Thursday, 6 December 2012

One more Thing...

Thing 23: What have you learned and where do you want to go from here?

The 23 Things Programme has been hugely informative and has opened my eyes to the various tools and services that the Web has available to offer me. Some of the tools have proven more useful to me now than others.

Since exploring the Things of the programme and attending some of the seminars that were on offer I have since amended my Facebook profile and made restrictions to its content. Opened a Twitter account - although I am not as active as I could be on this - of which the two I have added to Bitly to keep links in my social updates in one place and controlled. I have also opened up a Flickr account which I am keen to keep using and have found the Creative Commons aspect for protecting my images interesting to explore and play with as well as being reassuring in that my media is being protected. I have been using Flickr more when sharing on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

LinkedIn was a programme that I had heard of before starting 23 Things and was part of the reason I followed the programme, I have since worked hard at creating and maximising my online professional profile through the site and have enjoyed the process of doing so. The different medias explored in the programme and the social media sites, including the different aspects of each and how they can be used, has spurred my interest to online marketing and I am now looking to move what I have learned into promoting my office and Legal Deposit.

The programme has also led to me being more willing to explore more aspects of the online tools that I already have available to me and I have since began work on creating a website on behalf of a private company, creating company web addresses and email, which I will be able to use to market the company accross the different social media sites.  

Overall I have found the programme extremely beneficial and would recommend others to take part if they have an interest in social media, online profiling, online marketing or whether they want to get an overview of what is out there and what others are using. Many thanks to those who have run the programme!

Thing 21 & 22

Thing 21: Using Doodle and other online scheduling tools & Thing 22: Google Docs and Dropbox

Currently the most useful scheduling tool that I use in my office is the Microsoft Office Calender and the options of arranging meetings and sending invitations. These tools fit the purpose of my office and surrounding departments - simultaneously as we use a shared 'Drive' on the computer network, sharing documents for editing is easily done with the option of creating a shared document in Microsoft Word, Excel, etc. I often use the the 'track changes' tool that the programmes offer to and documents can be shared via email. 

Looking at the online scheduling tools, I can see how these can be implemented for use on a larger network and scale, for instance scheduling a training session or tutorial with distant learning students or a seminar/talk that requires a receipt of attendance from individuals throughout colleges or schools. Similarly the online document sharing tools can be used for this benefit. The spread of online sharing in this manner and indeed scheduling can see the spread to a global community and can allow research areas and individuals to collaborate their thoughts in one place. 


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Further Things

Further Things to Explore

Thing 17: Exploring images online & Thing 18: Using Creative Commons and other copyright ‘need-to-know’ issues

Searching and finding images online is generally an easy task and one that I have completed on many occasion by simply typing into Google the required search and changing the preference to images. A vast array is then available as thumbnails and links into the parent or 'hosting' webpage. I have often been dubious to how these images when so readily available to me are protected by copyright and mass use by others and have been apprehensive about adding to many of my own images to a website for fear of them being used against my will or for a profitable basis.

The Creative Commons license is a fantastic tool to add a little piece of protection to your work and images, allowing you to be given proper credit for the piece and restrict the use of your material further by outside entities. After exploring Flickr I was impressed at how the site works and by how at the same time protecting your work it is a great way to promote it and get it recognised, whilst also picking up comments and tips from other users. Flickr also allows you to share your images with other social media sites and webpages whilst keeping the protection to your work that Flickr adheres to. Both sites, Flickr and CC are something that I can see myself using in the future as a base to sharing my images online with family friends and colleagues.

Thing 19: Explore reference management tools online

Logging in and getting started with RefWorks was easy and the tools and storage functions seem easy to use. This is not something that I require the use of but see its potential.

Thing 20: Blog, tweet or post a link

Joining up to bitly took seconds, and using the tool to share updates on Twitter and Facebook, I successfully shared and informed my friends and followers about the wonders of Pufferfish, courtesy of bitly. I have used sharing tools before on Linkedin, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter with the main aim to share information that I found useful, interesting or entertaining. I am not sure how much use from this tool I shall get in the future as a lot of sites now offer you the option to 'share' in an uncomplicated manner.   

Friday, 16 November 2012

Things to do!

More Things to catch up on

Thing 13: Finding presentations and podcasts

I have a YouTube account though I have not used it to upload any of my own media. I have used it for, like most people, for finding music videos, but also for instructive videos to help me when I have a question on how to use a specific piece of software or equipment, requiring a step by step to talk me through. This has proved really useful in the past. Whilst studying with The Open University I have also used YouTube for watching a recorded presentation that was shared with the learning group. Aside from that I have not delved to deeply into its uses. I was surprised to see the 'Watch Graeme Anthony's C.V.I.V' video that was shown as an example of self-marketing at Lucy Hawkins 'Using social media for job searching and self-marketing', and this highlighted the potential that YouTube holds for exposing your skills to a wide audience.

I have previously visited the Oxford University's Podcast pages and can see that thee would be very useful teaching tools and points of reference and citation for students to refer to in there research after attending a talk or event. Similarly this would be the same with Slideshare. My experience of using Slideshare is so far limited to the viewing end and mainly through what has been available in the 23 Things programme. Though on browsing the presentations available, searching 23 Things, I found a KeyNote presentation called The 24th Thing, which provides thought provoking images and statistics with regards to the future of libraries in the digital age and the ever increase of technology such as mobile phones, iPads and Kindles. 

Thing 14: Exploring Wikipedia

I think Wikipedia is amazing! It is a huge source of knowledge that is ever evolving and being added to. Sometimes the information may have inaccuracies or debate around it but this shows a record of evolution of the data that is made available by the site. The results I have found have usually been up-to-date and have provided me with the data I have required at the time. I have found it useful to get quick overviews and background information on people and names that have cropped up in study and for dates and events - information that is freely and readily available without to much work in finding or at any cost. Articles of interest Higgs-Boson, Space Diver & for reference Legal Deposit.

Thing 15: Making and sharing podcasts and videos

I have a Mac at home and have had a brief play with Garage Band and iMovie, but have yet to really put these to the test. I have yet had the need to use these for any real purpose, but will be something that I play with when time allows. I found the Creative Commons search interesting when browsing this Thing and was a little surprised by the variety of what you could find available through searching the different sites - I have often fallen into the belief that Google provides all and everything!

Thing 16: Sharing research online

I have had a play with Prezi and found the experience quite enjoyable! I could see that this could be used as a more fun way to give your talk or presentation over something like Power point which is the most common. It has a great way of leading you into further details as and when you are ready for your viewer to see them. I have not made the most of the tools available on this yet but had a quick go of creating something simple from a talk I attended a little while ago - New Digital Initiatives at the Bodleian. I have not found yet, but it would be useful if Prezi allows you to add links into your work so that more information can be pulled from what you are presenting later. I am not sure how much use I will get from this as generally I am without the required computer equipment when I address others, but this is a tool that I can see developing in the future.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Catch up time for Things

Catching up with Things!

OK I am playing catch up on the 23 Things at the moment, I have been enjoying and following the programme but am finding it hard to find time to blog or even to get the words out onto virtual paper!

Thing 8: RSS Feeds:

I have not used these before so was interested to see what value I would get from them. I added a few to my account in Google Reader (23 Things RSS of course and a few others).  I am not sure if I am in my Google account enough to truly benefit from the direct feeds and updates that these provide, though I can see their use for speed of access to information that is up-to-date which would be of a real benefit to keeping you informed of what is happening in the areas of your interest and as quick links into websites and pages. As my experience develops and with the potential of me spending more time online within the social media network I may find them invaluable.  

Thing 9: Storify:

I had a brief look into Storify though I have not yet dabbled into publishing my own content, wanting to make sure that I am using the social media I have so far to the best use and to present the best impression of myself marketed online. I can see that this tool would be fantastic in following a particular event or for use as a teaching tool, linking content discussed from over a variety of online medias to create a unified space for discussion, reference and reflection.

Thing 10: Facebook:

I am a member on Facebook and have been for several years, I originally joined the site because a friend suggested that we could play pool online together through one of the games inside the site. Since then I have used it for checking in with old school friends, new friends and family, whilst adding photos and the odd comments to others. I remember various stages of Facebook's development (during my high usage era) where poking was the biggest thing going as were the competitions to have the most friends attached to your profile. Since then my profile has matured to a more reasonable level and the friends I do have on the site are a much more select group and the privacy settings I have chosen restrict this even more.

I attended the 'Facebook pages that work' presentation held by Liz McCarthy of the Bodleian Libraries which opened up the new idea to me of how exactly Facebook can work and be managed by an institution or company for a more professional perspective of the sites usage. up until now Facebook had always seemed to me to be one of those sites that you just messed around on and had a laugh, but I am keen with the 23 Things Programme to get Facebook working as part of my professional online profile. It has also provoked thoughts about getting my current work department online in an aim to fulfil part of or strategic plan. 

Thing 11/12: LinkedIn/Academia

I have heard a lot of people talk about LinkedIn and part of the reason I chose to take part in 23 Things was to find out more about it. I was keen to get started so I joined the site. I chose LinkedIn over Academia because of my academic and employment history and thought that it was more suited and tailored for my requirements. I followed that set up processes and aimed to get my profile spread across the Linkedin network by uploading my contacts and finding people I know to boost my status.

So far this has been successful only in part, it became quickly apparent that making links was not all that easy, but i am hopeful with a bit more use and experience i can get it to work for me. I attended the talk  by Lucy Hawkins 'Social Media and your Career' (Available soon on the Oxford University's Podcast) which inspired me on and I have also booked on a course 'LinkedIn - Designing your academic profile' from which I hope to leave as a master of the online tool. 

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Thing 7: Birdie Song

Thing 7: Twitter

I have a lot of preconceptions about Twitter and its function in society so am hoping to be surprised by it, hope it has some relevance to me and my development as well as holding my interest.

In my view there are two sides to Twitter and its followings.

One - You hear of Twitter and Tweets being used in everyday media with talk of she said this and he said that and of photos that someone has posted drunk, and I have been left thinking who really cares what flavour of pie Jason Biggs thinks is the most wholesome or why why Cameron Diaz chooses that type of hair gel? Does Twitter open us up to criticism and expose us to embarrassment and even harm? Through following our favourite celebrities and hanging on their every word (or 140 characters of type) are we encouraging online stalking? I have read recently of a thing such as a 'Twitter Troll' and found that this was a term used for some sort of online bully. I am not sure if this is something that I want to be part of or involved in. 

The second - In the not so distant future Twitter and Twitter posts will become a great source of knowledge and study for social sciences and cultural studies, and it has already been used as a means for some to document 'real time' events such as riots and looting. It may even serve as a means of representation for the time period. This is something that I can see has potential and value to the academic society but also poses the question on how institutions such as libraries can collect the information and preserve it for future use.

I will take Twitter with an open mind and use the 23 Things programme to explore the many avenues of use that are suggested to me.

Getting started:

On creating a Twitter account I was a little dubious of the terms and conditions, particularly the abstract below:
'You retain your rights to any Content you submit, post or display on or through the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed).'
It is always a worry to me that the ownership of my online content becomes someone elses after publication and this statement does not comfort me.

Still I in the name of progress I have flittered on, hindered shortly only by the current issues with Tweets and IE8. I am now available to stalk at your pleasure. @jwitter_bug.