Tag Archives: rss

Mapping my PLN

image created using Popplet for iPad

Alisa Howlett, blogging at Flight Path recently wrote a post based on Jeff Utecht’s 5 stages of PLN adoption.  I would echo much of what Alisa has written, so pop over and read it rather than have me repeat it all here.

Essentially, the 5 stages are identified as immersion, evaluation, know it all, perspective and balance.

It’s hard to identify at which stage I find myself – I have been through intense periods of involvement with my PLN and am certainly no longer at immersion. However, neither am I entirely happy with my current involvement with my PLN so I wouldn’t call it balanced.

Possibly ‘perspective’ is where I am at.  I know I can’t possibly see or take in everything my PLN puts out on twitter and I have stopped trying to follow all of it. Sometimes I find myself feeling left out when there appears to be an interesting conversation going on – and it’s apparent I’ve missed the good bits – but mostly I acknowledge that I can’t possibly see, understand, comment on and participate in every conversation. Or even most of them.

Meredith Farkas wrote a great post over at Information wants to be free about the problems associated with keeping up with the news flow on twitter and her preference for blogging as a medium for keeping all the big ideas in one place.  Adopting this philosophy, I still follow a lot of blogs – an RSS feed (I use Google reader) collects them for me and they sit and wait until I’m ready to read them, rather than rush by me in a busy twitter stream.

Between my RSS reader and my diigo bookmarks, I feel like I’ve got some measure of control over the information flow – and hopefully some balance (or at the very least, perspective).

(The image of my PLN and it’s connectivity is from a great little iPad app called Popplet, I found out about that via a blog post from Kathryn Greenhill over at Librarians matter).

Information triage

The loooong weekend is nearly over and I’m starting to think about going back to work tomorrow.  Tomorrow will be the start of week 2 in my new job so I  know there’ll be a lot to think about for the rest of the week as well!

As part of preparation-for-work I’ve been sorting through my RSS feeds this evening, and came across Word Spy’s information triage.  It describes both what we do day by day at work as information professionals (constantly evaluate the information at hand and prioritise for action) and conveniently describes what I’ll be doing with all the new information about my job that I’ll be trying to absorb this week – and add to what I learned last week….

I have a picture forming in my head of what my new role as Outreach Librarian involves, but not enough to blog about it just yet….

Thanks to all my personal learning network or PLN (my non-library family & friends have been publicly asking for fewer TLA’s in my posts….) for the encouragement so far in my #newjob journey!

Overuse syndrome

A lot of jargon by kevinspencer via flickr CC

I’m a bit behind catching up with RSS feeds of some of the blogs I follow – I KNOW the ‘mark all read’ button is really handy and I do use it for plenty of my subscriptions, but I usually find Roy Tennant interesting so I saved that one from the all powerful delete button and today I read his 7 words or phrases to never say or write again (written some time back in March).

I laughed in an ironic, slightly bitter kind of way at his list of 7, as many of these jargon-ish terms have been topics of discussion on blogs and twitter feeds among my network of library folk as well.  As a recent library school graduate, I can report we studiously learned the terms OPAC, bibliographic instruction and copy cataloguing in my course. True story.  As a way of communicating with people outside of libraryland (ie everyone ELSE  – our customers, other staff in our organisation, our families and the average person on the street), they are right up there with information literacy training and my personal favourite, circulation desk . You can still buy signs that say ‘Circulation desk’ to hang in your library. Also a true story.

The more I ponder this issue, the more I wonder. Do we only use these terms among ourselves? Is it an attempt to bring a precision of language into our conversations? After all, other library folk know what we mean by information literacy or the OPAC.  We sometimes spell out for our customers that which we can shorthand among ourselves with jargon or specialised language. If we’re not inflicting that on the general public, does it really  matter?


Blogging our future

A timely post from ACRLog this week on the future and/or relevance of blogging, particularly in libraryland.

One of the questions posed to our Emerging Leaders team when we took on this project to write posts for ACRLog and ACRL Insider, was whether blogs were still relevant. Based on my habits, which include subscribing to over 60 blogs through Google Reader, my initial gut reaction was “of course!”

I must admit I hadn’t really thought too much about it before becoming involved in the extravaganza that is #blogeverydayofjune.  I have my favourite blogs (many, many more now) feed into my Outlook RSS reader – and they are a mix of personal and professional interests, although mostly professional.  In one of her posts during June, Penny remarked that

Blogs in general seem to be winding down in favour of micro-blogging.

During #blogeverydayofjune this statement can’t be held to be true – but I accept the qualifier in the words ‘in general’ and it may very well be true.  Many of us have blogged or commented on our use of blogging, twitter and other social media during this month, so I won’t labour that point.

I thought I might use the opportunity to list a few of my favourite blogs.  For fun, I follow 52 Suburbs, a fabulous photo-essay blog about ordinary places around Sydney and The Destitute Gourmet for all things foodie.  For interesting bits that may be useful to me as a semi-academic librarian, I love Prof Hacker.  For a slightly quirky view on (mostly) librarianship I drop in on the World’s Strongest Librarian and as I can’t live without their podcasts, the team from Adventures in Library Instruction also get visits from me.  I am also a devotee of KG Schneiders Free Range Librarian and have just discovered Meredith Farkas’ Information Wants to be Free.

That’s without counting all my fellow June bloggers of course!  To close with another quote from Miriam Rigby’s ACRLog post:

But what kind of a librarian would I be if I just told you my thoughts and didn’t invoke some Web 2.0 participation via blog comments? So, you obviously read some blogs – you are here reading this. But how many blogs do you tend to read? What are your favorites? And do you go directly to the blogs’ webpages, or do you import them via RSS to a reader? And do you think blogs are relevant, or do you know of some newer, cutting edge method of keeping up to date with news and internet memes?

image: thinking digital podium by karl karl via flickr