Thing 24: Blogging

Once again, I’m taking part in an initiative by the Minnesota libraries to encourage library and web 2.0 initiatives. The first one was 23 Things On a Stick – this one is More Things On A Stick. Each ‘thing’ asks librarians to reflect on different aspects of web 2.0 technology, and to try out different tools and resources.

So, the first thing is to try out some new blogging tools, and to catch up.

1) I’ve shifted blogging sites.

While there was a lot I liked about Blogger, there were things I found frustrating about it. I have two Gmail accounts (one I use for professional emails, one I use for personal ones) and I found it really tedious to log out of one to go post. I’ve found it’s a lot easier to post something short and sweet now I’ve swapped the professional blog to WordPress. You can still see my previous 23 Things on a Stick posts over at the former blog, though.

I’ve been using WordPress for other projects for several years – both my religious blog, and the website I maintain for a community 501(c)3 educational organisation. I find it very easy to use, but flexible enough to let me fiddle with things when I wish to. (This blog is hosted via WordPress.com – the other two I handle via a webhost and separate domain.)

I tend towards simplicity and readabilty in blog themes and really like the readability of this one. I also had fun playing with the DoppleMe website to create the avatar at the bottom of the right column. You’ll notice the sheep – that’s because one of my hobbies is spinning (wool), and I couldn’t resist the sheep when I saw it.

2) Have I been blogging?

Yes, but not about library things – something I’m trying to get back into. I’ve got a blog about my religious path and practice that I update about once a week (and have for about 18 months now) as well as an active personal account on LiveJournal.com and a couple of other technological projects in the works.

One thing I’m still working out the balance on is my personal online life versus my professional one. My legal name is easily searchable, and yet there are some topics – religious discussion in particular – where I don’t necessarily want co-workers or students at the school I work for stumbling across individual posts out of context. If I want to share that information with them, I’d like to do it face to face, and in a way that lets me give them some context (rather than a blog post aimed at co-religionists, which assumes some shared background in the topic.)

Hence this blog, which is linked to my legal name – but which I often forget to update as much, because it’s not as interconnected with my personal life and close friends.

3) What do I like about blogging?

I like having an informal way to share thoughts and ideas. I’ve been using it recently to post links to recipes and booklists for my Thursday Tea, Cookies, and Resources project (a way to encourage faculty to stop by and say hi). I’ve been excited by the conversations that happen when we get them in here without any particular agenda (other than cookies!).

4) What blogs do I read?

A number of them – and I think they deserve their own post, so I’ll do that sometime later this week.

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