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« BFTP: First world educational problems | Main | The virtual walker »
Friday
Jan192018

When is it time to actually read the manual?

I participated in a Twitter Chat last Tuesday morning. Actually at 1AM on Tuesday morning. It was a follow-up to workshops I gave for the NearEast/SouthAsia organization in Bahrain last fall, a group of librarians and technology integrationists discussing how we could make our respective roles more complementary and collaborative. 

It was a good experience, despite the time zone adjustment I needed to make. The organizers were well prepared with questions and hashtags and a timeline that kept the "conversation" flowing.

Twitter Chats generally disturb my preferred linear communication process. Side conversations, late replies, shared links to interesting resources, and sometimes puzzling comments make me feel like I am in a room with everyone talking at once and I want to shout "Please raise your hand if you wish to speak." But then, I am admittedly old school.

One realization that I had as a result of the conversation is that I wish I knew how to use Twitter a lot better. I did not take a course or read a book on its use, but "learned by doing" in a sort of half-assed way.

For some reason, I've not seriously looked at learning any social media tool - Facebook or LinkedIn or Goodreads - in a formal way. I often tend to seek help after the fact as I did this week, reading a pretty good post called "Twitter Chats 101" and read the occasional article like "5 Facebook Privacy Setting You Should Check."

I am going to attempt to redeem myself and do a bit more formal study of LinkedIn. I've had a pretty much unused account for a long time, but as retirement approaches in a couple years, I may find the site useful in finding ways to make myself useful to others. So I am reading LinkedIn for Dummies. So far, so good.

There are, of course, both advantages and disadvantages to informal learning, but I wonder when it come to technology, we have not steered too far in the direction of learning on an as-needed basis - and we aren't always very good at recognizing our needs.

Maybe it is time to start reading the manual.

 

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Reader Comments (3)

Don't do Linkedin, don't do Facebook, don't do Twitter chats. But I think there are many ways to use and interact with social media. Everyone needs to find their own level of use/comfort with these things. I'll be curious to hear what you learn about LinkedIn. It's always seemed a little Ponzi-schemish and intrusive to me. I haven't used it in years but still get the odd request. I should probably figure out how to delete my account.

I do like keeping my list of books read and sometimes finding new books to read on Goodreads.

January 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJim

Hi Jim,

I do some of a variety of social media, all for different reasons. I use Facebook to keep in touch with family and close friends (I stopped following George Takei which as saved me an hour a day of reading nonsense). I like Twitter and Feedly for links to professional readings and blogs. And of course Goodreads. The key, for me, is to keep you circle of "friends" small. LinkedIn I will use a job search tool after retirement.

Doug

January 22, 2018 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

Hi Jim,

I do some of a variety of social media, all for different reasons. I use Facebook to keep in touch with family and close friends (I stopped following George Takei which as saved me an hour a day of reading nonsense). I like Twitter and Feedly for links to professional readings and blogs. And of course Goodreads. The key, for me, is to keep you circle of "friends" small. LinkedIn I will use a job search tool after retirement.

Doug

January 22, 2018 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

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