Monday, 25 June 2012

CPD in your later career

This is a "catch up" week, with no new Things. Therefore you are getting a between-things reflection: what does CPD mean when you are no longer a New Thing, but an Older Thing? What does CPD mean, later on in your career?
This will vary depending on how you think about your career. I do still want my career to develop (so that's the perspective I'm writing from), but at 59 (argh), some things are different from when I was a new professional. By the way, I'm really interested to know if there are any more "experienced" CPD23ers out there, so please do add your comments if there are!
Some things are the same. Virtual networks, face-to-face networks, getting involved, learning from people you work with, reading, doing ... these are things which are useful, lifelong. I've been trying to think what is most different for my CPD as a "later career" person and here are some points.
  • Doing CPD outside the Library and information field. If your career has a definite upwards or sideways path, you will end up needing to do your CPD in some other field, such as management, marketing, or e-learning. This means getting to know about a whole new set of qualifications, associations, networks, journals etc. If you are from a library/information background, then I think you are at an advantage in terms of finding out what these are (we have skills). Actually getting into the networks etc. may be more difficult, because (in my experience) not every profession is so into sharing and networking as librarians are. At that point you may have to make hard choices about whether you have the time to stay involved in library networks, or just devote your energies to ones which are more relevant to your current job.
  • Making sure you don't slide into unconcious incompetence. Ages ago I learnt about the "4 stages of comptence"; unconscious incompetence (you don't even realise you are rubbish at X), conscious incompetence (you realise you are rubbish, but it still doesn't stop you being rubbish); conscious competence (if you really concentrate, you stop being rubbish at X); unconscious competence (you are brilliant at X without even having to think about it). The danger is that, because you aren't thinking about it, you unwittingly slide round into unconscious incompetence again. If X is a practical skill (e.g. searching Google; using the finance system) then it is easier for you to spot problems, and to set up mechanisms to keep yourself updated.
    However for important but more intangible things like "managing", "negotiating" or "teaching" it is easy to slip into comfortable habits. Those around you may find your mildly incompetent habits comfortable too, or at least not so uncomfortable that they are going to tackle you about them, even in a staff review. So it's important to force yourself to review these broader and more challenging areas of confidence: for doing things like this CPD23, by signing up for courses that help you self-evaluate, by starting a peer-review scheme, or simply having some good friends who are also willing to be critical friends.
  • Being able to tap into your own history. By this I mean your own experiences, previous networks, and so on. Sometimes you can get a head start on doing new things, by remembering when you tackled a similar thing in the past and obviously the older you get, the more experience you have to draw on.
  • Continuing to make your job part of your CPD. In other words: going for new and different opportunities that will force you to reassess what you are doing and learn new things. 
  • Being aware that your idea of CPD may change over time. Eva Hornung researched the ways in which one person librarians (OPLs) in Ireland experience CPD, for her PhD (OPLs are people who are the only professional librarian in an organisation and she's an OPL librarian herself). She found there were 5 ways in which people conceived of CPD: Upskilling for the sake of the organisation/library service (a service orientation); Developing as a professional librarian (an LIS profession orientation); Helping you to do all the jobs an OPL does (OPL orientation); To do things in a better way when you come back to the workplace (personal orientation) and To develop as a human being (lifelong learning orientation). Eva explains this in a powerpoint here and she also wrote an article which you can find here (reference is: Hornung, E. (2012) "One- Person librarians and Continuing Professional Development: how the LAI [Library Association of Ireland] can make a difference." An Leabharlann: The Irish Library, 21 (1), 15-19.)
    I am a bit biased as I supervised her PhD, but I think these categories apply more widely, and I've found them useful when examining what I want to do and why I want to do it. I can identify with all those categories, but at some points of my career I was more focused on "upskilling" and "Developing as a professional", and I think over time the lifelong learning orientation has taken over more.
    I'd be interested to know if other people find this an interesting approach.
Autumnal pictures by me. My CP23 blog is here and my main (Information Literacy) blog is here

Taking a break...

Feedback from last year's programme suggested that more breaks during the programme would be welcome. There are no new things this week, just some time to catch up, reflect, network, go on holidays... See you next Monday!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Thing 9: Evernote

And following on with the organising theme we come to Evernote.

The problem:
You want to be able to make comments on webpages and archive them along with your own notes so that everything is all in the one place and easy to access. 
The problem-solvers:
Evernote allows you to take notes on webpages and archive them for later consultation.  Your notes can have file attachments and be sorted into folders, tagged, annotated etc.  There is a paid version as well as a  free version (limited to 60 MB/month and there is a usage bar so that you can keep track).

How to use Evernote:

1. Go to and have a look at their Getting started pages.

2. Sign up for an account (you will need to get the confirmation number from an e-mail they will send you) and get to the welcome page.
3.  Download Evernote according to their Getting Started pages and follow their instructions and sign in to your account.  You can create a note by clicking on New Note.  You can add URLs and tags and decide which folder to put it in.  It saves it automatically and it appears in the central panel, which you organise to view by date created, updated or title. 

4. Evernote is not just for making notes but can be used for archiving pictures from your computer or webpages or photographs taken during conferences to save you having to take notes all the time.  All you have to do is to click New Note again and click and drag a photograph from the web or your computer etc. and drop it into your new note (or you can copy and paste if you prefer).

5. You can use the View and Edit drop down menus to alter how you view your information and the Usage button along the top tells you about your monthly use.  The File menu also allows you to organise your notes and attach files etc.  Evernote for Windows or Mac will automatically synchronize your notes with Evernote on the Web every few minutes, but you can manually sync any time by clicking the Sync button.  (This means that changes you make to your Evernote account on different appliances i.e. computers, phones or mobile devices will all synchronise to keep your account up to date).

6. You can also save web content, which involves installing the Web Clipper (a quick and easy process which adds the Evernote button to your Internet browser).  All you need to do it to highlight the information you want to save and click on the Evernote button.  I highlighted a BBC article, clicked on the elephant, added tags when prompted and went to my Evernote page to find it had been filed with my other notes:

This is a really useful tool for bringing together everything that you look at on the web as well as drawing together photos, notes and text from various sources to one location, easily accessible from a variety of devices.

This year I have used Evernote for a lot of group work since we can all sign in and sync our work.  We have found that Evernote is a much more flexible tool than Google Docs.

A bit more:

Have a play around with folders, tags, searching and how to integrate Evernote with Facebook and Twitter.

Thing 8: Google Calendar

Following on from last week's focus on networks, we will now have a look at organising tools to keep you sane and on top of everything!

Ever feel like this?


The problem:

You need a calendar, which can be accessed from any computer and can be shared with other people. 


The problem-solver:

Google Calendar is a free web-based calendar which can be shared with other people and accessed from anywhere with Internet connection. Events can be added quickly and viewed by day, week or month. It can also be integrated with other Google services, such as iGoogle, and embedded in web pages and blogs.


A lot of institutions already have Google Calendar on their web pages to keep their staff, students and followers up to date.  Libraries such as the Cambridge University Library (UL), are using Google Calendar to publicise opening hours and events.


How to use:

1. To create a Google Calendar, go to

2. Log in with your Google ID (or get one here and get the benefits of Gmail, iGoogle and more!).

3. Your new Google Calendar will look like this.

3. Before you add any events to your calendar, go to the left of the screen and select Settings under My Calendar and then click on the General tab.  In this General section you can change the time and date formatsplus have a mini icon of your local weather displayed and choose whether to show weekends etc.  
4. Click on Save.

How to add events:

1. To add an event, click on Create event on the left of the calendar (you can also select Quick add or highlight a date on the calendar (probably the easiest)).
2. Fill in the boxes for your event and add duration, location and whether you want to have a reminder at some point before the event.
3. Click on Save and you will be taken back to the calendar with your new event visible!

Optional extras

How to share your calendar with someone else:

1. Under the My calendars section on the left side of your calendar home page, click on the drop down menu next to your e-mail address and select Share this calendar. 
2. You will be taken to the Share this calendar section.
3. Type in the e-mail address of the person you would like to share your calendar with and their details will appear automatically underneath (note: this person must also have a Google Calendar too otherwise you won't be able to share it!).
4. Set the Permission settings you would like this person to have.
5. Click on Save.
If you have an iGoogle page then add your Google calendar to it:
1. Go to your iGoogle page.
2. Click on Add Gadgets.
3. In the Search for gadgets box on the right of the screen, type in Google Calendar.

4. You want the first on the list - click on Add it now.
5. Click on Back to iGoogle and your calendar will be displayed!

Further reading

Using Google calendar to manage library web site hours:

Monday, 11 June 2012

Thing 7: real-life networks

Welcome to Thing 7! It’s time to talk about professional organisations and real-life networks: what they do, what the benefits are, and how and why you can get involved.

What is a professional organisation?
Well, they come in all different shapes and sizes! But at heart a professional organisation is a group of people joined by a common profession, which serves some purpose towards the furthering of that profession.

They may be an official, subscription-based organisation such as CILIP, ALA or ARA, or they might be more informal, such as LISNPN or LIKE.

What do they do?
All sorts of things! Professional organisations will do some or all of the following:

1. Provide opportunities for networking.
One of the easiest ways to get started with professional networking is to join a professional organisation or group. The three professional benefits outlined by Helen in Thing 6 apply just as much to face-to-face networking as they do to online networking. Connecting with people through a professional organisation can help to advance your knowledge and career – as well as being a great way to meet new people and make friends! There will usually be networking opportunities available at all events – even if it’s just the chance to have a chat over lunch, make the most of it!

Find it difficult to approach people face-to-face? You’re not the only one! Most people find it difficult to start a conversation. I’d recommend this post on Jo Alcock’s blog for some advice about how to get started.

There are some chances this week for you to get involved with organisations in your area, practice networking – or just find out more about what’s going on! Meet-ups have been arranged in various places around the country – see here for a list.

2. Provide opportunities for training and development

Many organisations will run official training courses. These will usually be tailored to meet the needs of their members, and may be part of a professional development framework. They will also often run conferences, which are a great way to develop yourself, and meet new contacts and friends.

As well as these formal training opportunities, professional organisations give you opportunities to develop your skills in other ways, such as learning informally from other members. You can also gain skills and experience from volunteering for a position within the organisation: you could join a committee; write for the newsletter/blog; organise events; get involved in a mentoring scheme. For instance, you might need to gain experience of handling finances and budgets – a committee treasurer position is a great way to do this.

3. Provide structured professional development and qualifications

Many professional organisations will have a structured professional development path. This may include accrediting or validating courses, including the professional qualification courses. In the UK, this is done by CILIP (libraries) and ARA (archives & records management). ALA does the same for library courses in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

They may also run Continuing Professional Development (CPD) schemes, resulting in a qualification, such as CILIP Certification and Chartership and ARA Registration.

4. Have formal publications

These can range from peer-reviewed journals to magazines and newsletters, to blogs and podcasts. These provide you not only with the chance to learn from the content, but also to contribute!

Associations may also run award schemes, provide advocacy and support, sponsor places at conferences, run current awareness and careers services – and much more! If your organisation isn’t providing the support or activities you need, why not contact them? You might be able to start something that will benefit you – and others!

Why should you get involved?
Being a member of a professional organisation gives you great opportunities, and the chance to benefit yourself and the profession. It can demonstrate that you are committed to the profession, and to your own personal and professional development. Membership gives you opportunities to help others, by sharing your knowledge and expertise, taking on a formal role on a committee, or taking part in a mentoring scheme. If the association is one which charges dues, these will help the association to continue their activities, and provide training and support to its members.

So, what organisations are there?
I can’t possibly supply an exhaustive list – if that’s what you’re looking for, IFLA publishes a ‘World Guide to Library, Archive and Information Science Associations’. If that’s a bit rich for your pocket, try a library! (Copac, WorldCat). The following is a selection of some of the organisations – and, if I’ve missed your favourite, why not leave a comment, or blog about it?

When you’re looking at organisations, remember that they will usually have sub-divisions – called special interest groups, chapters, caucuses, divisions, round tables, groups, committees, units - just about anything you can think of! For many people, these specialist/regional groups will be their main point of contact with the organisation, so it’s always worth checking out sub-groups when you’re deciding whether an organisation is right for you. You will usually get membership to one or more of these groups as part of your membership of the organisation, and can add more for a small fee.

Membership organisations:
All of the following charge membership fees, usually on a sliding scale depending on your salary, and often with great deals for student members. You might even be able to get your workplace to pay for your membership, or claim the tax back on your tax return as a ’professional expense’. If none of them fit your budget, why not have a look at some of the free, informal associations? You also often don’t need to be a member to attend events, so if you’re thinking about joining, why not go along to a few events, and get a feel for the organisation?

Library/info organisations:
CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals is the UK’s professional body for library and information workers. CILIP provides a wide range of support and activities, including professional qualifications.

CILIP isn't all about CILIP HQ in London! One of the great benefits of CILIP membership are the  Special Interest Groups and Regional Branches, which provide training, networking opportunities, and chances to gain experience by working with committees. 

ARA: the Archives & Records Association supports archivists, archive conservators, and records managers in the UK and Ireland. Sections include data standards and new professionals, and they run the Registration scheme, for formal CPD.

SLA: The School Libraries Association (not to be confused with the Special Library Association!) supports, and promotes the value of , school libraries and librarians. They also run awards, courses, and provide online resources.

IMRS: The Information and Records Management Society welcomes as members ‘all those who work in or are concerned with records or information management, regardless of their professional or organisational status or qualifications’. They run a bulletin, training, and a conference.

ASLIB: The Association for Information Management provides training, along with an impressive portfolio of publications. Members are not necessarily librarians, with ASLIB’s portfolio being aimed at ‘people who manage information and knowledge in organizations’

BIALL: The British and Irish Association of Law Librarians represents legal information professionals and suppliers. They provide information and support for those interested in/already pursuing a career in legal information work, including a ‘how do I?’ wiki, publications, and conferences.

Library Association of Irelandthe LAI is the professional body representing libraries and librarianship in Ireland, with publications, special interest sections and groups, and support for CPD.

Art Libraries Society, ARLIS: ARLIS is the professional organisation for people involved in providing library and information services and documenting resources in the visual arts. They run conferences, events and awards, and have resources including publications.


IFLA: With around 1600 members in 150 countries, the International Federation of Library Associations is truly an international organisation. Most library associations are members of IFLA, and you can also join as a personal member. IFLA publishes internationally-renowned guidelines and reports, and has relationships with other world bodies such as UNESCO, the UN, and the World Trade Organisation. They have a wonderfully diverse range of special interest groups and sections.

SLA: the Special Libraries Association is based in the US, but has chapters all over the world, including a very active European Chapter. The divisions and caucuses provide support for professionals in a wide variety of fields and areas of interest – including a baseball caucus! Members don’t just come from special libraries, and many cite networking opportunities as one of their main reasons for joining.

ALA: the American Library Association also has members all over the world. They accredit US, Canadian, and Puerto Rican library courses, and run 2 big conferences every year: ALA Midwinter and ALA Annual – featuring book cart rallies!

AIIP: the Association of Independent Information Professionals represents and supports independent information professionals worldwide, with e-learning tools, publications, conferences, and special deals with vendors. The association is also open to those who are considering going independent or starting their own business.

SAA: The Society of American Archivists account for many of the different names for sub-sections! With committees, sub-committees, sections, roundtables, student groups, and task forces, there are plenty of opportunities for involvement in a number of areas.

Non-library/info organisations
Many information professionals are also members of professional organisations outside the LIS sphere. These are a great way to gain skills and contacts from other professions, and widen your viewpoint.

HEA: Librarians who do a lot of teaching may wish to become members of the Higher Education Academy, which provides resources and support for teachers in the HE sector. Edith Speller has written a case study about the benefits she's felt from being a member of the HEA.

The Chartered Management Institute provides managers and leaders with opportunities for online learning, networking, and structured CPD.

CIM: the Chartered Institute for Marketing With levels of membership that cover novice to fellow, they also offer the chance to become a chartered marketer.

If you’re working/supporting users in a particular field, you might like to see if membership of their professional body is open to you, perhaps as an affiliate member.

Informal organisations:
The Library Society of the World describe themselves as ‘a world-spanning group of library professionals and library advocates, dedicated to furthering the role of librarians, archivists, information professionals, and information educators through communication and collaboration. The LSW is about people, not buildings (although some of us think architecture is sexy). It’s about friendship, not organization. It’s about creating and fostering opportunities, not building barriers and divisions.’ They have professional development material, a set of priorities that will chime with even the most jaded info pro, and a distinguished list of ‘Shovers and Makers’.

LISNPN: The LIS New Professionals Network started online (and was mentioned in Thing 6 by Helen as such), but has graduated to face-to-face events. Open to anyone with an interest in being or supporting new professionals, the network has discussion forums, resources, and recently ran an advocacy competition.

LIKE: The London Information and Knowledge Exchange meet monthly to ‘share stories, learn and exchange knowledge in an informal and relaxed setting.’. They run a variety of events – the next is the LIKE Ideas half-day conference, on the 'business of social media'.

LIKENorth Leeds & Yorkshire Information and Knowledge Exchange, bringing the LIKE principles of informal knowledge exchange and networking to the North! 

Hack Library School: By, for, and about library school students, Hack Library School is another group that started out online. Hack Library School also now has face-to-face meet-ups, including a 'conversation starter' and 'Hack Library School/Library BoingBoing' meetup at this year's ALA Annual in Anaheim.

What now?
Absorbed all that? Good! Your task for this week’s Thing is to consider your experiences with professional organisations, and blog about it! What involvement have you had? How has it affected your career? What have you learned? Why are/aren’t you a member? Extra credit for investigating a new organisation or group!

Thanks to all those who suggested organisations for inclusion in this post

Monday, 4 June 2012

Thing 6: Online networks

Welcome to Week 5, and Thing 6, which is all about online (or social) networks and communities.  These have completely revolutionised how we network and make connections with others.  If you've already completed Thing 4, and joined Twitter, congratulations!  That's an online network too.

If you're not sure about what online (or social) networking actually is, or what it entails, go over to YouTube and take a look at this brief introductory video.  It's from 2007, making it positively prehistoric in online networking terms, but it does hit all the main points!

There are so many online networks out there.  They fulfil different purposes, they have different raison d’êtres, and they attract all kinds of people with common interests and goals.  Selecting just a few for Thing 6 was pretty difficult!  So what we're going to do is look at the two 'big wigs' of the online networking world, that's LinkedIn and Facebook, both of which have become pretty much synonymous with online networking, and both of which are well-known and established.  And then we're going to look at three other online networks (LISNPNLATnetwork and CILIP communities) which have been designed specifically for librarians and information professionals.  The list is absolutely and in no way at all definitive or comprehensive, and you don't have to explore all of them.  Also, if there are others that you use or recommend, please feel free to blog about those instead!

Why network online?
There are lots of advantages to engaging in professional online networking, but I think that, in general, they all fall under one or more of the following three headings:
  1. Becoming better known, and more visible in your fields of interest and expertise, by joining in with conversations and sharing information.
  2. Becoming better connected, with people whom you might otherwise never actually get to meet.
  3. Becoming better equipped, gaining knowledge and information from others, and staying up to date with the trends and ideas in your profession.
But before we get going, a quick word of advice!  Please note that it's really, absolutely and completely NOT necessary for you to sign up to any, or all, of these online networks.  If you're not a member of them, and would like to keep it that way, that's perfectly fine.

LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network, with over 100 million members.  There are lots of librarians and information professionals using LinkedIn, and it's an excellent way of building and organising your professional relationships.  And, importantly, bearing Thing 3 in mindLinkedIn profiles tend to rise to the top in Google searches, so a well-maintained and constructed profile can be a really beneficial tool for the development of your online brand.  LinkedIn can be a useful way to introduce others to your professional experience and expertise.

Although you'll need a LinkedIn account to explore it fully, it is possible to have a look at some profiles and see how it could be used.  To do this, go to the home page, and type a name into the boxes that say 'Search for someone by name'.  This will let you see the kind of information that people put onto their profiles.  I asked my Twitter followers if any of them had full, exciting or sexy profile pages, and couple of people volunteered their profiles, which are all great examples of best practice:
Getting an account on LinkedIn is very straightforward.  You can easily register from the home page, and for more guidance, take a look at this video. As it's a professional network, you'll probably want your profile to match your CV or resume, so make sure that the photograph you use is suitable and that the tagline is appropriate.  And then you can begin to make connections with people in your networks and with other librarians and information professionals!

One of the most useful features of LinkedIn is the groups, which are, unfortunately, only accessible to members of LinkedIn.  These are a good way to expand your network and connect with other professionals based on common interests or goals.  Obviously, the first group you'll want to join is the 23 Things for Professional Development group!  To do this, go to the 'Groups' tab, and search for '23 Things', then click 'Join' to become a member.  If you like, explore other groups too.  Here are some relevant ones:
  • Sue Hill Recruitment Network
  • Special Libraries Association
There is plenty of advice online about how to use LinkedIn successfully, and how to get the most out of your membership (see, for example, Sharlyn Lauby's articles on optimising your profile, here).  And if you like, take a look at this article by Charlie White, packed full of infographics: How are people really using LinkedIn?

The world's leading social network, with over 900 million members, Facebook is most popularly used to socialise with friends and family, and to share news and photos.  Most people wouldn't think about using Facebook in a professional capacity.  However, it has become a powerful marketing tool and an excellent way to build more professional relationships.  After all, there are 900 million people out there to build them with!

If you're not on Facebook, it's easy to sign up from the home page and create a profile.  A word of warning, though: Facebook's privacy policy and its stance on intellectual property have been criticised widely (and rightly so).  You may wish, therefore, to take a look at these policies in more detail before signing up, and they can be found here.

While individuals on Facebook have 'profiles', to which they add personal information, organisations and institutions have 'pages', which can have multiple owners and have a slightly different functionality.  (There are also 'groups', but the less said about those, the better).  Your primary concern will clearly be to become a fan of 23 Things for Professional Development!  To find our fan page, simply do a search for us in the box at the top, and then click 'Like' to become a fan.  This means that information posted on this fan page will appear in your news feed on your Facebook home page.

Other pages (all of which can be viewed, with or without Facebook membership) that you might be interested in are:

And then three more, just for librarians and info pros:


Image from LISNPN
LISNPN is an online network for new professionals in the library and information sector.  Anyone in the sector can join the network, and at the moment there are over 900 members from 34 countries!  You definitely don't have to have a professional qualification, you definitely don't have to be young, and the definition of 'new' that is employed by LISNPN is very loose indeed!  So although the network is designed for prople who have joined the profession in the last decade or so, more experienced professionals are also very welcome.

LISNPN has all kinds of stuff on it, and it's really member-driven, so if there's anything that network members want to see, they can make it happen.  It includes forums and blog posts, interviews, resources and reviews, and there have been (face-to-face!) meet ups and a brilliant advocacy competition since the site was launched just over a year ago.  To find out more, check out this blog post by Ned Potter (aka @theREALwikiman) about the future of LISNPN.

It's a very friendly, and very user-friendly site, so to sign up, just enter your email address and password in the boxes to the left of the page, and follow the instructions.  You'll get a profile with a picture and space for a brief biography, and there's also the opportunity to add 'friends'.  Once your profile is up and running, go to the "Just joined LISNPN?" thread on the message board, and introduce yourself!

Image from Teachers Monthly.

The LAT network was set up in order to offer support to librarians and information professionals who do a lot of teaching as part of their jobs, and/or for those who are taking formal teaching qualifications.  Its key aims are to gather and pool knowledge and expertise, and to provide a space to share ideas and thoughts. For more information about the site's origins and purposes, have a look at this blog post from one of the founders, Johanna Anderson (aka @Jo_Bo_Anderson).

The site includes lots of information, about upcoming events, advice on organising (lib)TeachMeets and there's a forum which includes threads on book recommendations and just general teaching ideas.  It's also really easy to sign up and get a profile: just click 'Register' and enter your details there.

CILIP communities is an online network for all librarians and information professionals to share information and make connections with each other.  Although a lot of the content is restricted to people who are CILIP members, there is a great deal of material on there which is open access, including links to the whole CILIP blog landscape.  And just FYI: CILIP stands for Chartered Institute of Librarians and Information Professionals, and it's a UK-based library association.

If you are a CILIP member, it's very easy to sign up, to get a profile and then add contacts.  In the top right hand corner of the screen, there's a 'Log In' link, which takes you through to the registration page.  If you're not a CILIP member, then you can sign up with a Guest account, and this will allow you to take part in discussions on the forums, and to organise and coordinate the information you receive from CILIP.

And if you're a member of another country's library association, have a look to see if they have any equivalent communities or forums.

What to do now!
To complete this Thing, blog about your experiences with these sites.  Which do you think are the most useful, and why?  If you already use these sites, how do you use them, and what have you got out of them?  If you don't want to use sites like these for online networking, why not?  And do you agree with the founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, when he said: "Facebook is the backyard BBQ; LinkedIn is the office"? Do you think that sites like Google+ and Pinterest offer added value for social networking?