Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Thing #52: Share Your Interests with Pinterest

I first heard about Pinterest when I attended Women of Faith this past summer. Patsy Clairmont talked about how addicted she was to it, and I thought, "Hmm... I easily become addicted to things, especially where the Internet is concerned. I'll give Pinterest a go!" It's true, it IS addictive.

I haven't had a need to use Pinterest in my "work" life, per se. But I have been using for my own personal interests. I'm kind of hoping this will help me with some of the chaos that I feel has started taking over, with regard to cooking (I've got cook books galore and stray recipes all over the place) and knitting/crocheting ideas (I tend to start a project and not finish it, but the most fun part is finding ideas online!), etc. I think it can also be helpful when planning a family vacation or maybe creating a gift wish-list (for oneself and/or for other family members). I've only been using Pinterest a little bit so far, but I foresee myself using it more and more. However, I don't think it'll get to a point where Pinterest will replace Facebook, for me. They're both very social, I agree, but there are still so many more facets to Facebook......

Thing #51: Keeping up with RSS

This assignment is something I've pretty much been doing already--I set up a Google Reader account approximately one year ago, when I was taking my Teaching and Learning in a Digital Environment class. The instructor had mentioned her Reader account and she showed us some of the blogs she was following. At the time, I was following a few friends' blogs, but nothing that had to do with my personal interests OR my career. Since that time, I've signed up for several different blogs and have the updates sent to my Google Reader account. And for several months, I was vigilant about checking Reader every day. Then summer came. I found myself busy doing things with my kids, running them around, swimming and doing other activities, etc. I realized I wasn't quite reading my updates on a daily basis. Once the fall semester began, I hoped I'd again be vigilant about checking updates. Alas, this wasn't the case! I even added an app to my Kindle Fire when I purchased it in late November... but whenever I get on my Kindle Fire, reading blog updates is not what I want to do.

I think part of my problem is that I haven't organized my posts. I did have them organized, for a while. Then, in the fall, I tried using a new RSS feed. I found that I didn't like it as much as Google Reader, but by that time, I'd messed around with all my subscriptions, etc. Now my feeds are all just coming in willy-nilly.

Lucky me! There's Thing #51.1: How Can I Organize My RSS Feeds. At first, I just thought this was going to tell me how to create little subheadings and move each feed into the corresponding heading. I already knew how to do that, just hadn't taken the time.... But no, Thing #51.1 actually gave me more insight on weeding my feeds. Why do I need to remain subscribed to something that hasn't been updated in four years? Seriously? Or why should I subscribe to contest feeds when I really hate to be bothered with reading the multiple feeds? (Some of those contest feeds were updated, like, four or five times a day, EVERY day!) So I've fine-tuned my subheadings (Cooking, Family & Friends, and Library Stuff) and I've weeded my feeds down to only the ones I really have an interest in. Lastly, I downloaded the Google Reader Filter by Feed/Folder userscript, and I kind of messed around with it a bit to see how it works. However, since I just did some hefty weeding, I'm going to hold off on using the filter for a while.... 


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

7 1/2 Habits of Highly Successful Lifelong Learners

The hardest "habit" among these 7 1/2 habits is going to be the first one: Begin with the end in mind. I feel like I'm always starting projects without having an end in mind. I guess it's what has always gotten in the way of my writing (I initially thought I'd be a novelist, but I was intimidated by all the research that might have to go into it, and I could never really foresee an ending to any story ideas I had). Looking back, I guess I'd have to say that was what I did wrong when I went to college the first time. I thought the goal was to get the degree. Wow! Even writing that down, it sounds kind of silly. I mean, sure I love getting an education, and I definitely had fun going to college my first time around. And yes, I did end up with a degree. But it was not a degree I felt was particularly useful (i.e. I didn't find it leading me on a path to any particular career), and I didn't have the foresight to attempt to get good grades. Getting the degree itself was enough of a goal for me. Big mistake! But I'm learning from that experience......

I think the easiest "habit" will be to use technology to my advantage. I've done this for as long as I can remember. I've always had an interest in learning new things, especially new types of technology. I'm not always able to afford the latest gadgets or tools, but the interest is pretty much always there. I have a bit of a knack for it, too, so I'm able to figure out how things work and, oftentimes, I'm able to help share that knowledge with others. In that aspect, I'd say the 6th and 7th habits kind of go hand-in-hand for me.

I'm on an incredible journey!