Australia is in a pretty good position economically and the library sector isn’t too badly off as far as I know. However, social media has been adopted with gusto for another reason – geographic distance. Many professionals in Australia can’t afford to go to international conferences and now that many conference organisers are using social media to record and share, it has enabled greater participation. The recent Libraries 2.0 conference, which was totally free and conducted online, enabled live discussions via their online forums, blogs of attendees and Twitter #LIB2011. Earlier this year, I was sitting behind a Twitter conference commentator at one of the Information Online 2011 sessions. It was a little distracting … but no doubt it was great for those who couldn’t go. However, I did see many of the audience checking their smart phones and other devices for Facebook updates etc. … were they fully concentrating on the sessions? Social media can be fun but very distracting. Anyway, I have a question for CPD23 blog readers. Are live Twitter updates from conferences worthwhile? From my browsing of various conference Twitter feeds, there isn’t enough room to give much of an impression about sessions, speakers etc. I haven’t used social media for professional development really, and I haven’t contacted anyone that I would have not been in contact with normally. The people who I am in contact with using these tools are those that I have some sort of prior connection with. Social media has enhanced these connections for me.
Update: Have just completed a survey about KM and Social Media and there are some new issues that I haven’t thought of. Productivity I have (I’ve mentioned that it can be a distraction) but the possibilities of vandalism, identity theft, confidential/propriatory information leakage and KM problems such as archiving the evolution of a project via these tools are new ones to me in relation to social media and networking/collaboration. I guess the lesson here is – be careful how you use these tools.