Monday, January 22, 2007

So, I finally got on Facebook, and other things

Last Friday, on an impulsive moment (also defined as "what was I thinking?"), I went ahead and created a profile in Facebook. I figured between reading the work of the Ubiquitous Librarian and some of my small experiments with blogs and IM for outreach, I figured this might make another possible tool to be where the students are. I have no idea how this will work, but that is part of the learning process. Some of my initial impressions:

  • At least the interface seems pretty clean. It is not necessarily terribly intuitive, but it is clean. That has been a turn off for me getting a profile on MySpace. Although, one never knows.
  • The little mini-feed may be something I have to turn off. I don't need for Facebook to tell everyone or me every time I fiddle a bit with the profile. And I mean fiddle. I may read something in the editing space, save it, only to go back and fix a typo or something like that.
  • I did not put a photo of myself on the profile. I am a bit on the shy side for having my picture all over the net. OK, so the fact is I am not very photogenic and leave it at that. Instead I used a nice image I made with a South Park generator (same image I use on my Vox blog). If nothing else, it is a playful thing, and I like playful.
  • In spite of my reluctance to use my work e-mail for anything other than work, I had to use it in order to get into the UHD network rather than just the bigger Houston network, which would not be of much use to me. It does look like there is an option to change the e-mail I use to log in, so I may look into that. I know it is a quirk of mine, but it throws me off a bit having to remember to use my work e-mail to log in when I use the one from Yahoo! or Gmail for other things.
  • I might or not create a badge, we'll see.
  • Apparently you can import the feed from a blog. I have to try it out, but if it looks good, it could be a place to import my Vox blog, as that is the one I made as a student resource.
  • Overall, I am very gradually getting the hang of what I can or cannot do. Having said that, I managed to learn quite a bit for a Friday afternoon and some time on Saturday evening after the better half went to work. All I need now are some friends.
  • And on the friends topic, I will let students know in my classes that I have the profile, but I am not engaging in any active seeking. I may, however, take a look at the campus groups to see what is available and if some very light promoting of the library might work for that.

On other thoughts, I spent most of the morning today preparing for classes. I am teaching for 5 classes three this week: a higher level English class, three freshman comp sections, and a psychology class. The prep for the advanced English class, on environmental writing, took me quite a bit of time. The topic examples provided were a bit specialized, and in essence I had to spend time learning about the "hockey stick" controversy among other things. I love learning, but when it comes to preparing for a class, having to do a crash learning session in order to teach how to find good resources on a topic can be a bit rough. The September 2004 issue of National Geographic also had a nice article on global warming. It came up in one of my practice searches. If nothing else, this experience gave me a reminder that I need to read more in general sciences, and that includes also actually reading some of the science posts on my reader rather than scanning them. I know I can't know everything. My searching and learning skills prove helpful in instances like this. In a larger setting, I would pass the class on to the science librarian. Here, I wear multiple hats, so passing it off is not an option. Another good thing is I have worked with the professor before when he taught basic composition.

All in all, the day is moving along, and I am staying busy.


brianmathews said...

welcome to FB

Angel, librarian and educator said...

Thank you. I am not quite sure what I will do with it yet, but we'll see. I was pleased to see the import blog function as it allows me to import the Vox blog I made to support my library instruction sessions. I can then have another venue to promote it.

Best, and keep on blogging.