The article “Is there Life After Email? Yes, and it’s Amazing.” states that most business email is sent to either “cover your ass” or to “show off”. I’m guilty of striving for excellence in both areas.
In the CYA statement, the author says that “Email is broadcast to entire divisions simply to ensure no one can say they didn’t hear about a decision.” Yes, if someone complains they didn’t know about something, I am guilty of re-sending them the sentmail from days or weeks ago. It’s hard not to get a little satisfaction by passively rubbing their nose in the old email they were copied on. For good measure, I’ve even highlighted portions that they should have read way back when. This is one of the reasons I hardly expunge my sentmail folder. Pretty silly and a little evil, eh?
The author also states that “for people who don’t actually make things for their job, email is the only visible, tangible thing they make all day. ” Guilty as well, though I haven’t been one to measure how many email I send in a day. Rather, I measure the size of my inbox. It started at 5 on Monday, rose to about 30 yesterday, and is now back to 7 (hence me taking a time-out from email for this quick blog post). If I have to stay home with a sick kid (which happens quite a bit with 4 boys), I’m able to “catch up” on email. Often this means my co-workers are on the receiving end of a full-on email bombardment that compares to the Normandy invasion. It’s probably not fair to them, but it’s the work that I’m able to do remotely in that moment. The problem is, those emails get responses, so the volley continues back and forth until one of us calls an email truce or silently surrenders.
Regardless of what my colleagues or I think about email, it is still a necessary technology in our line of information work. We’ve used blogs, chat, wikis, twitter, and other technology to communicate within our organization and with those we serve, but none of those is ever adopted as universally as email, nor have they taken any traffic from the well-entrenched technology. However, one colleague has me thinking again about using a WordPress P2 blog for non-essential/non-time-critical communication such as project updates, meeting minutes, or just personal “what I’m working on” or “I need help” conversations. Has your organization used a P2 blog, and how did it work? Perhaps we will investigate and/or give it a try.
The past two days I received two very nice compliments via social media. Both of them made me feel especially valued and appreciated, even if the kind words came from people I have never met in person. I’m posting them here for those days where things aren’t quite so rosy.
The first comment came out of the blue from another librarian on Twitter. This really made my day, especially given that I am submitting a few proposals to speak again at the Computers in Libraries conference next spring.
The second comment came this morning from a random person on flickr. I can only assume that he found my pictures via one of the flickr groups that I’ve been posting to lately. I’ve become really interested in photography over the past year, and have been working to get better. It’s always nice when someone “favorites” or “likes” your pictures, but this fellow went out of his way to give me a very kind remark.
It really doesn’t take much to make somebody’s day better. Simply giving someone a compliment can be a huge boost to their confidence and can make them happier. I appreciate these two folks giving me a shout out, and now I’m very encouraged to pay it forward.
Shot with my Sony HX100v, roughed up a bit in Snapseed for iPad.
My files need attention
Do you ever try to remember something and you can’t quite remember the date or details? This happened to me yesterday when I got an email from a colleague asking about our library podcast tour project. We stopped doing the podcasts some time ago due to the low return on investment, and I had a hard time remembering when we first started the project and how it was conducted. Fortunately, I blogged about it here on Library Voice, and even followed up with other posts . Unlike my filing cabinet pictured above, my blog has a nice search function so I was able to find the relevant information with ease. Many of the links on those posts are long extinct, but there was enough information there for me to find this old article from our local paper about the tours. Turns out podcasting was so 2006.
The problem is, when I first got this email, it took me *way* too long to think “maybe I blogged about that and there’s some info on my site.” That tells me that Library Voice has been off my radar for way too long. With the end in site (pun intended) for Google Reader, many are again proclaiming that blogging is dead and has been replaced by the likes of Twitter and Facebook. I’m not buying it, and this small example is proof enough to me that there’s still room (and a need) on the web for blogs. How we’ll read those blogs is another story that will unfold over the next few months.
I’ve been thinking of moving my family pics from Flickr to my self-hosted WordPress blog. This post shows how to customize the WordPress gallery without the need for plugins.