Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Thing 3: Personal Brand

When it came to finding a name for this blog, the name came readily enough but it was putting the title together in such a way that it was available was the kicker. Originally I wanted 'Bright & Shiny Things' but naturally that was taken. I tried Blogger and Wordpress but as I prefer Blogger I went with 'Things: Bright & Shiny' in the end.

For all my professional activity I used to use two different emails but I have now consolidated twitter, linkedin, this blog, my rss feeds under one email. Google may get a lot of flack but it's very handy to have everything going to the same silo. The harder part was finding a photo that I liked. I have chosen an image rather than a photo of me or a logo. While I realise that it's probably better to use a photo of me rather than a landscape shot I actually prefer the landscape shot. Finding a photo of oneself that where I look normal is reasonably difficult; the chances that my eyes are closed or my hair is blowing in the wind are high, whereas I know my landscape shots and I think the photo I've chosen fits in well with the title of this blog.

As I was updating the email address and the photo I also chose to update the username that I have, or at least to update it for professional use. Previously I had used one that I'd created in the wake of a holiday, however it didn't showcase my interests or the area I'm in. I messed around with various words trying to create a suitable username but if it worked on one tool (blog) it didn't on the next (twitter). Finally I chose 'walkerabroad.' Incidentally this was the name of my first blog so when I googled the username the blog was what turned up in the search results. So I deactivated the blog. The username I think reflects who I am in that I'm walking in all areas: technology, libraries, a variety of specialities within the library world and of course what I'm interested in when I don't have my library hat on: walking, crime and sf books, my kindle!!!

Am I a salesman? It's not part of my temperament so I very much need to work that little bit harder at making my presence known. Of course it would help if I didn't try something and then stopped. This is what happened for the original 23 Things. I started a blog and then stopped on Thing 5. I've never returned to complete that blog but even though some of those things may no longer be relevant or may be prevalent now in 2012 I should be able to say that this is done.

Should I get business cards? If I do I could place my chosen photo on the card. If I do would I use my institutional email address or my gmail one?

I'm trying to compartmentalise my professional and personal life. Previously I'd used facebook for everything. Now I'm trying to add my professional groups and networks to linkedin. I'll leave the current groups and networks that I have on facebook for the moment but I won't add any more on. 

To Google myself or not to Google myself?  This may sound a little crazy but I actually Google myself on a regular basis. I'm not saying I do it once a week or that I'm paranoid (should I even by typing this out??) but I think it's good to know on which networks I'm visible and if they're still relevant. About 6 months ago I did this exercise and I found results relating to myspace and other social networks which died a social death quite some time ago. I never realised that I'm on so many platforms.

My name isn't hugely common so it's possible to get relevant results for name alone. When I Google "my name" as a phrase the first results that related to me were for However I was 13th on this list. the next result was and I was first on that. The results also show my old twitter username which was changed yesterday. I wonder how long it will stay in Google results and when my new twitter username will show up. Recently I'd a discussion on facebook with other students on my library course about the benefits of linkedin or In the wake of the discussion I created yet another profile which I now realise has to be updated to create a consistent image of me. Oddly enough the contact details for my institution don't show up at all.

If I Google the following: "my name" + library again the results show first the linkedin results, the profile and the old twitter account. The only work related one is from an old library news bulletin from when I first started in the library. My institution contact details are on page 2 of the results. Is this because there is no picture attached to the contact details, whereas all the other results do.

If I Google the following: "my name + my location I get different results. There is a listing of the library staff who speak various languages and where they are based. This is for the benefit of international students. I am also listed on another person's page. Lastly a result shows my participation in a conference based in the university from 2005.

I was surprised that my contact details for my institution didn't ramk higher but Google changes its page ranking system so frequently. Still...

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Thing 1: Blogs & Blogging Part 2

Once I'd read the first post I went onto Ned Potter's Workshop Booklet on Blogging. I worked my way through the booklet. I was a little annoyed that so much was designed for wordpress as opposed to any other blogging platform. I've used both but for ease of use Blogger is very straight-forward.

I added a number of widgets on to the blog so I can track how many views etc I've received and so I can redirect my many many readers to my twitter account.

I've already been following a number of library bloggers such as Stephen Abram. How much must he read and where does he get his information from?

Thing 2: Investigating Blogs

From the delicious bookmarks I can see the range of people who've signed up to do cpd 23 things and what a variety of areas they work in. Quite a few people are just as apprehensive as I am about maintaining the level of commitment over the weeks. This I know is also true for writing a dissertation in that you don't want to take your foot off the pedal, though it is inevitable.

I posted on deeslibraryramblings' space. Like me, she started a bit late but I find you get into the swing of it quite easily.

Adventures in the library: Emily is a library assistant like me and she's also interested in murder mysteries. It's funny really how many people who work in libraries are into murder mysteries. There's an unofficial book club at work and we pass around books and tips on Nordic crime fiction in particular.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Thing 1: Blogs & Blogging

This is my first post for Things: Bright & Shiny. I've started doing this blog for 23 Things for Professional Development.

At the present I'm working on a dissertation as part of an MSc in ILs so with luck this will aid that. The area I'm writing on is emerging technologies (hence the bright and shiny things), how and when they're implemented and what the implications thereof are.

Prior to working in a library I was teaching in secondary schools and doing TEFL. The increasing presence of instruction in a librarian's workload attracted me to library work. I've worked in an academic library now for nearly 6 years. Four years ago I started doing the MSc through distance learning with Aberystwyth and it's taken longer than expected to get this far. Life has a nasty habit of getting in the way.

I've worked in Customer Services full-time and part-time. Just over two years ago I started working part-time in Special Collections and part-time in Customer Services. Then I had one week in Inter-Library Loans and currently I work part-time in Customer Services and part-time in the Health Sciences branch library.

It's frustrating at the present that there aren't as many posts at professional level and there's an embargo on recruitment in the public sector in Ireland.  I'm hoping that by expanding my skillset and doing external projects such as What's the Score with the Bodleian that I'll be more future ready than I am now.