Guest Author: Beth Anderson
We’re delighted to have Beth join us for Part 1 of herÂ series on Social Networking for travel nurses. Beth maintains a fantastic blog at PixelRN.com where she writes about her experiences in nursing as well as social networking and website design/development.
First of all, what is social networking, and why would a travel nurse be interested in it? A social networking service is basically any type of website that provides a way for people to connect and socialize online. More and more nurses these days are using social networking services to connect with friends, family, and other nurses. Travel nurses, especially, can benefit from these new technologies. They travel from job to job, making new friends along the way and trying to keep in touch with old friends, not to mention the people they leave behind at their home base.Â Online communities, blogs, and photo-sharing sites can help them stay connected to everyone. But there are many different sites out there and figuring out which ones to use can sometimes be overwhelming. I’d like to share with you my top 5 favorite social networking sites, and explain how they can benefit the travel nurse.
Let’s start with one of my favorite social networking sites, Flickr
Flickr is a site that lets you store and share your photos. Two things make flickr especially useful, the ability to “tag” your photos and organize them according to subject, and the ability to search other people’s photos by subject matter. Also, you can create a profile and “friend” other flickr users. Flickr and traveling go hand in hand. Say you are about to accept a travel assignment in Baltimore, MD. You’ve never been there before and you are anxious to get a feel for the city. Perhaps you’d like to figure out what neighborhood to live in, or what sites you’d like to see. Flickr allows you to search all of the photos tagged, Baltimore. From here you might search other neighborhoods in Baltimore, like Canton or Charles Village. I recommend searching by “tags only” and by “most interesting” as opposed to “most recent.” That way, Flickr will pick out the most relevant photos for you. You can also search by clicking on “Explore” and choosing “Places.” Then, type in the place you would like to see and Flickr will show you photos that have been geo-tagged with that place, and also show you some photo groups that revolve around that location
Flickr is also a social site, and so you can create a list of contacts. Flickr, like many other social networking sites, allows you to find people you already know by searching your email contacts on gmail, hotmail, and yahoo mail. When you become friends with someone, it will be easier to view one another’s photos.
Finally, when you start uploading your own photos, you can also “tag” them. Tagging simply refers to designating a keyword to your photo, making it easier to search for at a later date. You can basically choose any tags you want, and organize your photos according to subject matter, location, or when you took them.
In part two I’ll take a look at Facebook, and also talk about starting your own blog.