Monday, 27 June 2011

RSS, eh?

Oh, good - something I have already done before. When we put together SPRI's Freeze Frame site a few years ago, we experimented with RSS. What strikes me in retrospect is that any sort of feed needs regular updates to content to keep its audience engaged. I suspect that we haven't been doing as much as we could - something that we can easily remedy. However, it does require a certain amount of commitment.

One thing that really strikes me is the extent to which many forms of social media (like social interaction in general) is reliant on feedback. The last thing you want is for the people you are talking to to get bored and wander off. However, if they are not even on the same continent, let alone in the same room, how do you stop that happening? You can't rely on body language. As the wonderful guys from Firesign Theatre have it, 'Avoid eye contact. If no eyes, avoid all contact.' And here we are, warbling disembodied into the echo chamber. What hooks me? The blogs I really like either tell me useful stuff (sometimes stuff I didn't even know I needed to know) or share my sense of humour (thank you, Miss Crail). Worth remembering as we start to put together a Polar Museum blog.

Finally, for the Magic Lantern addicts amongst us, here's another one of our amazing Arctic lantern slides.

SPRI LS99/3/1 -see further details here

Extra things, beyond 2.0

Well, that was easier than I thought. I had some fun changing stuff around on my blog and added a widget or two and felt very self-satisfied and then ran completely out of time to do anything else, as the real world finally caught up with me. Last week was a blur of meetings, deadlines, reports and sessions in the recording studio, as we begin to put together the museum's audio guide. Sounds glamorous? It's really not.

23 Things is, however, having a very salutary effect. It's made me realise that I need to do 23 OTHER Things to improve my work/life balance (or as my wise-beyond-her-years daughter has it, 'Your work/work balance, mum'. So the extra thing for Week 1 was 'go home when the library closes on at least two evenings in the week.' I'm proud of mself - I did actually manage to do it. (My house is also tidier as a result.)

Friday, 24 June 2011

Where to begin?

At the beginning, I suppose. Having failed to find time last year even to start 23 Things, (we were opening the new Polar Museum - a poor excuse, I know) I was determined to catch up this year. I'm hoping that I'll find lots of new things which will remind me why I trained as a librarian in the first place. Anything which we ending up using to promote the work we do at SPRI (the world's largest polar library, archives, picture library and museum) will be a real bonus. I'm already using social media (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr) but realise I still have a very great deal to learn.

So, I've managed Thing 1 and had some fun adding gadgets and tabs. I think I might find this quite addictive - should I add a Travel tab, a My Stuff tab? Ah, the possibilities are endless!

Thing 2 = too much choice. For someone who finds the variety of toothpaste on offer in any supermarket quite overwhelming, asking me to choose a template from the endless styles on offer is torture. I've ended up with black and white for now.

Why 'Magic Lantern'? In honour of one of my favourite polar explorers, photographer Herbert Ponting. Pop into the Museum to see the amazing equipment taken by Ponting on Captain Scott's British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13.