Friday, 25 May 2012

Thing 4 - current awareness - Twitter, RSS and Storify

I've taken a bit of time with this one, although I'm not sure I've used the time constructively...

Twitter - My first attempt some time ago was a complete failure; I just didn't get it. I've since tried again, and have had an account for a while, @nancecc, but haven't used it much due to the whole personal/professional quandary. I've rather randomly picked a few library people to follow, in addition to local organisations and a couple of obligatory famous people. I have to psyche myself up to post anything, let alone reply to someone else, but am getting the impression that I really shouldn't worry about it! Even though I haven't posted much myself, I have found it really useful for news I might otherwise have missed.

I also intend to tweet separately as the library for work; just need to make sure I can think of sensible and original things to regularly announce...

RSS - I was aware of RSS feeds before joining CPD23, but never subscribed to any having got into the habit of just looking at certain websites every now and then. However, I've now got myself a Google Reader account and have subscribed to the cpd23 feed as well as a few other blogs, and am gradually organising things into folders. I'm not actually using Reader on a PC (find the experience a bit clunky), but have downloaded the iPad app 'Mr. Reader' which is great: It allows me to view each post in a window within the app, so I can easily comment if I want, but also retain Google's features such as starring.

Storify - This was the first thing I was completely ignorant of. Whilst I'd love to be enthusiastic about it, I think I currently just see it as another complication - but probably only because I can't think of any way in which it can currently help me. But then that's how I started with Twitter, so things could change...

Monday, 14 May 2012

Thing 3 - Consider your personal brand

This one was interesting, and has made me think.

I Googled my name with the word 'librarian' and found the top hit was my Twitter feed - hadn't expected that. Then there's a page from our VLE and the rest are the primatologist author who shares my name. I fare better with just my name, since I already have my own website for photographs, for which I have my own domain.

I use Facebook, but all of my 'friends' are people I have actually met; I have made minimal information public; I don't have it indexed by Google. I follow people for work and leisure on Twitter; this blending of two worlds is one of the reasons I'm not fully confident with Twitter yet.

When setting up this blog I thought, for the time being at least, I would like to keep personal and professional separate, so would need a new identity. I thought for a good while about a blog name, and settled on 'three week loan' since it was something I associate with libraries and work rather than home, and I felt it was a little reminder that we still have books to lend, despite all the lovely new things technology brings! I am aware that some people will find my being anonymous off-putting, but I'm still just a little bit scared...I'm happy to get an online identity within the library world, and then perhaps meet other library people in the real world as a result. I'm not so sure, however, that I want someone I meet at party to learn my name and then find out all the same information.

The suggested links for this Thing gave some interesting reading (including by someone I once knew at university; small world). I found particularly interesting Danah Boyd's suggestion that 'stuff gets buried by repetitive blogging' so that 'old' information would only be found by those looking for it. I'm not sure if that's supposed to be comforting or not...

More to remember, in a good way

Just attended a training session on using Refworks for reference management and Ebrary e-books which was very useful. Unfortunately it just makes me think of how much more complicated HE library tutorials will become! Whilst I've listed myself as working in an FE college, we do have a small cohort of HE students, and I have the primary responsibility for them in terms of the library. I'm now even keener to push class tutorials in the new year: I feel some of these tools are being neglected by our students through lack of knowledge, and that's not fair on anyone.

I am also very much enjoying being able to type this post on my iPad while it's fresh in my mind, instead of dozing off on the train home!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Thing 2 - Investigate some other blogs

On and off this week I've had a look at some of the other blogs appearing for CPD23.  I started by concentrating on those participants tagged under 'FE', but have read some interesting things from other sectors too.
There appears to be a split between the confident bloggers who don't think twice about writing about their day, and those of us who are new to it and a bit trepidacious.  I've never kept any sort of diary or journal, and whilst I'm very good at lurking and reading posts, I'm not so good at commenting and writing my own.  That's why I like that one of the tasks is to comment - it's almost forcing me out of my comfort zone.

I've started using Google Reader to subscribe to posts.  That's new to me and I'm not entirely comfortable with it yet - although I did use it as an opportunity to investigate ipad RSS apps...

Monday, 7 May 2012

Taking the easy way out?

Not particularly work-related, but I've just suggested to Him (the boyfriend) that I transfer his hobby website (which I upkeep at his request) to Blogger, enabling both easier editing for me and the ability to create content for him.
I originally taught myself HTML out of curiosity whilst at university ten years ago - at that point writing code in Notepad was the way to create myself a website hosted by the uni.  I can create working web pages and understand how to style with CSS.  He can't.
His reaction to the suggested transfer was extremely negative, based on the principle that embracing the services of Blogger would mean no need for any coding skills.  He admitted the hypocrisy of this but has forecast that the future will be full of 'experts' we will have to consult for everything since we will never have learnt any skills to do things for ourselves; we will then be exploited by the companies offering such services.
Whilst I can see the basis of his argument, I see tools such as Blogger as just that; tools which make tasks easier.  But if I didn't have any HTML/CSS skills, would I still be curious to learn them in order just to make minor changes to the look of a site?

Thing 1 - Blogs and blogging

So to expand on my first post, I am hoping to learn a lot from from doing these 23 Things. Whilst I'm generally quite comfortable using internet applications and already blog a bit from a personal perspective (mainly photographs), I feel I need an extra push in how I can promote tools to others.

I work in a college where a lot of staff and students are reluctant to embrace new technology (although the availability of it in order to do so will always be a issue), and I'm hoping to get some inspiration and really good examples to enable me to help them. At the same time, however, anything which assists in marketing our 'traditional' services would also be great!

I don't get much opportunity to do CPD specific to my post through work, and I haven't yet done a post-grad qualification which is something that plays on my mind...

Friday, 4 May 2012

Hello to CPD23

I'm going to join in this time having been aware of it for a while.
I've already tried some of the tools on the schedule, sometimes with limited success, so I'm hoping to learn some more about how they can be useful to me.