Thing 8: Networking Tools


How do we partake in networking in today’s society? Obviously the networking world has evolved with the introduction of the internet, but the question remains, what is the best way to approach a more professional network.

Obviously it’s questionable to use Facebook as a form of communication on  a professional level, usually because Facebook has a more social format, as in, you will be looking at both the best and worst moments in a persons life. To counteract this, companies like Academia.Edu & ResearchGate were developed, to allow for the presentation of a more formal side of the users persona. It could also be said that a wordpress site or a LinkedIn profile allow for a similar appearance, however the latter two do not offer the chance to focus purely on research.

With regards to a professional profile, although the research and academia offer the opportunity to communicate with other doctoral candidates, they limit the chance to communicate with a larger range of people related to the field, a chance that is offered by LinkedIn.

It should be noted, all-in-all, that the use of all of the aforementioned professional methods of portraying yourself are better than colleagues in the professional world seeing your holiday to Ibiza, where you were so “Blitzed,” you got your eyebrows shaved off.



Social Media and the 23 Things

Begin Social Media Rant

In all honesty, most people’s experience with social media is a constant stream of mundane (with shining moments of interesting!) communications about people’s personal life. I find myself in the category of thinking I’m hilarious with my short anecdotal stories and observations, when in reality, I contribute to these mundane posts.

Saying this, as mentioned earlier, sometimes you’ll find those shining moments that make social media one of the best forms of communication ever. This can range from a video of someone doing something that’s not just for personal gain but for the benefit of other people, to the production of fully fledged social media pages that are used to inform and interest people in topics.

In classic Thomas fashion, I feel that I should mention an anecdotal story from my personal experiences that arose during university. I was sat in a lecture regarding Engineering materials when I hear the last words I expected to hear; “Does anyone have twitter?” It turned out that our lecturer had set up a twitter feed, that he would post a 1 paragraph piece of information relevant to what we had been studying that week. However, he didn’t just post once a week, but every day, giving a refreshing approach to education and an opportunity interact with a lecturer.

Social media is very dependent on what form of social media you are using, for instance there is a professional feel to the likes of LinkedIn that you just can’t get when you are using Facebook or Tumblr. It all comes down to the amount of content you have to sift through to find something relevant to what you are looking for, something which most people want to do, leading to a state where we latch on to the easiest opportunity. I personally feel for personal choice, with regards to the larger communications for social media, if your looking for something you might as well use twitter, as it is easier to find what you’re looking for. Even sites such as Reddit have some merit these days with regards to ability to find information as well as being a form of social media.

Glad I got that off my chest, and that’s one of the key things I hope I will feel when on the 23 things program, an opportunity to learn how to use social media for both my own benefit as well as to reach out and communicate in one of the fastest growing forms of contact.

Tom out