September 5th, 2012

Back to school and social network analysis

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks – John Muir

For the past several weeks our 10 year old son has been saying with unbridled enthusiasm that he can’t wait to go back to school and he’ll finally get his wish today as he begins 5th grade. I can’t relate since the first day of school since 4th grade or so for me was met with something between resignation and gut-wrenching anxiety. I am beyond thankful he doesn’t seem to take after me at all in that regard.

It’s impossible to not reflect on the passage of time during a quiet family morning last week walking through Muir Woods National Monument in California, where a vast number of the coastal redwoods are between 500-800 years old with some topping 1,000.

I’ve been reflecting on time ever since – especially about Thursdays at 6 pm Pacific/9 Eastern as the Twitter #medlibs chat began this summer. It’s been fabulous and a great start for a new channel of professional networking for our field, and I’m very thankful for guest hosts Patricia Anderson, Alisha Miles and Michelle Kraft. However, it takes a large amount of time outside of work for promoting, hosting, then parsing out transcripts and pulling links from the chats.  When I’m on vacation, not all of that happens as the Transcripts show. As a new school year begins and all the extracurricular activities kick into gear once more I know there will be some time shifts, and the chat needs even more promotion to encourage others to participate in the networking fun.

What is the most effective use of time and resources for the #medlibs chat? Does something need to change? What connections need to be tapped for effective promotion and engagement? I certainly don’t know, but I’m investing some time to try and figure these dynamics out better by enrolling in Social Network Analysis – brought to my attention thanks to social networking via Patricia Anderson. Unlike my earlier elementary school days, I also can’t wait for the first day of school to start on September 24th and encourage you to take a look and considering signing up too!

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