The learning experience in INF206 this session has been invaluable. Exploring the wide world of social media, Web 2.0 tools and the unique changes and impact they are creating and will continue to have on the information world. They are being embraced or shunned, but are definitely here to stay in changing shapes and formats for the delivery and access of information. As an information professional it would therefore seem pertinent to have a good understanding of how these tools and information sharing works and how best to use it for your organisation, for a world view and to serve your direct clientele.
The three blog entries which I have chosen to evaluate are ones which I gained a certain amount of insight, awareness and knowledge, both professionally and personally.
3 blog entries:
PLN or social networking tools and libraries
Shifts in digital citizens behaviour
Finding authentic information
The first blog activity which really changed my thinking and understanding was the PLN and social networking. This activity included mapping my own PLN, in relation to Jeff Utrecht’s chart(Utecht,2008) which explains the uptake and response to social media, which I could really identify with. It was very visual and well-constructed, showing clearly how the uptake of social media occurs. These stages help to clarify your own personal learning with social media and can be positively helpful. It was comforting to hear the general response of a feeling of being overwhelmed by so many tools, software, possibilities, that many people give up and walk away. Also though, if approached with this in mind, we can then make careful choices of how best social media can serve us and our organisation. Planning and understanding your personal learning with social media is vital and helps maintain a clear vision and a balanced approach to a wealth of new technology.
The next blog entry which clarified some of my thoughts and ideas is the shift in digital citizen’s behaviour. This blog entry stemmed from the video “Did you know 4.0(Shift Happens)”, which documented the aggressive and progressive changes that are happening within the social media world and how we as digital citizens are responding. It seems we have fully embraced the advent of social technology as can be seen in the major shifts and trends from traditional access of information to a rapid growth in access of all forms of information via social software. This can be quite confronting and exciting at the same time; such dynamic shifts can offer great encouragement for change and improvement, but also loss of control and perspective for some. If shifts can happen so quickly, which way will our digital citizens take us next? Are they now driving the information delivery and as information professionals we merely have to keep pace. Policy and procedure will help counterbalance this rush and the immediacy of change and keep information relevant and useable for and by all.
The third blog entry which dovetails neatly to the previous one is finding authentic information. Given the shifts and trends that were outlined from the previous blog, it would be pertinent to say that it is more important now to impress the authenticity of information in a socially collaborative world. Information professionals need to respond and actively collaborate, recognise their users’ needs and preferences, in order to be relevant in this social media world.(Wittenberg,2007.)The activity showed how it is important to access a wealth of information from many new and exciting sources but keep an important check on how relevant and true this information is .Also the importance of impressing the authenticity of sources to information searches .
During the course of study of INF206, I think one could say we immersed ourselves in a range of social software tools, and having to do so, can be incredibly daunting, exciting, interesting, challenging and enabling. The subject being taught in this format and style made non-access and un-connectedness impossible. The actual effort of being so connected can be very overwhelming and the introduction to Jeff Utecht’s PLN chart (Utecht, 2008.) helped crystallise feelings many of the group of learners had been experiencing (indicated by their posts on the Facebook group).It also helped map out the journey that one takes with personal learning and greatly emphasised by the use of social media tools. There is social media /software and then tools to help you manage all your social applications and connections. The implications for information professionals as for an individual can be the same sense of feeling overwhelmed but also excitement of just how connected you can be ,and the inordinate amount of credible sharing of resources that can be made. The right connections can make many a small organisation grow to a large presence in a global sense.
Personally being immersed in INF206 has made me use many social media tools I would have not previously considered; Second Life, RSS feeds, Twitter. I logged in and tried all of the tools that were mentioned in the modules and curiously it made me go and discover other tools which I also liked the look of and tried out for their usefulness. It has developed my understanding how these tools work on a social level but also are highly effective for business, organisation and information. I feel a lot more confident in the set up and use of many of the tools and have a good reasonable understanding of the how’s and whys we would use them. I feel my knowledge has grown and I have become more open to the possibilities that these tools can hold and if the solution isn’t in an old format, it possibly has an alternative in social software which may well be more effective.
I have incorporated tools into the workspace (new library blog) and have become a lot more open to Twitter. I have also gained an awareness of the importance of embracing new social software, as it is the way forward for the profession and in a global sense there is no going back. Predictions take us to moving to more mobile (XPLANE,2009),more accessible and more connected than ever before. I therefore see the imperative need to be connected to as an information professional to best service clientele and be part of a larger global conversation.
I think at the end of INF 206 I have achieved what I had hoped to, as stated in my initial blog post :
“To be more fluent with social networking technologies by the end of INF206.To have embraced the great positive benefits and be able to identify which tools and sites are best used for which purpose and organisation”.
Only I have gained so much more, a greater depth of understanding of how the tools work and how successful and beneficial they can be in the workspace. How easily we all can be so connected and how beneficial this can be both on a personal level and a professional one too. It has made me seek further tools and possibilities to enhance and change the way I do things ,personally and professionally, because I can see a strong movement towards integration of these tools as a natural part of societies fabric. It has been beneficial in actual realisation of how fast and how far social networking tools ,software have come and are progressing(Farkas,2009)and the importance of being part of it, sharing and connecting.INF206 helped cement this awareness , which is especially important for the role of information professional ,where its impact will continue to grow and develop.
Wittenberg, K. (2007). Credibility of content and the future of research, learning, and publishing in the digital environment. The Journal of Electronic Publishing,10(1). Available http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=jep;cc=jep;rgn=main;view=text;idno=3336451.0010.101
Utecht,J.(2008).Stages of PLN adoption.The Thinking Stick. Retrieved from http://www.thethinkingstick.com/stages-of-pln-adoption/
Did you know4.0(Shift Happens)(2009).XPLANE.Retrieved from YouTube, http://youtu.be/6ILQrUrEWe8, accessed 20/1/2014.
Farkas,M.(2008).The essence of library 2.0?.Information Wants To Be Free.(1/24/2014).retrieved from http://meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/2008/01/24/the-essence-of-library-20/