Missives from the Bat Tower

Doing 23 Things all in the name of Web 2.0

Archive for the tag “Twitter”

The end of 23 Things?

do all the things

Today we had our celebration to mark the end of 23 Things. Helen and the 23 Things team provided some yummy cakes and biscuits and I managed to nab a cup of tea – a lovely way to spend half an hour with colleagues. We had a bit of a discussion between us about what we had thought of the program and overall the feedback was positive (this may be due to the fact that it was a celebration of the project and if you didn’t enjoy it even the prospect of free food may not have lured you in). Some felt it was really helpful to have the weekly sessions so that help could be given when needed. I would have liked to attend the sessions but unfortunately didn’t manage to get to any but the first one because they fell when the bat tower is open to researchers and we were overrun with them last term! When I did have any queries I emailed Helen and she was quick to respond but it would have been nice to get an idea of how other people were getting on (face to face rather than virtually).

I haven’t finished all of the 23 Things yet but I think I will carry on with the ones I’ve missed out but so far my top three have got to be:

 1. Blogging and Google Reader (I’m lumping these together because they’re both about blogs)

 2. Twitter (turns out there are loads of Archivists on Twitter!)

 3. Dropbox (this is the one which will be most helpful to my day to day work)

But there are lots more of the Things that I will be using in my work in the coming months (e.g Evernote, Diigo and Screencast-o-matic).

Oh and guess what… I won a prize! (Turns out some people have actually been reading my blog.)

Thanks 23 Things team!

Thanks 23 Things team!

Watch this space for the remaining things…

Things 5 and 6: Twitter

Two days supervising researchers in the reading room means I’ve had time to catch up on my 23 Things. Thing 5 was to create a Twitter account – which I have now done, you can follow me @BatTower. The process was relatively easy and as I’ve used the Library Twitter before and my own account I’m already familiar with the website and terminology. I was slightly alarmed that Twitter saw fit to recommend I follow Nandos and Justine Beiber but I sidestepped that pitfall and have followed some archive tweeters as well as the 23 Things participants (not sure I got all of you so feel free to follow me so I can add you).

With the account set up I then moved on to completing Thing 6 which was to interact on Twitter. I sent my first tweet using the 23 Things hashtag #RHUL23 and successfully tweeted @melon_h about Stephen Fry following her and got a reply – success! I also took a look at what was being tweeted on #archives which is a tag I usually use when tweeting about archive stuff on the Library Twitter. I also retweeted a tweet about the RHUL Passport Scheme which the Library and Archives are involved in.

Now that I have a Twitter feed to call my own, I’ve also added another nifty widget to the side bar of the blog (see right) to show what I’m tweeting about and I have (fingers crossed) set up the Publicize feature so that WordPress will tweet for me when I post anything new on here. A bit more high tech wizardry for the Missives!

Thing 4 – social networks: useful or useless?

Thing 4 of RHUL’s 23 Things Project asks us to reflect on our own use of social networks and what, if any, value they have in a professional context.

Before I came to RHUL (just over a year ago) I hadn’t used social media or social networking in a professional context. Despite the fact my interview presentation was on archives’ use of Twitter, I’d never actually sent a tweet – professional or personal.

I use Facebook to keep in touch with friends, which I find very useful as many of them live in different parts of the country, but I’ve always kept my Facebook account personal rather than professional – no one at work needs to see me in a fancy dress outfit on my friend’s hen do. I do also have a Twitter account but I never tweet from it, despite which Barack Obama is following me (does this mean I’m on some sort of watch list??). I use it almost entirely to keep up to date with celeb gossip and find out what the Nails of the Day are on HelloGiggles (the koala bear ones are my favourite but well beyond my capabilities to recreate).

Koala nails

If a (real – as opposed to celeb) news story is breaking you can be sure that Twitter will have more details (mostly true) of what is going on than dedicated news sites and it was through Stephen Fry’s tweets that I discovered Fitzbillies – home of the best Chelsea buns. In the world. Ever. If you’re ever in Cambridge be sure to try them!

I currently tweet using the Library’s Twitter account to promote the archives (in particular our items of the month) which means I get a ready made batch of followers. I think this is more productive than having our own archives Twitter account as I really want to reach the people who don’t already have an interest in the archives and hopefully raise awareness of our service. I use hashtags to garner more interest and even tried (very unsuccessfully) to get a celebrity re-tweet to boost the usage stats on our website. This is the only social networking I do in a professional context, the Archives and Records Association has a community area which basically consists of discussion boards but I don’t really think it’s worth using as the JISCmail listserve kind of serves the same purpose and has more people on it. I’ve never felt that using LinkedIn would be worth it for an Archivist (although happy to be proved wrong if people find it useful to create links and contacts with people), it seems to be more for business people hoping to be head hunted for new jobs.

After seeing a friend build up her blog about eating out in Oxford through her Twitter account and eventually ending up with a spot on BBC Radio Oxfordshire (see the blog here) I can certainly see the power of the Internet to reach people outside your normal sphere. Overall, I can definitely see the benefit of using social networks in a professional context especially as services like Twitter are a lot more fast moving and up to date than traditional websites but I think it’s probably more useful for the Archives Service than the Archivist.

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