Monday, 27 June 2011

My personal brand

I have always been a bit of a wimp when it comes to divulging personal information on the internet. It took me a very long time to trust the internet enough to buy things online (and my purchases are still rather limited) and I have never gone in for internet banking. So, when I decided to create a wiki and a blog, way back in July 2007, I was determined to remain as anonymous as I possibly could.

Choosing a username can get very confusing for one so innocent of the ways of technology. Sometimes sites require your username to be your email address (now, which to use, work or personal?) and sometimes they request a unique username. Chances are, the one you want to use has been taken, so you start adding numbers to the end, or the site does it for you! Then comes the tricky issue of the password; do you use the one you always do, oh, no, can't do that it's not long enough or secure enough etc..

That is how I ended up with the name most people will now associate with me - by trying to be clever and not give away my real name so no-one could steal my identity! How naive! Anyway, you'd be right to say that Jerome was the patron saint of libraries, (and now also refers to a specific library research programme) but that's not why I chose the name. It had more to do with the photographer of one of my favourite photographs, the name of the author of my favourite book, and a couple of sentimental initials. What impression this creates for anyone who reads my stuff, I have no idea. It's a bit like trying to interpret a poem, a work of art or a piece of music; the artist knew what they meant, but that doesn't mean to say it will be interpreted in the way it was intended. But it seemed like a good idea at the time! Of course, I actually didn't want to use exactly the same name for all my web 2.0 sites (to avoid that identity fraud again!) - or was it just that some names were already taken so I ended up with a variation on a theme?

On the subject of photographs, I remember the uproar there was when a photograph of each member of our library staff was digitised and uploaded to the VLE for all our library staff to see - that's all our library staff, not all our insitution's staff, nor all the people in the world - a secure service for which we had to log on. People (and I include myself in that) were worried their pictures would be stolen and edited and implicated in all sorts of crimes. So, I chose a fairly innocuous photograph to upload as my picture on the blog and the wiki, which was also partly determined by lack of expertise with digital photos! This picture has stuck with me on all the sites I've joined, and like Tina has said in her blog on personal brand, I'm reluctant to change this as this picture is probably easily recognised as me by my select group of followers! The added advantage is the air of mystery it creates! Imagine going to a CILIP Executive Briefing on RDA having primed your new Twitter friend (in this case Celine Carty) with the words: "I'll be the one carrying the bar of Toblerone"!

Thanks to a couple of things (not least reaching the grand old age of 50 and wondering why I have a tendency to hide in the basement) and a couple of people (not least our new VC for encouraging all staff to shout about what they are doing, and Celine for being so encouraging when my confidence has waned), I have, however, decided to raise my head above the parapet (yes, I know this is the name of one of the bloggers registered for cpd23 too) and blog about my profession as a cataloguer. This has led to opportunities for me that I would never have thought possible, but my real name has now become attached to my web 2.0 identity.

Interestingly, I "attended" a lecture given by Dr Claire Warwick at UCL entitled: "Great 2 meet u :-) Twitter and digital identity" which talks about why people choose the pictures they do etc.. Well worth the listen.

Last week I discovered that Google search results are based on searches that you have previously made and it is most opportune that Phil Bradley has today tweeted a way round this! So, the following searches produced the following results:

  • Searching Google on IE and Firefox for Lynne Dyer resulted in 5,700,000 results of which my Twitter account was the 7th result
  • Searching Google on IE for "Lynne Dyer" resulted in 5,230 results of which my Twitter account was the 5th result
  • Searching Google on Firefox for "Lynne Dyer" resulted in 5,230 results of which my Twitter account was the 3rd result
  • Searching Google on IE and Firefox for "Lynne Dyer" &pws=0 brought back 4 results - none of which were me!
I would conclude from that that I am still pretty well hidden!

Anyway. good luck to all you cpd23 - ers out there!

Monday, 20 June 2011

It's time for - cpd23

So, it's Monday 20th June 2011, and today sees the start of the online "training" cpd23!

It's fantastic to see so many people registered and interested in personal development.

In my opinion, cpd is genereally work-related, and is the way forward when looking towards promotion, but it's not just about collecting paper certificates! To get the most benefit from any cpd activity one must learn from it, take something away from it and apply it to one's own situation.

For me, though, cpd has been about widening my horizons generally, and learning about things that interest me, not just things that are relevant to my work. This blog post isn't intended to be a self-promotion, but some of the things I have learned over the years, including gaining a first certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (basic knowledge about wine, wine production etc.), a diploma in feng shui, and an NVQ3 in Interior Design, none of which helped me one jot in my work, but have certainly kept my brain active, and my interests varied!

Today, however, we all use the web for a variety of reasons, whether they be for work, or play, and this cpd event represents for me a kind of cross-over between work and personal learning. I want to learn how to use the technologies that web 2.0 offers (like blogs, wikis, shared services like calendars, and social websites like Twitter and Facebook) as these things are useful for my work and also useful for my personal life.

The cpd23 programme looks as though it is going to give me some ideas on services to use and how I could use them, as well as, hopefully, connecting me with a group of like-minded folk.

This week, it's about creating and using a blog. I admit that when I first came across blogs I tried several (blogger, wordpress, posterous, tumblr), and evaluated them against certain criteria, before deciding which to use in earnest. I am hoping to learn a bit more about how to use blogs, especially things like how often to update (too often and I won't have time to delve too deeply into a subject and I won't give my readers (hellooooo - is there anyone out there reading this?!) time to digest what I've said), how to keep it relevant, and how to make sure I'm reaching those people that I think might be interested in what I have to say!

Anyway, time to get on with it! Good luck to everyone!


Saturday, 18 June 2011

Blog post on hvcats!

This month instead of putting a blog post on my own site I have contributed to the blog over at hvcats.

It would be naive of us to think that all librarians and library colleagues know what goes on in a technical services / cataloguing / acquisitions department, so over at hvcats I have suggested a brilliant way to increase our visibility by showing people what we do!

Pop over to hvcats and read about one way of organising open days to raise awareness of what you do. You don't specifically have to be a cataloguer to offer an open day to other staff; open days can work for any team wishing to showcase their talents to their colleagues!

Don't forget to browse through earlier posts too: there's some really good stuff over there! Where was that again? Over at hvcats!