

The other thing about LinkedIn that makes me scratch my head is the section on skills and experience, where you can claim a skill or area of expertise, and have it endorsed by your connections. In fact, you can have your 'work' endorsed by connections in the form of recommendations. I don't have any recommendations at present, nor have I made any. Perhaps this feature is better suited to certain types of industry/sectors than the one in which I work? Ones in which there is a tangible end product?

Of the 27 connections I've made on LinkedIn:

  • I am also connected to 17 of them on Facebook
  • 14 are former colleagues from previous roles
  • 2 are connections from a group in common (that for the college I work for)
  • 2 are random (not people with whom I've worked or even met)
I am a member of the College group on LinkedIn and my other group is the Alumni group for my undergraduate institution. I've joined, though not yet participated in discussions for a group on Higher Education Administrators.


As Academia.edu is geared towards academic activities I haven't signed up. I do not conduct any research, nor do I write any papers/articles. I can see how using it might be of value to those undertaking research, whether as part of a programme of study or for personal interest, as you could follow others in the same or related fields and stay on top of publications et but it holds no value for me.

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