Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Thing 13: Reflection

I have been keeping a diary since 1969, but always giving the sketchiest of accounts in it. Studying Corneille's Le Cid for A-level, I imagined that the hero might have recorded the events of the play, which by dramatic convention were supposed to have taken place within a single day, in the words "Killed Chimene's fr but can wed her in 1 yr. Had battle." I've often found that reflection comes easier, for me, in letters, or memos, that I address to specific readers other than myself.

* How have your skills/knowledge improved?

Knowledge has improved in the course of the cam23 experience, in that this has led me to explore facilities more fully than I would otherwise have done. If skill has improved, this has been, so far, at the level of knowing the correct mouse-clicks for operations such as inserting a link or a picture. I would not like to claim that I was always making the best links, or putting them in the best places, or choosing the best pictures. Or, come to that, making the best choices about whether things should be conveyed via email, blog, Twitter, Facebook, phone, face to face or not at all. But my work on the website for a campaign group in which I'm involved has drawn encouraging noises from others in the group.

* Have the 'Things' covered everything that you need to know, or think it relevant to know?

I was given a major fright by a presentation by Tony Hirst that pointed out the gaps in my professional knowledge. Since the links in the presentation were to blog posts that I could not understand without more knowledge in advance, I took refuge in cam23, or took to cam23, in hopes this might serve as a laying of groundwork. I don't know whether the skills listed in the presentation have at any point been considered as potential things, for this year or any future cycle.

* Do you feel more competent and confident?

In that it seemed perfectly natural to put myself forward as web person for the campaign group, and to cite cam23 as a reason for that offer, yes. But I have not forgotten the knowledge gaps already referred to.

* Is there one (or more) Thing that you would be happy to recommend to a colleague? Why?

Does this question refer to the web resources themselves, or to the exposition of them in the cam23 programme?

If the former, then Google Calendar, Doodle, and Delicious have proved indispensable for work, for reasons stated in the blog posts for them. Their use is often done in communication with colleagues, and can be said in those circumstances to amount by itself to a mode of recommendation. I have tried to interest people in Twitter, again for reasons stated elsewhere, and in my blog, for reasons mainly of showing off. I haven't had many takers for these last two.

As to the programme itself, I can say that I have promoted it to all who will listen. I think the expositions have been very clearly written, the background reading illuminating, and the general approach -- "Look at these things, have a go with them, tell us what you found, some of them may be of use to you" -- feels from here like exactly the right combination of instruction and laissez-faire.


  1. Like your World Development movement website! It's obvious that 23 Things is leading to greater things. Congratulations!

  2. Thank you. I should say that the Cambridge WDM page is done within WDM's standard group template....