Thing 13: Google Docs, Wikis and Dropbox

This is a pretty straightforward Thing for me, as I’m familiar with all three of these and use them on a day-to-day basis.

Google Docs (Drive, as it’s known now) is useful for collaborating on the same piece of work from remote locations. I use it less frequently as an actual storage space for documents and files, as I find the interface a little bit clunky. The Forms function is really good for generating spreadsheets and organising information, though, I’d strongly recommend that: Jo Alcock as written an excellent post on how she has used it to help gather evidence for chartership.

In contrast with Google Docs, Dropbox is much smoother and convenient; I love how it just acts like another folder on my computer, and syncs with my phone. It was especially useful when I was preparing applications for jobs, as I could access my CV and various covering letters quickly and conveniently. I have  had a small problem with some pdf files becoming corrupted on Dropbox, however, so I’m a little doubtful of its reliability.

Wikis are fantastic as a directory for information. Having worked on a few different service desk positions, I think that Wikis would be really handy as a training/procedure manual, particularly in larger libraries with lots of part-time staff. They’d be able to look information up quickly, and any changes or updates could be instantly shared across the team.

I love gaming and computer games, and one thing that’s really amazed me in recent years is the growth of fan-created wikis to almost every computer game conceivable. Whilst we previously relied on walkthroughs written by an individual person, or official strategy guides, gaming help is now crowd-sourced! This is fantastic, to see the community pooling their knowledge to improve the gaming experience for everyone. There are of course trolls who put up false or misleading information, but the community quickly monitors this, and any edits are quickly confirmed or disproved by other members of the wiki. Here are two Dark Souls wikis that I found particularly handy.

On to Thing 14 next! That’s going to be a tricky one; I’ve never used any sort of reference management software before…

Thing 12: Putting the social into social media

As I think I’ve mentioned before I’m definitely a lurker rather than an active participant in social media stuff, even on really informal, completely non-professional spaces like Facebook. I’m just not really comfortable with putting myself out there.

That’s not to say, however, that I never comment on other people’s blogs or tweets; I’m still working on creating a more active social media presence and hopefully this will translate into more real-life activity 🙂

Recently I had the experience of meeting twitter acquaintances in person, namely other graduate trainees, and it was a great! It was reassuring to ‘know’ some of the other trainees before moving to Cambridge, and even better to have proper chats not limited to 140 characters!

Thing 11: Mentoring

I am so incredibly behind on cpd23 – moving to Cambridge and starting a new job has completely overwhelmed everything else! Now that I’ve been at St John’s for a month, I’m starting to feel a lot more grounded, and ready to take on other things too… so it’s time for a catch up!

I haven’t had any experience of mentoring before, and it’s something I’m really looking forward to exploring as my career progresses. I think it’s great that it’s such an important part of the Chartership process.

At the moment I have no idea where to even start with the mentoring process; I like the idea of the “informal” mentor that Meg writes about. Being so early on in my career at the moment, I feel like I don’t really have an idea of where I’d like to be in 5 years’ time, which makes it hard to find someone to emulate!

Give me a year or two to find myself, and I’ll think more seriously about finding a mentor to guide me 🙂