Author Archives: DreamingEntity

Thing 4: Current Awareness

I’m going to come back to Thing 3. Fact is, time is limited right now, and most of it goes on staring at my dissertation.

Like a lot of people, I already use RSS feeds more than is healthy; I’m basically never up to date with them. I also use Twitter a lot and recently met a lot of librarians on it through #npc2011 and #uklibchat. The latter is a new fortnightly conversation on twitter which aims to bring people together to talk about library issues. The first one was last Thursday and it was a great way to see who’s out there and discuss things that have been on my mind.

The problem with both Twitter and RSS is time. My ideal day starts at around six AM, between seven and eight I dedicate time to my RSS feed, re-blog anything worthwhile on Twitter or Facebook, then I either put Twitter on and work at home or go do my things. But… I’m currently watching Battlestar Galactica.

And there goes my schedule.

This means that I haven’t been going to bed before midnight. Which in turn throws off my mornings. The lesson here is that finding information isn’t my problem. Finding time is the problem.

Pushnote is a whole other thing. I got it soon after it came out, and I’m “Joseph Norwood” but I kind of gave up on it. I liked the idea of having a comments page on every site but its primary use seemed to be to post up links. As nobody I knew used it most of the links were of no interest to me at all. I’m still having trouble finding people on it. The best way I found to find the other library users was to see who had commented on the 23 Things blog. I kind of hope it takes off. But I’m not sure. I’m a webcomics fan, and having a comments page is great for trawling through extensive comic archives as you can leave messages for the next person to do the same thing. It’s useful as an online comments page but it seems to mostly get used to promote pages. I’m not sure we need yet another way to do this. But, I’ll give it time.



Thing 2 for #cpd23

I’ve been looking around at the other blogs involved in cpd23, as per our instructions for this week. I can’t say I was particularly looking forward to this, at present I follow 201 blogs. Which is too many. The last thing I need is still more blogs to follow. But then, maybe this is a problem with trying to follow everything, rather than just the good stuff? Things I have noticed while doing this:

  • Unfortunately, most entries for thing #2 are pretty same-ey.
  • I like bullet points.
  • I skip over blogs with long paragraphs.
  • Name is important. Shame this blog is named after a class in-joke. Good move there, Jo.
  • This week is really just the start. I’m looking forward to the more complex exercises where I’ll have more to comment on.
  • This post is now massively late. Hopefully this will get easier as I get into the flow of the dissertation
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Posted by on June 28, 2011 in Please find me a home?


Jo’s Thing One for #cpd2011

I made my first blog in 2001, after a few days of following people on Live Journal. I was fascinated with the idea that people were willing to share so much personal information about themselves on the internet. Back then, blogging was seen as a bit suspect. Why would anyone want to put up so much personal information online?! I think I even saw a few people using their real names on the internet!

I blogged till 2007, and met some amazing people, learnt a lot about how different people live, kept up to date with the news better than I ever have since, and my writing improved significantly. Seriously. I am the only person in the world who looks back on their teenage diaries and thinks “Wow. I wish I could still write like this.”

A decade after my first blog. Ka-Ming and I set up a blog. Blogging had become this professional, focused and normal. And the amount of information people are willing to share is a little scary. But the benefits seem to be the same. I’ve been using blogs to read up on the latest news in the library field and to find out what different people do in their work life. I’m starting to use this site to write reflectively, and hopefully the quality of my writing will improve, too. The big thing I want from cpd23 is interesting conversations with other bloggers involved in the exercise.

This little project will be going on in parallel to me writing my dissertation. Which is terrifying. It means that the last few Things tie really well into what I’ll be doing in my life at that point.

I’m looking forward to contacting the other cpd23-ers out there. But now I should probably get started on that dissertation thing.

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Posted by on June 25, 2011 in Please find me a home?



NPC 2011: Part 2

The second part of the conference.It was a nice time, and lovely to meet everyone.

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Posted by on June 22, 2011 in Please find me a home?


NPC Conference Hourlies Part One

Over the weekend, myself and Ka-Ming were at New Professionals Conference 2011, in Manchester. It was super awesome. Throughout the conference, I was doodling some stuff. I thought the comics might make a good blog post. So here’s the first half of the day.

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Posted by on June 21, 2011 in Please find me a home?


The Teach Meet: Jo’s Perspective

As far as I understand it, a teach meet is a meeting of a particular specialist group where anyone can contribute ideas about a particular theme. Everyone speaks for five minutes, and explains one thing. There’s very little time for questions and nobodies speech is more important than anybody else’s. There’s no central organisation that sets these things up, but there seems to be a loose network that shares details and publicizes each other. This is all, of course, a fundamentally good idea.

This Teach Meet was held in one of the seminar rooms in the university library. It was organised by Emma Illingworth and Tom Roper and was attended by around forty people. There were vegan flapjacks. If you aren’t a vegan, this is probably less exciting for you. But when you’re a vegan with an incredibly limited diet, baked goods are the most remarkable thing in the world.

Here’s some of the things that stuck in my mind from the teach meet, from the talks and from a bit of networking:

1. The Argus has an archive. Very few newspapers do anymore. The librarian there hit onto the idea of charging for her services, and therefore kept her department running when most newspapers have lost theirs.

2. Google Surveys can be used to automatically update answers into a spreadsheet. This means that the task of compiling results, which can take hours, can be done instantly. This is very cool.

3. Skype is a good tool for communicating with students. And it can be used for conferencing by instant messenger as well as voice.

Myself and Ka Ming gave a presentation about Peer to Peer Collaboration. Here’s what we learnt from the experience.

1. Ka Ming is good at singing in front of people. Doing something novel in a presentation never hurts. People like a change.

2. Breathe. This should be automatic. But I find that it’s important before something like this.

3. I need to stop looking back to Ka Ming and the power point for reassurance. My tactic is to pretend that the audience is an angry bull, and it will charge if I don’t stare it out.

This bull will charge if I stop looking directly forward and talking about Library Stuff.


Bite-Sized Marketing

On seeing this book, I immediately knew it would be worth my time because it has a nice cover, it was quite short and the book was shiny. If a year of Information Studies has taught me nothing else, it’s that shiny books have the best information. I wish I was joking. The fact is, shininess means newness, and this book is so new that what it says about social networking websites is not yet entirely out of date. This is the only time I’ve read a book with up to date information on this topic. Bite-Sized Marketing is written by Nancy Dowd of The M Word, Mary Evalgeliste and Jonathan Silberman from Fearless Future.

There’s not really anything too clever in this book. Which is good, because the type of marketing that is relevant to library studies is not complex. It mostly discusses the effective use of social networking sites, videos and about the importance of knowing your clients. Here’s are some things that really stood out to me:

1. There’s nothing particularly morally righteous about producing materials nobody will see. Marketing seems very business-like to me, and therefore I don’t really trust it. But if you’re producing something that can help people, promoting it is a good thing to do.

2. The purpose of social networking is to create a buzz about your service, not to put out endless press statements. Start conversations, give people ownership of what is being done.

3. Make a story about your service. Make it compelling. Make it something people want to share. But above all, make its central point clear. Stories get changed as they are re-told.

4. There are a few people online who are frequently followed and can make a difference. Learn who your target audience will listen to. If you can get them on side then everything is brilliant.

5. Corporations are putting money into social media. Right now, it levels the playing field between big corporations and small not for profit groups. But this could change. We should think of the current situation as a window of opportunity to get in contact with our users.

If you are actually interested in Social Media in marketing then here’s a nice little essay I ran into online which includes ettiquette, and a suggested time table for when and how to put out advertisements.

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Posted by on May 24, 2011 in Review