Saturday, July 28, 2012

Defined by the technology I use

Photo courtesy of

What Kevin Kelly (2009) says about ethnic technology resonates with me and perhaps explains my behaviour. He examines examples where primitive cultures do not adopt technologies at the same time, at the same rate even then they live in close proximity to each other, even though these technologies may be more efficient that what is being used.
“ Technologies have a social dimension beyond their mere mechanical performance.  We adopt new technologies largely because of what they do for us, but also in part because of what they mean to us. Often we refuse to adopt technology for the same reason: because of how the avoidance reinforces, or crafts our identity”(Kelly, 2009 para.8). I can imagine that in some of the examples that Kelly gives of they types of traps that are set, that not using a specific type, even if effective, is a statement of identity. It is them that use that type, not us.
He goes on to suggest that,“in the modernized west, our decisions about technology are not made by the group, but by individuals. We choose what we want to adopt, and what we don’t. So on top of the ethnic choice of technologies a community endorses, we must add the individual layer of preference. We announce our identity by what stuff we use or refuse”(Kelly, 2009 para.10). This is so true. My use or non-use of technology helps define who I am.
  • I am a Linux user, mainly because of my partner's influence on me. I don't use Microsoft or Apple products, although a times it can be more difficult to avoid these.
  • I don't have a mobile phone. This is a choice as I don't want to be in contact with people all of the time. I like having times that I am not contactable. And sometime it would be nice to contact my husband when he goes shopping to add something extra to the shopping list, however I have to rely on my powers of telepathy and try and let him know what I have forgotten off the list :)
  • I have an e-reader, as it is practical for me as a prolific reader to be able to load multiple books onto a devise. However more than likely I read a pbook (print book) as I like the experience of reading a book, the smell of paper, and the sharing of reading experiences on trains where people can see what you are reading by the cover.
  • I don't have TV. Well, this is not technically true, we have a TV (not a flatscreen), but we don't tune it, and just use it to watch DVD. However with the Olympic Games about to begin, I may get a set top box just to get into the Aussie spirit.
  • I love my computer and that it gives my access to the online world. I  have a laptop that I can take places with me, so I can connect anywhere. The first thing I do in the morning is to check my emails and my social networking sites, particularly Facebook to see what has been happening overnight. It is also the first thing I do when I come home from anywhere, and I check in multiple times during the day.
  • I sent emails, but I love letters. Some days I can't wait for the postman to come, even though most of our snail mail is bills and impersonal letters. The experience of walking the short distance to the mailbox, in the hope that there is that golden gem of personal mail, is like walking on sunshine.

I use the technology that is useful to me, that I enjoy, and that feels comfortable and works for me. I select which technology I want, when I want it, and how I want it. I am a selective adopter of technology.

Kelly, Kevin. (2009) Ethnic technology. Retrieved from

Monday, July 23, 2012

Delving into Pinterest

I mentioned in my earlier post some of the social media sites that I use. Some of the sites that I use I don't feel that I use effectively.  For example Pinterest contains photos of images I like, and craft ideas.  These are images that I have found myself on the internet. I haven't 'repinned' anyone's images.  I may as well just have a file on my computer with these images as I am treating Pinterest as a storage area.
So this week I am going to make more of an effort to developed my networks, following people I know and repinning images to delve into the social networks of Pinterest.
ADDITION: August 28, 2012
I began using Pinterest in 2011 after an invite from a friend who was using it. It was a very visually appealing so I thought I would join up. I was one of those people who was always saving images from the internet on to my computer but this seemed like a really easy way to do it. I could see images that other people had pinned and if I liked it I could repin it. I started up two boards one for food and one for craft and happily repinned people's pins, and I found friends that were using Pinterest and followed them and in turn they followed me. After a few weeks of doing this, I realised that I didn't just have to repin other people's pins but I could find an image on the website and pin it myself using a bookmarklet called “pin it”. This added a whole new dimension to my pinning, now I was 'surfing the net' and pinning.
Starting this subject made me look more closely and my now favourite social networking site, and I discovered that it is actually a bookmarking site!!! I had no idea, I was just adding pretty pictures! It made me wonder how many others don't realize that when you pin an image that image is associated with a URL which directs you to the website that the image came from.
This knowledge changed my use of Pinterest and a further post will document the result and how I think libraries may be able to use Pinterest.  

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Facebook is the new MySpace

I have been reading a report to the OCLC on people's use use of the internet and what has stuck out for me is that how quickly things can change in social media. The report was written in 2007 while MySpace was "THE" social networking site. Then in 2008 Facebook overtook MySpace. Now, according to Alexia Facebook is ranked 2nd in Alexia's top sites and MySpace is 164 (according to traffic rank).
It makes me realize how important it is to have the most up-to-date information on websites before deciding which sites to use professionally. Based on the 2007 MySpace would be where libraries would go to meet the most users, but in the space of a year all that changed. Of course, the largest audience is not the only basis for for evaluating a site, but having an on-line presence where people already are, is important.

Friday, July 13, 2012

My Social Networking World

This is my first blog for a new and exciting subject that I am doing as part of my Master of Information studies at Charles Sturt University . I am not new to the social networking world as I have been addicted to Facebook for a while now.  I have joined up to some social networking sites however many I haven't really used.

So....what is social networking 

Social networking is an on-line digital space where people can connect with others who share commonality.  This commonality may be because of geographic location, interests or shared histories.  It allows for enhancing existing relationships, renewing old relationships and creating new relationships.  It is facilitated by on-line platforms which use multiple media such as texts, images, audio and video.  Users can interact via journaling (blogging), texting, messaging, sharing, live chat (both text and voiced), and video.
Social networking sites use different media, such as Flickr for photos or Youtube for video.  They also attract different audiences such as Ravelry for crafty people. Experiences are greatly enhanced in these sites when connections, sharing and networking options are used effectively.

Social Networking technologies and sites I already use

Facebook - for connecting with existing friends and reconnecting with old ones.
Pinterest - collecting images that I like from the internet - mostly as a storage for craft ideas and I rarely repin any images from others.
Blogger - I started to blog about books I had read in 2011.   It had a two fold purpose - I have a hopeless memory for books so I wanted a summary of the books that I really likes.  And I thought other people may be interested in what I had to say about books. It is rather haphazard I am afraid and this year have hardly posted anything.
Goodreads - Found this site this year as I wanted to keep track of the books that I have read and want to read (no more bits of paper with lists of recommendations) I also challenged myself to read   54 books this year. Have found it fun as some of my reading friends also use it and we can chat about books and make recommendations about what to read next.
Youtube - I would probably watch something on youtube everyday.  I have an account but only so I could subscribe to my 6 year olds son's minecraft videos.
Google+ - I was an early subscriber to this site, however since most of my networks are on Facebook by Google+ profile is very neglected.
Wikipedia - I use wikipedia regularly for fact finding information and also have contributed content to pages
Wikis - we have used these at work to allow staff to give feedback about different aspects of the library when we were introducing a new Library Management System.
Delicious - The library I work at has a delicious page which bookmarks useful sites for helping with information queries,  and children's services resources. However few library staff actually use it.  I have used it a handful of times when it first began.
Blogger - I have used this as a presentation for an assessment of a university subject.
Google docs - Although not strictly categorized as social networking but can be used to create and share information.  We certainly created content together for a group assignment but we also used the chat function to discuss both academic and personal topics.

What I expect to learn from completing INF506

  1. To become more familiar with social networking technologies and sites.
  2. How to use these technologies effectively in a library setting to help in:
  • marketing and promoting the library,
  • enhancing users experiences of the library, and
  • facilitating staff work-flow and relationships
     3. To develop skills that enable me to work in a Web 2.0 environment, to              become Librarian 2.0

A recent marketing strategy report for the library I work at recommended that the use of social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook would not be useful for the library. However I have seen evidence of public libraries using these tools effectively and I would like to learn how this is done, so that I came make an argument to the library to consider these tools.