Friday, December 17, 2010

Unfinished blog posts - which ones would you like to see?

As 2010 draws to close, I'm looking at my chest of unfinished draft posts and wondering which ones I should delete and which ones I should just work on and release. I have above a dozen of such posts, some are almost fully formed essays while others are just an idea with a title and a few points.

I have many, many ideas for blog posts, but I try not to inflict them upon you, unless I feel they are likely to be useful or interesting.

However, one thing I noticed since I started blogging is that sometimes I have problems judging what people find interesting. For example, I almost junked A few heretical thoughts about library tech trends which I thought was just full of my fluff opinions but it seemed to have struck a chord with some, and according to Post Rank it's my fifth most impactful post?

So I've decided to ask you directly. I'm going to list the title (preliminary) of about half a dozen draft blog posts and a brief synopsis of what the post will cover, and you can leave your comments on which ones you would most like to read.

Title : My information consumption habits or how having a smartphone changed the way I work
Status : Idea stage
Description :   I'm always curious about how people consume information, so I was thinking of sharing how I typically keep up with information that interests me. e.g I wake-up.. on the way to work on the bus, I catch up with tweets, at work, I turn on my computer and check my scans of library mentions, through-out day my system of real-time tracking alerts inform me of important news. I catch up with RSS feeds on way home etc.. 

Title : What is a good library FAQ? Some rambling thoughts
Status : 80% done
Description :  A short survey of different FAQ systems. Some ideas for getting the most "bang for buck" when selecting FAQs to create. Ideas on how to evaluate the quality of the FAQ bank you have by drawing parallels with collection development shelf availability studies. This links to the idea of calculating a ROI (Return on investment) for FAQs.

Title : Are libraries more similar than different?
Status : 60% done
Description :   This stems from a twitter conversation I had with librarians from the US and Denmark, and we were remarking how sometimes it was so difficult to remember that we were all from different countries as  what we tweeted could fit and apply perfectly as if we were coworkers in the same institution!

We should tailor our solutions to local needs, and yet it seems libraries are starting to use the same systems from Library management system/OPACS/Discovery layers (Usual suspects plus OCLC, LibraryThing for libraries etc) , Content Management systems like SpringShare's LibGuides , Surveys (LibQual+, READ scale) , IM/SMS reference systems (LibraryH3lp, OCLC question point. Mosio) etc. 

Does that imply that our circumstances are similar?

One wonders if this reflects the more rapid flow of good ideas or if it's simply easier to mimic what others have done to get buy-in (i.e "Library X has done it too" effect)

Title : One search box to rule them all?
Status : Essentially done
Description :   This talks about how traditionally, library search has being divided into 2 silos. One is the content side , which itself until recently has being broken up into many silos (Library Catalogue, Subscribed databases, Institutional repository etc) until the current trendy attempt to put them all together using "Web-Scale discovery engines". However, there is another silo, that is the webpages themselves that contain help, including Subject Guides, FAQs, Librarian profiles, Library news etc. Would members benefit by including results from all this in the search? University of Michigan Library's search surfaces librarian profiles when appropriate  is an attempt to create one search box that searches both silo.

Title : How to automatically schedule almost everything
Status : Essentially completed
Description : A how to guide on how to improve productivity by auto-scheduling everything from Tweets, Facebook status, Blogposts, reminders & more

Title : My thoughts on the new digital divide
Status : Essentially completed
Description :  My thoughts on updating Helene Blower's "new digital divide". I feel there are 3 classes of people in a post-google world. Besides accessing content, people can be classified also into 3 classes depending on how wide their reach is in terms of connecting with people (as opposed to just content). 

Title : 
A few things about the library world I don't get
Status : 50% done
Description :   Things I don't quite get, such as why there are thousands of citation styles, why there are so many different database interfaces and why many database interface changes happen at exactly the worst time of the year (start of academic period!) 

There are about half a dozen more draft posts that I left out, but these I feel are the best of the lot. So do leave your comments on the posts you would like to read. Or better yet, if these ideas provoke you to blog, feel free to "steal" these ideas, would love to see your take on them.

PS : I considered opening a poll, but I thought it would be better to read comments directly. While commenting you might also mention what type of posts in the past you loved reading the most or have impacted your work the most so I can help me produce more content that will be useful for you.
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