Work 2.0


Cory Doctorow at the 2007 EFF Pioneer Awards, by quinnum

Cory Doctorow at the 2007 EFF Pioneer Awards, by quinnum

As usual when there’s not enough work to motivate me to do it, I’m experimenting with that interweb thing. And so, I’ve made me a tumblr. Most of these things (Twitter, Delicious, etc.) take some time to convince me, but I think I like tumblr straight off. Benefits:


  • Bookmarklet. Anything with a bookmarklet instantly gets my seal of approval. I heart my RSS subscribe bookmarklet, I’ve a little bit gone off Google Notebook, but I’m loving Delicious again at the moment, now I’m streaming it here.
  • Multimedia. I can put pictures, links, text or even a nicely laid-out quote on there. If I’m not mistaken, it’ll also update automatically whenever I blog here – I guess we’ll see shortly.
  • Pretty. It’s prettier than blogger, wordpress, even Twitter because it’s so minimal.

I likes it. 

I’ve also been experimenting with using these technologies for work purposes, i.e. to interact with students, potential, confirmed and enrolled. This last year we had a Facebook group of well over 1500 students, but the superiors chose not to allow us any actual interaction. This year, we just won’t tell them and I’ve updated our portfolio to include a whole pile of things, which may or may not turn out to be useful…

  • Hopefully this will work as some sort of searchable repository of useful links for students coming to London. That way, if they want to find something out, or find something to do in an evening, they’ll have this handy listing. My own Delicious bookmarks are fed onto the homepage here, on the right, and provide a convenient insight into what I’m looking at instead of working. I’ve also put an RSS feed onto Charity Shop Tourism with just those I’ve tagged appropriately.
  • Facebook: I’ve really gone off Facebook, and were it not that a number of folks I know wouldn’t bother talking to me were it not for this insidious timewaster, I’d just delete my profile in its entirety. That said, it’s quite useful for work – I’ve set up a group for next year’s class which will feature events, photos, videos etc., and full interactivity for students to talk to each other and discuss. It’s pretty good really, or so I like to think.
  • Flickr: I heart my flickr and I really should update it more often – I’ve got a stack of Battersea Power Station ones to upload yet, which turned out pretty well. For work, we’ve got some pictures up of the university and the local area and facilities, which are not very interesting in themselves, but I guess might be if you like that sort of thing. We do have a group which I’m hoping to look after, however, for students to post their own experiences for all to see.
  • Twitter: I also heart my Twitter. It’s so succint that I can be a bit more obliquely confessional about things that I’d never elaborate about, so it’s pretty cool for that. I don’t make much use of it for linking and interacting and that (that’ll be the family antisocial gene poking through again), but I like updating it. The work one might be pretty cool, although I suppose it remains to be seen how many of our potential students will use it. It could be useful for announcements n ting though. 
  • Ning: This one’s brand new on me. I’ve never seen any personal use for it before, but I’ve created a personalised social network that students could use. It does everything the same as a Facebook group really, so it may become obsolete as the year progresses, but again, that remains to be seen. I think the idea is that Moodle is a social network in itself, but that rarely seems to actually happen effectively – more the students’ and academics’ fault than Moodle’s, though.

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