Posts Tagged ‘web2.0’

So long and thanks for all the fish

The final post! (well nearly – I’m saving my wordle for last). Time for a bit more reflection methinks:

In my first post I wrote that my hope for the outcome of the  Cam23 project was that “I will have marshalled some convincing arguments in support (or otherwise) of web 2.0”. And now we’re at the end I hear you ask? Mission accomplished 🙂 and I have to say (much to my surprise) that most of my arguments are Pro web 2.0, not against. Obviously not everything I’ve tried has been to my taste, but there has been nothing on the course that I would dismiss out-of-hand. To have tried the Things and come to a balanced conclusion about whether they’re useful to me now/in the future/not at all is very satisfying – and to have tried them thoroughly enought to be able to recommend them to others, regardless of my own opinion of them, is a win-win situation.

Here’s a brief run-down of what I’ve found useful:

  • iGoogle has made it into everyday life, along with Google Reader and RSS feeds
  • Facebook I already used in a personal capacity, but I’ve becom more aware of it as a tool for reaching out to users
  • Doodle I’ll use as and when I need it
  • Flickr has already proved very useful, and I may even set up a personal account on there one day
  • Creative Commons is a great idea
  • GoogleDocs for accessible-anywhere work

Here’s some Things I’ll keep in mind for the future:

  • Delicious I might revert to when my bookmarks dropdown menu becomes so large it obscures my screen
  • LibraryThing I might delve back into at some point, but it’s ended up as one of those gimmicks that I’m enthusiastic about for 5 minutes and then forget about
  • LinkedIn, for when I’m feeling a bit more professional!
  • Zotero, definitely for recommending to users and for my library course
  • Wikis for collaborative projects
  • Blogging, to keep users abreast of events, interesting snippets of information and generally to give our wonderful library a bit more of an online presence
  • Podcasts (but mainly for personal use)

and some Things I don’t think I’ll be using again (but you never know):

  • Twitter – I can see the point, it’s just not for me
  • Slideshare – I found this the least engaging of all the Things
  • YouTube – not in a professionalt capacity, and hardly ever personally


At the end of the programme I’m a lot less intimidated by web2.0, trying out new things, and making my own mind up about what’s useful and what isn’t. Whether we like it or not, social networking is here to stay and we should use it to our advantage as much as we can, but never to the detriment of the face-to-face service we provide for our users. All the resources we’ve discovered over the last 12 weeks should enrich the service we provide, not forgetting that librarians can often be the most useful resource of all.

Reading and ‘riting (but not ‘rithmetic…)

Word cloud

Apparently I have a mild read/write learning preference. This could go some way towards explaining why I have a spider-diagram and an A4 sheet of handwritten notes in front of me as I am writing this post. I don’t seem to be able  (or have the confidence) to organise my thoughts on a screen in the same way – if in doubt, a piece of paper and a pencil will go a long way to sorting things out.

So here are some of my thoughts on Cam23 so far:

Skills & Knowledge

In terms of technical knowledge, I’m far more comfortable playing around with pictures, links and banners to add to my blog. I can take screenshots (which I couldn’t before), and I can blog (which I’d never thought of doing before). I’m also becoming more adventurous in trying various avenues before crying for help.

I’m getting better at exploring sites and resources beyond their face value, looking for pros and cons, and considering how different approaches can be useful even if they don’t suit me. And I have found that I’m most likely to write a balanced evaluation of something that I haven’t had a strong reaction to one way or another. This leads me on to…

Confidence and Competence

My awareness of the community aspect of web2.0 has improved hugely, as has my awareness of the community of librarians in Cambridge 🙂 As I’ve said before, it’s great to be part of a collective endeavour like this. I’m also much less timid about forming my own opinions (of web stuff) as I feel I now have the experience to be able to say “I don’t like the way it does this…”, or “I think it could be vastly improved by…” and can usually just about justify why it is that I think that.

Relevance of the “Things”

I loved this one: “Have the ‘Things’ covered everything that you need to know?” Um, how would I know? Surely the only people who can answer that question are the people who know the things that I don’t know, and can therefore decide whether I need to know them (or not)… Otherwise, I’ll just carry on in happy ignorance 🙂 I think these are usually called Unkown unkowns, but I could be wrong.

Deep philosophical considerations aside, in general I have been more impressed with the Things that have covered resources, rather than the Things that have covered the management aspects of librarianship. I have to confess that this is largely a reflection of my current job, which is relatively independent and does not require me to attend or schedule lots of meetings, and means that these tools aren’t really useful to me at present. I am, however, aware that they may well be of use in the future.

Changes for the Future

I’m quite happy with how I’ve approached the learning aspect of the programme so far but I feel that I’m quite a passive participant in many respects. I will therefore be trying much harder in the second half of the course to comment on other blogs more often, and to reference the lots of interesting things being said by other participants. Perhaps I need to come up with a cunning way to extract the juicy bits as I’m reading the first time, rather than just thinking “Oh, that’s interesting/relevant/eloquently put” etc. [delete as applicable] and then not being able to remember where the hell I read it by the time I come to write my blog post.

Recommendations

These are the three Things I would recommend, without hesitation, to anybody:

  • Flickr (including CC licensed images) – for the enormous variety and creativity (and amount of time you can waste looking at pretty pictures)
  • Doodle – for it’s sheer simplicity (and the fact you don’t have to create an account)
  • Delicious – probably the only thing that I’d recommend without being a convert myself