cpd23: Thing 6 – Online Networks

cpd23 Thing 6 is about online networks introducing LinkedIn, Facebook, LISNPN, Librarians as Teachers network and Cilip communities.

LinkedIn – and XING
I have a non-public XING profile. XING is a business social network, founded 2003 in Germany as OpenBC, now aiming to become more international. As my professional life so far has been focused on Germany, XING is more than sufficient to keep track and up-to-date of former/current colleagues and fellow students as well as individuals that cross my way in a professional context. I am also member of various groups (alumni, dissertation, university didactics). But frankly, I quite like the public LinkedIn profile layout.

Originally, I have set up my (non-public) Facebook account to keep in touch with friends and people I met on my journeys abroad. It is very convenient. In the last two or so years, more and more Germans are joining the network, including individuals from my professional background. I still try to keep it as privately and personally as possible, but it is starting to mix with my professional life. I have been thinking about a second, professional-only account, but it wole make everything far too complicated. My library has a Facebook profile and I am allowed to post news.
The German equivalent is StudiVZ. I am using it strictly for keeping in touch with friends, most of them are not on Facebook yet.

LISPN (LIS New Professional Network) was new for me. I have been working for more than 8 years in libraries, so I am probably not qualifying anymore as “new” to the job. Since June 2011, there is a LIS New Professionals Deutschland group on Facebook (511 members as of today). As far as I am aware of, this is the first attempt to formalize an online network of all new professionals (nation-wide, not alumni-related) in the German library world. The DGI has a Young Information Professionals group. At the annual conference (Bibliothekartag), there is the meeting of new “Referendare” (organised by the VDB) and the KIBA-Lounge representing all schools and programmes in librarianships (organised by KIBA, a section of the DBV).

Librarians as Teachers Network
LAT Network looked familiar. I came across the webpage while getting information on TeachMeets. Definitely a network to keep an eye on. For now, I will follow its tweets.

CILIP Communities
I like the slogan (“This is YOUR space for connecting and sharing and gaining focus in this complex information world.”) of CILIP communities. I am not aware of anything equivalent initiated or organised by German library associations. Within the North Germany Library network, there is a wiki communicating official information. The website www.informationskompetenz.de has been planned for sharing materials and information on information literacy instruction, but it does not provide the feature of connecting online with colleagues from other libraries and creating an online network.

There are so many networks around – I think, you need to find the right one for your purposes. Google+ might be another one – but so far, all of my friends are in networks where I already have an account. Maybe it will change, but I think I will be waiting a little bit more to see how Google+ is mastering the first few months.

My conclusion
I am satisfied with the online networks where I am member at the moment – it is a good mixture of private and professional. I can keep track of everything. What is it worth being part of a million networks but not having the time to check and maintain each one on a regular basis?

Further reading
Which social network should I use as a librarian?, Why librarians need to use social media differently, and why it benefits us to do so and What are the solutions to social network overload? by Phil Bradley

Photo: Beech wood, Harz, Germany, July 2011.


cpd23: Thing 5 – Reflective Practice

Thing 5 calls for reflection:

“It provides an opportunity to review the experiences we have, learning from them and applying what we have learnt.”

I should definitely reserve more time for reflection more often.

1. Recall it – what did I do?

  • Revived and changed my blog I set up a year ago but never used (traveling and enjoying the landscape was far more exciting than sitting in Internet cafes).
  • Put some thought and action into the design and my brand.
  • Update my twitter account, adding a few more tweets to follow and posting the first tweets myself.
  • Re-organising and updating my feedreader (Netvibes), having a look at new weblogs.

2. Evaluate it – what did I learn and enjoyed? What worked well? What (potential) impact could this have in your workplace?

  • A nice, fresh and friendly online image/design is as important as your appearance in real life. I enjoyed looking for the colours and pictures that create the desired look and feeling.
  • It is important to review my weblogs (and in future, also the tweets I am following) – to disregard some, add others – and to keep them organised. It’s no worth marking everything for later reading.
  • Twitter may be interesting when searching information on an up-to-date topic. I find it definitely more valuable than I thought at first sight. I have integrated my twitter account into my feedreader (keeping everything in one place) and into my Facebook account (via twitterfeed).
  • I learned about Pushnote, but I am still not convinced to use it.
  • It is very easy to loose myself and forget about time when browsing other cpd23 weblogs or changing settings – it can definitely be addictive.

3. Apply it – what can I practically apply from the experience I have had?

  • My design/brand – will apply it to everything else (i.e. ppt-presentations) and keep working on it.
  • My weblog – have been broadening the content spectrum of entries of the Bremen librarians’ round table weblog a little bit. Still looking for a niche within the broad range of information literacy developments and activities.
  • My twitter account – will use it for short notes.

More ressources on reflection

Photo: Rappbodetalsperre, Harz, Germany, July 2011.

cpd23: Thing 4 – Current Awareness Overload?

Reflecting all Thing 4 activities, I still find RSS feeds most useful at the moment, although twitter posts are beginning to catch up since I have been able to integrate them in my feedreader and keep everything together. I am still trying to find the best tweets and weblogs to get the right balance of information.

I am subscribing to quite a few weblogs to keep up-to-date with

  • libraries in Germany and English-speaking countries,
  • statements of library associations,
  • developments regarding information literacy, teaching and learning IL,
  • personal interests (postcasts, photoblogs etc.).

I realized that it is important to re-evaluate my selection on a regular bases as blogs are discontinued or re-focused. For most blogs, I just read the post headlines, but now and then I come across very interesting news and information. Blogs I find particularly useful:

In the next few weeks, I will have an eye on the output and usefulness of information received through the tweets and new RSS feeds. I am also curious to see how people are handling their weblog posts and tweets, which information appears at which place.

Photo: Vapourer Mouth, Harz, July 2011. (c) Sabine Rauchmann

cpd23: Thing 4 – Current Awareness with PushNote

PushNote was completely new to me. I took a look at the site, signed up but still does not find it appealing at the moment. I encountered two constricting features:

  • To find people, you need to know the name or e-mail adress. I missed a search for terms in people’s profiles, comments and URLs.
  • By needing to install the add-on in your browser, you are bound to your computer. You can’t access it from every work station, you always need to be online and logged in.

I checked on some fellow cdp23 participants and agree with Kristi (The Plugged-In Librarian): At this stage of the process, I prefer to use Delicious and don’t see the advantage of PushNote for me.

Additional readings

Photo: Large copper, taken at Harz, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, July 2011.

cpd23: Thing 4 – Current Awareness with RSS

I have been using feedreaders for a while, switching from Bloglines (service discontinued) to Netvibes a few months ago. As Thing 4 calls for setting up a feedreader, I had a closer look at the settings and options in Netvibes.

  1. I went through my RSS subscriptions, checked them for continued availability, deleted a bunch.
  2. I added
    – a few tabs collecting everything for this course under “CPD23”,
    – a few suggested blogs from Thing 4 and
    – the bundle of all the CPD23 blogs.
  3. I added the wigdets for the Bremen weather and Twitter, put the latter in the Livebar (so far, I didn’t know it exists).

I like Netvibes for following RSS feeds – it is concise, clearly presented and everything is in one place.

Additional readings

Photo taken at Ilsenburg, Harz, Sachsen-Anhalt, July 2011.

cpd23: Thing 4 – Current Awareness with Twitter

I am behind schedule, spending the last week in the beautiful Harz mountains w/o Internet access. Here are my experiences with Twitter, RSS and PushNote (Thing 4), part 1.

I have already set up a Twitter account a few weeks ago in the wake of an in-house presentation of the library’s twitter account (elibbremen). But I have to admit, I just added a few tweets – and that was it. Today, I changed the name and the appearance of my twitter account (in tune with the branding of my blog – I am still searching for the semi-transparent white sidebar, though).

I added a few tweets by searching terms (bibliothek, information literacy) and looking up tweets listed under “following”. I am now following 27 tweets. I can see the advantage of using Twitter for following conferences off-site, i.e. #bibtag11 or #lilac12. But I am also a little bit concerned about the mass of information coming in and the percentage of “noise”. Let’s see if I will learn to cherish the added value of twitter (compared to weblogs).

I am still wondering:

  • Is there going to be a differences in posted information between the tweets and the weblog of the same institution/individual?
  • How far back have the tweets been archived?

Further readings:

Photo: Monastry at Druebeck, Harz, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, July 2011.

cpd23: Thing 3 – My Personal Brand (2)

After reading up on personal branding, I have been pondering all week about developing my personal brand. These are my results:

  • Name used – I liked the idea of a meaningful name, but didn’t come up with a great fantasy name. The current name “sabine’s 23things” may even be abstract enough for future use.
  • Photograph – I don’t have any professional up-to-date portrait photo.
    ToDo: I need to go to a professional photographer first (which is on my list of summer activities).
  • Professional/personal identity – I like to keep my professional and private identities separate. I will limit the personal touch on using photos from trips or tours.
  • Visual brand – I like a fresh, bright and slim design – nothing to fancy or overloeaded. I would like to use a recognisable image, but haven’t come across one yet.
    ToDo: Keep looking out for pictures, colours and layouts.
  • Online visibility – I am quite present on the results list of Google, Bing and Yahoo, 123people.de and yasni.de. Although documents and publications turn up, no social network entries are shown.
    ToDo: Allowing Google search for this weblog. I am thinking of opening up my XING profile for Google and creating a publication list (either on XING or in this weblog) in the weeks to come.
  • Setting up alerts – I set up alerts on Google and Twitter.
    ToDo: Check out MyOn-ID or MyWebCareer.com.

This week made me realize, that I am visible online with my professional identity in different bits and pieces and that it is to me to create an integrative and homogeneous picture/brand. That is also why I will keep my personal brand in mind for all the Things still to come.

Photo taken in Grolland, Bremen, Germany, May 2011.