#blogjune: post 30: Reflections on blogJune

It’s day 30 of blogjune, the aim being to ‘blog every day in June – or as often as you can manage, or comment on someone else’s blog every day’.

I managed 25 posts, five fewer than the whole month, but not bad given I expected work and personal life to get in the way! On the days I wasn’t able to blog I did have a look at other people’s blogs: keeping within the spirit of blogjune.

Things I’ve learnt:

  • I can write a first draft for a post in 30 mins during my commute, to or from work, on my iPhone. Then edit on the laptop at home before publishing.
  • It’s easier to write than I had imagined, or remembered. Particularly given a post is usually 500 words. Plus judicious editing is the key to success.
  • Planning helps: make sure to figure out what you’ll cover each day. Accept you’ll need to re-jig things to accommodate news & life events. Some of my most popular posts – chairing a meeting – were the result of reflections on events and that had happened that day.
  • As does being flexible about not posting every day. I’ve tried to do this, but ended up playing catch up. But I’m ok about that.
  • Write about what interests you – you’ll be amazed at what others want to read about & will comment on. My most popular posts have been on common all garden things like chairing meetings, bullet journals & scheduling. Timing posts to coincide with events is a way of garnering interest so I got a lot of tweets about my SLA campaigning & awards posts because they were published during SLA’s conference.
  • Likewise, promoting widely, via social media helps to gain readers. LinkedIn really does work as it was my second referee after Twitter. Think about when to schedule tweets for maximum impact. I found mornings & early evenings worked well for maximum impact. Those timings fit well into various time zones from U.K. To US to Australasia. 

When I checked the analytics this morning I found the following:

Top 3 referrers: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook.

Top 3 countries for viewers: UK, Australia/NZ, USA.

The 5 most popular posts:

– post 12: Organising my time & tasks: the joys of bullet journals; 

– post 1: I’m taking part in blogjune;  

– post 2: The gentle art of chairing a meeting;

– post 20: Schedule to get more done; 

– post 14: Mind the gap: transferable skills & moving sectors. 

I wanted to get into the habit of writing & improve my confidence in my editing skills. I’ve achieved that, so a big thank you blogjune. See you next year.


    #blogjune post 7: Following a conference from a distance: the joys of Twitter

    I’ve just returned home from the first of three conferences I’m attending (I was at #CILIPS17 and had a great time) over the next month. My head is full of ideas and thoughts, my inbox full of work things. And then I look at Twitter – a blessing and a nuisance all in one – and realise there are loads of conferences and meets ups taking place. As someone said yesterday why have we got multiple library conferences – for yesterday that was #CILIPS, #UXlibs, #Sconul2017; for today it’s #UXlibs, #Sconul2017, #BIALL2017 and @UKSCL – on at the same time?

    It’s bewildering to keep up with all that’s going on and there are inevitable overlaps; makes Twitter lurking for CPD fun. What did we do in the days before social media could provide us with real time coverage of presentations and workshops? As I recall we waited to read write ups in blogs and before that in journals, which did at least mean you got a rounded view of a conference, admittedly one person’s reflection and experience. Now we can get lots of people’s views ranging from 140 characters to blog posts.

    I often dip in & out of coverage of an event on Twitter. There is a definite art to tweeting a session. I’m appreciative of those who do it in a way that allows those of us not attending to feel like we are there. Even more so, if there’s a chance to interact in real time.

    I had that opportunity, by chance, at lunchtime today. I came across the excellent #candocafe run by NHS East of England libraries. Thanks to Isla Kuhn for bringing this to my attention. It’s their second cafe this year; a practical example of sharing best practice between health libraries & the local public libraries.


    You can read a Storify of #candocafe My favourite suggestion is to put staff expertise on the catalogue along with the books (#human library)! Such a simple idea, but with real potential in most organisations. Knowledge management meets information management.

    Does anyone know of anywhere that has piloted this?






    The gentle art of chairing a meeting

    To attend a well led meeting is a joy. You feel you’ve used your time well, learnt something, contributed & been listened to. This is particularly true if you have a masterful chair.

    I was struck by this thought at lunchtime today having attended meetings last night (a hustings for my local parliamentary constituency) & this morning (a ‘town hall’ meeting at work). The contrast between the two meetings was stark: the work one was excellent, the hustings a mess. I began thinking about why this was. My conclusion: the work meeting had a very competent chair, while the hustings had a weak chair.

    A chair is in charge of the meeting; takes control of the proceedings; is supported in managing the meeting; facilitates discussions & input from everyone in the room. Senses when things aren’t going well & sets the meeting back on course. Plus of course makes sure things are running on time, & if not, sorts out if over running the meeting is an option.

    This isn’t an easy task. It requires practice & self-awareness. It helps too, to have the opportunity to observe excellent & poor chairs in action to learn from them. I’ve adopted that technique & believe my chairing has improved, thanks to putting into practice techniques I’ve observed.

    If you want to improve your chairing skills make sure to observe others in action & reflect on their behaviour. I do wish the chair of the hustings last night had followed that advice.

    CPD23 Thing 2: Exploring blogs

    I’ve done thing 2, exloring other people’s blogs  and been entertained and informed, plus learnt a few things. I’ve posted comments on a few of the other cpd23ers blogs, and on some other blogs that I’ve read this week. I’ve found it best to either comment immediately after reading it, or to make notes to remind me to respond later in the day. Now I just need someone to comment on my small number of posts to give me the practice of replying! I’m sure that will come with time.

    CPD23 Thing 1: Blogging

    This is the first post on my blog, which I’ve started for a combination of professional development and personal reasons. I’ve wanted to blog for a while, but not found the time to do it so signing up for CPD23 this month has given me the incentive. I had started 23 Things a couple of years ago, but didn’t get very far for a number of reasons. I’m now committed to seeing it all the way through, even though I’m already behind as thing 1 was due last week.

    The appeal of CPD23 is two-fold;  it’s self-directed learning, which I know I enjoy, and it’s going to introduce me to a wide variety of tools and techniques to manage myself and my brand. The latter is important as I’m standing as a candidate for SLA’s President-Elect this summer.

    I was also encouraged to start blogging by a comment from a very social media savvy friend, that there aren’t enough senior people in the information profession using blogs to share their thoughts.