Thursday, 22 September 2011

Cam23 2.0, Thing 23: Reflection

Things which made you smile
QR codes have become quite an enthusiasm of mine, and the mismatch between that and the dumbphone I stick with has generated some interesting conversations. I cried up QR codes in the Haddon's presentation to the Alumni Weekend, but didn't have an immediate answer to the alumnus who asked if I could recommend a QR reader app.

I was saddened by the recent Twitter spat

between Charlie Brooker and Phil Bradley. "Leave them to the competent" is no way to address a customer, or even a potential customer. I hope we can account it an appalling lapse on Phil's part, rather than a foretaste of his presidency. It's not the kind of thing I meant to support when I voted for him last year.

Gliffy I see myself using in connection with Haddon projects.

Things which have become a part of the way you live and work

This list has not changed much since 2010, when my list included Doodle, Google Docs, Google Calendar, RSS feeds, Twitter, and Google Reader. The applications I would add for 2011 are the ones named in the previous section. I'm making a bit more use of screenshots now that Lightshot has given me the power of editing them and pasting small, relevant sections of them into documents. And I am glad that the Haddon blog now tweets for itself.

Things which you'll never go near again

Pushnote, probably, for reason stated.

Web 2.0 and social media more generally - what role do they really play within libraries and information services?

I'm afraid I lack the resources to answer this question properly. Short of a proper survey of the library world, I am thrown back on my own observation and experience -- and they may be as unreliable now as in the diary entry of the white ten-year-old, after a car journey across London in August 1967: "I saw several coloured people but no prejudice."

My own experience is that social media in my library setting have been extremely useful to me, but have not wholly persuaded many other people of their effectiveness. It's rare that I get much response when I set up a Doodle poll for a meeting; the Haddon Library's Twitter presence has no more than 36 followers; not all readers possess the kit to use QR codes.

Against that is the fact that all the tricks named in this post were taught me by librarians. Librarians are evidently enthusiasts for these tricks. And the reports in other cam23 blog posts, even allowing for wishful thinking, do seem to indicate that the tricks are proving effective.

As a profession, we like to whinge about how we are perceived by our neighbours, by the media, and by the world in general. Here's a challenge. Let's listen out, instead, for people who mistake us for more able than we are. Let's try and get an idea of what drives any such welcome misperception -- is it linked to our bookish skills? is it linked to our skills with social media? is it linked to something else?

Maybe then we shall have some idea of what role social media are really playing....


  1. I can empathise with wanting to keep a "dumb" phone, mine only needs to be charged every ten days or so! I do have an ipod touch though, which has all the features of an iphone apart from the calls and texts. I can recommend RedLaser ( for scanning QR coes if you ever get that question again.

    That comment from Phil Bradley doesn't surprise me in the slightest, sadly, I've heard similar before.

  2. Thanks! I wish I could remember which IT guru said, at the beginning of this year, that now was the time for dumbphones. I had to replace my mobile in February, chose a dumbphone, and have rued the choice off and on since then. The thing is a little too dumb for my needs, esp. wrt texting and re-use of numbers.