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Tumblr: what & why

Posted: March 6th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: blogging, other loves, tumblr | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

BREAKING NEWS: I’m using Tumblr, and I like it!

In case you missed the memo, Tumblr is a very cool, short-form blogging platform that is clean and super-easy to use. Tumblr is another form of microblogging; the current giant being Twitter. People share photos, music, links, videos, thoughts, quotes, short text, ANYTHING with minimal effort. Like ‘blog’ is a short-form of weblog, this type of (micro-)blogging gets its name from tumblelog. Positioned nicely between Twitter and longer-form blogging platforms like WordPress or Blogger, Tumblr is fast and simple push-button publishing, with a focus on looking schmick. Many (most?) Tumblrs have ‘tumblr.com’ in the address, but some people self-host and choose the URL. Just like many websites use blogging software and self-host to create their own domain. Also a social network, Tumblr users (Tumblers? Tumblees? Tumblfolk?) connect and follow each other’s posts, and reblog and like (favourite) posts. Reblogging is prolific on Tumblr; sharing is caring and all that. Some may feel Tumblr is too littered with reposts, that it is lacking original content. However, if that’s how people want to use it, I see no problem with that. There definitely is original content in amongst the reblogs. Perhaps as a reaction to the negative ‘reblogging’ tag, the fun people at Tumblr bring you REBLORG, the home of original content only: http://reblorg.com/about. To my mind, using Tumblr is like any 2.0-ish ‘thing;’ you make it work for you, how you want it to, and no, it won’t be for everyone. I like the following description from Tackling Tumblr : web publishing made simple by Thord Daniel Hedengren.

Tumblr is a hybrid service- part blogging, part microblogging, and a social network to boot. Not a very definite description, is it? The thing with Tumblr is that it really becomes what you make of it. It’s not just about understanding how the Tumblr service works, but also how you can use if for your own needs. (p. 6)

Given I mainly focus on libraries and learning here on dpgreen.net, I am using Tumblr to share my other loves. So in a moment of super-name-coming-up-with-ness, I’ve titled my Tumblr:
My Tumblr tagline reads:

Here lie the other loves of David Green AKA dpgreen. Expect music, art, theatre, photos, & GeeBee. Libraries, learning, books & reading will surface too.

You can check it out over here: http://dpgreen.tumblr.com/

There is a thriving art community on Tumblr. Gaming people and comic fans and creators too. You can follow folks with font fetishes, and literature enthusiasts. Design absolutely suits this platform, and of course tech is popular too. Oh and music, and music, and more music. You should find whatever you’re after, with hi-res photos adding to the goodness and the glossiness.

My current fave Tumblrs are:

I do have some fave library Tumblrs too (SURPRISE!) and I’ll mention those soon in my next post: Tumblr pt. 2.

Do you use Tumblr? Please leave me your Tumblr link in the comments, &/or recommend your favourite Tumblrs :)

—-

p.s. This post has been a draft for a long while. Special thanks to Kate Tkacik for her excellent piece which reignited my spark, and prompted me to finish and publish it :)


Brand me dot com

Posted: July 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: blogging, marketing, professional development | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

I am   s l o w l y   doing this fab professional development course called CPD23. You may recall I started last year but didn’t finish because, well, work, life and stuff got busy, and oh yeah, WE HAD A BABY! So this year I’m doing the Things I missed out on. I blogged about Things 1 and 2 here. Last year I wrote about Thing 3, Online Presence here: (br)And introducing… dpgreen! Since last year I haven’t consciously altered my ‘brand’ in any way, instead I’ve aimed to keep it consistent across social media platforms and other online haunts.

In thinking about this short post, I have decided I want to tweak the wording on my social media profiles to include “proud Dad.”  Also, I’m planning to re-write the About page on this blog. I think I am doing myself – my brand – a disservice by pledging to blog about topics that I haven’t written about yet. It is not that I particularly care that I haven’t blogged about every topic from my About page yet. Rather, I want to be careful not to be guilty of false advertising. For I know whenever I check out someone new to me in the blogosphere or twittersphere, the first thing I do is read their about page, or profile. This is a MAJOR factor in my, let’s be honest, lightning fast decision of whether I want to follow them or subscribe to their RSS feed. If someone’s About pledge and profile doesn’t match their blog or twitter stream content, then I’m far less likely to engage with them. So, I figure the same must be true for my profile and what I claim to ‘be about’. Perhaps people read my about page, and are wondering where the missing content is.

What about you? Do you read profiles and about pages? How do you feel when the claim and the content differ?

 

National Tobacco Company Ltd :It’s toasted. No other brands are genuine; refuse all imitations. Riverhead Gold navy cut no. 3, cut plug no. 10, Cavendish mixture. The only toasted tobacco on the New Zealand market. No cough, no bite; does not injure heart by National Library NZ on The Commons on Flickr.


Take 2! Continuing 23 Things for Professional Development Course

Posted: May 8th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: blogging, learning, professional development | Tags: , , | 8 Comments »

Last year I began an excellent online learning course known as CPD23. Based on Helene Blower’s original and much re-mixed Learning 2.0 – 23 Things program, this course is an excellent tool for learners from Libraryland, and further afield. I didn’t finish last year but I did make some great twitter contacts and I certainly enjoyed the networking and learning that I did do. This year I hope to complete the things I missed, and time permitting, I may blog again about those I’ve already explored. I’m excited and thankful the CPD23 crew are restarting the course for those of us who didn’t complete the course last year, and for all new learners!

If you’re interested in joining the fun and learning, check out the official site here; the 23 Things are listed here. For 2012, the CPD23 crew have decided to slow down the pace a little, for which I am grateful :)

Thing 1 asks participants to create a blog and have a play. Done! We are also asked to contemplate what we hope to get from the course. I’m looking forward to:

  • gaining new knowledge
    • online tools for learning, presenting, storing and sharing
    • social media ‘things’ I am yet to play with
    • advocacy
    • lifelong, and further tertiary/other learning opportunities
  • being challenged, in a good way!
    • learning and exploring new tools
    • expressing myself eloquently and hopefully creatively
    • time-management
  • gaining networking opportunities
    • online and IRL
  • actively analysing
    • my learning
    • my professional role in my workplace, and in our wider profession
    • my contribution to our profession
  • blogging with regularity.

I’m sure this list will expand as the weeks go on…

Thing 2 suggests we scout around other learners’ blogs and check out what they are creating. I really enjoy and benefit from reading blogs (library-types and non-lib people), so this will be easy. The slightly challenging bit will be leaving comments, as I get cyber-shy. However, this is what the course is about, right? Learning, networking, experimenting, and challenging ourselves. Dear Reader, why not introduce yourself in the comments? Or you can tweet me: I’m @dpgreen.

To the encouraging and knowledgeable CPD23 crew: Thank you for the opportunity to finish the course, I appreciate the re-run :)

To the CPD23ers: See you ‘out there’!

p.s. If you’re really short of reading material, you could read my Week One post from last year.


Why I need Twitter & RSS (CPD23 Thing 4)

Posted: July 17th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: professional development | Tags: , , , | 10 Comments »

Fact: RSS and Twitter are my top 2 favourite things on the Internet. Big call I know, but it’s been this way since 2007. And 4 years is a long time in internet years.

Embrace 2.0 by cmdrfletcher on flickr

Recently the CPD23 crew asked us to consider current awareness tools on the interwebs: namely Twitter, RSS, & Pushnote. As I am completely new to Pushnote, the following are my thoughts on twitter & rss. (I *may* write on Pushnote in the future.)

In the past I’ve referred to Twitter as my dear other spouse. I stand by this. I totally rate Twitter as my current favourite online socialising, networking & sharing tool. As I mentioned before, for me Twitter is the King of:

  • sharing links, info, and quick advice
  • real-time searching
  • short, sharp quip-laden conversations
  • staying up-to-date – follow industry people & get their thoughts as they have them & read/view what they deem sharable
  • virtually being there – “attend” conferences/concerts/demonstrations by following hashtags & hear what the backchannel really thinks
  • democratising the web – I can tweet anyone, anything, instantly. No more searching for email addresses or phone numbers & fretting about how to say what I feel in wordy emails or (gasp!) phone calls. Just tweet them your thoughts or query in 140 characters. You may even get a reply!

My advice for twitter:

  • Get a short username – it makes conversing with you & retweeting your tweets easier, as your username doesn’t eat most of the 140 character limit
  • Use a twitter client NOT the website – it will change your experience & opinion of Twitter completely. Repeat: do NOT use the website (try tweetdeck, etc)
  • @ reply people to get involved in the conversations – this is integral to “getting the whole twitter thing”
  • fill in your profile & perhaps be yourself
  • follow #hashtags
  • stick with it

I love how twitter flicks me around the intermehnet as I follow tweeted links & hashtags. In this way, twitter is a huge part of my how I keep up to date with my hobbies, my profession & my learning. Not just a real-time communication tool offering friendly advice, humour, insight, and professional support, twitter is a crowd-sourced RSS feed that I trust & benefit from extensively.

Enter: The Segue…

RSS is The Business.
It makes the net drivable. Given there are a gazillion billion sites out there, it is hard to keep up with what you want, right? Hard no more. Since I began using RSS I have control over the many, many sights I frequent, and I always remember to read my favourites. At the least, I have them stored to read later.

The bestest things about RSS:

  • it’s searchable! Read something fascinating but can’t remember where? Search your feeds: brilliant!
  • you can stop bookmarking endless sites & opening many, many sites each day and simply open your reader
  • folders keep like feeds together
  • reduce your inbox by unsubscribing via email to your many fave sites & subscribe via your reader instead

My advice for RSS:

  • create & use folders
  • subscribe to pertinent comment streams to continue your conversations in the blogosphere
  • I use googlereader and I highly recommend it
  • if you have your own blog/website, add prominent RSS posts AND comments feed buttons to your site

I tell people I love RSS & Twitter. I do adore these tools, and I need them. If you are into sharing & simplifying web navigation, then I suggest you need them too.


(br)And introducing… dpgreen! (CPD23 Thing 3)

Posted: July 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: marketing | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Last week the CPD23 crew asked us to think about our personal brand. Specifically, “consider how people see your online brand, what brand you would like to convey, and how to match the two.”

Original photo by Jon Worth.

(you can make your own Bus Banner here)

Analysing your brand. You may think that’s big business stuff, or it sounds kinda egotistical. However, if our brand is the image we represent online, then analysing our online identity is a very sensible and interesting thing to do. Especially considering our online identity can affect our present & future career aspirations, and our social interactions, both online and IRL. If we do not know people well in real life, our online presence is how people feel they first know us. And to a point they do know us: we are what we portray online, we are our brand. It’s our online identity.

As suggested by the CPD23 crew, I did a Google incognito search while I was logged out of my account, to get a truly objective view. I typed “dpgreen” and following is the list of hits from page one:

  1. My twitter account (number 1!)
  2. This! My blog: dpgreen.net (number 2!)
  3. My flickr account
  4. A link to a company called DP Green Inc. who specialise in custom outdoor living requirements.
  5. dpgreen.net on Facebook
  6. My vimeo account

Results 7 to 10 were other “brands,” and you can click here to see a screenshot of the results.

My thoughts

  • Good: of the ten results on page one, five referred to my online brand.
  • Better: of the first six, five were dpgreen results.
  • Best: my blog was number two!

We’ve all googled ourselves (right?!) but this was the first time I’ve googled “dpgreen”. I was very pleased and very surprised by this search result. I didn’t expect to have my blog so close to the top. It’s logical to see Twitter & Facebook accounts up there – Internet behemoths that they are! – but my blog? I guess the term “dpgreen” is not super common, unlike, oh I don’t know, the term “David Green”. Which is exactly why I chose dpgreen. Not uncommon enough to still have the .com address available mind you, but I think all the ones you really want are gone, right?!

Branding decisions

It is good practice – nay, great practice! – to use the same handle/moniker/name across as many platforms as you use, whenever possible. Why? “Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life!” (Act IV, The Crucible by Arthur Miller). Basically so you are easy to recognise & follow. Thankfully, @libsmatter put me onto the very clever namechk.com when I read this interesting post a while ago. I use the same profile pic across various networks to continue my brand. This makes finding (or avoiding!) me easier for people who I connect with online. Having – by which I mean renting – my own domain name secures me my place on the web and a real choice of email addresses. I believe ‘owning’ my domain name & using @dpgreen.net as my email host implies a professionalism & tech-competency that I’m happy for people to think I possess! I remember reading this good piece of advice a while ago from @haikugirlOz.

What I want to change & improve

Despite reading quite a bit about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) I haven’t done anything about it! I’m honestly not (that) bothered with blog traffic, I’m really in it for learning & networking, but mastering SEO would be a great skill for my workplace. I’d like to figure out how to dictate what a search result produces when the hit is dpgreen.net. Currently a “dpgreen” search reveals this:

Rather than retrieving this blog address (yay!) and a paragraph rich with the keyword “dpgreen” (boo!) I’d like to control what appears as a description. I’d like it to read as my blog tagline does: “Libraries & learning. (Occasional other loves.)” Or something from my about page perhaps, but the point is I want to learn how to do it! I also want to tidy up my brand on any rogue accounts I have and am not using, or are squatting on for later. I’m thinking of identi.ca, YouTube, etc. This exercise has also prompted me to re-think & probably update my about page, and my twitter bio.

We know marketing our workplace & the services we offer is vital. That is brand management. Analysing & controlling our own brand is important too.


Blogs, Blogging & Learning. (cpd23: Things 1 & 2)

Posted: June 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: blogging, professional development | Tags: , , | 7 Comments »

 

This is the first of my blog posts for cpd23: 23 Things for Continuing Professional Development. It’s a great new course I’m doing which I blogged about here. Week one is about Blogs and Blogging.

Number One by smiling_da_vinci on Flickr

 

In the library job before my previous job, I did an adapted, truncated version of the original 23 Things course. The course changed how I learn, use the net, communicate & share. To this day, I am so thankful for all I learnt and I credit it with being the start of my passion for online learning, sharing, playing with tools, exploring emerging technologies & pursuing artistic expression online. I totally enjoyed every aspect of my first 2.0 course: especially learning about Twitter, blogging & RSS.  These ‘things’ remain hands-down my favourite things on the Internet. I cannot sing more loudly my praises for RSS – it makes the net drivable. Also, for me Twitter is the King of quick communication, real-time searching & sharing. (You can expect me to rave about Twitter & RSS more in week 3.) My first 2.0 course was the catalyst for my first blog & twitter account, both of which were anonymous & I’ve now retired them. (I’ve blogged about anonymity & revealing myself here.) I still continue to use RSS, Twitter & blogging tools lovingly, and I’m enjoying the benefits – and challenges – of blogging & tweeting as myself.

So I think it’s fair to say I have high hopes for cpd23! No pressure cpd23 contributors/organisers! 😉

Thing 1 asks why we are participating in the course. My main reasons are:

  • to learn new & update existing skills regarding web 2.0 & other professional development ‘things’
  • to be proactive about my professional development
  • to meet other learners/library workers
  • to make another commitment to blogging with frequency & structure

 

number 2 by Leo Reynolds on Flickr

Thing 2 asks participants to investigate other blogs. Easy! I already do that, a lot. But it’s the leaving comments aspect that I shy away from. However, I was relieved to read that I wasn’t the only one. I know that commenting can only amplify, and is integral to, the sharing, learning and networking aspects of blogging. Still I remain hesitant to comment. Like blogging, sometimes I feel like I just don’t have anything to say. Or more correctly, I don’t know how to say it. However, I’m determined to start because it will help me to learn, network & articulate my opinions. And I have started! In fact, before I did any blogging for cpd23, I spent a lot of time reading other people’s cpd23 posts, and very occasionally I left comments. It was a great way to learn about other participants and their hopes from the course. It’s so pleasing, but no surprise, to read we are a diverse bunch who are all here to have fun, learn & network. I’m excited to begin :)


23 Things for Professional Development

Posted: June 19th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: blogging, learning | Tags: , | 6 Comments »

Given my mantra for the year is “Just Start,” I’ve signed up for 23 Things for Professional Development (or CPD23). It’s a free, self-directed online learning course based on, and expanding upon, the original 23 Things program. I’m looking forward to learning about new tools, and I’m excited to continue my learning & professional development. As is always the case in virtual Libraryland, I’m hoping to ‘meet’ some fun library folk & explore learning together :)

More details from the blog:

23 Things for Professional Development is a free online program open to information professionals at all stages of their career, in all types of role, and anywhere across the world. Inspired by the 23 Things programs for social media, this new program will consist of a mixture of social media “Things” and “Things” to do with professional development. The program starts on 20 June and will run until early October 2011.
Each week the CPD23 blog will be updated with details of the next thing to be explored. Catch up weeks and reflection weeks are built into the program, so it’s not a problem if you’re going to be away for a week or two!

Naturally, the crew are on twitter: @cpd23
And on the book of face here
You can follow the conversation by searching #cpd23 on twitter (and as a tag in the blogosphere)
The list of Things is here
And a Google calender of what/when is here

I’ll be using dpgreen.net to blog about my learning & be tweeting as @dpgreen too (shock, horror!)
So, does this sound exciting to you too? Yes?!
Of course it does, and you should join me! Sign up here.

If you’ve signed up, please leave a link to your blog in the comments, or just say hi :)