Thursday, May 28, 2009

On the end of May and my scattered state of mind

I wrote an article for Connecticut Libraries this month on iPhone app's. It's one of the things that's most on my mind these days - the power of a mobile application, whether it's WorldCat Local for the iPhone or Google's Mobile Search, the Kindle e-book reader for iPhone, or so many others (over 39,000) available (often free) via the iTunes App store. We librarians have to embrace the importance of mobility and the use of cell phones as people's primary computing devices in order to ensure that we're offering the best possible service for our users.

I've been using Zoho Projects, Remember The Milk, and RescueTime to try and control the many things that are floating around in my mind (yes, blogging is among the multiple-pages of lists I have at RTM). But I still don't feel in control. I think it's because I have to keep flipping modes between micro and macro - big picture / vision work and detailed / code-level work. I love the schizophrenic nature of what I do. I find it a challenge. But I also sometimes feel like I'm out of control of it all. I think it's because I have difficulty estimating the amount of time some tasks take, particularly those related to troubleshooting code. And because I often get sidetracked, there is the relearning curve when I return to a type of project that I've successfully worked on before but haven't finished up the final bits of. We have a lot of technologies to master here. I'm even straightening out old ASP code (which, yes, should be converted, I know, but ask me where that fits on the list of to-dos). The other bit I'm having some trouble balancing is the person vs. technology based aspects of my career. I find I have to be very different in dealing with people and politics than I am with working directly on technological solutions. I feel very fulfilled when I resolve issues - but these types of issues - the emotional/political issues vs. the technical ones - require very different types of energy and orientation.

In trying to get control of things, I've reduced the amount of time I spend on my Twitter and Facebook. I hooked my Twitter updates to update my Facebook status, but of course, that made me more cognizant of how many tweets I do in a day and - not wanting to load down others' feeds - I reduced the number. Then I felt like I wasn't participating in the conversation. I think I must master FriendFeed to help pull these aspcts of my online life together, but I haven't taken the time for that.

Some new technologies that I'm hearing buzz about, btw, include:

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