Libraries, the universe and everything


Thing 4 – Current awareness
July 8, 2011, 11:39
Filed under: cpd23

I already use Twitter and RSS feeds, so this was quite an easy Thing for me. I find RSS a really valuable way of receiving a range of content in one place, and have organised my feeds into a number of folders for ease of management. I started off using RSS mostly for work-related information, these days it’s more about library stuff and things of personal interest, and I like the ease with which feeds can be collected, arranged and removed as my life and interests change.

I mainly use Twitter as a way of keeping up with people and news, and enjoy reading and sharing links. I must admit I do go through phases of engagement with it – sometimes I like to get involved, whilst at other (usually busier) times I just let it all pass me by. I used to worry this meant I was missing something, but then I realised that keeping up with Twitter is really not worth it if it comes at the expense of things which are important in my real-world work or home life, which helps me keep it all in perspective.

Most of my Twitter contacts are other librarians which helps me to feel part of a community, and means that a lot of the Tweets I see are of relevance or interest. I also find it quite good for following events remotely, though as more people start to liveTweet the threads are becoming increasingly crowded and repetitious. I have never succeeded in crowdsourcing information via Twitter – I think I once received a single response to a request for information, but usually get nothing back, so I’ve rather stopped trying.

I had never heard of Pushnote before this Thing, and I have to admit I haven’t actually tried it out yet. Having read multiple posts criticising it, I was reluctant to even check it out, and having now visited the webpage I’m even less tempted to have a go. For a start, the big barrier is that it currently isn’t available for IE – this is the only web browser I have access to at work, and it is really only in a work context that I can see any use for this application (though I’m struggling to see how it can make much impact given that people can already do this kind of thing via Twitter and Facebook). I also have a real problem with sites that push you to create an account without giving you proper information about their offering, which I felt was the case in this instance. That said, I will be interested to see how it develops, and if you think I’m being totally unfair to Pushnote please let me know in the comments!

(And yes, I do realise I’ve skipped Thing 3 – but I want to write a longer post for that one so have gone for a quick win by getting this one out first!)

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