May 9, 2008


It's been a delicious week! After feeling that my lack of hardware and networking knowledge were keeping me from making a significant contribution to our tech team, I offered some training on the "softer side" of technology, the human-computer interactions that I feel more confident talking about than server interruptions....and they bought it! Our webmaster got very excited about social bookmarking and added the following tools to each page of our website:, digg, reddit, and StumbleUpon. We are also planning to do staff training on next week, and I was asked to give a training about search tips and Web 2.0 basics at our annual conference. In just my fifth month here I have been able to share my skills and win the respect of the major players. And I smiled throughout!

I am only really one step ahead of everyone on using, but taking that first step--especially for some of our staff and partners who may not be very comfortable with technology--is the most important step so I can help them along the way, provide support, and empower them. So far I have been tagging as many sites as I can, which is easy since I probably access upwards of one hundred sites on a typical work day. I started with the basic categories one might expect, but I am also finding it useful to tag sites with staff members' names so I can later go back and find the sites I used for a particular research request. I am also going to suggest to staff that they tag sites with the date they are using them in case they work better by thinking chronologically. Another good tip is to tag a site by the format of the document, such as PDF or PPT.

By tagging sites with how YOU will be most likely to try to retrieve them later, you are in essence creating your own search engine. Tags are not the only way to create your own search engine, though. Google actually has a tool that allows you to do this. Stay tuned to learn more about it!

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