One month without Facebook and Twitter

On January 26th  it was one month until my tenth anniversary as blogger. This started a train of thougth that mostly was about how my blogging frequency has decreased over the years. Of course it was easy to blame life, but I also noticed that my activity on Facebook and Twitter was pretty high and that much of what I used to post on the blog I now post on Facebook and Twitter. This, plus the nagging feeling that social media had a fragmenting effect on my family life. My head was often elsewhere, thinking about funny or interesting links from friends, or just good status updates from people.

Anyway, I wanted to find out if my blogging frequency would increase if I dropped out of Facebook and Twitter. So I decided to do a small experiment. I would be off Facebook and Twitter for a month, i.e. until my tenth anniversary as a blogger on February 26th. Then I would sum things up in a blogpost and post it on Facebook and Twitter.

First I should say that it was not a total absense of FB in my life. I posted links if there was a “Share on Facebook” button on the page, and I was on FB for the “save libraries day” as well as conference posting from the Bergen Neptune library seminar on February 15th. I also communicated with a few people on Twitter when that was the natural channel.

But the main point for me was to avoid the checking of status updates, the frequent interruptions and the distraction that FB and twitter invites.

I kept a short keyword file for this experience on Evernote and I noticed that the keywords went from negative to postive as time went by. At first my main feeling was one of lonelyness and isolation. I did not know what was happening to my friends and I missed all the cool links and discussions going on. On the plus side was less distractions and more uninterrupted time with my kids. I used my iPad less (is that good or bad mr. Jobs?)

It was more noticeable that I think in “status updates” – when you don´t have a place to post them they keep swirling around in the brain. And “big” things in life feels smaller when they are not shared with others.

When I try to sum this last month up I think that I both came to appreciate the distraction-less time and miss the connectedness that FB and Twitter offers. On balance I think that I will try to be more aware of when and how I use social media and try to limit the time I´m on. But I also learnt the value of the connectedness that social media offers. I see that I get a lot from communicating and just beeing updated.

On the whole I´m not dropping Facebook and Twitter, but it will be easier to take a short break when needed and limit the exposure to social media in my life.

The one thing I did not get, that I hoped for, was more time to blog and more blogposts. I did blog a little more, but less that I expected when I started out on this little experiment.

Now I just have to sum up ten years blogging.

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Posted in Blogging

Thank you Jo Walton

Jo Walton has written my favorite book of 2011 (maybe the whole decade). Among others is not like other books. The number of layers in this book is so great that I will probably have to re-read it several times just to get a general idea.

The really curious thing about this book is that I, a forty-seven year old male boringly normal librarian in Norway, can identify so closely with a fifteen year old magic using welsh girl with a bad leg going to a very british boarding school. It helps of course that Mor (short for Morwenna) is fifteen in 1979, the year I turned 16, and discovers Science Fiction literature in much the same way I did, and with the same fierce need that I had. 1979 was not a good year in the world and not a good year for me. Unlike Mor I was pretty well off in the family department, but was ill at ease in school and the rest of the world. Science Fiction literature both helped me make sense of the world and catch a glimpse of a greater side to my own existence than what I saw in a norwegian suburb just before the turn of the decade. 1979 was a year I have avoided thinking about for a long time and at first I was reluctant to revisit this part of my life, but Jo Walton manages to make the whole experience so much more human and understandable than I would have been able to myself. So now I am actually able to look back on this year with a fonder eye than I would have had on my own. Thank You, Jo Walton, for giving me back this period of my life.

The descriptions of the discovering of new books and new authors, reading and discussing Science Fiction resonates really well with how I remember it for myself. This joy of discovery is rarer these days, but I can still experience it, as I do now with Among others (which Cory Doctorow reviews so much more competently than I can).

The other thing  Jo Walton does better than any author I have read, is to  blend magic with the world as we know it. The understated yet immensly vital part of the book that magic plays is in how Morwenna handles the conflict between her everyday life in a world where magic is fiction, and her own use of magic to fight her evil mother and preserve what she loves.

I am unable to do the wonderful language in this book justice, but I want to say that it certainly is a great part of why I now have a new top five book in my life.

Posted in bookblogging

First post from Galaxy Tab

We have aquired a Galaxy Tab at work and this is the first blogpost I write on it.  I have paired it with an Apple wireless keyboard via Bluetooth (yes I appreciate the irony ¦-) ) and use the WordPress app for  Android.

The Galaxy tab is in itself a really nice piece of hardware. I like the size (7 inch screen)  which makes it a lot more comfortable   to use in sofa and while standing.   I suspect that there will be moments when I would like a larger screen, but so  far that has not been an issue.

I have an android phone at work and  one privately, so I am familiar with the Android OS. I really like the multitasking and the range of apps. I have not encountered any problems when using the GT and enjoy the experience. I have both used it as an ebook reader, both the Kindle for Android app and other ebook apps, and  enjoyed the experience so much that I really must admit that I prefer the GT as a reading platform to the Kindle. This came as a total surprise to me as I  have loved my Kindle (and still do). but the reading experience is great and it is nice to have a device that can do other things that display text.

All in all I think the GT has a great future as an alternative to the iPad and look forward to seeing what will come in the future.

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Posted in Library 2.0

Internet Librarian 2010 day 2 keynote speaker Hazel Hall

Hazel Hall – getting real about social media

What we are not going to do is as important as what we are going to do.

Clay Shirky – Cognitive surplus

Social media are not an alternative life, they are part of it

How social media can influence life. Finding people to talk to on the train with twitter. Facebook updates in a family that lives far away from each other.

Information + People

Library and Information Science Research Coalition

To what extent are we genuinly engaging with library stakeholders?

a) Social media currently provide additional platforms for traditional information delivery

b) Sophisticated personal professional application of social media demonstrates potential for further innovation in services.

c) How we concieve relationships will dertermine the boundaries of service innovation

New Knowledge happens at the boundaries – meeting people with different background

Long term effects of social media difficult to predict

Social media is “just another” techonology application

We still dont know the effects of the printing press

Our tools cannot keep up with the quantity of information

Example: Wikipedia as a site of breaking news

Twitter accpetance – five stages: denial, presence, dumping, conversing

Snapshot of 2010 research – pockets of sophisticated personal professional use

Library services delivery: Function, not tool

The search principle blog

Virtual refence

current awareness on twitter – twinforming – not tweeting, just putting out information

Where is user participation as opposed to consumption? The Question of the Day!

New forms of interatcion – example – Facebook Geek the Library

We are all part of the reality: develop our users – develop ourselves

Umar Ruhi, PhD:

We steward – we accept flux&beta – we collaborate

Tactics vary: Networked cells vs. conventional action amonst large groups

Develop stakeholder participation: lead communities

They (users)  are here (in the library) with mobiles and wireless

They do it because it is useful – because humans like making and sharing things

Changed her mind about following on twitter – from strategic following to a more open approach – use lists to organize, increase peripheral vision and understanding context

For interacting with students – Facebook rules

Biggest risk? Missing the boat!


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Posted in Conferences

Internet Librarian International 2010

Keynote session: There is nothing outside the cow – Robert Rowland Smith

Author of: Breakfast with Socrates

Knowledge – what it means to know things – Socrates and Platos view of that.

Reading from: Dropping ashes on Buddha

Meditation is on beeing extremely present in the moment.

Beeing human is to have an imagination – did not want to give up the ability to think about the past and the future.

Lapsed Buddhist:-)

Socrates and Plato – the imperfect world and the “more real” platonic ideals

What you know is true? Before Copernicus everybody knew the earth was the centre of the universe. You can know something and be wrong.

Blows to mankind

  • Copernicus – not the centre of universe,
  • Darwin – not gods special creature
  • Freud – We do nok know ourselves.

Plato – Everything we know is corrupt – the real exists on a higher plane

Cloud technology – separation of the lasting world (the cloud) and the corruped working world (on your machine) 🙂

Real world vs. ideal world

We are enslaved to higher ideals – religion, philosophy etc. – Nietsche

The notion of the lie – Why lying is useful and a source of knowledge

When you try to describe the world – categorize – taxonomy – you must make distorted desiscions

Categorize – you gain something and you loose something

Gain in understanding – loose in accuracy

The Noble Lie – Plato – Framing is a lie – taxonomy is a lie – but it is noble because it is helpful. Gives a way of relating to the world, society, people etc.

The Noblest Lie of all – The war on terrorr – A distortion of the complexity of the state of the world after 911. Huge simplification and generalization –  useful to make sense of the world for international society (Not an moral approval!)

Helped de-fragment society – Unified illution

Knowledge happens as a distortion of the truth that is useful

Distorted knowledge may be very useful.

911 story – builds on the Biggest Noble Lie of the all – the Cold War.

Noble Lie – helps people understand

Poles – left and right – makes it easier to position yourself

Makes it easier to selforganize

Everything we know is based on where we are – Geography of knowledge

Knowledge effect – distorting – but useful

Horizontal relationship with knowledge – influenced by other people

We think in terms of the group we belong to – even ad-hoc groups (on bus etc.)

Very hard to be in a system without taking on the beliefs of the group – helps us make sense of the world –

Stop making sense

First we make it simple – then we make it complex again.

Sensemaking – about exluding as much as including.

Realtivism – one of the signs of modernity

Collections of subjectivity – working self-knowledge in a group – ethics, beauty, – Communities of knowledge, ethics, etc.

We will never get to a universal understanding of something

Wittgenstein! Overlapping frames of reference = working language (example in-jokes) (Best explanation of Wittgenstein I have heard!)

Madness – where  frames does not overlap with anybody elses

Communities of knowledge – indistinguable with cults

We have a responsibility to find ways to behave

Question from the room: How can we as info professionals change distorted views of what we do in society.

Answer – directing people towards knowledge/information – broaden horizon – Not  – this is the information, but – this is another field of thinking – unexpected info – broadning knowledge field – more random

Facillitate Chaos

Can we be innocent anymore? NO! We are inside – not neutral bystanders

Declare agenda.

Brands – simplification – breeds lazyness – few people surf outside well knows websites

Lazy internet users




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Posted in Conferences

From collection management to connection management

This little video looks at some of the most important issues for libraries today.

You Must Focus on Connection Management Instead of Collection Management from R. David Lankes on Vimeo.

Just the opening slide is worth the admission:-)

The best days of librarianship are ahead of us

Posted in Library 2.0

Teaching wordpress

I am now teaching wordpress to the board of the Norwegian Special Libraries Assocation

Posted in Library 2.0

Electronic literature

I´m at the ELMCIP conference in Bergen. The concept of Electronic Literature (EL) as different from ebooks is of great interest to me. Today EL is published outside the traditional channels of publishing and by many who are not concidering themselves authors in the traditional sense. I have seen some articles discussing Augmented Literature, i.e. texts that have added content in the form of video, sound and animation. The iPad iBook version of Winnie the Poo is probably a good example of this. EL takes this a step further and plays with the text itself as well as adding content in other formats than text. One example is the Jean-Pierre Balpes experiment Automatic text generation. EL is literature that cannot exist in any other format than digital. Hypertext is the best known example of this. Texts that exist as linked passages where the navigation is an integral part of the reading experience.

The conference looks at both practical work in buliding an europeand database of electronic literature, but also has an academic dimension discussing EL-critisism, the development of EL as an literary field and the communities that are emerging around EL. EL has a performance component as well as the traditional viewing on screen way of reading. The concept of reading is itself under pressure from the development of this genre (if it is a genre).

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Posted in Electronic literature, Library 2.0

Is it just me?

Yesterday I followed the annual WWDC keynote speech by Steve Jobs. The news where less wow than usual because of a lost prototype earlier this year, but it was still fun to see what was presentet on the stage. In an age where most technology products are presented fairly low key and most information is leaked way before the actual presentation the Apple circus is fun and refreshing.

But I was surprised that so few was stunned by something that really hit me. The new iPhone screen now has a resolution that rivals the printed page! Most people I know says that they do not want to read a book on the iPhone, but I have personally read several novel on my tired ol iPod touch without problem, and with this new screen and battery life there iPhone and hopefully iPod touch with similar specs will be new players changing the ebook reader field.

The increased demand for better screens, longer battery life and an intuitive interface will hopefully hit the current ebook reader market and drive innovation and development towards my ideal ebook reader.

Posted in Books, E-books

First gold star since sunday school

The Salem press library literature publisher organized a little blog awards thing this spring. And to my great surprise this blog was actually awarded a gold star.

Blogs listed with a gold star were considered by our judges to be of significant quality that they stood above the norm.

Thank you! It is always good to be appreciated and when I look at the company I´m in, I really appreciate the honor. Some great blogs was singled out as winners, I read enough of them to agree totally with the judges and just hope that there will be a new award at some later time to shine the spotlight on some of the other great library blogs out there.

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Posted in Blogging
May 2022
The Librarian