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As I wrote in my first post on this blog, I do very much feel like a beginner at using social web media, although I have been on Facebook LinkedIn etc. for what feels like a long time now.

But I must say that new worlds are opening themselves to me. Here just a few words on some of my experiences.

LinkedIn groups

LinkedIn was to me previously a place where I just accepted the invitation from my friends as they joined. Rarely did I check out their profiles and all I knew of it was that within certain sectors it was a good place to look for jobs. However, LinkedIn is much more than this. It is a window opening up for direct access to people all across the globe who work on or are interested similar topics. Even when one thinks no one else works on that particular issue, LinkedIn is a way to prove one wrong. I recently joined the group “Global Public Health” and through active participation in one of the discussions I have gained so much more than I imagined. Contact to people interested in the same issues, access to project I didn’t know existed and realisation that social web media really does mean social. The interest from others and willingness to share contacts, ideas, recommendations etc. is overwhelming. It has all resulted in that I now find myself adding to my LinkedIn contacts people I have never met before in real life, but who indeed it does make sense to be linked to. I really look forward to exploring further (eg. through the “groups you may like” function) how LinkedIn can connect me to relevant people, stories, projects and so on. Only worry is right now: Can one become member of too many groups, networks, etc.?

(for newcomers to LinkedIn this guide might be useful in getting started)

Twitter

My Twitter account (@bjerglund) was created a looong time ago. But never used. I must say I didn’t really get what the point was or what the added value was of a service that only contains status updates (using Facebook terminology). Neither did I understand why the media kept referring to this as one of the most powerful tools of the people. BUT, also for Twitter I now realise that I had lots to learn. I definitely still have a long way to go, but already I see a lot of advantages. Once you get a hang of the concept it really is very easy and after some trial and errors I now follow the tweets of some really cool people. In my case these cool people are especially enthusiasts in the field of science/public health, communication and social media. It provides much inspiration and opens up the world to things I am quite convinced I would not have come across otherwise. A function of Twitter that has been very useful to me in learning to use Twitter has been the “retweet” function. This is a great tool to help in identify new people who could be relevant to follow. Another enlightenment for me have been how strongly Twitter and the world of blogs is connected. Through Twitter I have become aware of the coolest blogs, projects, websites etc. AND have been able to spread the word about my own blog to others. I still find it fascinating that people, whom I have never meet or spoken a word,  are followers of my tweets. With regards to my own tweeting skills I still have a long way to go, but hopefully that will improve. Also in using the hashtag (#) function there are lots to learn, but I do see the advantages of the function in connecting with more people, but also in information gathering. Doing a search on Twitter is almost as important as a search on Google is one want latest updates on what is happening.

(for newcomers to Twitter this guide might be useful especially in learning the Lingo)

As a beginner in this world, all suggestions on how I make even better use of these new dimensions of my world are of course welcome. In the mean time I’ll surf around out there and keep following people, take part in discussions, tweet and retweet, follow links and recommendations for further reading and so on. I look forward to meeting you out there.