|Early morning reflections, Raudfjorden, June 2010 (Polar adventurer)|
I'm sure my skills and knowledge have improved, but not my memory for passwords! Before embarking on 23 Things, I already contributed regularly to the SAALG blog, used RSS feeds from publishers such as Permanent Black, and to promote new acquisitions at the Centre, and contributed to Doodle polls. Since June, I have tagged my bookmarks on Delicious, learnt more about Creative Commons licenses on Flickr, included photographs and a Slideshare presentation on my blog, have created an IGoogle page, complete with Google calendar and RSS feeds. I have found it useful having my RSS feeds in one place, but have not continued to use the Google calendar as I already have an excellent online calendar. I plan to make most of my Delicious bookmarks public and add links to them on web pages I manage in each of my libraries.
On the whole I have found the method of learning useful, though at times I have needed more instructions, and could have saved time with more detailed examples to work through. I have probably become more competent but would not say confident - but that is a personality trait I have to live with! My biggest bugbear has been the need to keep creating new user accounts and keeping track of all the new passwords and user names. I already had a huge number working in two places.
How will I do things differently with the next 12 Things? I will spend less time on each task. I've averaged 2 hours per task, but Delicious has taken considerably longer (tagging hundreds of bookmarks on two PCs), and that's before I add and tag the bookmark/links I have created on my collections' web pages. I also have hundreds more I have kept in email folders entitled Asian electronic resources, Australasian electronic resources etc, which I have been able to access easily from both PCs. Ideally, these too will also get added to Delicious. Each time they have to be checked to ensure they still work and to determine tags. Since geographically I cover the whole world in my two library collections, this is no insignificant task!
May I recommend to the organisers of 23 Things (who have done such a splendid job in setting up the scheme in Cambridge), that a much longer period of time is set aside for this exercise next year? I was on holiday for 3 weeks in June and have never caught up. I came back to huge backlogs of enquiries and work in each job (as expected), and simply have not had enough time to do the Things justice. I hope I have concentrated on the Things I think will best help me manage my jobs, and understand my readers' needs, but time will tell...
The Thing I would recommend most to colleagues unfamiliar with it, is Doodle. I have saved so much time (numerous emails) using it to organise meetings with colleagues from far-flung libraries and archives.