I’ve just figured out how to import blog posts into my Facebook profile as ‘notes’ (use the “import a blog” setting in the Notes, enter the RSS feed for your blog, then Facebook will add a new note whenever you write a new post). In fact, I’ve only just realised today how many RSS feeds there are in Facebook. I’ve just subscribed to my friends’ status updates, and posted items, via my RSS reader (NetNewsWire).
I used to keep my project ‘to do’ list in the body of an email in my mailbox (FirstClass works strangely such that outgoing email sits in alongside incoming … don’t ask) – I have my email open all the time and it was a fairly convenient place to keep it.
But it was always full of things which weren’t exactly ‘to do’ – some were things to think about, or read, or do later, or maybe do (I haven’t read the ubiquitous “Getting Things Done”, but I do read some of the offshoot blogs and stuff, so I know this is one of the central concepts of the book). Also, I was starting to lose track of things I’d read and bookmarked or saved in a folder somewhere on my laptop.
So, I read a post somewhere about this local wiki-type program (Voodoopad, for the Mac, if you’re interested) and decided to try it out. It’s quickly superseded not only my project to do list, but also my browser bookmarks, and a plethora of separate word files which used to sit, unconnected to each other or anything else, in folders on the hard drive. I also use it to do things I haven’t done before, and make explicit information which was only in my head – really important, I think, since it’s mainly me working on my project and if I get hit by a bus… well, you know.
It’s evolved, and I now use it as a convenient central place to link to a bunch of important project files and URLs. I also have the following categories linked from my main page:
This Week (my new to do list)
Diary (a record of all my project activities – will be fantastic come report-writing time)
events (forthcoming and recent, with links to presentations I’ve given, venue and programme details, travel info, etc.)
3 categories of contacts, with a page for each person/organisation
programmes (information about the programmes I’m working with to develop e-portfolios)
professional development (nothing in either of these categories yet -maybe they need to go. Or maybe I’m not doing enough PD!)
OSPI (info about the e-portfolio tool the University is developing, training materials, etc)
to read (getting enormous – need to subdivide, i guess. or actually read some of the stuff. links to documents on my computer and on the web, with notes about what they are if needed)
links to check out (as above, but for sites rather than articles/papers etc)
ideas (things I’m thinking about or want to explore further)
resources (key resources for the project – some things get moved here from the ‘to read’ category)
Just Letters – a whole bunch of people trying to play with one set of fridge magnets. All at once. It looked completely random at first, but after a minute all of the orange letters started moving to one side of the screen. So I moved an orange one as well, and it was really, stupidly elating. Then back to randomness (well, non-collective purposefulness, I guess). And despite the fact that you’ve got a whole screen full of letters, there’s no way to communicate in words because in the time it takes to find letters to spell something, someone else will move one of your letters. And yet, this spontaneous gathering of orange did feel like a conversation. Which is related (oh yes, it is) in my head to two things:
1. I’m reading Sherry Turkle’s book “Life on the Screen” and she’s talking about emergence and artificial life and how a bunch of creatures or cells or whatever following simple rules can together create complex and unpredictable behaviours, and that this might be where science meets ‘god’ in some way.
2. “The Wisdom of Crowds” (Jen’s handy hint – get someone else to read things and tell you the interesting bits, if you trust them to know what interesting is, and then you can know twice as much stuff. Which is to say, I haven’t read this, but I trust my ‘someone else’): the premise that, weirdly enough, large groups are better than even ‘expert’ individuals at predicting things and making good decisions. I went back to “Just Letters” just now and in the middle of the screen it said JOY JOY J Y.
So I found another O.