Thing 4 in the 23 Things for Professional Development is about current awareness and staying up to date in library trends and other things that you like by using various technologies to make it a little easier. The three technologies this Thing has us looking at is Twitter, RSS Feeds, and Storify.
I really haven't gotten into using Twitter. I already had a Twitter account at https://twitter.com/Spnge4Knowledge , but I for some reason got it in my head that I should use it to promote my own blog rather than using it to keep up with what's going on in the library world in general. Like the 23 Things blog said, I mainly thought of it as celebrities tweeting about what they ate for lunch, and on occasion, I've used it to see how ridiculous (and completely uninteresting) people can be which they feel they need to publicize. In fact, when I'm feeling down, I like to search for #YOLO because it always makes me laugh out loud. Seriously though, give that a shot... https://twitter.com/search?q=%23yolo&src=typd
Meanwhile, I also decided that I should only follow as many people as were following me, and therefore, I follow a puny amount of accounts, and I've been missing out on a lot of great chances to keep up with bigger fish. So the first thing I did was to look up VLA (Virginia Library Assn) and follow them. Then, I proceeded to look at who they follow, and went from there. I've now doubled the number of accounts that I follow, but they will hopefully be useful to me. Also, if you're looking for a job in libraries, there are a lot of organizations you can follow that post job information, which I've found to be helpful in the job search.
One of my favorite things to follow is EarlyWord, which abounds in awesome information about new books and movies that can help me get a leg up on what's coming up next. Having already been checking into the website off and on, I'm now following the Twitter account and have added it to my Google Reader-- see below.
I knew that this was an important tool, but somehow thought it to be more complicated than it really was (this is hilarious to me, since RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication"), and was embarrassed that I didn't already know how to use it. However, I didn't actually realize that I had already started to use RSS feeds -- I "subscribed" to various blogs but only checked them through Blogger, rather than using Google Reader to just quickly browse the various new posts on blogs in this easy-to-use format. Not really sure why, but now that I've got the hang of it, it's awesome, and get this -- really simple. Especially because before now I wasn't quite sure how to follow blogs outside of the Google-sphere. Now I can follow everything, all in one spot, and quickly see what new posts might be worth checking out! Lovely.
For me, Storify is just a step too far, and I'm not sure that I need to make different "stories" out of all the other social media content that exists out on the web. I like sharing different blogs and things, but I would rather just share it on my blog, where I can also weigh in on what I'm sharing a little more. So I'm skipping this one. Just because it is there doesn't mean it's right for me.