Current awareness: Twitter, RSS, and Pushnote
Twitter and RSS feeds:
I joined twitter way back in September 2007, to use the then widget as a cool way of embedding quotes into myspace, haha. I started to use it a bit more in 2008/09 as popularity grew, but I used it primarily for my own benefit – “microblogging service” – I still like to go back occasionally and look at previous tweets, by paginating the URL, something which I am angry new Twitter doesn’t seem to do (yep I’m one still clinging onto Old Twitter). See – look at what I was doing this time last year: http://twitter.com/stephthorpeuk?page=35
Then in 2010 I started to discover library people on Twitter, and following @CILIPinfo gradually led me more and more into the library twittersphere and discovering useful people to follow. Since then I have found it indispensable as a way to keep up with current issues and news for the LIS sector, and feel so much more knowledgeable about the profession. The launch of Voices for the Library (@UKPling) last summer has particularly heightened my awareness, especially as I was working in a public library at the time, so felt much more in tune with what was happening on a national scale with the cuts and the activism.
Twitter is also useful for following conferences, recently the CILIP Umbrella conference #ub11, and New Professionals conference, either through hashtags, or reading people’s write-ups on their blogs afterwards.
I am a bit of a completist, so I have always kept away from Google reader, preferring to just visit blogs in my own time and know that I can read back to where I left off, rather than see hundreds of unread posts build up. AND because I prefer to read the blog posts in situ on the blog, rather than a plain text white background version. Also, if people tweet their new blog post, I will tend to read it there and then.
This is one reason that I don’t follow that many people on Twitter – because my stream would overwhelm me. I know others have come to the conclusion that this is a natural reaction to Twitter at first, especially for a librarian – however, I have been using Twitter for 3 or 4 years! I know should just follow more people to grow my “network” and then make lists of the people I particularly want to follow… but, there is never enough time to organise myself. Things will get retweeted of importance, and they do; but what else could I be missing?
However, I do have a private list of LIS type people, rather than following them all individually, but actually, to even dip in and out of the conversation on that anymore than I do now, would require a lot more additional time. So, in essence, even treating Twitter like a ‘conversation midway through a crowded party’ is quite time-consuming.
So, given how I use the list, I think that is why I don’t ‘fully follow’ that many, because then I think I’d be completely overwhelmed and would maybe never ‘find time’, and then I’d never use Twitter.
I have started subscribing to blogs through the wordpress button at the top, making tiny baby steps to a feed of sorts, I could create a google reader feed, but I might not read it? I do read blogs, I just add them to my favourites and, as I said, visit them in my own time.
I am learning to not have to read everything though, and to keep thoughts that I might miss something at bay.
Not sure about Pushnote. Don’t really have the time to mess about with it or understand it, even though the point of the CPD23 for me was try to new things! But, from what I’ve read of other people’s CPD23, they’re not that impressed with it. I might come back to it at a later point.
Use Thing 4 to:
- Make time to look at my ‘libraryness bookmarks’ Twitter list more, and engage with some new conversations from people I don’t normally follow.
- @reply people more, this will involve spending more time with the libraryness-bookmarks feed.
- Be more organised with my feeds? I don’t know, the idea is ‘Current Awareness’, and it seems to be working for me at the moment as it is. Hmm.
- Investigate Pushnote. I will have a little look, the idea was for me to try new things, so I will try to make some time.