Thursday, 29 November 2012

Sources of information - looking at others

I've been attempting to complete my Task 3c  - Sources of Information - blog for about three days now, however every time I log in I end up reading someone else's post and it makes me stop, think, and take time for reflection.
So, instead of writing about my own sources of information I thought I'd post my thoughts/ ideas about what I've read in other blogs!

It is very interesting to see that, in Hannah Stewart, Clare Orlandi, Melanie Brown, and Emily Hunt's blogs, they have all put interaction with people as their first source of information:
  • In Clare's blog post she entitles her interactions Conversation and discusses how even the most seemingly "weak" connections can lead to surprising results (para. 1-2).
  • Emily writes about Personal contacts and the awareness she has gained recently about how 'who you know' leads to more opportunities in her professional practice (para. 3).
  • Melanie and Hannah both talk about friends and the reciprocal aspect that making close connections with other people leads to.

Other sources of information that are valued all involve face-to-face interaction, but differ from person to person depending on their current professional practice. For example:
  • Melanie, Hannah and Katy Thorpe, who all describe themselves as 'performer,' write about the importance of class, auditions, and agencies. 
  • Clare and I talk about the parents of our students as part of our sources of information - in our profiles we identify ourselves as 'dance teacher.' 

Everyone's blog, that I've read so far, talks about social media, and Facebook in particular, as an important source of information.
  • Clare makes a brilliant point about the more immediate nature of this source as opposed to the old website based technology but also how this 'instant information' may not be as accurate or reliable as that presented on 'official' web pages (para. 3-7). 
  • Chelsie Johnson seperates social networking from Web 2.0 in her sources of information - the first being a practical tool, whilst the latter a more personal/ emotional source of information. 
If I put my own spin on this, I would suggest that Facebook is the Web2.0 version of conversation and personal contact, that allows us to build 'form close relationships' (Crisp & Turner 2007 p266) but with a wider, albeit partly virtual, group of friends; I may not be able to meet my FB friends for a coffee but I count my interaction with them within the context of affiliation.

It would seem that we all, myself included, place extremely high values on affiliation, in all it's forms. Is this just human nature, as suggested by social psychologists, or is it more heightened because we are all practicing within the Arts? Do other professionals rely as highly on personal connection within their networks?

It's so great that all of us are working through the same topics at the same time, and quite a novel experience for me as, most of the time, I feel that I'm the only one looking for answers or struggling with problems that everyone else seems to have solved! Deep down, I know that this isn't really the case, but it is a really clear example to me of a) how important it is that I regularly connect with, and build up my network, and b) just how isolated I feel if the only conversation I've had all day is with small children!

Onwards, to my own Top 5...

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