Life after L2@Mac…

After 12 weeks of exploring new tech tools, you’ve probably already come to the realization that technology is developing at lightening speed. Some of you have already told me that you feel relatively up-to-date as a result of your L2@Mac experience, but that you’re concerned that if you don’t “keep up”, you’re going to feel left behind by next week! So, how do you keep up? Here are a few ideas, tools and strategies:

Three little letters: RSS
There is nothing better than RSS to help you track your favourite sources (news, blogs, etc.) with minimal time spent surfing needlessly. If you completed the activities for week 3, you already have an aggregator set up, which is great. But how do you fill that aggregator with useful sources to keep you up-to-speed on these technologies? Read on!

ETG is your Emerging Technologies Group!
That’s right, ETG is here for you! Subscribe to this blog (if you haven’t already) because we’ll be posting about new tools and technologies of interest to academic libraries, teaching, learning & research. Also, subscribe to the feed for our del.icio.us account (the feed is right here. Remember to right-click the link, copy it, and then add it to your aggregator to subscribe). We use our del.icio.us account to link to interesting stuff we find on the web, so keep an eye on it if you’d like to know what we’re exploring!

Explore the Biblioblogosphere
“Biblioblogosphere” is the umbrella term for all library-related blogs (e.g. blogs authored by librarians, library vendors, etc.). There are literally hundreds of library-related blogs out there, many of which focus on technology, but others that focus on specific areas of library-related expertise and service (e.g. access services, technical services & cataloguing, reference, etc.). Here are a couple of ways to find library-related blogs of interest to you:

  • Browse through this list of library-related blogs on LISWiki
  • Search LibWorm (an RSS search engine that indexes the RSS feeds of library-related blogs) for a topic that interests you. You can subscribe to the search feed or use it to find new blogs that address topics that suit your interests.

Explore technology blogs
If it’s the nuts & bolts 2.0 tools you’re interested in, here are a couple of blogs you might want to subscribe to:

Keep an eye on the literature
There are a number of online journals and magazines that address the tools & technologies we covered during L2@Mac. Here are a few to keep an eye on:

The final word: keep up without getting snowed under!
Here are some tips to help you avoid (or overcome, as the case may be!) information overload!

  • Keep your RSS subscription list manageable – not too many that you are overwhelmed! The “right” number will be different for everyone, so figure out the number that’s right for you and stick with it.
  • Try to read your aggregator at least once a day. Take 15 minutes during a break or while it’s quiet at the desk. Scan the headlines in your aggregator, save or print out the items you’d like to return to later.
  • If you get busy and let your feed-reading lapse, don’t panic! Scan the headlines and titles and start afresh. Or click that “Mark all read” button and start over!
  • Monitor your interest in your feeds – if a week’s worth of content in a particular feed hasn’t held your interest, unsubscribe. Interests and priorities are constantly evolving, so don’t let your aggregator get bogged down with feeds that no longer interest you!
  • New web 2.0 technologies and tools are popping up almost daily! If you find a new tool that interests you, check out the website and subscribe to the blog (you’d be hard pressed to find a web 2.0 company without a blog!)

Got any other “keeping up” strategies you’d like to share? Leave a comment!

[posted by amanda]

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