Thursday, October 1, 2015

Ditching my e-portfolio for LinkedIn

I have been reviewing my online spaces and how I use them. One of the decisions I have made is to move from the e-portfolio that I have been maintaining on Wikispaces to Linkedin.

What is the advantage of using open software for e-portfolio?
I kept my e-portfolio on an open wiki from about 2008-2012. I really enjoyed the freedom that it gave me, allowing me to design my content in which ever way I wanted.

It felt very exciting to be modeling to people what can be achieved and I had lots of inquiries and comments about the legalities of having my work openly available over the years. I have written about my experiences, and the challenges of presenting my work as a practicing midwife, especially around the issues of confidentiality of patient/client information: Making practice transparent through e-portfolio (Women and Birth, Vol. 26, Issue 4, e117–e121).

Why I am making the move to LinkedIn
The disadvantage to using the wiki is that I don't feel it has the "professional look" that other platforms such as Linkedin has. The wiki was perfect as a "sandpit", especially in my role as educator. However, now I have more of a corporate role, I feel LinkedIn is a more appropriate space to highlight my professional activities.And as well as providing an e-portfolio capability, LinkedIn allows me to connect with other professionals and provides access to news and information relevant to my work.

Downside of LinkedIn? 
For the most part, LinkedIn provides appropriate space for my work. It does have constraints that I have to work within that my wiki never had, which is a little frustrating at times.  And I don't like the vertical structure which forces readers to be forever scrolling down to get to information. However, I do like the guidance it provides which I think is really useful to people who are new to e-portfolio. And the ability to upload evidence of work into LinkedIn makes the platform more than a glorified CV. 

One issue that I need to explore is how to back up my work, or download it. I don't know what ability LinkedIn provides to ensure I do not lose my material.

Do you have a LinkedIn account? How do you use it - for professional networking, e-portfolio, or another purpose?