Communication Tools

(AKA Week 2 Reflection)

This week in our PLN exploration we were asked to try Twitter, Facebook and Skype. So I thought to myself, “Too easy. I’ve done all this before.”

Wrong. I’d barely scratched the surface of what these tools can do for communication.

Twitter: I used to be passive, just following a few friends and interesting celebrities. Now I’ve put that account away in the bottom drawer, and set up @Infobrarian, where I try to be a bit more conversational. Now I see Twitter as part of my librarian toolkit.

Facebook: This used to be strictly for keeping in touch with family and old friends. Now I’m using it to talk to the VicPLN participants. That’s a bit confronting, because I can’t hide behind an alias – my Facebook account is in my real name, has my real photos, and worse still, has me tagged in lots of my friends’ old embarrassing photos. Maybe I should set up a professional account here, too, although Facebook doesn’t really like you having more than one.

Skype: I loved using Skype when I was revising for exams last year. I had a fantastic study partner in another state, and we used Skype and Dropbox to share summaries and revision. After the first couple of sessions, once we were sure neither of us was Hannibal Lector, we didn’t bother with video, and just used audio – or mostly text chat.

Some people probably like the immediacy of Skype, but I prefer to think about my responses when I am discussing “deeper” topics. So yes, my brain is a bit too slow for Skype …







Location, location, location

I’m trying to decide where to put things on this blog.

From what I can work out, most bloggers write a new post on their main page, or in the dashboard, and send it to their main page. They allocate it to one or more categories – then the post appears at the TOP of their blog, and on the top of any Category page.

That’s how it works in my school library:

Main page – gets every new post at the top

Books  – gets any new post labeled as “Books”

Technology – gets any new post labeled as “Technology”

Competitions – gets any new post labeled as “Competitions”

If I assign a new post to both Books and Technology, it will appear at the top of:

1. Main page      2. Books           3. Technology

Pages can be made a “sticky” – they stay at the top of their page, and new posts appear second in the list of posts.  We make “Recent Arrivals” a sticky for about a week.

I’d like to run this blog differently. I’d like my blog posts to appear only on the main page. On the About page, I put things about me (all those personal reflections from the first activity we did). On Ideas, I’ve got all my great ideas for blogging and using Web 2.0 tools. Umm  – it’s empty now, and might be for a while!

Is this the right way to operate a blog? Am I trying to make it more like a website? What is the right location for everything on a blog? Does it matter? Will I just confuse my readership? Do I have any readers?