Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Jenny - Practicum Post Seven

With my final practicum post I would like to wrap up by reflecting upon the three social networks that I have been using all semester and what I have learned from each of them.

LinkedIn: Throughout the semester I have managed to grow my number of connections by 10, get one recommendation, and go into greater detail with my job descriptions and skills sections. I have also received messages from two different companies wondering what my plans for after graduation are. I think LinkedIn has the potential to become a major asset when college graduates are searching for jobs. I know personally, LinkedIn has allowed me to expand my professional network, giving me the capability to keep up with various people I have met on a professional level during my time here at UW. I am a member of the student organization Association for Women in Communications. Twice a month we have speakers come from PR & Ad agencies in the greater Madison area. I have added every single speaker we have had to my LinkedIn, and it has been a great way to stay in touch with those speakers. One of the speakers even offered to look over my resume after adding her on LinkedIn. Unlike another social network such as Facebook, LinkedIn has allowed me to network without having my privacy invaded too much.

Bebo: In my presentation earlier this semester I stated that Bebo was my least favorite of the three social networks that I chose to use during my practicum. While Bebo has slowly grown on me over the months, I still have to say it is my least favorite. In Bebo's defense, not very many of my real friends use the social network so I couldn't add people I knew really. I didn't find Bebo very easy to use. I like the fact that you can add applications on Bebo and use them, but I feel that those applications make the social network more of a form of entertainment than a tool to connect with your friends. The layout of Bebo reminds me a lot of MySpace, looking a little outdated.

Last.fm: When I first started using Last.fm I didn't understand how it differed at all from Pandora. After using it for a couple months, I would describe LastFM as Pandora on Steroids. When you create a radio station on Last.fm you are able to explore various new artists in the genre you specify based on what Last.fm suggests for you which is similar to the way Pandora operates. Unlike Pandora, you have the option to explore the various new artists in greater depths on Last.fm. You can do this by clicking on the artist's bio page, researching upcoming concerts, and looking at what other Last.fm users have to say about an artists or band. Overall, Last.fm has outranked Pandora in my book now!

In conclusion, I am happy that I was able to explore these three social networks for this Practicum, and it opened my eyes to what is out there beyond Facebook!

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