The great thing about the internet is the ability to learn and connect with people all over the world. By participating in online networks, I am able to share ideas with a larger pool of people and be exposed to a wider range of ideas than what am able to do in-person on any given day. Online networks also help me to stay in touch with those I know well, but no longer live close to.
I use Facebook and Twitter the most. I check them on my phone and on the laptop regularly. LinkedIn I also use, probably on a weekly basis. Pinterest is fun for when I am wasting time, usually at night. I post to some professional networks regularly. There are several specific library LinkedIn groups that I like. I have posted in discussion boards – both asking questions and commenting on topics others have brought up. I have recently started participating on the ALA Connect site a bit more. I have participated in #libchat on Twitter several times, and will post back responses to other blogs on occasion in an effort to make connections that way.
Online networks can be fun ways to expose yourself to new ideas or to get help forming an idea yourself. The hardest part is just taking the initial plunge and start posting. I know a lot of people are forum lurkers, because they aren’t sure that what they have to say is worth posting. I encourage those who think that way to just try it. Participate! It can be fun 🙂