09 July 2009

Finding the Sweet Spot

Funny the way Twitter takes over your media life.

When I look out on the blogosphere, there are some people that are full fledged, all the time bloggers. People that blog often and have a great deal on a regular basis. Steven Bell, Michael Stephens, Meredith Farkas.

I have never been like these people. I am an occasional blogger. I, like many bloggers, MEAN to blog more often. I have many blog posts I MEAN to share or thoughts on our profession that I share all the time with Andy and other co-workers but rarely do I find time to sit down and get it all out on my computer. And admittedly, I feel guilty about it. Lately, I even ask myself if I should maintain my blog at all. This, in part, is because of Twitter.

I've had an interesting path with Twitter. Initially, I didn't get it. I didn't see the point. And I was philosophically opposed to condensing communication to 140 characters or less. And I still do have reservations about encouraging communication to be so brief. But Andy, my partner in crime at Champlain and generally awesome soul that he is, as usual, helped me see it in a new light. My experience at ACRL and LILAC helped take me from observer in Twitter to participator. And now, I find myself in Twitter more than I ever expected. And not just Tweeting about the weather. But asking questions and getting responses within seconds. For example. yesterday I asked how librarians are teaching RefWorks? Five minutes, six tutorials and three info sheets later, I have some excellent ideas and templates for what could do at Champlain. Another example is keeping track of issues. Whether it be the Iran elections, Information Literacy, or what's shaking in Burlington, Twitter lets me track it easily, quickly, and instantaneously. And that has taken me away from my RSS feed.

Don't get me wrong. I still read many articles, blog posts, and journal articles that are through RSS, references, citations, or referrals. But the point I am making is that my input and my output is shifting. I get information in a new way and I share information in a new way. I tweet an awful lot more than I blog. Yes, a lot of that has to do with how much time it takes to construct a 140 character tweet. But, I find myself wanting to share and see. What interests other people? What gets re-tweeted? What gets a response? While I have never felt the need to blog for others, blogging can be a lonely endeavor while Tweeting is an amazing communal one. Increasingly I find I work well with both. I appreciate the quiet of my blog. I appreciate the opportunity to go back and review what I've said. Even as I've been writing this post, I look back at my blog and realize how long I've been blogging and how much I have thought through things here. But on Twitter, I appreciate the ability to share without the added pressure of annotating and reflecting, or at least doing so very briefly.

So where am I? Where does this leave me in terms of my blog and my media? Thinking about how they intersect and diverge more than before. Certainly thinking about how I can use them effectively and interestingly in teaching. But also realizing the purpose and importance they both have for me. It does not need to be one or the other. There is a sweet spot to be achieved. And I am just starting to sort that out for myself. It has taken me a while and some experimentation to even come to that space. But I think that's what the whole "Exploring New Technology" thread has always been for me. It's been a chance to roam through these new and exciting things for someone who doesn't experience a great deal of techno-lust but is just a generally curious person who wants to try new things and see what they can do. It's always been about finding the sweet spot.

Maybe I will keep the blog after all. I'd forgotten how cathartic it can be. How refreshing. How sweet.

1 comment:

ck said...

I will selfishly suggest: "PLEASE keep writing your blog!" :)