Sunday, January 4, 2015

#blog12daysxmas Day 11 My Flickr obsession

Well, I am not really sure whether it would technically be defined as an obsession but Flickr is something I certainly peruse and interact with at least once a day. I first learned about Flickr and joined up many years ago when I did 23 Things.  So I guess I have Helene Blowers to blame for my obsession but really I want to offer thanks again as 23 Things was a life-changing thing for me. And what's a little obsession or two or three or 23?

I am an inveterate snapper, rather than a careful photographer, and all those snaps land on Flickr, get edited and stay there if I think they are any good.  Or, I will admit, sometimes if they are not particularly good but I really want the photo as a memory.  Since I have had an iphone 5, my camera has been gathering dust and I mostly take my photos on the phone. Often I take them through the Instagram app and share them onto Flickr and I have another community there, of course.

But the Flickr community is an important one to me.  We had an inaugural Flickrup dinner at the Fox in Melbourne last year when we gathered together local participants in the 2014PAD and cf14 groups.  It was great fun.  And when I was in England and Wales last year I had two smaller Flickrups in London and Cardiff with people I have met through these same groups.  It is always so good to meet these online friends IRL and talk and talk.

During #blog12daysxmas last year, Flickr certainly featured in the challenges I set myself for 2014. So did I meet these challenges? I did!  I completed my 365 photos for PAD2014 and Project365, and I completed the Challenge Friday for all weeks of 2014 for myself and with the assistance of some other members for the Collingwood Historical Society. In 2014, I administered the 2014PAD group, the Victorian Hotels group and the Victorian Public Library Buildings groups and I contributed to quite a few other groups.  Notable among these was the Trove group which provides a fabulous way for Australians to get their photos onto Trove. During 2014 I also set up another group jointly with the Collingwood Historical Society, the Abbotsford, Clifton Hill and Collingwood group for photos taken in the area covered by the former municipality of Collingwood.  If you take any photos there, please add them to the group. It is so important that we document today which is tomorrow's history.  And there is lots to document in Collingwood today.

So what's my Flickr challenge for 2015? It's much of the same really.  I continue with Challenge Friday (cf15) for both me and the Collingwood Historical Society. I am doing my PAD for 2015, both for 2015PAD and Project365.  Thanks to my UK co-admin Julia, we managed to get the 2015PAD group up while I was suffering from lack of Telstra connectivity. I continue to administer my hotels, Victorian public library buildings and the "Collingwood" group.  And I will organize another Melbourne Flickrup soon!

Everyone is welcome to join any of these groups!  So why don't you come on over to Flickr and check them out?

Friday, January 10, 2014

#anz23mthings Thing 14 Curating

My Pinterest account
This Thing focuses on sites such as Tumblr and Pinterest and aggregating types of sites such as in the introduction.

My Tumblr account

Tumblr is a microblogging site which I have belonged to for a while. I use my account Hecuba's Reflections for just that, microblogging when I might have a photo and a sentence or too.  I post most of my Flickr photos there for example and I follow quite a lot of other microbloggers particularly those relating to books, writing, archives and libraries and use it to repin their posts. I think it is a great way to get information about the holdings of various archives and photographic collections, often with quite a bit of information attached to them.

My former POW, City of Boroondara Library Service, is one of the libraries featured in the the 23mobile things site about this topic and has had a Tumblr account for quite a while. It is used to post photos and info about events and notices, as well as for similar things that I described myself doing in the previous paragraph.

I have also had a Pinterest account since it was first available and use it for a range of personal interests with boards such a Food, For the home, Travel, Favourite Places and Spaces, Local History, Family History, Film, Books worth reading, Cats etc as well as being part of a number of group Library industry boards, e.g. Discovery in our libraries, the National Year of Reading,  Timeless Literary Quotes and others.  It's a fun tool that one can spend lots of time on, get some useful information from, and have lots of fun. When I was working there, Boroondara was experimenting with trying to link the container in Sorcer to boards in its Pinterest account, but with changes to Sorcer that may have become too complicated.  Or maybe it always was going to be too complicated?

I don't use is a tool which allows you to gather together stuff from a range of sources and then put it together before sharing it on Twitter, Facebook etc. I have tried a series of sites for clipping stiff in the past and I am sure it is fine as a tool.  But when I find articles of general interest I tweet them, and Twitter then sends them out to Facebook if I wish.  I use to produce a daily summary in newsletter form of my Twitter feed and this can be subscribed to by email as well as being distributed via Twitter and Facebook. I also follow a number of other newsletters.

On my iPhone and iPad I also use Flipboard which I am surprised is not mentioned in this Thing as it is very much a mobile experience.  I have my Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr and Youtube accounts connected to my Flipboard and can use it to view the actual account content or various aggregated stories. I can also set up my own magazines on particular themes or topics and save them for future.

With a combination of for Twitter, and Flipboard for everything I am happy not to set up yet another account.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

#anz23mthings Thing 13 Online identity


Online identity is something that it is worthwhile pondering over every now and again. I have had an online identity since the mid 1990s when I started getting involved in listservs.  In fact I am still actively involved in two such groups. These identities relate to archaeology and breast cancer. Every now and again I Google myself and am fascinated by the stuff that comes up ranging from my library publications and activities to membership of things such as LinkedIn and to a MySpace account I had once but haven't looked at in years.

One of the useful reminders I found in reading about this Thing was the fact that we often use Twitter, Facebook and Google signins to get to other sites.  I find it useful to review what sites have access via these accounts and to revoke that access if I feel it appropriate. Sometimes there is nothing I want to revoke but other times there is. 

Whilst in theory I knew this, I was taken by the description of the spectrum of identity: anonymous, pseudonymous, self-asserted, socially validated, officially verified. Yes, I do have all of those and a number of pseudonyms dating back for years.  One thing I have noticed recently is that a lot of sites/apps which had previously been pseudonymous now allow real names as well so I doubt that many people I know wouldn't realize who Polyxena really is and that she isn't a white cat. In fact, I have blogged about my use of that name here and appeared at quite a few library events with that Twitter moniker on my name tag.

Hecuba the Beautiful

I know some people strictly divide their professional and personal identities.  I have always chosen not to do that. I am a librarian, I have breast cancer, I am a breast cancer consumer advocate, I am a technology junky, I am into family and local history, I love to cook and create recipes. All of these elements are part of my real and my online identity. However, it is also true that I do have multiple identities on the web and different clumps of people who know about different parts of my life.  Once I would have said that LinkedIn did reflect mainly my professional identity but in more recent times people from other parts of my life have started joining and my contacts have become more diverse, though my cv and skills have remained geared to my professional career.

Despite this, I usually think quite carefully about what I post. I am often amazed at some of the very personal stuff people post openly on the web, but maybe that is to do with my being an introvert.   I usually have location turned off on my phone when I am taking photos and I tend to use FourSquare mainly when I am on holidays. However, there is certainly a lot of me out there on the web.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

#anz23mthings Thing 12 Gaming and Libraries

Gaming and the role of public libraries is something I feel quite ambivalent about. I am not opposed to gaming at all and recognize its benefits for literacy, numeracy, memory, teamwork, social engagement and collaboration - and many more things I am sure. I am just not sure how libraries fit into this.

I am not much of a mobile gamer. I can get hooked on a bit of Spider solitaire on my phone but really that's about it.  In the past I have been quite hooked on various Zynga (and other predecessor) games via Facebook and have spent quite a lot of hours on them.  I know these are not really hard-core games and I have always lost interest in them after a while. And as most of these games were based on Flash they really haven't translated over to my i-mobile environment.

Jane McGonigal's Ted Talk "Gaming can make a better world" mentioned in the summation for this Thing really resonated with me and made me think about this issue again. I have always felt that I wanted to help people be the best they can and I have wanted libraries I have been involved with to assist people in this and have it as their vision. McGonigal talks of how gaming makes us the best person of ourselves, how we confront failure and try and try again, how we get feedback again and again like we don't do in life.

We learn the habits of heroes, she says. And that too resonated with me as did her talk of Herodotos and the origins of gaming in Lydia.  That is a very dramatic story but maybe no more dramatic than issues in our current world. I like her motto: "We want to make the future" and the fact that she and her company are making games such as World without Oil, Superstruct and Evoke that can really translate games into making this happen.

I am not sure what this means for libraries, but it really has made me start to think about the issue again.

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