I’m so bad at napping that I nearly always give up the struggle, even when I’m completely exhausted. So here I am blogging rather than napping. And speaking of blogging, I was sitting there at Steven Cohen’s presentation (or rather, on the stairs outside of the overflowing overflow room), taking notes and using my wireless connection to show people around me the stuff Steven was showing but that none of us could see (thank goodness for Google). Oh, and it was a good set of tools, even if Fleck does kick CiteBite’s butt, no matter what Steven says. :-P
In fact, it was probably the intimacy of sitting on the floor together, hovering over a couple of laptop monitors, and getting all jazzed up over fun technology that led one of the other women near me to come up afterwards and ask how I manage to blog sessions. She said she’d seen me typing away at an earlier session, and she sounded more than a little skeptical that anyone could possibly type and listen all at the same time. So I showed her my raw notes (especially URLs for slides or other interesting sites), how I highlight in bold any portion of those notes that I think will make good inclusions in a blog post, and how I add parenthetical comments to remind me what questions or ideas the sessions sparked. Then I showed her how I take the notes and create posts around them whenever I get a minute (and some working wireless, which got pretty rare as the conference progressed).
“But you’re still typing,” she protested, “which seems like it’d make it harder for you to listen to what’s being said.” Thinking back, I only gave her one third of the whole answer to that issue. I explained that I can type a lot faster than I can write long-hand, so I actually hear more of the session than I would if I were writing on paper. But I didn’t explain that typing with an eye to synthesizing for a blog post helps me stay on task when I’m listening to presentations (as Nichole just blogged… it’s another inadvertent-blog-topic-convergence day). It forces me to look for the themes and primary points in the presentations. I don’t end up blogging every session, but I do end up taking blog-ready notes for almost every session.
And of course there’s the final third of the puzzle. When presenters end up explaining something I already understand, I can compose the actual blog posts while I keep an ear out for when the presentation moves on to topics or perspectives that are newer to me. The fact that I only posted a couple of times a day during this conference speaks to the general lack of such down-times for me, which is a good thing. But it did happen occasionally.
In the end, the skeptical woman walked away looking relieved that I wasn’t wasting my conference registration fee (or hotel costs, which was significantly more expensive). Maybe next year she’ll have a blogger banner on her name tag. :)
technorati tags: cil2007
I’ve been of several minds about posting this. I read a ton of amazing blogs by people I respect and admire. I know my aggregator’s feed count doesn’t compare with a lot of other people’s, but it’s more than enough to keep me busy, most days, and if you’re in my aggregator, you’re definitely one of my heroes. I’m pretty ruthless about weeding out feeds that I don’t actively look forward to viewing every morning before breakfast, every day when I get the chance, every evening after dinner, and every weekend. So my five blogs list is more about personal connections than about professional value (which is not to say that these have no professional value, of course).
So here they are in what I’d call chronological order:
- Meredith Farkas: I met her by accident at CIL 2006 when we were both part of a group that famously defected from a dine around without realizing that this might cause our dine around host some difficulties with the restaurant. I had no idea who she was, but people were talking about her blog the same way my fellow English majors talked about Shakespeare. So when I got back to my hotel that night I Googled her, read most of her blog all in one sitting (yes, I was up very late), and decided to figure out this “aggregator” thing I’d heard people talk about so that I could keep up with her. And she’s continued to impress me with her thoughtfulness, genuineness, and kindness.
- Walt Crawford: I’d been blogging for about a month when he popped into my comments and said really nice things. (I’m a sucker for people saying really nice things to me.) Then mid way through this year of blogging, he did the same thing when I was having blogging doubts. He’s even mentioned me a couple of times in C&I, putting my name right next to the names of other bloggers I respect no end! And you’ve gotta love a guy who takes both the content and the look of the printed word so seriously.
- Steve Lawson: I’d been reading his blog for a few months when all of a sudden he popped on IM one day to relieve my workplace isolation (all my co-workers were at ALA). Good thing he couldn’t see as I tried to collect myself off the floor and reacquaint my jaw with the rest of my scull! It was my first total fan-girl experience. And the rest is history, as they say. I’m constantly learning how to blog by reading what he writes. He’s got the tone and voice that I aspire to. And beyond that, he’s just a good friend to me.
- And speaking of friends, Mark Linder has become quite a good one. And he’s almost always online, so when I’m frustrated or lonely or bursting with news that I just need to tell someone, he’s the one I bug.
- Dorothea Salo: I’m not an IR person, or a systems person, or anything like that. (We all know how much trouble I have grasping basic HTML and CSS. Evidence of ignorance.) But Dorothea’s authorial voice keeps me coming back for more, no matter the content. I’m equally happy listening to her talk about the weather or about mysterious tech-ish script-ish things that I don’t understand at all.
So that’s five, though there are about 10 times that many that I could have included. And I promise not to get this sappy on all of you again (at least, not any time soon). If you don’t like it, blame Walt for getting us all started. :P
I had no idea that the always-interesting Library Garden was only two days older than my blog! It’s sort of like starting at a new workplace: you have very little sense of how long your new co-workers have been there, so you just sort of assume everyone’s always been there, even if you technically know that they haven’t. But enough random babbling. Happy anniversary to everyone at Library Garden! It’s been a great year. It really has.
And since I know I won’t get around to posting tomorrow, I’m celebrating my blogaversary one day early here. After one year and 339 posts, I can honestly say that this has been the richest professional development experience I’ve had, and I’ve had some pretty amazing experiences thanks to a supportive and involved working environment. Participating in the libblog discussion has been like a year-long conference for me. But even more than that, I’ve made a lot of friends this way. People I’ve never laid eyes on but who have become part of my daily life, and people I’ve actually seen without mediation of any kind and with whom I now get to keep up. All I can say is Thank You. You guys ROCK! I’m simultaneously thrilled and terrified that I get to join you in thinking about and discussing pieces of our profession. I’ll get over being slightly intimidated eventually, but for now I’m just happy to be here.
I just realized that my one-year blogiversary is coming up in 3 weeks and a day. My how time has flown. How should I best celebrate such a thing? Part of me wants to go all wild and crazy-like and get myself my own domain name and a blogging platform upgrade, just for the heck of it.
The other part of me laughs aloud at that first part and wonders if there’s a way to get out of this mutual appointment to my body.
*checks contract between halves of self*
*realizes futility of separation*
*sighs and returns to work*
At least now I’ve learned… If I ever include a blockquote, list, or picture in my posts I have to switch over to the HTML editor and insert nice little paragraph tags around all subsequent paragraphs before publishing. That stinks.