From yesterday through January 4…

…very little seems to happen. Liblogs quiet down, LSW Meebo’s essentially dead, “we are all” dealing with The Holidays, one way or another.

So let me wish you and yours good cheer and a better 2009. (If you’re one of those who had a great 2008–well, I still wish you a better 2009.)

I don’t expect I’ll blog all that much between now and then, although who knows? I doubt many people are reading, in any case. (Not that I’d ever suggest most of this “social media” stuff actually happens at the workplace…but in any case, it’s a good idea to focus on family and friends during this period.

We don’t do the season in a big way, even though our anniversary (31 years as of 1/1/09!) coincides with the peak secular holiday. We’ll spend part of tomorrow with my family. We’ll spend part of January 1 with one of our dearest friends. We’ll probably watch Desk Set (an old S-VHS copy of a broadcast version) tomorrow night (there’s a Christmas-themed Bones rerun tonight…). That’s about it.

We don’t decorate the house (and we’d never have a live tree in a house with two foolish indoor cats), and fewer houses on our block are decorated this year than last. (Last year, quite a few houses were really overdecorated.) There’s one true oddity:

Across the street, a house has a big white angel with bright transparent yellow wings, which is what it is during the day. At night, though, it’s lit from inside with the blue-white LEDs that are probably the most efficient and cheap LED variety. Those lights, essentially the color of a glacier’s face, are great for icicle strands. In this case, however…well, the phrase “angel of death” somehow came to both of us quite naturally. That, and the feeling that the decoration belong at Halloween.


OK, for both of you who made it down this far, a mild question.

I’ve been toying with joining Facebook and/or Friendfeed…and maybe even restoring my Twitter account.

Working at home may be making me more of a hermit than I’d really like. I’m never going to be a social butterfly, and I’m not going to spend Scoble’s seven hours a day with Twitter/Friendfeed (or even one hour a day, if I can help it), but I’m wondering whether I’d find these worthwhile, used in moderation.

Good idea? Bad idea? All three? Just Facebook? Just Friendfeed? Why? Why not?

I do plan to prepare my skeleton schedules for ALA Midwinter and the OLA SuperConference before the new year and probably post them somewhere, in case anyone wants to get together. If I do restore Twitter, I’d probably have it feeding to my pay-as-you-go cell phone during the conference(s)…but I wouldn’t have it on all the time, and either Virgin or Twitter seems to clump some varieties of text messages in a way that makes them less immediate. I think.

Anyway: Your comments welcome, and they will be read. Even if they’re variants on “foolish old man.”

9 Responses to “From yesterday through January 4…”

  1. Daniel Cornwall Says:

    Happy early anniversary to you and your wife! We do a low key season ourselves. We’ll be getting together with friends tomorrow and probably New Year’s by ourselves. On the menu for Christmas — Salmon, Halibut and potato sausage. Not “typically Alaskan”, but not totally out of place, either.

    If you’re coming back to social media, I’d personally suggest just picking one tool to start off with. And I’d choose Facebook. Why?

    It makes it easy to highlight stuff you want to highlight. Three things I do are:

    1) Establish free “fan pages” for cherished projects.
    2) Import one blog into my notes that get shared with friends.
    3) Use the facebook bookmarklet to highlight pages of interest.

    I could see you plugging in the PLN RSS feed into facebook as another publicity channel. If people like what they see, then they can post it onto their own profiles.

    Another reason for thinking about Facebook is that it has a well established librarian community. Just check out my friends page. Most of them are libraries. Plus there are many “fan pages” for libraries, including the Egan Library in Juneau and librarian oriented groups.

    If you’re into it, you can also post pictures and videos and I’ve seen librarians do that for conferences.

    There is also built-in chat, which could help collaboration once you build a network of librarians.

    The main drawback to Facebook for me is all of seemingly mindless applications. But that is what the ignore button is for.

    Just my $0.02.

  2. Steve Lawson Says:

    I recommend FriendFeed for “conversational intensity.” My advice is that you set up FriendFeed and subscribe to the usual library suspects’ feeds. Then–if you are wary of the time-suck aspect–try using the “best of day” feature every afternoon or evening to see what has been going on and drop in your two cents. You will see that some blog posts that got very few comment have actually sparked a discussion on FF. Also helpful for blogs like Caveat Lector that don’t have comments enabled.

    For whatever reason I find Facebook rather irritating. I don’t like the walled garden aspect and I don’t find that the people I want to talk to are really conversing there. I use it more as a rolodex, helping me keep track of people I know only very casually.

    Twitter is Twitter. I haven’t ever used it on a phone, but that seems to be its main appeal these days, and its something that (as I understand it) makes it unique among the three sites you mention.

  3. Dorothea Salo Says:

    I ditched Facebook after the Beacon ridiculousness showed that it has zero interest in an intelligent privacy policy. Friendfeed hits the sweet spot for me; I can semi-hide what I post there, I don’t have to see stuff that doesn’t float my boat, and lots of my friends are there.

  4. Sara Says:

    I’d say Friendfeed definitely yes, and Facebook definitely no. I’ve been on Facebook for over a year now and I am just about ready to delete my account there — it’s become far more visual spam and ads than content, and the library groups there just aren’t active enough to be worth attention.

    Friendfeed, on the other hand, is simple and clean. As Steve suggested, the “best of day” will give a nice snapshot of the most active conversations. And you can syphon off certain “friends” or rooms (like a very active Scoble, maybe) into separate lists so they don’t clutter up the main feed in your Home list. I only use Twitter to post from my cell phone (which is also Virgin :-) ).

  5. laura Says:

    I’ll echo what Steve says: for what you want, I think FriendFeed with the “best of the day” feature (and, even better, the ability to hide all the stuff you’re not interested in — some people may be interested in what others have in their Netflix queues; I am not one of them) would I think provide you with some social/professional interaction that is mostly interesting and not overwhelming. Facebook is sort of my social network dumping ground: I have a lot of “friends” there, but I rarely look at the place, and it produces a lot of spam/bacn/etc.

    I’ll mention as well that I came over here to comment because Steve left a link to it on FriendFeed. I check in on the social parts of my social networks during the holidays, and library blog reading has become far more a professional activity than a social one.

  6. Daniel Cornwall Says:

    I have to say that the comments I’ve seen so far are prompting me to try FriendFeed, as much I as resist adding new social networks. But four out of five librarians can’t be wrong, can they?

  7. Daniel Cornwall Says:

    My friendfeed account is set up using alaskanlibrarian. I really like the LSW and librarianology rooms. I feel like such an LIS geek right now.

  8. Iris Says:

    I have really nothing to add but thought I’d throw in my vote for FriendFeed, too, as the option that seems like it would most suit your needs. If you decide to go that route, try installing Greasemonkey and the Better FriendFeed script. It makes the screen easier for me to scan. Also, become adept a clicking the “hide” button and then (if the thing you hid is in a category of things you never want to see again) using the “hide more like this” option that appears. It’s a life-saver.

    But yeah… What Steve and Laura and Dorothea said…

  9. walt Says:

    OK, I’m convinced.

    I’ve set up a friendfeed account, waltcrawford

    After looking at the list of 81 suggestions I got for subscriptions, based on my Gmail contacts, I really couldn’t figure out which to choose–so, to start out with, I’m only subscribed to the LSW and ALA Midwinter/Annual rooms. I’ll add subscriptions based on people suggesting them directly (or subscribing to my feed) or, little by little, seeking out a few of “the usual suspects.”

    Fuller post coming later today. And maybe rethinking my lack of initial subscriptions…


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