Monday, February 28, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
Sunday, February 20, 2011
I'm learning the RSS system. I get the idea but I sort of think I've had it without knowing it. I've gotten daily emails for years from word a day writer Anu Garg which is either a daily post or an RSS feed of Anu only.
And I've got to say, I love the idea of RSS feeds. I've been encouraged by various sites to use them for years now and am excited about finally learning them. However this is a cautionary blog tale I'm telling.
The sad story that connects this weeks subject and my post together:
It all started with the computer. I got a new one late last year. Wait, this is a good story: My old computer broke down. The.Day.After.The.Semester.Ended. I had a feeling that the gods who tell people stuff were telling me to start changing soon because as a part of my organizational disability, I never saved anything. I just let it sit there on my computer waiting for computer death.
I like organization, something that anyone who knows me will never believe as I throw massive amounts of papers and books around because I can't figure out how to organize them. I have had, to my count three daily planners, not because my life is that busy, but because I get confused on how to transfer things. So I'm in this fascinating new world of blogs, RSS feeds and tweets and guess who has no idea where to put them or what they should look like? Yep, that's the girl - sitting on the couch, holding her notebook computer, looking bewildered. I really really like this stuff but I don't know how to control my control of it.
I swore I would change. I would become all knowing, I would save everything and it would be organized. I got a calendar on my computer and connected it to Goggle calendar and put every little assignment in for two classes. I was proud. Also happy because I figured out that I could move the little items around on the calendar so that what I needed to do on Tuesday I could now do on Wednesday.
I made notes and wrote things down and developed a google reader of my own. And that's when the world started crashing down. I love reading the blogs on Google reader but I now have 19 of them. The site looks messy, slightly confusing, slightly overwhelming and oddly shifting to the left of the page. I found out that I might be tagging or bookmarking what I'm supposed to bookmark or tag on delicious so I need to go back and wade through it. And now RSS feeds. They are wonderful. I love the thought of someone else looking for what I might want to see. The problem is, yet again, we're getting very messy. I've looked at Topikality which beats the pants of of GoogleAlerts in neatness and advanced searching, so I'm feeling soothed by a site that looks organized. But how to make all of this into a page that I want to read?
I believe, honestly that there is a way to move all of this onto one page, neat, nice and organized. However what I've learned so far this week is that I don't know how to do it.
Monday, February 14, 2011
I’ve realized that I’m beginning to define blogs by my choices. The differences run to the extreme in the five blogs we chose for the aggregators.
1. In the Library With the Lead Pipe
This is a well written post regarding the issues facing part time librarians as and potential part time librarians (read new librarians).. I like the blogs but they do seem like medium length nicely researched articles rather than blogs . The very nice thing about them is that they allow immediate feedback which works as a sort of an editorial process. I read a couple of other posts and came back with the same opinion. While the topics are interesting, this feels more like a process of an online magazine.
2. Librarian's Commute
The blog is likable right away because of his writing which is interesting and his posts which are short. He tells stories and talks about solid subjects. This is an easy sort of blog to read. It’s like the previous blog in that it uses a literary focus to talk about the world.
3. The Distant Librarian
PLAYTIME!!! I looked at more that half of the gadgets he talked about and wanted to play with most of the others. These posts are interesting in themselves, short, quick, funny and they suggest something fun to do. This may have nothing to do with thinking about the world but boy is it fun!
4. Librarian by Day This blog seemed disjointed; while there was a lot of good information I had trouble following it. I didn’t like the twitter effect that started a thought out of nowhere. It wasn’t fun and while there were interesting ideas in there, they weren’t easy to follow. The blog style seems to bridge a generation gap from writing about the world to twittering in it.
5. David Lee King I seriously had no idea there was such a thing as a promoter for libraries. He has a lot of enthusiasm and great ideas for presentations. I kept reading some of the posts because they were fun - especially about the videos. . It’s like the distant librarian in that it comes up with new playful things to do.. And it’s an enchanting idea for a libraryblog-ways to mesmerize the public .
I was thinking about which of the five I would keep in the reader after the class finished. I would keep David Lee King to learn how to do the next do dad in promotional gadgetry. I’d probably want to keep an eye out for the distant librarian just to see the next interesting gadgets. I like the leisurely pace of in the library with a lead pipe and librarians commute. There is a readability built into them that resonates with my generations years of newspaper articles. At the same time I love the immediacy of blogs such as the Librarian in Black and Tame the Web Office.
And on to other blogs:
AIDS Librarian: This is a beautifully organized blog. The blog looks a great deal like a web site and it’s updated on a regular basis with commentary provided by the organization. I particularly like the range of books and stories the site shares.
Eleventh Stack: This is just a great read of a blog. It’s a list of good reads, gentle commentaries about life. Written by a group of employees from the Carnegie Library of Pittsberg, the blog is a frequently updated ode to good writing.
The Librarian In Black She’s someone one I might want to read every day. She’s interesting. She’s sort of subversive in a field that isn't seen as subversive even though we so often are. She reads and talks about library life and and life as a librarian. Her posts are not too long. There are better writers but she is a library writer and I like that. Can I tell from these what makes a successful blog? Or at least a well read one?
What I see through the successful blogs are orginal, resourceful writing. Clear interesting ideas that drive the blog help to activate the readers interest. I think that’s another thing as well. A blog should have an involvement with the reader to be successful. That may be why some of the blogs I looked at didn’t resonate. They had content, they were current, but there was no connection. Finally design counts. If a blog is difficult to read and no one has to read it, they won’t.
Friday, February 11, 2011
This is as close as I can get to my imaginary mentor, one of the bloggers in class who talked about being volunteered for the the library twittering process because, well, he was there and how it ended up ending. That's as far as I'll go with that, read his blog for more - funny and interesting at http://dangeralphie.tumblr.com/.
Now where was I? Oh yes. We meaning me and my library which for purposes of this blog will be unnamed got very excited about putting together a wiki. It was to be our VERY OWN WIKI and we had all sorts of ideas and rules for it. We were thrilled. We all learned how to post to it, we all learned how to ask to post to it - in those early days back in 2006 or so, we knew so little... any way, you get the gist. So the wiki got four posts, three reads and that was it. I still have a connection to it and I still feel so sorry for it and until today I could not figure out why it didn't work. The reason? The story? There was none. No, really, that was the problem. We were all very excited about having this new technology but didn't know what to use it for. We needed to say something! Library Revolution
293 views Original Link: http://www.mpdailyfix.com/2007/09/storytelling_the_key_to_making.html
So, make a blog, make a wiki but make it talk about something and keep it in line with what its purpose is. Don't let the little sucker get away from you.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Blogs are the perfect way to communicate in the world. They're bigger than facebook, more intrepid than email, and meant to be focused on specific arguments. Oh they feel so right! In the conversational world, they're the part of the conversation that is not at a cocktail party. This discussion is over coffee after a quiet dinner or at a coffee bar with a couple of acquaintances on a Sunday morning. Or hey, here, one the boards- musing together and working out issues or a thought to its logical end.
How do I think blogging will contribute to my learning in this class? How can it not? Blogs are like forums only more easy going. Blogs are where you develop a voice - it's bigger than the forum where you need to state things academically, smaller than a paper where you have to use so many words in exactly so much space and just right for taking that thought to it's next connected step.
My library director has a great blog. She's a pragmatic kind of writer, gets to the point, gets things done, and gets out of there. I like her blogs. There's another blogger in the system who works with all of the gadgets and she's a good blogger too - interesting and connected to the world. That's another good blogging habit I like - connecting others to interesting blogs. Some of my favorite bloggers so far though are in the class. They are people just like me, commenting on their lives and experiences in library school and libraries - putting theory to action so to speak. And their voices are interesting. There are no people there to get in the way of the message - it's just message, curious, thoughtful, funny, sturdy and interesting. I can hardly wait to learn more.
I've got all of the recommended bloggers set up on my google reader and I'll spend the week reading them.
Be honest, can you imagine a week getting to do exactly what you want to do? And getting credit for it?
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
1. What are your thoughts on personal branding as someone who may soon be looking for a professional position in libraries? (Tags = blogpostwk2, blogp
I’m sitting here in my overly warm house with a cold and meditating on what it would be like to pursue a job in the virtual world with only my reputation to precede me. And not really my reputation, but one I’ve made up by signing up for groups and blogs and twitters that have to do with issues connected to the places I want to work for. So what I'd really be doing is creating a person, based of course on some realities, but maybe many more activities than I have. Sorry, cough medicine causes alliteration. Now I’m not saying I wouldn’t connect to these places anyway but I’m an introvert. I like being part of the faceless crowd. In fact the minute I visualize myself at an interview, I view that horrible moment when I notice I’ve got a spot or a stain or a green thing on my tooth and everybody in the room is aware of it… Whoa, went off into a nightmare there. For more on this see a video referred by a teacher last semester where the interviewee has a large greasy spot on his shirt.
Where was I? Oh yes, destroying my chances for a job.
I’ve worked in several fields as a certified introvert and had few if any noticeable problems. I’ve always been considered a team player, worked hard, seldom complained, and when I was frustrated with a job, quit and found work somewhere else. And these were not simple jobs – I worked as a counselor for years and in the library for the last four years as well as a painter. So when it comes to polishing up a resume, I do have job skills and a few connections I’ve made from groups that I joined under the cover of Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak.
I believe in personal branding. I just wouldn’t think of it in many of the jobs prior to this degree because I don't believe anyone would look me up. But in a business that works in the world of information, that stuff is important. It’s important to make a personal statement much as it is to wear a blouse without stains. Only I have a natural, obstinate need to stay away from all groups and branding and to believe that no one is looking at me. Now how to go about it in a business that requires information at a public level?
But I like the flip side to this. I love connecting to blogs. I mean, really love it. I love reading the writing style of others, the short takes on the world, and I love responding to it and making my own space. So if I were to use connecting to others through blogging and maybe twitter, I could create that space for me that interacts with others on my own time rather than real time and it would be more about me than the girl who worries about the stain that isn’t there. I could use the new tools as a slightly more polished version of me, the one that interviewers should see in the room anyway. Thumbs up for personal branding. Perhaps the tool was designed by an introvert?
I bought a Toyota Corolla at the perfect time didn’t I?I got it last week and this week I thought I'd get to do a short public relations blog on Toyota, finding time to praise my car, Toyota in general and me for buying my car. Jeez. I was excited when the first thing I saw was that Toyota had a huge presence online. I typed Toyota Corolla on Google and got over a page of hits right away. The first site I tried in blogs about Toyota had me at a car search in 3 seconds flat. It wasn’t a blog, it was a sales pitch. A little deeper perhaps. I typed in Toyota Corolla on You Tube and sank.
Toyota on you tube: a whole lot of noise. Toyota is connected a horrible acceleration problem. Toyota recalled 8 million vehicles. I followed the line. Video of a horrible accident, photos of car crashes, harangues by angry owners. This was a public nightmare, a personal fear and yet a perfect subject for a blog about corporate presence online.
Toyota came from a place of great public relations and in their recent downfall and semi upswing became a poster child for public relations dos and don’ts. Toyota made good cars and had a great reputation. Sometimes things go wrong though and in a world where things go wrong and 6 billion people noticed, Toyota nearly blew it. The problem was an issue with unexpected acceleration in several of Toyota’s models. No one seemed to know why it was happening. Toyota initially blamed it on driver failure, and kept their response to the accidents very quiet in the years prior to 2009. However in 2009 there were crashes and camera phones and bad news went viral during an especially bad crash of an off duty police officer and his family. The next four or five months were chaotic for Toyota. There was an announcement that claimed no responsibility or very little and then another announcement which thought it might be some small problem with floor mats. The responses seemed typical of what any company might do- partition the blame until the nightmare gets resolved and Toyota was going to seem awkward and inapropriate no matter what they did.They were lambasted in Congressional hearings, scoffed at in the news and on you tube, and twitter. These people were losing serious ground publicly and financially. The company and their news environment were just too big and too fast.
I like to think of Feb 5, 2010 as Toyota’s turn around moment. There was an apology from the American president of Toyota on Feb 1 but it was so much more satisfying to have Mr. Toyota (yes, that is his name), the president of Toyota, apologize to everyone and especially all of his customers for all of the suffering he and his company had caused them and he wanted to let them know that he wanted to build their trust back in him and it was on you tube.
From that moment, Toyota has been publishing all owners twits requesting help and its responses positive and negative Toyota uses you tube to explain how the accelerator works, what may have gone wrong with it. Toyota post phone numbers and website addresses for questions,which is, if not being transparent, at least gives the impression of trying to be transparent. They keep blogs open and talk about what goes on with Toyota, although there is more of a sales pitch to the few I’ve glanced at.
One of Toyota’s genius movements has been to blanket youtube with very funny commercials, wry, self disparaging and interesting. It appeals to people who might buy Toyota: middle class individuals who understood they might be skewed. An especially funny you tube set of commercials used James Lipton playing to type
So, how well did Toyota do in changing their corporate imagine in a year’s time? Prior to yesterday, I looked around you tube, and goggle, typing in Toyota, Toyota Corolla, and Toyota Corolla acceleration and got two negative hits out of seven. Pretty impressive results. Last night the results of the NASA study requested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that initially held Toyota responsible for the accidents based on beliefs that the acceleration was electronically involved were announced. According to NHTSA, there was no electronic involvement; Toyota had paid its dues in recalling cars, fixing the minor problems and paying fines. As far as they were concerned Toyota was off the hook.
Now comes an interesting lesson in corporate imagining. Last night and today had nothing but good news and validation for Toyota yet you tube is filled with bad publicity. The car crashes are back, and the angry owners as well. Unfortunately this is the fill in information connected to the news.
Toyota, so far has kept a pretty low profile, considering their insistence that it wasn’t anything electronic in the first place.They have proved they can handle the media so far. They know how to work with transparency, they know how to take responsibility, and they know how to work with humor and they really know how to work the boards in Google, Twitter, and You Tube. I’m curious as to what their next move will be in the stirred up hornets nest.
As for me, I still like my car but I'm going to do a lot more research. And I am going to ask about that accelerator pedal.