23 Things for Research – Thing 23: What have you learned and where do you want to go from here?

Hoorah! I have finished 23 Things, although a little later than planned. As well as the 23 Things programme, I attended a number of other training courses, went on holiday and was generally busy at work, which caused me to fall behind. But I am pleased that I persisted and made it to the last Thing.

Doing the 23 Things programme for a second time was a good way for me to see how far I have come. Comparing myself to the old me four years ago, I have learnt an awful lot. Four years ago, I didn’t know very much about social media and a lot of the Things covered in the programme were new to me. This time round, I was already familiar with a number of the social media websites, although they had changed and developed in that time. And I learnt about some new things too.

Highlights:

Thing 6: Consider your personal brand

Although my personal online brand was something I was aware of, I had never given it much thought. I am not keen on being ultra visible online. Fair enough, if my LinkedIn profile appears in a Google search for future employees to look at but I don’t want to make a special effort to get to the top of Google’s search and have everything about me available for others to see. By searching for myself on Google, I was pleased to see that my professional profiles, like LinkedIn and Twitter, appeared quite high up, although having a common name means people would probably have to specify more details, like my profession, to find me.

Thing 9: Storify and other tools

I’d never heard of Storify before I started 23 Things so I was pleased to learn about a new branch of social media. At first, I couldn’t see the attraction or benefit of Storify. I started off thinking that there is no point in collating lots of different pieces of social media into one place but the more I experimented and thought about, the more it seemed like a good idea. What a novel idea to be able to bring together so many social media branches into one place. I liked what universities had done, for example using Storify to create a story of graduation day, using photos, tweets, etc. I struggled to see how Storify might be popular in a library context but can see its worth in other organisations.

Conclusion:

I am pleased that I participated in 23 Things. I was concerned that perhaps I would not learn anything new having done it before but I learnt two things: 1) Yes, I do know a lot about social media, which shows how much I have learnt since I became a librarian just over four years ago. And I’m proud of that. 2) On the other hand, some of the social media sites I am familiar with but do not often use have changed, so it has been great to update myself. And, inevitably, since I last did 23 Things, there are new social media sites available and new concerns, e.g. personal brand and Creative Commons.

I think that doing 23 Things every few years is a good idea. I have found this to be programme valuable and will keep an eye out for 23 Things in the future.

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