After feeling rather pessimistic about Thing 3, I was really looking forward to jumping into Thing 4. Current awareness is something I am more comfortable with, even if I am a latecomer who didn’t start paying attention to the library world at large until I began library school. CPD23 still found a way to challenge me, though, by asking me to use three tools I am only slightly or nominally familiar with.
Twitter was a complete mystery to me until I was forced to join it in an information resources module at the beginning of this year. Being generally skeptical of social media, I was less than thrilled to be joining it. Annie mentions on the CPD23 blog assignment that there is a perception that Twitter is full of trivial information about people’s personal lives. I was definitely one of the people with this assumption. When I get bored and click on trending hashtags, I can still see that it is true for a lot of people. However, I use Twitter primarily for professional purposes. In fact, it’s where I found out about the most recent developments in RDA implementation and about the LC’s review of MARC (#marcmustdie)! The option to be selective about who I follow keeps Twitter manageable for me. By following users related to libraries, I can keep my Twitter feed largely full of information I might be able to use professionally. I would get really overwhelmed if I used it for both social and professional purposes. However, I do have some overlap; I might tweet with library school colleagues about going for drinks, etc., and I do follow some non-library/book-related users. My decision about whether to follow users not related to libraries is usually based on how much they tweet; I much prefer only occasional tweets if they’re not librarians/literary nerds like me.
For other people’s thoughts on Twitter, do go have a look Woodsie Girl’s post. She has some excellent advice for coping with Twitter overload, and I especially like her suggestion of looking at Twitter as a conversation. One of my favorite things about Twitter so far has been participating in live chats like #uklibchat last week.
Using Google Reader was a pretty strange experience for me. RSS feeds do not appeal to me by nature, so it was good to be pushed out of my comfort zone. The week did confirm some of my expectations, but there were some surprises as well. I expected to feel overwhelmed by the sight of several hundred things in a window that looks remarkably like my inbox, and I was. As an alternative to RSS feeds in CPD23 so far, I have been following some blogs on WordPress and Blogger by subscribing using my account. Though a great side effect of the bundle RSS feed is that I have more of a chance to browse, I think I prefer the method I’ve been using so far. It feels less overwhelming, and it also lets me break my reading down a little. I can read WordPress blogs one day and Blogger the next. My current method also helps me control my natural inclination to browse/procrastinate. Unfortunately, I could easily spend a day looking at all the posts that come up Google Reader. It’d probably be a better evening task for me, but I am not sure that’s what I want to devote my evenings to.
Some of the pleasant surprises of Google Reader were seeing that other friends were already using it to share links. I had no idea, but have found some really interesting information through them already. I also really liked that I could easily see a preview of each blog post/website before visiting it.
I don’t see myself using it in the long term. It makes me feel like reading is an obligation rather than something I should enjoy. I also prefer looking at one website in depth rather than getting an overview of several; i.e. I’d rather spend one evening looking at everything on LibraryJournal.com and then the next looking at CILIP than go back and forth.
Pushnote reminded me a lot of a non-professional site called Pinterest that I basically use to share pretty things with friends. Pushnote has a similar premise — it is a way to share interesting links with people. The idea is a good one, but there are a few flaws. I can’t put my finger on why, but I don’t find the dialogue box as intuitive as it should be; I also think it’s strange that you (or at least I) can’t seem to access all content from it. I have to go to the website to look at friends’ profiles individually. I am also skeptical of the rating system. Why would you share something that wasn’t excellent?
I hope Pushnote keeps improving, but for now I have too many other things to follow to use it.