Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Thing 7

I just recently turned off auto-check on my email, and I'm amazed at the difference. I've been using email professionally for the last 8 years, and I can't believe it's taken me this long to realize that I don't need to be notified the second I receive an email.

But as far as the other tools in this Thing, I am still somewhat amateurish. Our reference librarians use IM in addition to email, phone, and walk-in reference. When I've helped out at the reference desk, I always wondered if the patron expected me to answer instantly, or if a pause of several minutes was appropriate. We set up an automatic message saying something like "Hang on a minute while I help someone else," but I still feel extra pressure to be really quick with chat.

I don't make use of text messaging or chat in my personal communication; I guess if I did, that would help me feel more comfortable with the etiquette around these tools.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Getting Back Up to Speed

Well, I'm back. I had to change my avatar to reflect the change in seasons since I began this blog, and that required an hourlong journey back into the land of logins and passwords left far behind in my memory. But I found them eventually, and am now displayed a refreshed version of myself.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Thing 6

I'm really glad to have this second chance to work through the 23 Things, because I really do like dipping my toes into this new technology. And I fully expect that, while the majority of these tools will not be applicable in any obvious way to my day-to-day tasks, at least one will enrich my work experience in some way. That's my hope.

Today's tool is not that one.

Draw Customized Symbols - ImageChef.com

I envisioned this as a sign floating above the drop-off box outside my cubicle. Obviously, there's no way to post this digital sign above the very non-digital cardboard box. But that gets me thinking: the way I receive order requests from faculty is still very much paper-based, with the occasional Excel spreadsheet. We do have an online form for submitting requests, but it's not designed to handle more than one title at a time. We plan to refine it this summer. Perhaps I'll find inspiration for improvement as I work through the Things.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Thing 5

What I'm staring at right now is a
fire hydrant D E a002 D_McElman_070713_1576 L I say I N Viva Las Vegas 08

I need to finish ordering the materials for this fiscal year within the next two weeks, and I fear the final days will be excruciating, as I am now down the pile of things I set aside, saying, "Hmm, don't know what that is or where to buy it..."

So I'm happy to have found this pictorial way to express my anxiety, thanks to Spell with Flickr! Copying and pasting the html seemed like magic!


Originally uploaded by aremac
Here I am exploring Flickr. Finally found the "Blog this" button (I use a Mac at home--could that be the problem?). I found this photo by clicking on "germany" in the tag cloud, and then "most interesting." This scene looks like paradise to me! Especially if I have a little knapsack with cheese and bread and a few sun-warmed tomatoes...

Now I wonder what other users do besides just clicking on pictures that catch their eye. I guess I should explore the Organize tab, because I assume there's some way to gather the photos you like best into one place...on Flickr. But can you take them away?

This makes me think of my first experience with online photo sharing--Webshots. I always felt a little guilty downloading hundreds of photos onto my work computer (previous job :) but that little "Daily Photo" icon in the corner of my screen was too tempting.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Thing 4: Flickr-ing

"And you're done." This slogan appears daily in my cubicle, stamped on the side of boxes of every shape and size delivered from Amazon.com. And while ordering from Amazon does have its rough edges, the promise of simplicity in that slogan generally comes true. I can quickly find the books I need, order them with a few clicks, and wait confidently on the receipt of a smiling brown box just a few days later. The unbeatable discounts and the swift delivery are the two reasons I do most of my ordering for the library through Amazon.

The phrase "and you're done" popped into my head again today as I realized that with very little effort, I had posted, tagged, and described a photo on Flickr. I really appreciate how easy it was to do this. I had actually planned to take some pictures of my workspace, so the timing of this was great for me personally. But I don't yet see a work-related connection use for Flickr.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Thing 3: RSS Feed, or Stuffing My Face?

So I set up my RSS feeds a few days ago, and I have mixed feelings. I think it's extremely helpful for blogs to which the blogger posts infrequently. I really dislike checking a blog over and over, hoping to catch any new crumb that falls. But for blogs that are frequently updated, I find it kind of distressing to see them in the RSS feed. Seeing the many many posts that I haven't viewed all lined up on the page really makes the words introducing the CNET video ring true: I am confronted with "more news from more sources than you could ever possibly read."

On the plus side, in the process of writing this post I learned how to embed a link. I never even really thought about how those handy clickable words came to be.