Posts Tagged ‘blogging’


Rumours of my death – CPD23 thing 3

In CPD23 on June 27, 2011 by africker Tagged: , , , ,

I am lucky enough to have a fairly unusual first name second name combination.  There are no movie stars cluttering up mentions of my name online (Brenda Fricker used to be good for telephone spelling requests but her departure from Casualty has resulted in a notable reduction in the population wide knowledge of how to spell Fricker).  The first ten hits on Google are mostly related to me with my LinkedIn, Twitter, and Biog from HLG conference included.  The notable false drop is the other main Alan Fricker on the web.  An environmentalist in New Zealand his death was the first thing a Google Alert I set up ever told me about my name (the perils of vanity test searches).  The other major false drop is from Facebook.  This Blog shows up on the second page of results (as does Movember from last year).  Not much of a surprise to me are a few Jiscmail mentions as I have long been active on these.  I would suggest this is actually part of my personal brand – active.

Generally I have been happy to put my own name to my activity online (also shortened versions as my name is distinct enough for people in my sector to recognise me).  My main blogging outlet being a group blog is an issue for personal brand. Indeed the lack of a clear personal brand was one of the issues picked up when myself and Hanna Lewin spoke at HLG Conference in Salford about the group blog experience.  It is notable also that people really struggle with the blog name (and that the “what’s an informaticist” page gets lots of hits!).  I did have an experimental blog for some KM learning which could be revived.  A long with my own name I have been happy enough to use my own picture (mucked about with of late as result of trying out an online tool). I can understand why some might shy away from using their picture though.

I think the professional is personal and my communication online reflects this.  I think about what I do / professional issues a fair bit and this comes out.  Twitter encourages the blurring of the line but I share considerably less there than I might with colleagues in the office.  I also like to show off pictures of pies.

I think my online brand is fairly consistent with offline which is a good thing to my way of thinking.  I probably should have a personal blog rather than the confusion of this group blog but I like it here.



CPD23 Thing 2 – whole lot of reading

In CPD23 on June 21, 2011 by africker Tagged: , , , , ,

Thing 2 is to read around some of the other blogs.  I have wandered through more than few today making comments here and there.  I found some from the health tag in the delicious set, some from the CDP23 tag on wordpress and others from browsing through.

One thing I found interesting was putting names to blogs to twitter feeds.  It was not always terrible clear where you were going to end up. Being part of a group blog here may well also mean I am somewhat tucked away.

An interesting discussion broke out over at Libraries the Universe and Everything and I thought I would bring my next comment over here as the meat in this post.

We were discussing how many blogs you follow via RSS (I realise as I type that I follow non blog things via RSS also) and how people manage large numbers.  I was reminded of this article by Cory Doctorow.  In it he talks about how his information consumption methods/habits have changed over time as initial high signal sources / venues have become swamped as they grow in popularity.  He identifies a pattern:

Once I could read every item in my list of RSS feeds; now I periodically mark them all as read without looking at any of them, just to clear the decks: if there’s something good in the missed material, someone will repost it and I’ll see it then.”

I was also put in mind of Michael Gorman (see also the “blog people” farrago) in his book “The Enduring Library” (well worth a read) which amongst other things proposes dealing with information overload through the use of a very ecommunication light diet.

Striking a balance is always the challenge.


7 Common Mistakes that Health Bloggers Make

In Blogging on Blogging on June 21, 2010 by Danielle Tagged: , , , , , ,

I think most of the following are quite common mistakes that health bloggers make when blogging- I know that I have committed a few of these no-nos.

1. Not keywording your posts.

Keywording aids finding things on t’internet in general, and gives the reader an ‘at a glance’ idea of what your blog posting is about. Come on- use your noodle to enhance your Wordle. Blogsessive has some nifty ideas for keywording your blog posts.

2. Rinky dink links.

Link love’ is a term used by gung ho bloggers to describe the rather promiscuous (or judicious?) usage of links on a blog. Link love is a good thing because it allows trackbacks to be created. A trackback notifies the person whose work is being linked to, simply so they know their stuff is being appreciated. When I see a blog post of more than a few lines without a link or two, this makes me blanche. What is the person’s source? Are they writing in isolation? Trust me, it does not make you an innovator to not link- there are no new ideas out there. Give credit by linking and people will come and visit your blog.

3. Trying to be extraordinary.

Are you a polymath or a synesthete? Do you blog mind-blowing essays or euphoria-inducing photos on your blog? I don’t, and I often feel like my stuff doesn’t stack up to what everyone else is doing out there on the ‘net. Don’t worry and don’t let it stop you blogging. Writing is the best practice for being a writer. Login to say a few words about what is on your mind, argue with somebody, or draw people’s attention to what is newsworthy. That is it- you are a funnel for information.

4. Hugging your blog.

Blogging without tweeting. Blogging without commenting on anyone else’s blog. This is on par with the ‘hugging your data‘ behaviour that Tim Berners-Lee rails against. I don’t understand why anyone would put loads of effort into writing, keywording and linking their blog posts only to massively #FAIL at sharing your wonderful blog with the world. After all, you can set up Twitter to share you posts automatically.

5. Being a hermit / living in self-imposed exile

You are not an island- reach out to your colleagues, your friends, your enemies even, and blog socially. I realise the cards are sometimes stacked against informaticists because we are such a small group. That is why I urge you to make friends with medics, shrinks, quack-watchers, polymaths and synesthetes. See number 5 in this top-tips list from ProBlogger.

6. Being a slave to your subject speciality

This one applies to me- when I started blogging, I was neurotically concerned with how on or off topic my blog posts were. To build on number 1 from the ProBlogger list, yes, do blog for yourself. But also do not let your blog’s topic area dictate what you should blog. (Note: I draw the line at library blogs that read like their writer’s personal diary- please create a personal blog for that stuff.)

We are generally told to have one blog per topic, but what, in all honesty, is a topic? This blog is health information based, but we are generally obsessed with the latest technology and web phenomena.

And finally, “we shouldn’t should ourselves” – keep it interesting to you because otherwise, why would you make time to blog?

7. Letting your blogroll languish.

Blogrolls are goldmines of information. So it makes me despair to see fabulously-titled but now defunct blogs in your blogroll. Have a clear out and add anything new you’ve been reading. Do it for all your readers, like me, who are desperate to know where you get your clever ideas from.