Monday, 31 May 2010

OK, down to business. Thing 3: blogs

It says "Write something here about what you hope to get out of Cam 23 and your previous experience of Web 2.0 and social media."

What I hope to get out of Cam23 is a proficiency in the use of tools I have up to now dabbled with, in hopes of making myself a bit more useful. As to my previous experience of those things (shown in cam23 order, and not shown at all if my experience is zero):


I appear to have got up an iGoogle page at some point in the last couple of years, and have, for cam23, put more stuff into it and made it my homepage.


I have since last autumn used RSS in connection with Twitter -- an RSS feed on an advance Twitter search tells me whenever anyone tweets the words Haddon, archaeology, anthropology, arch or anth within 15 miles of Cambridge. But I must admit I've never really found the swing of RSS feeds in general, or seen why going to a bookmarked RSS feed is meant to be less bother than going to a bookmarked web page. Perhaps I will know better by the end of cam23.


I have been writing the Haddon Library's blog since the summer of 2007, but that's in space from the Computer Officer. I did acquire some LiveJournal space by having my say on a story in the Independent in February 2009, but I've made no further use of LiveJournal.


I use this regularly to schedule meetings, and have tried to use it as a substitute for meetings. But the groups concerned have not always been willing to join in.

Google Calendar

My brother set up a Google calendar two years ago to co-ordinate family visits to parents. I'd been using since 2006, but that was taken down last month. I am now using Google with everyone else.


I joined Twitter in April 2009 and started tweeting in earnest a couple of months later. My tweets are of two kinds, in general: responses to other people's tweets and announcements of things that are inherently public. I keep my enthusiasm for Twitter under control by the rule that I don't look at it during working hours if anything is in my email inbox. I also use Twitter (see above, under RSS feeds) in hopes of hearing what people are saying about the Haddon. So far, be it admitted, I haven't heard very much that way.


I have a few photos on Flickr. I very rarely take photos myself, but I have had more experience of uploading pictures elsewhere. My wife Clare and I use her photos in e-cards.


An excellent displacement activity, when I am stuck on minutes or a heavy memo, is to throw what I've got so far into Wordle and see what comes out.


I have not put anything on to Slideshare, but I have occasionally viewed presentations on it by speakers I've been to hear in person.


This is a new enthusiasm of mine. Saving web resources to my Delicious account, and being able to call them up on any computer, is better than downloading them to one machine and then having to recall the URL on another machine, or copy the downloaded resources on to a data stick with all its vulnerabilities. Though I can see, after the Mosuki sadness, that I need to be a bit better prepared for Delicious to crash, or go down.


I have been using this for about a year to catalogue our books at home -- specifically, to catalogue our music scores.


I'm writing on what some have designated as Quit Facebook Day. I don't see myself taking that step, partly because my interest in Facebook has declined as my enthusiasm for Twitter has grown. My usual metaphors for the difference between the two are these: that if Facebook fits its 'walled garden' soubriquet, then Twitter is more like seed on the wind, as per Cory Doctorow; and that Facebook is like a holiday camp while Twitter is like a cycling tour.


I have used this in preparation for an Alumni Weekend presentation. I expected the wrong things -- starting with a hope that it would function like Delicious or Google Docs and not need carting from machine to machine -- and maybe cam23 will let me see more point to it, or to its rival Mendeley.

Google Docs

These are another thing that I was introduced to my my brother, who got up a document for the discussion of certain shared concerns. Clare & I keep our Christmas cards list on it now.


I have occasionally followed links to videos on YouTube. I have not, so far, made much use of it as a resource to be deliberately explored, though this evening I made a desultory YouTube search for llamas, in hopes of adding their vocalisations to the animal sounds I can mimic.


I have not explored wikis much beyond Wikipedia itself. On Wikipedia, I have made a few tiny corrections, a bit like annotating the programme during a concert interval, to Wikipedia entries -- see those for Gringley-on-the-Hill, Michael Drayton, open secret, and Polesworth.

That's my experience up to now. I will do the reading for thing 3, & register this blog as part of thing 4, later in the week.

First post on Blurtmetry

This is the blog I am getting up by way of following the 23things programme. I have been writing the Haddon Library's blog for a couple of years now, but Blurtmetry is my personal blog, the first I have created from scratch. Lisa Jeskins' blog last week recorded a similar transition.

I expect to use the blog more or less exclusively for 23things business at first, but I have toyed with the idea of blogging in other directions for some time. Perhaps I will take to it as enthusiastically as I have taken to Twitter.

The name of this blog -- Blurtmetry -- is that of a hobby I invented and then abandoned. Blurtmetry is the counting of blurts, those fragmentary utterances, unconnected with their immediate circumstances, that are triggered by the memory of gaffes and peccadilloes. In my life pretty well every waking moment is a jangle of such memories, and from June 2006 to August 2009 I wore a swimmer's lapcounter in order to count the resulting blurts. I called that piece of kit my blurtmeter, and noted the tallies in my diary every night; some day I might yet complete the spreadsheet transcription of diary with blurts tallies, and see if any sort of pattern emerges.

But such a wannabe Ignobel project had better wait until after the end of 23things. If I persist with blogging beyond 23things, then cod research of that kind will be one possible topic for it.