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Thing 4 : Current Awareness – Twitter, RSS and Pushnote

In #CPD23, Uncategorized on August 16, 2011 by johanna bo anderson

Twitter and Google Reader

I set up a Google Reader account a few years ago but could not find the time to keep up with it. I seemed to get a gazillion new things to read a day. Maybe I subscribed to too many things or did not organise them properly….I know, I know, poor show for a librarian. I also found twitter and I abandoned Google Reader as most of the people or organisations who I am interested in I follow on Twitter and they post their blogs etc there and retweet other things I would not have come across myself. It is a bit of a serendipitous way of doing things but it does mean I come across information I would not in a carefully selected RSS feed and it does lead to more discussion and interaction I think, which I like.

The dangers of using this approach for current awareness  is that I probably miss stuff if I am away from twitter for a  time. Google Reader would ensure this does not happen.  (just logged on to Google Reader for the first time in months and there are 1000+ unread items. Information overload!! HALP!!) *

Hmmm, what accounts do I find most useful for current awareness? Well there are LOADS and I cannot mention them all here but below are a few I find particularly useful.

I am an academic librarian and so I find @universityboy, who blogs and tweets about all aspects of the higher education sector, and @timeshighered for higher education news, really interesting. It is important for me to keep up-to-date with what is happening nationally in the sector as it will impact on the student experience and we need to respond to this to make sure we are supporting students as best we can.

I have been supporting education studies students for the last few years so I also have been following accounts like @UkEdChat which hosts a regular online discussion group for educators  and the now sadly finished @teacherstv , so that I can let our students know of any new interesting and useful resources available.

I also  follow a whole host of academic librarians. Whilst writing this it has occurred to me that I do not follow many academic librarians based outside of the UK. I must widen my horizons and fix this. Any suggestions?

For public library news @walkyouhome has to be one of the best tweeters for current awareness, and that is not just because she is my friend and we are in a campaign group together (however we are still yet to meet. This will be rectified on Saturday!) but because she always seems to come across news first. I have assigned her twitter ID with a colour in my twitter client to highlight her in my feed so I don’t miss what she has to say.

@UKPling , the twitter account for campaign and advocacy group Voices for the Library is really useful too (not just because I am in it! I do not manage the Twitter account), but because it picks up such a breadth of  news and information about public library services across the country. Local campaigning blogs feed into the updates too. I could never keep up with it all myself (Voices for the Library facebook group is useful for this). As a library campaigner I have found this really useful. @ijclark and @ggnewed (apologies to anyone else I missed) do a great job of maintaining it.
For an often humorous insight into public libraries in the USA I follow @screwydecimal whose observations are a refreshing contribution to my twitter feed and often makes me laugh out loud.

Oh dear, I appear to have started a post I will never finish if I start writing about all the interesting people I follow so I am going to stop writing about twitter now. The fact is I follow loads of fascinating, knowledgeable, generous and witty people and I often find things out far faster than most of my friends and colleagues who are not on Twitter.

PushNote:

I like it. I am not sure I will use is as I tend to use Delicious to do similar things. What I do not like about PushNote is that you cannot categorise the bookmarks (unless I am missing something) like you can on Delicious, so if you PushNote a lot of things it could get a bit confusing . What I do like about it is that if you have “browser extension” installed you can save anything immediately to your Pushnote account without any logging in or a “share it” tab. Now I have it installed time will tell how useful it is. It is nice to know about it though.

I have received 72 items  in my RSS feed since I started writing this blog post. I think I need a clear out…..it intimidates me.

*Since  I typed the panicked “HALP” above, I have scanned through the unread stuff in my Google Reader and there is not much in there I have not already seen elsewhere (twitter mostly).

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Articles

Thing 3 – Personal Brand

In #CPD23 on July 18, 2011 by johanna bo anderson

Oh gaw, I was dreading this one I must admit. I am nervous of facing some awkward truths. I tend to get a bit fiery and speak my mind on things.  Sometimes this is frowned on as it might not be seen as very “professional” and I often ponder on whether I should tone it down a bit….but it does not last for long…I forget and off I go again. So, I figure, pah! it is who I am and I am not going to pretend otherwise – I can’t anyway it seems..but how does this come across online?

And lo! Do a search on me and you will see seemingly infinite links to my rabble-rousing and efforts to put the world to rights.

I did a search for “Johanna Anderson”  initially and the first thing listed is my  Twitter ID and then my LinkedIn profile which mentions that I am in campaign group Voices for the Library and that I am an academic librarian in Gloucestershire. So far so good. The next link to come is this #CPD23 blog – great! future employers etc can see who I am and that I am engaged in professional development.

If I search for “Johanna Bo Anderson” , the name on my blogs and social networking ID’s, it changes a bit. My #CPD23 blog is listed first, then my personal blog with the bio underneath,

“I am a very enthusiastic newly qualified librarian and a library campaigner. I am starting a blog mainly because I love networking and I am keen to get other people’s views and …”

Great! Just what I would like employers to see!  However this blog has been somewhat neglected in recent months and the search results that follow indicate some of the reasons why.. reams of links appear that relate to my campaigning activities for public libraries. (I co-founded Voices for the Library and Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries. )

The majority of search results link to blog posts I have written for Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries – and wow, there are a lot! I don’t know if that is a good thing or not. I would like my career to be in academic libraries or in libraries in the international development context, this is not what my search results say however.  Part of the reason I started campaigning for public libraries is because, whilst times are hard for academic libraries, there is only so much you can do to speak out for your own service without getting the sack…especially some upstart like me!…whereas I am free to shout about saving public libraries in a way that public librarians aren’t.  I hope that people see from my activity that I am passionate about the profession as a whole, so much so that I have dedicated a lot of my free time to it. I am articulate, thoughtful and am not afraid to tackle issues head on. Perhaps I should try and get some more academic library references in there though as it does not reflect my CV or interests fully.

The search results do not say that my blog has also been neglected due to the fact I have a PGCHE to complete which has also required a separate reflective blog nor does it mention the exciting projects I have been involved in at work…I have the symptoms of blog overload I think and it is clouding my brand! I do think my evidence of campaigning for public libraries would stand me in good stead for international development work…the fight is hard enough here, you need real passion and persistence to try to advocate libraries in countries with far, far less resources. I have shown I have heaps of both. Also, if our government et al. will not fund the libraries they are responsible for properly it will be hard work persuading them to support libraries internationally.

As for the visuals of my personal brand…I am very inconsistent but all of my blogs are for different aspects of my life so I am not sure I want them connected too much. I like there to be a distinction. I think my fire is my brand…for better or worse.

I am surprisingly not as worried as I feared I would be by what I have found during this task.

Well, what a waffle!! I would LOVE to hear what others think of my “personal brand”. The way you see yourself and the way others see you is often very different. How far off am I, I wonder?

Articles

Thing 2 : The Neighbourhood – investigating blogs

In #CPD23 on July 18, 2011 by johanna bo anderson Tagged:

I am afraid I have been a bit slack and am writing this several weeks after I actually looked at other peoples blogs and left comments – a lesson for me there….JoBo, do your reflection promptly!

Most people who know me will probably agree that I am not one to hold back from diving into the chat and commenting on blogs etc, so I thought I would not be phased by this…oddly, I did feel a bit awkward though.  I think this is because I tend to have to feel quite excited, inspired, intrigued, (or cross!) by a post before I contribute, otherwise I just have a little look and move on.  I am not so good at the small talk, which is what this felt like to me.  However, I was quite excited when people I had not met yet, online or off, started commenting on my blog and were really supportive and encouraging and shared their own experiences with me.  It inspired me to do the same myself, so after responding to their comments I looked at the #cpd23 twitter feed and found some blogs of people I did not know.  It was tempting to just read the blogs of people I know but that seemed to me to miss the point. It was interesting to read why others were doing #cpd23 and to meet some new people. I was a little disappointed that few responded to my comments as I do make an effort to respond to commentors on my blog but perhaps they were too busy investigating their neighbourhood or maybe it is because like me they find the small talk difficult too.

Articles

Thing 1 – Thinks

In #CPD23 on June 21, 2011 by johanna bo anderson

Why am I taking part in the course 23 things for Professional Development? Well, if I am honest I was not going to as I seem to have a lot on my plate at the moment – A staffing restructure at work, big library moves (we are reducing from four libraries to three),  a PG Cert in Higher Education to finish and I am heavily involved in one national and one local public library campaign, plus a gazillion other commitments I am slacking on. Things are crazy. Then I saw most of the members of my online professional network  dashing to sign up…and well,  being someone has always hated not being part of the action (unless it involved team sports!) I had a little rethink.

We have had no funding for staff development for a long time and it worries me sometimes  that this will leave me lagging behind all of my peers so it seemed silly to not take the opportunity to do a free course that I can do without having to take time off work to attend and travel for hours on public transport.

I am not doing it just because it is free though.

I am feeling a bit lost in my current role as I have been in limbo for a while and feel demotivated. I am hoping this will give me something positive and constructive to focus on.

I have also been a tutor for an online under-graduate module this year and I think it would be good to have a go being the student on a similar course and see what the experience is like so I can use my learnings to improve the experience of my future students.

Hmmm this all sounds a bit lame when I write it down. I might come back to it when I have had more of a think.

Not sure about this blog template either….

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