Friday, 11 July 2008

Online presence in 2008

Michelle McLean posted about this recently. " There’s been a lot of discussion about what social software people are using, people stopping blogging and some restarting and more. In the light of this, I thought it was about time I sorted out all the myriad of thoughts and ideas that are going around my head and totally confuse you about it too."
She continues "I have been exploring lots of social software online in the past 3 years or so and I think I am finally settling into a few selected ones that I am enjoying. "

I thought I would share my experiences : they are similar in many ways to Michelle.
I tried Library 2.0 on Ning too but dont really use it.
I found Linkedin inappropriate and Facebook is the place I use for social networking.
I could not exist without delicious : its where I store my book marks everyday and is invaluable offcampus.
I ought to do more with my LibraryThing account (like Michelle) and thought of adding all the books I read (for pleasure you understand too). I used to do this kind of thing as a teenager on paper but my enthusiasm was never shared so that is the great change enabled by these tools.
I use flickr and YouTube as a source for teaching and presentations. Wikipedia is amazing and I enjoy teaching with it, and one day contributing to it..
I dont Twitter, but have it on my list to try along with FriedFeed. Trouble with these things could be that you dont have time to actually do anything because you are all the time online ..... yes its the sharing side that justifies it, I know.
This blog takes a good while - choosing content - and developing the bells and whistles. Like Michelle I havent read Clay Shirky's "Here comes everybody". It has been on the shelf a while. Job for the summer vac.
Remember the Milk has been a great help sorting out my time and I wish I'd used it as a manager - much better than those illegible paper lists that had to be re-written again and again.
Pageflakes (thanks to PhilBradley's enthusiam) suits me very well as a home page. I ought to use Slideshare more, and have usually relied on the Conference and workshop organisers to put my presentations on their site, which is much more hidden.
There are more sites I have signed up for, maybe ought to use, but for some reason have not. The exciting thing is that I can still change my mind, or just choose the new tools that come along.

1 comment:

Sheila Webber said...

Interesting! I probably still do email and blogging more than anything else - in fact my blogging has increased since I'm still maintaining the Information Literacy weblog (, but am also posting fairly regularly as my Second Life persona to my Adventures of Yoshikawa blog, and also with the odd post to this blog and to the Inquiry Baased Learning blog at Sheffield ( Apart from reflecting a new interest (Second Life) this also reflects the fact the there are more blog communities growing up in areas where I have involvement. In fact I'm feeling guilty that I'm not contributing so far to an interesting "best practices" blog that our Learning and Teaching Services has set up for academic colleagues (already some good stuff there).

Second Life, the virtual world, has become a place where I communicate with people, as when I have access I go in at least once a day. Additionally, any IMs that are sent me in SL get sent through to my email.

I use Slideshire regularly now to upload my presentations (, and I use Flickr mainly for my Second Life "photos". I also have a couple of wikis that I've started up or contributed to - most recently the conference wiki for the Learning Through Enquiry Alliance conference in June ( I still use some other resources now and then, like Squidoo (

I don't really use any bookmarking sites like, and I was pondering why this is. I suppose I don't have the same "resource person" function as many librarians, and when I'm away from my own work or personal laptop I use either my memory (that piece of software situated at the top of my body) or Google as my bookmmarking functions, and that seems to work pretty well. When I'm a session where I want to gather together a resource list for learners, the medium or site I use for people to get access will vary depending on the event (it might even be paper!)

I'm using Facebook less, now that I'm a regular in Second Life - I do some communicating, but from a recreational point of view it just seems so two-dimensional after Second Life. It's useful for setting up events, and there are some people I know I can get hold of quickest on Facebook.

For teaching I use all of the above, but also WebCT (the Virtual Learning Environment we use at Sheffield University), which, although I moan about it a lot as a learning space, is still a useful default place for things like resource lists, links with the library and so forth. Students say that they do like having one place where they can go to access course content.

I have avoided Twitter, but do text on my mobile - though only with a few people - I see my mobile as my "personal" space, and I'm also careful to only use students' mobile numbers if it's really important I get hold of them quickly and I've (normally) tried other routes first.

It's really only when I'm away - like I was for a few weeks in Australia just now - and have to start paying for my internet access on an hourly/daily basis that I realise quite how much time all this takes up!