Found again?

A funny thing happened on the way to attempting to write the blog post today, I reconnected with my creative writing muse who has been absent for this past decade.  I believe she was stifled at first by the living of life, and then by the research papers I’d written over the past few years in college.  Graduate school had killed her altogether, or so I thought, but to my delight she has resurfaced.  This is such a relief especially as I have been able to produce only a very little content for this blog lately.

I have been writing stories for as long as I can remember. Even before I could write I made up stories in my head.  Before I was old enough to read myself to sleep with a book I was telling myself fantastic stories I would fall asleep to.

I wrote a lot in my first twenty years.  I didn’t care if it was good or bad, there was just something about putting words down on paper that was satisfying.  Watching the world in my head evolve in word fashion.  I attempted several novels but didn’t finish them.  I also wrote really horrible poetry, horrible because I kept on trying to force my words into what I thought a poem should look like.  I had more luck with the short story but wasn’t interested in that format because I wanted to be a novelist (even though I couldn’t finish a novel, go figure, right?).  The formula that goes into crafting a novel would begin to bore me and I rebelled against it.  Which is kind of amusing because I was forced to embrace the formula once I reached college.

So where does that leave me today?  I have learned to write the formula but I still despise it.  It feels so confining.  I want my words to go where they want to go.  So I turn to my blog which of course is the place for a person’s self indulgent words. The blog is a way to put ourselves out there with a message, whether that message might be something to inspire and call others to action, or simply a way of saying “I was here.”  That’s the wonderful power of the online world, the freedom it gives us to share a little piece of ourselves with numerous unknown others.  Of course it has its not so savory side but that’s like the rest of the world and life, isn’t it?

I’m going to start experimenting to get my creativeness going again.  As a consequence this blog will be going off track but I guess I’m not too worried about that.  I’m just hoping to reconnect with something I thought I had lost.

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About not keeping all of your data in one cloud

As anybody who has Google Reader knows, Google is discontinuing its RSS reader on July 1st of this year.   After reading the outrage of the other bloggers that I follow I suppose it’s a bit redundant of me to whine about it too, but seriously, first they axe iGoogle (which I really liked as a dashboard) and now this.  I wonder how much time and sweat I should invest in any other, or future, Google products. 

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I started using Google Reader in my undergrad years, dabbling in it, following only a handful of cooking and how-to blogs.  It wasn’t until my library school years that I fully harnessed the power of Really Simple Syndication.  First I followed because I had to, but soon reading the feed pouring in from my subscriptions became a couple times a day habit.  My reader was constantly running at “All items (1000+) which I find totally insane because who can read 1000+ posts?  Even crazier is that with every subscription that I excised, I seemed to replace it with two more.

Funny that just recently I was complaining that I spend way too much time in my reader, pursuing that endless quest to keep the number under 1000.

The reality is that the shelf life of many web applications might be expected to be pretty short, especially if you’re talking about the free ones.  The ones that might have a better chance at survival have pay versions that give you full access to special features. 

Another reality is that many of the web applications that we devote so much time to are vulnerable to the theft or loss of data. Interesting that while we are told that anything that we put out on the internet is there forever, this same forever information can easily escape our grasp.  Until individuals can host their own cloud content I don’t see that there’s much you can do except to back up your data in multiple places.

Perhaps I have become too enthralled by the shininess of free online things, especially if it makes me feel so disappointed when they are gone.  I enjoy figuring these new applications out, though, and I can’t count how many I have tried and discarded over the past few years.  I almost have myself convinced that this is a valid hobby.

I suppose the moral of this story is:  don’t keep all of your data in one cloud basket.   Or at least if you do, don’t complain about losing something you weren’t paying for anyway.

 

Now…on to find that reader replacement…………..>

Back in the Saddle (or how long will she keep contributing to this blog)

It’s been quite a while since I’ve blogged and now that I feel more settled in my new job at the library I have been thinking about getting back into it.  The problem is that I don’t know what I want to write about now that I no longer have to.  I created this blog to fulfill a couple of class requirements and it also contains posts that I created on a group blog and didn’t want to part with.  So if you go back and read prior posts you will find a lot of library related stuff, most of it relating to social software types of things. 

Not to say that social software types of things don’t interest me because they do.  I find it interesting  how people congregate in these online spaces, how they use online tools to play and to enrich their lives, or waste their time (as I think that the use of the online world can be abused much like any other addictive type activity we humans partake in).

I suppose I could change the name of my blog but it has kind of grown on me.  I mean, I am now a librarian, and I am always wondering about something.  This makes me think that I should write about those things that I wonder about, things that I question, things that may seem random but make a whole lot of sense to me.

And as there are probably a total of two or possibly three people reading this I guess it doesn’t matter anyway.  😀

 

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Nez Perce National Historical Park, NEPE 8896 retrieved from Wikimedia Commons, under a Public Domain license.

 

Sharing

The following is titled “Sharing” and is from one of my favorite comics, xkcd

Call me cheap (or maybe starving student) but I do like my free stuff and I really like my free technology.  Part of this probably comes from growing up in an environment where I did not own much but I was able to borrow a lot from my local public library.  Or I would exchange books with a select group of friends who enjoyed reading the same things that I did. Once I grew older and had my own money to spend I still liked to borrow from my local public library but this borrowing was used more as a method to try out new authors and genres, and those books that I enjoyed reading I would then buy at my local bookstore.

For libraries and librarians, navigating all of the technological products out there while trying to balance a cutting edge presence with cost must be challenging.  And for those librarians whose focus is on instruction, this is even more the case.  Integrating technology into training requires one to keep current with what is new and popular, while not ignoring that which already works.  New and popular familiarizes an instructor with what the learner might already be using, but also might help those learners who are unaware of a new tool they might benefit from.  On the other hand the instructor should not lose sight of what already works because that might be the best thing to use for a particular task.

One trend that I find fascinating is opencourseware which on the scale of free things ranks a 10+.

And for anybody interested in learning a new language

References

Booth, C.  (2011).  Reflective teaching, effective learning.  Chicago:  2011.  Kindle edition.

Absent but not

My blog has been pretty quiet lately because I’ve been blogging on another platform for a class requirement.  I’m going to start moving some of those posts over here because I’m not sure what’s going to happen to the content of the other blog once semester ends.

So I have been busy writing…but just not here 🙂