Picture of a poster asking that suspicious people and things are reported to the police.

Doing my Thing

My excellent colleagues at the University of Edinburgh are running a 23 Things course kicking off this week with an introduction and a blogging task. Our tasks for the week are nice and simple. Thing 1 is to familiarise ourselves with the 23 Things website, and Thing 2 is about blogging. We are encouraged to setup a blog, and then create a first post answering the following questions:

A) what you hope to gain out of the 23 Things programme.

I started this blog back in April with great intentions to try blog more regularly. I do write a lot as part of reflecting on my work and more generally my life, but I tend to do it with good old fashioned pen and paper and keep it private. I’m working on reconciling myself to being more open and one of the reasons for choosing to host my own blog, rather than have one at work, is because I wanted the freedom to write about whatever I wanted to.

So what I hope to get out of this 23 Things programme is a structure that will help me get into the swing of blogging more regularly. Plus I hope to learn about and share some cool stuff along the way.

B) were you aware of the University’s Social Media Guidelines for Staff and Researchers or the student Social Media Student Handbook? What do you think of the guidelines/handbook?

I was aware of the guidelines but it’s a long time since I looked at them. My first impression of the staff guidelines is that the date on the front cover is 2011 and that seems like a bajillion years in internet time. They’re also 15 pages long and in classic ‘document’ format – not a snappy read, especially on a screen. There’s good advice in there about being inclusive, considerate and professional, but I think it gets rather lost amongst information about all the things you shouldn’t do.

We’re also encouraged to register our blog and tag our posts appropriately, after which some lovely WordPress aggregation magic will happen. I suspect the excellent FeedWordPress plugin has been pressed into service yet again. Aggregation I think is one of the key components of making blogs work in that messy space between personal and professional writing, so it’s great to see this course using it.

(Image by Solomon203 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

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