Journey over the ditch…

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Journey” by Mattia Merlo licensed under CC BY 2.0

So by this time next week, I’ll be in Melbourne, Australia – just starting my week over there for ALIA Conference 2014. I’m doing a co-presentation on ANZ 23 Mobile Things with Kate Freedman (@Katejf) who is an awesome friend & partner-in-crime (translate: co-organizer of the aforesaid programme).

I’m looking forward to lots of things:

  • Meeting Kate IRL for the first-time and hanging out over the weekend
  • Doing my first co-presentation; done a few by myself, but looking forward to this new dynamic
  • Exploring Melbourne – any suggestions for place to see/visit/shop or eat at?
  • Meeting heaps of amazing library people at ALIA Conference – I know quite a few from Twitter, but looking forward to meeting more & building those connections IRL
  • Taking the library tours on Friday – seriously; a whole day exploring libraries? I’m keen!

So if you’re attending the conference, or work in a local library, please come up and say hi! I’m keen to meet as many new people as I can and am looking forward to making the most of this opportunity 😀

So brace yourself Melbourne – I’m coming for you (along with a whole bunch of other librarians)!

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Check it out (or is that in?): Foursquare #anz23mthings

This is a bit of a catch-up post for Thing 4 from last week 🙂

So… Thing 4 for #anz23mthings was “Checking in and maps.”
Like many others, I hadn’t really used foursquare before for various reasons:

  • I don’t really go to many exciting places
  • I only have WiFi and not all places have WiFi
  • Privacy reasons
  • Why would I want to???

But the point of #anz23mthings is to give new things a go, and familiarize myself with them so I dutifully downloaded the mobile Foursquare app and gave it a go.

It was actually quite fun!

I had a bit of a unusual week last week (had to go down to Wellington/Lower Hutt for a Academic Board meeting for the Open Polytechnic – I’m a student representative so go down about once a month), so I got some interesting places to check in – like the airport, and the Open Polytechnic. It was quite fun locating the free WiFi at the airport and checking myself in and out, and I earned a couple of badges/milestones which was fun 🙂

First coffee shop

I also became mayor of two places 🙂

Mayor Te Pataka Maramantanga

My workplace

Mayor of BatCave

The Batcave

Privacy

For the rest of the week, I just checked in at work and at home. I know, I was a bit worried about checking in at home with privacy concerns, but I found this helpful article from foursquare which explained how you could do it and still maintain your privacy of the home address. Hopefully it has worked!!! So when you click on my log-ins into “Batcave”, you should only be able to see that it is a private address, and the map should show the general location (Hamilton). Something like this:

 

Hamilton Foursquare

Or:

Batcave

So did I enjoy it?

Yes, because I’m quite competitive; I liked earning the different badges and becoming mayor of two places. I don’t like the way it can spam people on Twitter though, so I tried to be aware of that and use it sparingly.

Is it something I will keep on using?

Probably not, as I don’t see a huge amount of use for it and I don’t want everyone to see where I am all the time. It was fun to experiment with, but I would rather devote my energy and time to other networks (like Twitter).

So checking out of foursquare now – will most likely delete my account, but it was a fun experiment!

Celebrate good times, come on!!!

Birthday Cake
Birthday Cake by Theresa Thompson on Flickr via CC license.

So….

I’ve finally reached my Twitter goal from Week 1 of ANZ 23 Mobile Things to get down to 1000 following!!!

Here is the screenshot to prove it:

1000 following

So I am pretty stoked to finally be here; it was a hard goal to reach – halving the amount of people I was following, but I have done it now! Phew… Now to catch up with my Week 3 post 🙂

Time to bite the bullet – #BlogJune & #CommentJuly

The Passage of Time

The passage of time by Tony Verdu Carbo via CC license on Flickr

I’ve been thinking about time a lot lately, especially since it’s been a week and a half since my last post – yikes!

But I have decided it is time to bite the bullet and sign up for #BlogJune. What is #BlogJune? It is a Twitter movement back from 2010 initiated by @stephmcg and @flexnib that encourages everyone to blog every day in June. Here are the links to Con’s original post and Stephanie’s original post.

There are no rules – apart from the rule that there are no rules! – so it seems like a fun challenge. Hopefully it will help me to revitalize this blog and keep the momentum up!

I asked my Twitter PLN for some advice:

I have thought about planning my posts for the month, but have decided I might be better do it on the fly about topics/ideas that have come up that day or week. I hope it will be an eclectic mix of topics (in other words, totally random!) but there will definitely be:

  • #anz23mthings posts
  • #RealityLibrarianship posts/summaries – really excited about Reality Librarianship 2013 from Heroes Mingle!!!
  • posts about study as I’m finishing up my research paper (and my degree) in the next 3 weeks!!!
  • some cool photos from Flickr (love the Creative Commons advanced search!)
  • maybe some cool quotes to mix things up a bit
  • anything else I think is interesting 🙂

So stay tuned for this wild ride! If you are keen to participate, make sure you fill in Con’s form on her blog as she is creating a list of the 2013 participants!

#Comment July

This idea came from Catherine Hocking who liked this idea of my blog post “Blog Lurking, why is it so hard to comment?” and suggested that we make a commitment in July to go around and do at least one comment per day on someone else’s blog. We are still ironing out the details, but I am up for the challenge! What do you think?

So I’ve bitten the bullet; will I survive #BlogJune? Stay tuned for more details…
Bite the Bullet...

Bite The Bullet by Richard Elzey via CC license on Flickr

Getting the big picture – taking photos on a mobile device #ANZ23mthings

Well, it’s Week 2 of ANZ 23 Mobile Things and that means taking photos on a mobile device – oh goody…

You can probably tell that I wasn’t immediately excited by this one. I haven’t taken a lot of photos up till this point for various reasons:

  1. Until January this year, I didn’t have a mobile device with a camera in it (been using an iPod (3G – no camera)) until I got an iPad on loan from work.
  2. I was given a camera for my birthday which takes better quality photos than most cameras on phones/mobile devices
  3. I’m more of a words than pictures person
  4. Photos to me are kinda private; I’m much more comfortable sharing my thoughts and ideas in writing online than sharing photos.
  5. Photos/pictures can be kind of challenging with sharing online with copyright/privacy issues so it was easier to avoid them (!). Luckily, thanks to a fantastic conversation on Twitter the other day, I have got lots of advice how to find Copyright Commons photos and attribute them in blog posts (more on that in a separate post coming up)

Anyway, the challenge this week was to take some photos using a mobile device and think about it in a library context. Thanks to Kim Tairi’s excellent introduction post, I was away with trialing a few new apps this week; namely Instaweather and Instagram.

I LOVE Instaweather; it is so easy and fun to use. Basically all you have to do is download it, open the app, wait for it to pick up the information about your location, temperature, and weather and then just snap away! You have the option of various ‘skins’ – different arrangements of the weather/location information either along the bottom of the photo or down the side.  Then it’s very easy to share to Instagram (and it even loads lots of hashtags for you!), on Twitter, etc…

Here’s a photo I took on Wednesday using Instaweather, and then modifying the colour scheme slightly with Instagram.

Fiddling with Instaweather & Instagram 

#anz23mthings #thing2 #weather #instaweather #instaweatherpro  #sky #outdoors #nature  #instagood #photooftheday #instamood #picoftheday #instadaily #photo #instacool #instapic #picture #pic @instaweatherpro #place #earth #world #rototuna #newzealand #day

The thing I have found with Instagram is that it is (nearly) exclusively a mobile app; you have to download the app and create a profile to begin. It is slightly problematic on the iPad as you have to use the iPhone app, but you have the option of blowing it up 2X to fill the screen (end result = slightly blurry :() or leaving it as it is and just using a small part of the iPad’s screen. Instagram is also fun and easy to use. Just snap your shot, modify it or leave it natural, and share.

I can definitely see the attraction for people in using mobile apps for photography. It is so quick and easy to take photos and upload them in seconds. I enjoy taking photos on my camera, but it is so much more work to take them, upload to my computer (a slow process!), rename them to something I can identify with and share them. If I had a smartphone, I think I might take even more pictures.

But having an iPad (which is a fantastic device!) is kinda awkward to take photos with – plus the photos (at least from my iPad 2) aren’t that great quality! It just feels so obvious you are taking a photo when you take one with your iPad because it is so huge compared to cameras and mobile phones. Does anyone else feel the same way or am I making a mountain out of a molehill?

Anyway, moving along, here’s a photo of my workplace – Te Pātaka Māramatanga – the library at Te Wananga o Aotearoa.

My workplace

My workplace :) #anz23mthings #thing2

And here’s a cozy photo of my snacks in preparation for the (late! at least in NZ) Twitter chat yesterday evening. It was a lot of fun joining in with every one 🙂

All ready for ANZ 23 Mobile Things Twitter Chat!
So I'm all ready for #anz23mthings twitter chat! #food #yum

So this post is more about me personally taking photos on a mobile device and getting more comfortable with that, but I definitely see the potential for libraries to also use photos in their marketing, social media profiles, competitions, and as a way to show-off the collection.

I enjoyed the challenge of this week and the chance to discover some new apps. And now I even have a growing collection of photos for my blog posts – win-win!

“Listless” but OK; how I’m solving my Twitter problem.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts on my Twitter dilemma; I have since followed up on many of your helpful suggestions as you can see from the results below:

Image

So I’m now down to 1480 from 2001 – only another 480 odd to reach my goal of 1000 following! Woo-hoo!

How did I do this?

Jan Holmquist’s suggestion of ManageFlitter – http://manageflitter.com/ – was inspired; it’s a great way to break down who you are following. It breaks down who you are following by the following filters:

  • Not following back
  • No profile image
  • Fake following
  • Non-English
  • High Ratio
  • Inactive
  • Talkative
  • Quiet

These are very useful to evaluate who you are following and to see the characteristics of the groups. As I prefer to follow people who interact, I choose to unfollow all the inactive accounts I was following (those people that have not tweeted in the last 30 days). This was an easy way to clear about 100 inactive accounts off my list.

As I am using a free account, I can only unfollow 100 people per day within the filter. Hence I have been going back over several days to get down this low and will continue to use this tool to tidy up my Twitter account.

I also have browsed through my list of following on Twitter to see if I can identify any rogue accounts that I didn’t mean to follow and have managed to find a few this way.

My main aim at this stage is to get my following down to a manageable level so I am pruning quite heavily. I don’t stress too much about the unfollow decisions as I know I can easily go back and follow people again if I accidentally unfollowed someone that I do want to follow.

One concern I had was that I might loss a number of followers by this drastic spring clean, but any followers I have lost has been negated by some new followers I have gained this week. In fact, I think the number following me has actually increased (but this might not be related to my spring clean :D). Just a shout-out to all who are following me; a big thank you and I hope I continue to share content that is of interest to you. But if I don’t, or I start to annoy you with frequent tweeting, feel free to unfollow me – I understand 😀

So did I set up any lists?

I’ve set up a couple of private lists for people that I wasn’t sure about unfollowing completely. I will continue to evaluate these lists to see if I need to follow more people or create separate lists based on topics of interest.

What have I learned from this week?

I’ve learned a lot from this week actually. Using this week to focus on Twitter allowed me to:

  • Think more deeply about the type of people I’d like to follow and interact with
  • Evaluate the different types of accounts I am following and become more aware on my PLN
  • Tidy up my account so I have a more manageable feed and can interact more with those I am following
  • Discover a way to add another account to my Twitter app on the iPad so I can switch between using my personal account – @ajwillemse91 – and the ANZ 23 mobile things – @anz23mthings – with the click of a button! Very handy – only I have occasionally tweeted from the wrong account but am working on ironing that one out!

What have you learned about Twitter this week?

Thing 1 Twitter – Did I Make The List???

This is my very first reflection post for ANZ 23 Mobile Things! Although I am one of the organizers, I am also one of the participants and am learning just as much (if not more!) as the other participants 🙂

The topic this week – Twitter.

“That’s easy,” I thought. I know a lot about Twitter; been on it about a year and have just passed my 5000th tweet. Boy, was I wrong!

I discovered that I have a serious problem. I am maxed out at the number of people I am allowed to follow – 2000 people. So I have a SERIOUS clean-up to do. I have a few options:

1. Create lists to categorize people by geographical location, topics, etc… as you can add people to lists without following them.

2. Go through all 2000 followers and selectively un-follow those I am not interacting with or who just aren’t relevant to me anymore.

3. Wait until I get more than 2000 followers (currently at 850) and then Twitter will let me follow more.

4. Never follow anyone else ever again (is that really an option though?!).

So I’ve decided to investigate lists. I asked how people organize their lists on Twitter and we had a great conversation which you can read on Storify here. I got a lot of different advice about ways to organize lists and different ways that people use their lists. But I’ve decided that lists might not be the best way for me to solve my problem at hand. Why?

  • I find that I tend to just look at my main feed; I think that if I put them all into multiple lists I wouldn’t look at all of them and it might be a waste of time.
  • I’m not hugely a “list” person; I prefer to look at the big picture of everything that’s going on
  • It’s a lot of work going through 2000 people and working out which ones should fit where!

So I’ve decided that it would be better for me to look at all the people I follow and evaluate if I still would like to follow them or if they are not relevant to my lines of thinking. I might also make a decision based on frequency of tweeting and the content they tweet. I’ve tried using Friend or Unfollow to pull out the people that I am following who aren’t following me (1291 accounts!). So I am working through these; some of them are big names in the library profession who I am still very keen to follow (like @mstephens7) so there is still quite a bit to evaluate!

My ultimate goal is to get the number of people I am following down to around 1000 – this is going to take a lot of work but it is definitely a work in progress!

So what do you think? Is this the best solution to my problem or should I “make the list”?