I have been using both Twitter and RSS feeds for about a year now, and I honestly don’t know how I would manage without them! Twitter in particular is brilliant for keeping up to date with current issues to do with libraries and education. My Twitter network consists mainly of librarians and news providers such as Times Higher Education, which means that every day I receive new links to interesting articles and I gain an insight into the topics that other librarians are discussing right now.
Twitter has done wonders for increasing my professional awareness, and it has also given me a sense of connection to my peers that I didn’t have before. Thanks to my growing network of fellow library people on Twitter, I feel much more like an active member of my profession and this has increased my motivation for getting involved in library-related projects outside of my day job.
I think that having a sense of connection to other people within your profession can be really important, particularly for those just starting out in libraries and also for those lone librarians who often work in isolation. It can be easy to get de-motivated at work without a group of library peers to engage and exchange ideas with, and this is exactly what Twitter can provide.
Many of the people on Twitter who I follow also write blogs; however, I find that tweets about new blog posts can often get lost in my Twitter stream if I don’t check it regularly. This is why I keep track of any new blog entries using RSS feeds and Google Reader. I find it endlessly convenient that all my reading material is forwarded directly to my feed reader where I can sift through it at my leisure.
I also use Google Reader to subscribe to job feeds and this has saved me hours of time spent trekking to various different employment websites and performing identical searches. Now I get my own personalised job adverts delivered to me for free every day, which is awesome 🙂
So, the only thing on this week’s list that I haven’t tried before is Pushnote. Pushnote is a new application (it is still in beta) which enables you to rate and make comments on any website without having to register or sign in. One thing that initially worries me about this is the potential for spam comments. At the moment there doesn’t appear to be any way to moderate spam comments left on websites via Pushnote, which could be quite frustrating for website or blog owners. However, only people who have installed the Pushnote plugin can actually view any Pushnote comments, which may limit the visibility of such spam while Pushnote is still relatively new.
I have to be honest – while Twitter and RSS feeds became almost immediately indispensable to me as soon as I started using them, I can’t see the same thing happening with Pushnote. I can see that it might be useful for websites which don’t already allow commenting, and I do like the fact that the people I follow can recommend useful websites to me. However, as I’ve already mentioned, I do receive a lot of useful links via Twitter already, so I’m not certain that Pushnote has anything new to offer me in that respect. I shall persevere with it though and see how it develops after beta testing has finished – sometimes it takes a while for new technologies to grow on me 🙂