Blog Archives

What’s going on at the moment

This dear ole blog seems to have taken a back seat in recent times.  Now it’s back to reality and I’m playing catch-up with the Internet news.

I’ve now got so many Firefox tabs open that the laptop is starting to slow down. Here’s a snap-shot of what’s there at the moment:

  • Ping – social networking around itunes from Apple.  A nice way of doing the who’s-zooming-who thing. Seems to be getting mixed reaction so far though
  • Axl Rose throwing a strop – tsk tsk, that band don’t like being on time
  • Blame gravity. Apparently we evolved out of nothing, no divine intervention in our being part of planet earth.
  • How to treat employees like responsible adults – now, isn’t this sensible?  Treat employees responsibly and they will actually produce the goods.  No clock watching, no regimentary day, no thou-shalt-not-take-time-off-to-rescue-your-ill-child.  As long as the work gets done, you can set your own day-to-day working conditions.  And it works.  Shows that happens when an employer trusts employees, though it is open to abuse.  Nice plug for Clay Shirkey’s new book at the end.
  • Work practice ideas from HBR – John Hagel 111 & John Seely Brown blogging in the Harvard Business Review tell us 6 interesting common-sense work rules.  The last one, in particular, speaks volumes.  Killing off employees’ passion for their work is truly disastrous.  It’s common sense but sadly all too common.
  • Value-Added Modeling – Scary that this is being taken so seriously. Assessing teachers is not easy. It’s not meant to be easy.  Hence, there is a need to use multiple methods. Sacking teachers because they rank lowly on this scheme alone is downright dangerous.  Read the article to see the holes that can be pulled in the concept.
  • Blogtalk – would love to have gone but alas………….  Good to have a highlights page though. The debate on location-based social networking looks interesting. I can’t for the life of me decide if I like the “I’m in Limerick Junction waiting for the train” type tweets or not.  Foursquare seems to be taking off, meaning that the location stuff is popular.  Social Identity construction looked like an interesting discussion too. I’m fascinated by how the internet allows alter egos to emerge without rejecting the true persona.  It’s like unleashing a part of yourself that would be otherwise hidden for various reasons.
  • Illume – Just in case you have nothing to do in the city for the next week or so, troddle along to illume in the courtyard in tcd to see some seriously high quality sports photography. I wonder why all the photographers seem to be male?
  • Alternatives to Ning – The guys at Ning went to a paid model earlier this year and promptly lost a lot of users, who went off to find free alternatives. This site gives a nice listing of what alternatives are what under various criteria of interest.   Have to ‘fess up and admit that a lot of these are new to me.
  • – I like the content of this site but the layout of the home page makes me want to cry. There’s just too much there, I don’t know where to start.
  • Facebook is numero uno – just in case you didn’t know already, here are the stats to support the claim.

So there.  That’s what trending in my life at the moment.


Time Optimisation

Sometimes when I read people’s blog I wonder how they possibly get time to do all they do. It seems they spend their days writing / reading blogs, watching youtube, commenting on discussion boards, twittering, skyping, etc. On the one hand I’m jealous, on the other I’m confused.

This blog doesn’t have a post everyday because it’s author simply doesn’t have the time. Neither does she…. shock, horror….. twitter on a regular basis for the same reason. Here’s a typical day –

  • Get up, and potter about apartment. This isn’t time-wasting, it’s a needed relaxation before the day starts. TV3s Ireland Am is on in the background, it gets channel-flicked to gmtv or the bbc at odd times.
  • Take 35 minutes to walk to work.
  • Work day is spent: giving classes, preparing for classes, doing student consultations, answering / sending emails, attending meetings with colleagues, marking student work.
  • A work day can end anytime between 4pm or 8pm depending on how busy a particular day is.
  • Talk 35 minutes to walk home from work.
  • Much of the evening is spent reading / writing as part of my phd research studies.
  • I need me time to pursue personal activities that have become a needed part of sanity e.g. going to the gym (once or twice a week) , reading for pleasure (next up is Sebastian Barry’s Secret Scripture), going to the theater / the NCH, etc.

Not much time is left for engaging is social internet activities. I can multi-task with the best of them, but ‘interruption’ social internet activities squeezed in to the above tasks can be interruptive to those tasks.

There’s a time and a place for everything. I’m happy to spend the time I spend in Facebook, I enjoy posting in here, I enjoy reading the blogs I follow. I know that there are other blogs I would like to follow but I have to prioritise.

I have my blogs and news pages routed to a reader to speed up access time to them. I have my preferred websites book marked on delicious to keep them within easy reach. I have other tools that speed up my internet life but I still find I haven’t the time to do all I like to do.

Such is life. Time needs to be prioritized, simple as that.