Sunday, 26 June 2011

Thing 2: Single and Ready to Mingle

Thing 1 on the 23 Things programme was to create a blog (done). Thing 2 was to have a nose around and comment on some of the other participating blogs.

I’m not naturally sociable and consider myself pretty hopeless at networking (in fact, one of the reasons I’m taking part in this course is to pick up some tips and ideas in this area). As the list of participants swelled alarmingly (there were around 100 when I first clocked in on Monday morning, increasing to about 350 when I got around to creating this blog later on that day, and at the time of writing there are now 576 people taking part) I felt like I was at a party where I knew no-one and was destined to spend the evening hugging the wall while nervously sipping at a lukewarm glass of white wine.

A useful tactic in such situations is to find somebody – anybody – you vaguely recognise and cling to them like a limpet, so I was relieved to spot my colleagues Christina and Louise and made a beeline to say hello to them. Suitably emboldened by these encounters, and by some comments left on my first post, I felt able to venture a bit wider.

Although I fiddled around with the tags on the Delicious list, I mainly picked blogs to visit at random. I was struck by Rhythm & Knowledge’s somewhat meta but very enjoyable post about the self-consciousness engendered by writing a blog and having your potentially cringe-worthy prose open to examination (not least by yourself). The Weeded Librarian and AngleD both touched on the issues of privacy and confidentiality that need to be considered when writing a blog about your personal or professional life; this is something that also concerns me slightly and is one of the things that has stopped me from writing a blog before. Younggeekylibrarian made me feel less guilty about my admission that I attend training and then frequently fail to implement the lessons or advice from that training, and wondered if we may be suffering from information overload, which certainly sounds like a better reason than my previous excuses of incompetence and/or laziness. Odd Librarian Out noted that the tendency to lurk rather than comment on blogs is a strong habit to break – as a perennial lurker myself, I have certainly found this week’s activity challenging but I’m glad to have begun the tiny babysteps from passive reader to active commenter.

On a side note, Dots & Loops is among a handful of people I noticed who are using tumblr to host their blogs. This is a platform I more usually associate with caffeinated teens furiously reblogging animated Harry Potter and Lady Gaga gifs. However, the cpd23 participants using it all appear to be stalwart bloggers who are giving tumblr a go as a bit of an experiment, and it will be interesting to see what use they make of it as a professional tool. For my own part, I am already ruing my choice of Blogger which, even for a blog novice like me, feels a bit clunky and offers mainly unlovely design templates to work with. I intend to faff around with the design and layout of this blog at some point in an attempt to make it a bit more visually pleasing, but at the moment I wish I was hanging with the kool kidz over on WordPress instead. Still, never mind, onwards to Thing 3.


  1. I agree with you about the intimidating size of the list of participants! Thank you for suggesting I am a 'kool Kid' because I have a WordPress blog! It does have quite good designs, although it doesn't like you to change your font, which you would think would be quite a basic option. Also earlier today an advert popped up in one of my posts!

  2. As a fellow lurker, I completely identify with feeling challenged by the social aspect of Thing 2. Every comment I make though feels a little easier, so I'm sure in a week or two we'll be just super chatty.

    Also, I love your blog name! I think your "branding" for thing 3 is going to be really fun.

  3. Congrats on the tiny babysteps! In my experience, it has gotten easier, at least as it relates to fellow cpd23 blogs. I've kind of been neglecting the rest of my reading lately.