OLJ 08 – Module 3 – Online Personal Learning Network

As an ‘early adopter’ I have been actively involved with the Web 2.0 world since 2004. With a Bloglines aggregator I subscribed to many blogs that set me on a fast-paced learning journey that astounded me. I revelled in it and did not need to undertake the later 23 Things training as I had already acquired that knowledge and skill set.

Online tools have come and gone as quickly as the terms surrounding them. Where is MySpace now? Google Reader replaced Bloglines and now that too is doomed to the e-archives. Amazon has just purchased the popular GoodReads platform. It is a constantly moving landscape, so don’t get too comfortable.

I have observed people get obsessed with the tools to such an extent that their relationship with their screens and text-buddies dominates their life to the extent that their ‘real life’ and ‘real life relationships’ are neglected and suffer. For me, as a lover of technology, art, literature, ideas, media, learning, and a free mind, I have always realised the wisdom of balance. A walk in the outdoors, looking at nature, talking to your parents, children, spouse, dog, going to watch a game of footy, going cycling, doing yoga, meditating, etc, etc, are all important and not to be neglected. So in terms of where I find myself on the graph offered by Jeff Utecht on his blog The Thinking Stick in 2008, I am at Stage 5 which is ‘balance’. (Utecht, 2008)

The power of the Online Personal Learning Network is harnessed by capturing your chosen resources into one online location and the aggregator is a perfect tool for this. Here you can link to your favourite resources and get the updates displayed as they are available. Google is making a big mistake getting rid of its Reader, IMHO.


It is not just blogs, but podcasts, video, news, photos, and so much more, all delivered shiny and new to your Reader. I have exported my collection of RSS feeds (that needs trimming/curating) to Feedly. But it is early days for Feedly – so we’ll see how it goes.

So in considering my Online Personal Learning Network with a holistic view, I can see that my ‘gap’ is in the sharing part of this experience. Beth Kanter suggests three parts to this process: seek; sense; share. (Kanter, 2011) I have no trouble in sharing my knowledge in the real world in discussions with colleagues around me. But I do hesitate to share and connect with people I don’t know in reality but only see or hear of online. This is to do with trust, knowing people, and the process of building relationships. I am also very aware of the discrepancy in personal character and integrity as seen in reality compared to what is portrayed online. Many people are wordsmiths and able to craft their thoughts cleverly online, but fail to live up to their online persona when you hear them speak in the real world; and vice versa. How to process this gap and build trust is an issue for me that leads to my reluctance to engage fully online.


Kanter, B. (2011). Using social media for professional learning: Seek sense and share. Retrieved from http://www.bethkanter.org/seek-sense-share/

Utecht, J. (2008). Stages of PLN adoption. Retrieved from http://thethinkingstick.com/stages-of-pln-adoption


OLJ 07 – Module 3 – Librarian 2.0

Partridge, Lee and Munro stated in 2010 “that Librarian 2.0 is not an ideal label, and that it will (and should) fade away into non use.” (Partridge, Lee & Munro, 2010) Now in 2013, I think the label has disappeared. Even the term ‘Web 2.0’ has been replaced in common language with ‘social networking’.

Meredith Farkas stated in 2007 in her presentation at the University of California when discussing the characteristics of Academic Librarian 2.0, that it might not “be all about technology” and that it is about having an attitude that requires responding to user needs “including the technology have-nots”. (Farkas, 2007)

So what is Librarian 2.0 in 2013? I think a key trait of Librarians has always been their desire to help people to find the information they are after regardless of where that information might be. The format and location does not matter; it is about getting access to the content.

Library, Nice France

Library, Nice France

Librarian 2.0 is about knowing the where, why, how, what of that resource. The type of information or resource will give clues about its likely location. Librarian 2.0 knows where to look. They know how to look. They will help locate the resource then deliver it, or show its location, to the customer using the method chosen or suited to the customer.

Some common examples are: an elderly person with limited technology skills might need some specific information printed out for them; a pre-schooler might just need to be able to reach a PC monitor and mouse or touch screen to start playing an age appropriate computer game; a retiree with a new electronic tablet might just need to know how to access the Wi-Fi in the library; and the next book in a popular fiction series remains a typical question in a public library.

The Librarian in 2013 can assist across all media to suit all skill levels.

So I think the essential skills required for librarians in a Web 2.0 world are:

  • An open mind
  • An enthusiastic attitude to new technology
  • A dedicated lifelong learner
  • A person who is keen to share skills and knowledge
  • A thinker and evaluator
  • A challenger of rules and ingrained behaviours
  • A natural detective
  • Someone who is interested in being engaged in conversations that hang on the event horizon of the collective conscience of social evolution. (my words)


Farkas, M. (2007). Building Academic Librarian 2.0. [Video file]. Presented to the Librarians Association of the University of California. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_uOKFhoznI

Partridge, H., Lee, J., & Munro, C. (2010). Becoming “Librarian 2.0”: The skills, knowledge, and attributes required by library and information science professionals in a Web 2.0 world (and beyond). Library Trends, 59 (1-2), 315-335. Retrieved from http://muse.jhu.edu.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/journals/library_trends/v059/59.1-2.partridge.html

OLJ 06 – Module 2 – Maiden voyage to Second Life

Not a gamer and not a digital native, I was never drawn to virtual immersion games such as Second Life. I prefer real life activities rather than sitting at a screen for hours on end. In my spare time I cycle, go to the beach, cook, etc.

But I was keen for the experience so when our study group met at Jokaydia I found out how much fun it could be. I was surprised to find that people’s actual personalities seem to shine through their avatar. This doesn’t happen so much with Facebook and Twitter.

We explored the Multi-User Virtual Environment (MUVE), experimenting with the functionality of the controls while in reality we were situated across Australia and New Zealand.

Study group at Jokaydia

Study group at Jokaydia

Here we are gathered outside: Suzette (me with the red hair); Parfa (in the Raiders of the Lost Ark hat); LibraryMel; Lwarre10; and Cas Geordie (our instructor). Adamf77; Carmesa and MissDanz joined us later.

It is a perfect tool for learning and simulation; engaging learners through: demonstration, experience, diagnosis, role play, and construction. (Helmer & Learning Light, 2007, p, 7-21) Some of the disadvantages of Second Life as a learning environment are: technology barriers; interface design; orientation process; cognitive dissonance; security issues; and governance. (Helmer & Learning Light, 2007, p. 22-29)

I was impressed to hear that Stanford University has a digital library in Second Life. (Linden Research, n.d.) This made me think about what the difference might be between a digital library in Second Life and a digital library on a website. Perhaps the main difference is the feeling of actually going into a library. Other advantages might be sharing the experience with others via their avatars, and perhaps getting assistance or instruction from an avatar on standby in the library, as opposed to solo surfing the Stanford Library Digital website.(Stanford University, n.d.)

It seems to be a good tool for meetings and this tool could enhance professional meetings of people who need to discuss things but are spread across the world. I think about the professional organisation that I am part of but need to travel five hours there and then five hours return just to attend these quarterly meetings. Presentations, links to websites, photos, video, and probably much more can be embedded into the “rooms” and shared in a similar way as meetings in the real world.

As a ‘noob’ (Urban Dictionary, 2007) to this environment I have just touched the surface and while I have no real desire to spend hours immersed online in a MUVE, I see the value in using this tool for teaching and learning environments.


Helmer, J. & Learning Light (2007). Second Life and virtual worlds. Retrieved from http://www.norfolkelearningforum.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/virtual-worlds_ll_oct_2007.pdf

Linden Research (n.d.). Stanford University – Second Life. Retrieved from http://secondlife.com/destination/600

Stanford University (n.d.) Digital Collections Stanford University Library. Retrieved from http://library.stanford.edu/subjects/digital-collections

Urban Dictionary (2007). Urban Dictionary – noob. Retrieved from http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=noob

Wikipedia (2013). MUVE – Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MUVE

OLJ 05 – Module 2 – Delicious bookmarks

According to Wikipedia, Delicious has been around since 2003, and I joined around then. (Wikipedia, 2013). While working as a casual Information Services Librarian I was not tied to any one desk or pc, therefore using Delicious as a portable toolbox of my favourite websites proved to be a useful resource in the delivery of my professional services.

Once I found myself in a permanent position with a pc to work from, I deferred to the favourites tab in the web browser and my use of Delicious languished. I was not aware of their changed site until recently.

Now I find that I don’t even use the favourites list in the browser because Google finds the sites I want in as much time as it takes to click through my favourites list. Having said that, I do think that Delicious is an excellent online resource for sharing and organising URL’s. The tagging system is simple, flexible and sensible. For information professionals delivering classes and topics to groups of people, it is an effective way to build subject guides and reference lists as shown by the social networking group at Charles Sturt University @sissocialmedia. (Delicious, 2013a)

Investigating the new website at Delicious I notice that it has changed quite a bit and I have to relearn how to work the site. Apparently redesigned in 2011 the new interface needs some getting used to. (Wikipedia, 2013) I can’t seem to be able to sort my tags by date and this is a bit of a shortfall I think. I can see potential for the mobile app and may even begin to use it again. It is the tagging, portability, accessibility and storage in ‘the cloud’ that are the real benefits of this tool.

It is a great tool for creating an online personal portfolio as I did in 2009 and it helped me to get a job. After the initial interview I was asked if I could show some examples of my work and as I had prepared the portfolio prior to this request it was a quick and easy task to email a single URL that provided a list of my work with explanations in the notes field. (Delicious, 2013b) A very useful exercise gained from Michele Martin at The Bamboo Project. (Martin, 2008) This process has changed a little since I first created the portfolio and it now requires the tags to be bundled. It does need some thought, time and effort to create as you will need to think about how you want to illustrate that great work you have done. (Slideshare, 2009)

Original photo and original oil painting by Susan Bentley

Original photo and original oil painting by Susan Bentley

In the case of articles it is easy, but if your work is in the form of website design, or photographs, or artwork, then you might need to think about how best to show these. Slideshare is a great tool for this.


Delicious (2013a). @sissocialmedia – Delicious. Retrieved from https://delicious.com/#sissocialmedia

Delicious (2013b). @suesbent [SusanBentleyPortfolio]. Retrieved from https://delicious.com/#suesbent/tag_bundle/SusanBentleyPortfolio

Martin, M. (2008). Guide to Using Free Tools to Create an Online Portfolio. Retrieved from http://michelemartin.typepad.com/thebambooprojectblog/2008/03/guide-to-using.html

Slideshare, (2009). Photos by Susan Bentley. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/suesbent/photos-by-susan-bentley

Wikipedia (2013). Delicious (website) – Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delicious_(website)

OLJ 04 – Module 1 – The Technium

Reading the thoughts posted by Kevin Kelly about the adoption of technology and technology as an organism was interesting and although first posted in 2009, the theories still resonate today in 2013, as technology continues to grow as a “self-organising living force.” (Kelly, 2009b)

Some of the points that interested me are: that technology is a “cosmic force” that precedes the Big Bang; that the adoption of technology is not always obvious and is even rejected despite clear demonstrated benefits; that people make definite decisions to not use particular technologies “simply because” and this is often based on how we want to “signal our identity”. (Kelly, 2009a)

Applying these ideas to the world around me I observe the love of gadgets and new technologies in some of the people I know. I share their excitement when obtaining a new toy such as a shiny new electronic notepad, or tablet. I share the enthusiasm of others in my sphere when we try to tell our customers, friends and family about the fantastic opportunities in libraries today especially via our digital resources. I love to try out new online technologies and agree with Kevin Kelly that “the only way we can determine whether something is good or bad for us, is through use.” (Kelly, 2009b)

But equally I observe the “Luddites” around me. You won’t find them on Facebook or Twitter or blogging. They might have an email address and a mobile phone but that’s it. You are more likely to find these people gardening, or cycling, or fishing, or out in the community somewhere doing practical things. I am generalising here of course and not suggesting that there is anything wrong with this at all. But thinking of those “dis-connected” people I know; those who define their identity within a technologically driven and connected society by choosing to not use any particular technology. As Kelly says ” You define yourself by what you don’t use.” (Kelly, 2009b)

Image: Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾北斎), via Wikimedia Commons

Image: Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾北斎), via Wikimedia Commons

There is no right or wrong here, only personal preferences, but I notice that with the fast-paced evolution of internet-based technologies, these people get left behind and the gap grows increasingly wider. Being immersed in a technology like online social media allows you to get swept along on the wave of development, whereas if you are not in it to begin with, there are more skills to learn if and when you do dive in.


Kelly, K. (2009a). Ethnic technology, The Technium. Retrieved from http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2009/03/ethnic_technolo.php

Kelly, K. (2009b). Penny thoughts on The Technium. The Technium. Retrieved from http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2009/12/penny_thoughts_2.php

OLJ 03 – Module 1 – Open Leadership

Driving to work along the open highway past fields of summer-yellowed grass still wet with morning mist, I listened to an interview from 2010 with Eric Schwartzman talking to Charlene Li on the topic of selling social media to leaders of organisations.

The main point made by Charlene Li is that leaders need to embrace online social media tools and that they will benefit by doing so, instead of having a closed attitude to discussing the organisation through social media channels. Several examples were given where organisations had handled negative comments; some positively and some negatively; and how this can influence their success or demise.

A comparison was laboured between Facebook and Google. I thought this was a flawed argument since Facebook is a social networking platform and Google is a search engine. It would have made more sense to compare Facebook with Google+, but according to Wikipedia Google+ was launched in mid 2011.

wind_turbines_image_by_susan_bentleyAs I drove along past the wind turbines, listening intently to this podcast, thoughts would arise that I wanted to note for my studies, so I paused the audio, swapped over to the record function on my iPod, then made a voice memo that I would later transcribe. I did this several times with my eyes on the road ever watchful for kangaroos, koalas, and other traffic.

I thought about other resources I have consumed of a similar nature. I regularly listen to two podcasts: This Is Your Life by Michael Hyatt is about “intentional leadership; Circulating Ideas is a library focused podcast by Steve Thomas; Face2Face is a book by David Lee King on social media for libraries; and Leadership for the Disillusioned by Amanda Sinclair is a book about the changing nature of leadership and offers some practical advice for more effective leadership. You can hear what she has to say here.


Allen & Unwin (n.d.). Leadership for the disillusioned. http://www.allenandunwin.com/default.aspx?page=94&book=9781741751000

Hyatt, M. (2013). This is your life. Retrieved from http://michaelhyatt.com/thisisyourlife

King, D. L. (2013). Face2Face: Using Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media Tools to Create Great Customer Connections. Retreived from http://www.davidleeking.com/face2face/

Li, C. (2010, September 14). Selling Social Media Strategy to Leadership . (E. Schwarzman, Interviewer) Retreived from http://ontherecordpodcast.com/pr/otro/selling-social-media-boss.aspx

Melbourne Business School (n.d). MBS: Amanda Sinclair. Retrieved from http://www.mbs.edu/index.cfm?objectid=B42F0DA2-D3F2-B4EF-439FB4A96E73657C

YouTube (2012). Prof Amanda Sinclair, University of Melbourne – Leading mindfully at work. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyvmnI1fvdg

Thomas, S. (2013). Circulating ideas. Retrieved from http://www.circulatingideas.com/

OLJ 02 – Module 1 – Web 2.0 defined

Web 1.0 was the static web. Information was posted on websites and apart from ‘hyperlink surfing‘ and finding contact email information, possibilities for interaction was minimal.

Web 2.0 is the dynamic web. Websites now offer collaboration, personal space in the cloud, commenting, uploading content, and indeed group communication.

refrigerator_image_by_susan_bentley_2013Web 3.0 is the semantic web where user presences are predicted by computer software based on user history, then a need fulfilled direct to the user, even before the user has any thought about it. Expressed by Tim Berners-Lee, “our daily lives will be handled by machines talking to machines”. (Wikipedia, 2013j) For example, imagine an Internet-connected refrigerator that inventories the contents, sends an order to the grocery supplier, and has it delivered to your door – maybe even to your refrigerator door!

The Web 2.0 definition on Wikipedia provides an example of Web 2.0 comparing Encyclopaedia Britannica Online to Wikipedia, stating that the open source aspect of Wikipedia allows for errors in content to be quickly corrected through the “wisdom of the crowd” and the constant updating by users, as opposed to experts. (Wikipedia, 2013i)

It is the social networking aspect of Web 2.0 that is popular. Being able to create, share, collaborate, curate, comment, tag, and interact is recreating our culture. Some examples include the Arab Spring, flash mobs, the spontaneous rise from unknown to celebrity as we saw for Psy. (YouTube, 2012)

Libraries were quick to adapt these new technologies and the term Library 2.0 surfaced. Beyond social networking tools adopted for professional development and networking within the profession, the meaning of Library 2.0 extended beyond these tools and into the world of library cataloging and the Online Public Access Catalogue. Tagging can be used instead of or in addition to traditional subject headings. Library users can add reviews directly to library catalogue records, thereby sharing their views with other library users. “Like Web 2.0, a full-featured Library 2.0 OPAC gets better the more that users are involved in the process of interacting with the catalog and sharing content.” (Wikipedia, 2013c) Book clubs are online. Collaborative story-telling is possible. Preservation projects gain assistance from outside.

O’Reilly teases out a key Web 2.0 principle that “the service automatically gets better the more people use it” and thereby “harness collective intelligence.” (0’Reilly, 2005)

The rise of blogging is synonymous with the Web 2.0 era. Driven by RSS, personal comments are expressed, journaled, commented upon, linked to, and curated through RSS readers such as Google Reader; thus enabling the creation of Personal Learning Environment and the phenomenon of self-made experts such as Gary Vaynerchuk who went from being a wine merchant to a social media brand consultant and author. (Wikipedia, 2013b)

O’Reilly stated in 2005, that “the blogosphere has begun to have a powerful effect.” (O’Reilly, 2005) Since the proliferation of micro blogging through Facebook and Twitter, when 140 characters, emoticons, abbreviations, and a snapshot from your smartphone can deliver a message, blogging seems to have lost a bit of steam. Amanda Lenhart comments on statistics from a 2010 Pew Internet Report  that “Microblogging and status updating on social networks have replaced old-style ‘macro-blogging’ for many teens and adults.” (Lenhart, Purcell, Smith & Zickuhr, 2010)

Questions have inevitably arisen concerning privacy, copyright, data ownership, terms of agreement, identity, security, and freedom of information. Valid questions that need good answers. But answers we are still collaboratively defining.


Lenhart, A., Purcell, K., Smith, A., Zickuhr, K. (2010).  Social media and young adults –Pew Internet & American Life Project. Retreived from http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Social-Media-and-Young-Adults.aspx

Lenhart, A., Purcell, K., Smith, A., Zickuhr, K. (2010). Content Creation: Sharing, remixing, blogging, and more. Retrieved from http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Social-Media-and-Young-Adults/Part-3/6-Content-Creation.aspx?r=1

O’Reilly, T. (2005). What Is Web 2.0. Retrieved from http://oreilly.com/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html

Surfing the web. (n.d.). The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. Retrieved March 13, 2013, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/surfing the web

Wikipedia (2013a). Cloud computing – Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing

Wikipedia (2013b). Gary Vaynerchuk – Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Vaynerchuk

Wikipedia (2013c). Library 2.0 – Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_2.0

Wikipedia (2013d). Personal learning environment – Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_Learning_Environment

Wikipedia (2013e). RSS – Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rss

Wikipedia (2013f). Semantic web – Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semantic_Web

Wikipedia (2013g). Tim Berners-Lee – Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Berners-Lee

Wikipedia (2013h). Web 1.0 – Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_1.0

Wikipedia (2013i). Web 2.0 – Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0

Wikipedia (2013j). Web 3.0 – Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_3.0#Web_3.0

YouTube (2012). PSY – YouTube. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/user/officialpsy