Under ‘gather’, Meg presented/demonstrated RSS, Google Reader, NetVibes and browser add-ons (Amplify
and Read It Later
). Then, under ‘store’, Ange took the class to the cloud with the assistance of Frank the Dog (see video on the Prezi).
Demos of Dropbox, Google Docs and Evernote followed, before she made a distinction between what she termed grown-up blogging ‘like what I do’ and alternative blogging ‘like what she does’ and the benefits of team blogging on Posterous and casual or social blogging on tumblr.
Ange had set up a Posterous blog especially for the session, to which Meg and I also posted, containing relevant links and resources including the ubiqitous Socialnomics video (ubiquitous to us librarians but not PhDs we figured) as a ‘takeaway’. This newborn blog is just a tad more useful than the ‘old school’ printed handout and it actually took us much less time to create! If you haven’t tried posterous yet I urge you to.
I then took to the floor and explained (ahem) grown-up blogging, challenging the common criticisms levelled at the activity and defending its value in getting one writing, thinking and connecting. I moved on to champion twitter, dispelling lazy media myths about its worthlessness and detailing how it can be put to invaluable professional use. This is where my lovely twitter followers came into their own with their views – a feature of the session that the class really responded to.
After brief mentions of LinkedIn – alerting them to the Groups and Discussions – and Academia.edu (as Meg likes to call it: “Facebook for researchers”) (our 1.5hrs was nearly up) I asked the class about their online identity and nicked from Ned the idea of trying out Personas to see how the web currently represents them.
Although there was little time left for questions, it was clear that the session had gone down well with the audience with several leaving enthusiastic about the possibilities and aware that this was indeed stuff with which library staff could help.
It may not have been the most overly-prepared session I’ve ever co-presented but as we moved between the prezi, the new posterous blog we’d created, add-ons, Google Reader, Dropbox and Twitter the class undeniably connected with the concept and appeared to realise just how relevant social media could be to their research.