Thursday, 24 May 2012

Hi, my name is Carly, and I'm a twitterholic

Yes, it's true, Twitter and I have been friends for a long time. Well, according to How Long Have I Been On Twitter 03 years 02 months 02 weeks 05 days 04 hours 36 minutes.

I am the librarian with my Twitter feed constantly open on my screen (actually I have it as a widget on my Netvibes dashboard, along with news feeds, email accounts and other stuff like, er, the weather). And I have to confess, there's a fine line to tread between current awareness, and constant distraction! Nevertheless I am a complete advocate of Twitter for professional networking, awareness and general library fun. While I do tweet boring tit-bits about my life (such as today's more than healthy obsession with #bbctorchcam) I do in fact use Twitter for current awareness more than anything else. It's great for following events (e.g. #librarieslobby) or participating in conference chat (#LILAC12). The more people you follow, the more you find really handy links and articles being retweeted, and sometimes it's just plain funny and cheers your day.

Storify I had never used before although I'd seen it used by other people, so I was quite keen to give it a go! Typically I chose a story that is both vital to the profession and didn't require reading many hilarious and inventive tweets at length...ahem...

Actually I am not really a fan of just using online tools for the sake of it, I like them to have a clear and direct application, so I can imagine I may use Storify from time to time to curate my own opinions of experiences of online events, but I'm not sure I'd be so good at the sharing aspect of this particular tool. Still, when I first joined Twitter I wasn't sure I'd feel like tweeting ever, or replying to other people's tweets! I suppose the key to using networks and tools like this is that the more involved you get, the more useful and relevant they can become.

RSS feeds I have been using far longer than Twitter, although I have an on/off relationship with my Google reader as I find it can be very overwhelming at times, when there are so many blogs to follow, to be selective in what I read and to unsubscribe to feeds that are not really relevant to me. Since starting #cpd23 I've been adding key feeds to my blogger account, rather than using my Google reader, and I've found this really helpful in cutting down the amount of time I spent wading through semi-interesting-not-really-grabbing-me type posts. Also, as a subject librarian, I like to keep tabs on relevant RSS feeds for news, blogs and developments in Sports Science, and I keep these organised using a Netvibes Dashboard that acts as the library subject webpages for my students:

Really and truly once you start with these things, it's hard to stop! You can have tools for tools, and tools for organising those tools and it can all get a bit won't find me switching of Twitter any time soon though. I can guarantee that.

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