Saturday, July 2, 2016

Thoughts on #blogjune 2016

Well, how did it go?  On 1 June I blogged here about "to blog or not to blog" and I guess ultimately I couldn't stop myself.  Yes, I blogged every day for the month of June - to a greater or lesser degree.

My first and only post in Hecuba's story, i.e. here, was the one on 1 June. I did 8 blog-posts in the Librarian and the Kitchen, and then I did 21 quite short posts over at Hecuba's Reflections, my Tumblr blog.

So what does all this mean in the context of my reflections in January about blogging and generally about "web 2.0" stuff? I decided then in January not to set myself any blogging targets for 2016, but I know I felt that, if I were going to blog, it was likely to be on the Librarian and the Kitchen.  I also talked during #blog12daysxmas about my ongoing addiction to Flickr.

So this month confirmed all of that for me.  I didn't set out in June with any plan, and I didn't really know whether I would even try to complete #blogjune. But I did 8 posts on the Librarian and the Kitchen, bringing my ytd total of posts up to 26 - already more than double what I did last year. I am even wondering if in 2016 I will equal my all-time best for that blog in 2008 when I first set it up. A contributing factor to this has certainly been the current course I am doing on Futurelearn, a course which combines history with cooking and historical recipes to be played with. However, only three of the 8 were course-related.

Some people doing #blogjune, I think starting with @librarianidol, pointed to the value of #blogjune in giving a daily snapshot of life for a month. I thought about that, but knew really I didn't need that snapshot.  For years my daily snapshot has indeed been a snap, and posted there in Flickr's PAD for me to reflect on at month's end or year's end. And this is what my Tumblr posts reflected in #blogjune.  They were short comments focusing on a photo, mostly my PAD but not always. So most of my blogposts (21) were reflections on the photos that document my life.  I quite enjoyed doing it and it certainly wasn't a chore. But will I continue doing it?  I really doubt it. I'll probably just wait for another opportunity like #blog12daysxmas.

What #blogjune has also confirmed for me is that although I remain very interested in technology and could have blogged about many things (e.g.regular bulletins from the Webbys provide a wealth of new and innovative things to talk about) I no longer have the passion to write about technology. Part of this has to do with my interest having moved away from libraries where technology was and is a critical issue. But I wonder if it is just me, or whether those heady days of endless technological possibilities have now passed for those who remain connected to libraries?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

To blog or not to blog #blogjune

That does appear indeed to be the question for me. I didn't do #blogjune last year as I was  overseas for the start of it but I had done it previously for what seems like forever.  And I still do #blog12daysxmas, though this year I was shocked by the minimal participation.  I like doing #blog12daysxmas as twelve days seems more manageable than 30, and also because it is a good opportunity to review one's digital presence over the preceding year.

And indeed I did review my blogging as part of the 2015/2016 #blog12daysxmas and concluded that I wasn't doing all that much.  You can read about the 2015 experience here and I won't repeat my reflections on it here. And the interesting thing for me with that post was the aftermath. I decided not to set any blogging targets for 2016: and then I did a flurry of blogging on my Librarian and the Kitchen site. Maybe all this proves is that not having targets provides freedom, as someone suggested to me earlier in the year.

And will I do #blogjune? Well, it is a good question.  I have a number of things I want to blog about and so maybe this is the opportunity? At any rate, I have left myself open to the opportunity by blogging today.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

#anz23mthings Thing 15 Adobe ID

OK, Anne, let's cut to the chase.  This Thing 15 Adobe ID stalled you in the midst of #anz23mthings two years ago.  Just get over it!

The point of this Thing is to explore possibilities for libraries using Adobe ID. I have an Adobe ID and it needs to be used for borrowing ebooks from my public library over Overdrive.  The Adobe process for signing up and for lost passwords is fairly cumbersome is my memory and potentially a matter of difficulty for some library users who may have limited computer literacy but want to read ebooks. So when introducing users to ebooks either face to face or on the website it would useful to have a clear guide and trouble-shooting, as well as having staff who are able to assist.

I essentially use Adobe for this as well as reading PDFs.  I create PDFs of documents directly from Word.  And I often read PDFs through my Dropbox app on my phone or iPad. One glitch I have noticed there is that occasionally filled in documents that I can read quite clearly on my desktop will come out blank when I am reading them through my Dropbox app.  I am not clear why this is so as I haven't explored which ones it happens to.  These are not documents I have created and happens in documents for a committee I am on.  I know it happens to other members as well.

I was interested to see the large suite of "desktop apps" that are available for subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud and can imagine that, if library subscriptions are possible, these tools would indeed be useful to a wide range of students involved in design or web development, though people seriously involved would no doubt need their own subscriptions.  I noticed Photoshop is included and it is certainly a suite of tools we used in my former POW for editing local history photos during digitization. Personally, I don't currently feel the need for this as I have a number of other photo editing tools (free and paid for versions) on my iPhone and iPad.

It was good to explore what was included in the Cloud, but I don't have the need for any of the apps at present.  I note that they are called "Desktop Apps" so I am not sure what implications that has for using them on the go.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Reflecting on #anz23mthings #blog12daysxmas Day 12

So on this Day 12 of #blog12daysxmas for 2015/2016, I want to spend some time reflecting on my inability to complete #anz23mthings and reflect on reasons why this might have happened.  I started the project on May 12 2013, did the first four things, wilted a bit, and then started up again during the 2013/2014 #blog12daysxmas when I completed things 5 to 14. Then I stalled completely.

In my wrapup for that, I vowed and declared that I was on a roll, more than halfway through, and was determined to finish anz23mthings that month. So what are the reasons for such a chequered history in doing this excellent program? I think that there are two key factors and some contributing ones.

Firstly, I had done the 23 things and continued with 23.1.  This was life-changing for me and I commenced a life filled with fascination for possibilities.  This only increased once I started using mobile devices more. The end result is that for some of the Things I found that I was reading about things I had been using for years, on desktop and mobile, and often when they were startups or in beta. I had tried and discarded many more Things. In the 14 Things that I completed there were certainly new apps and slants on things that I learnt about - some were great and others disappointing, but there were a lot where I used the tools regularly. This did mean that for me the course was largely reflective rather than explorative and exciting.  I like reflection but I also like exploration and excitement and maybe it turned out that there was not the right balance for me.

Secondly, seven months or so before I started the course I had retired. The anz23things is, of course, framed in the context of libraries. Today I reviewed the 18 posts I completed and could see that from my very first post on Thing 1 Twitter (My Twitter Dilemma) this difficulty of trying to reframe my usage of the various Things (including ones like Twitter and Facebook) that I had used since 2007/8 was evident. I had used all these Things in the context of my professional life and I couldn't work out how they were going to fit with my retirement occupations. How could they work with local history, with travel, with breast cancer advocacy, with language learning, with cooking? This thread emerges throughout the posts.

And the subsidiary reasons? I blamed #blogjune for my first fallout.  But I don't really know why I didn't just get on with it for my #blogjune posts.  Anyway I didn't.  And then I headed off to the US for another trip in the second half of 2013. As I said above, I started off again in December 2013/January 2014. Then in 2014 travel intervened again with trips to Greece/Wales/France/England in the first half of the year and to the US and Canada in the second half of the year.  And then it was out of sight, out of mind, and, of course, the Greek factor started to take effect. In fact, already in the Things that I completed you can see evidence of the Greek factor starting to intrude. I had started 23mthings just after my return from Greece after my first trip back after retirement.


So, will I ever complete the other nine Things?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  I reviewed them this evening. Again, most of them are things I have used for ages and either still use or no longer find need for in my current circumstances and interests. Maybe I should just power through them and document what happens. Afterall, I found it very interesting to read about my dilemmas in relation to the first 14.

I think, however, for me the really interesting thing is my reflections on what life there is for 23 Things or 23mthings outside of the library professional environment - for me. To explore that further is something that fascinates me.  But maybe I need to finish the project to get on top of that?


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