On Organizations and French Fries

Picture of weird French Fry guyI finally just finished reading Scott Berkun’s wonderful book “The Year Without Pants:  WordPress.com and the Future of Work.”  I’ve been reading it for a while, and even re-reading some parts.

At my library, we are planning on changing and consolidating some service points over the next few years, which has some folks concerned over the future of their work.  Berkun has a nice analogy of organizations, rules, and side dishes that I think applies to almost any organization undergoing significant change.  He writes:

 

Organizations become bureaucratic as soon as people define their job around a particular rule, or feature, rather than a goal. For example, if you tell me my job is to cook the French fries, I will resist anything that threatens the existence of French fries, since when they go away, so does my job. But if you tell me my job is to make side dishes for customers, I’ll be open to changing from fries to onion rings or other side dishes, even ones we’ve yet to invent, since my identity isn’t tied to a particular side dish but instead to the role side dishes play.  pp. 187-188.

Image hat tip: Scary Fry Guy by fschroiff, on Flickr

A decade of hits and future directions

Things have changed a bit in 10 years
Things have changed a bit in 10 years

On January 5, 2005, I stepped out into the blogosphere with my first post here at Library Voice.  My intention at the time was to use my blog to keep up with my professional community of librarians and technology enthusiasts, while also contributing to the conversations among those groups.  Through my work on this blog, I’ve managed to meet a bunch of great people, learn a lot, and share quite a bit as well.

With Facebook and Twitter and other social media apps, blogging has fallen by the wayside, especially in the library blogging community.  Many of us who were blogging like there was no tomorrow back in 2005- 20010 just aren’t blogging that much anymore.  We’ve decided it’s easier to participate in the community via  140 characters, pictures, or status updates.  Some would argue that the library blogosphere is largely dead.  Others have said the same about blogging in general.

My lack of blogging over the years can mostly be attributed to my professional and personal busyness, as well as changes to my roles at work.  I’ve historically blogged about the projects that I was working on at my library, but with moving into more of a management position, there’s only so much that I can really blog about.  With less library-specific content to write about, Library Voice has gone largely dormant.

My blogging slowdown has nagged me quite a bit over the years.  I’ve thought about taking the blog down, but then have also found the historical record of past projects or events very helpful.       I also know that there are topics that I still want to write about or things that I want to share that are best done in a longer-form venue.  I find there is something really awesome about putting your words to paper (albeit virtually) and hitting the publish button.  It is something that I have missed quite a bit.   It’s especially awesome when the content you publish on the open web helps someone out or gives them joy.

My most-popular posts on this blog cover a variety of topics.  While more library-focused content tends to get the most hits, I’ve found that many of the more-general topics are appreciated as well.  For some reason I used to think that if a topic couldn’t be tied back to libraries, I really didn’t need to write about it here.  I was censoring myself largely because I had a self-imposed niche for my content (largely driven by my domain name and original purpose back in 2005).  However, over the years I’ve developed multiple interests including gadgets, gaming, the great outdoors, photography, music, fitness, and much more (my wife jokes that I change hobbies every week) that fall outside of just libraries.  I also know that many of my librarian friends also share my many interests as well.  As such, I’ll be using this blog not only to continue writing about issues in my library profession, but also to share things I have learned through my other hobbies and interests.

If you’ve been reading my blog for the last 10 years, or just the last 10 minutes, I hope you’ll stick around for what’s to come.

 

This post as well as the TL;DR version below , was inspired by Jason’s Revisiting my Medium post as well as the first #blogging101 assignment.

It’s hard to believe I’ve been blogging for 10 years.  To keep this blog, and my online presence, going for the next 10 years, I’ll be branching out beyond just libraries and tech to write and share about many of my other interests including gadgets, gaming, the great outdoors, photography, music, and fitness.  I hope you’ll find what I share informative and fun.

 

12 things to do (more of) in 2015

Selfie on Rockhouse Trail
I want to do more things that make me smile

2014 was a good year, though when I look back, there were things that I enjoy that I didn’t do nearly enough. We won’t call these resolutions, but merely ideas for things I’d like to do more of in the coming year.

1. Take my wife out for more dates
2. Take the family on more bike rides and hikes
3. Go on more mountain bike and road bike rides
4. Learn more than 3 songs and 3 chords on guitar
5. Spend more time in spiritual reflection
6. Take my older boys backpacking
7. Save more money
8. Eat better
9. Get more fit
10. Take more pictures
11. Be more content and satisfied
12. Pwn in Call of Duty