After the Twitter bird feathers settled following my blog post on the 15 People All Archivists Must Follow On Twitter, I felt that I, make that, we--and by we I mean readers of this blog and Twitter users now following one another--had accomplished something close to a major milestone. We created a small but vocal and flourishing micro-blogging community.
Granted, I realize that many among the list do not always tweet about archives, archivists, or pressing archival issues (in that regard, I am probably the biggest practitioner of impractical tweets), but there is a sense of shared interests, which I am certain will bear fruit in the weeks and months ahead.
Moreover, by testing Twitter, many of us are now not only talking the Web 2.0 walk, but walking the Web 2.0 talk [thanks pakurilecz-dk], building and gaining real-world experience. What works. What doesn't.
It's true, Twitter can be addictive, like cigarettes. A potential time-waster, if used without discipline. But Twitter, simply put, is a nimble, mobile, light-weight publishing tool! Nothing comes close!
Twitter may change in a year or two. Another service may appear on the horizon. But what remains in the constant flux of technology evolution, and what will always remain, is our humanity: People want to create, communicate, share, and participate, and they will use these social technologies.
Reinvention: New Job
No, that's not a typo or a misprint, nor are you hallucinating. I found a new job. The telephone call and the official offer documents arrived mid-week and so therefore I can make the announcement here. I was offered, and accepted, a position at McGill University.
This position marks my return to the university, where I studied and received my MLIS and worked in the University Archives for several years.
This time, I will be working under the Information Technology Services banner, focusing on managing digital content and enabling collaboration among University units. It's a step in a new direction, one requiring, I feel, a Kierkegaardian kind of faith. Expect a slowdown in blog posts in the coming weeks, though a few pithy tweets are not entirely out of the question.
Archives*Open (perpetual beta)
When I launched Archives*Open back in early December, I was inspired and energized and greatly encouraged by the positive feedback and comments.
Today, I still feel inspired and energized. But now, with a new job starting imminently, I wonder if I can honestly maintain energy levels.
I hate to see a bright idea dim.
So in an effort to keep things moving I am making Archives*Open more, well, open, leveraging tools, technologies and services that are freely available on the Web to push content to the blog - with some editorial assistance on my part.
For example, I have started using a Twitter service called Twitterfeed, which takes RSS feeds (title and description fields only) and tweets them to a Twitter account. Regarding the Archives*Open twitter feed (@archivesopen), I am creating search parameters that encompass archives, access and Web 2.0 and saving them as RSS feeds and then running them through Twitterfeed to the @archivesopen Twitter account.
I have done something similar with Delicious, the social bookmarking service. Every time I find a website that fits 'the Web 2.0/innovative access to archival materials' classification, I tag it with "archivesopen" (no quotation marks, natch) and in time the bookmark (short blurb and URL) will be tweeted.
You can join in as well.
If you have a Delicious account, you can tag websites with "archivesopen." Fingers crossed, the bookmark will be tweeted via the Archives*Open Twitter feed.
Upwards and onwards. Stay tuned.