Do we need to work harder in a downturn?

This is the title of an interesting article on Fumsi (part of Freepint) which to anyone with any common sense the answer would be obvious - Yes must worker harder to show how valuable I am.

But...it's not just about working harder, it's also about adding more value and making yourself more visible to those individuals (managers) who make decisions about funding and staffing. The article has 10 Top tips on how to survive a downturn, which I have listed below:

1 Make sure senior managers understand how much value you add.
2 Understand how a downturn changes your employer's business focus.
3 Provide the right resources to reflect these changes.
4 Be proactive in providing new business leads.
5 Be ready to renegotiate contracts with information suppliers.
6 Have clear usage figures so you can contain costs.
7 Train end-users to use information services cost-effectively.
8 Be ready to deal with the impact of information industry mergers & acquisitions.
9 Be creative in exploiting quality lower price material.
10 Update your core skills - and be visible!

Dartford Half Marathon 2008

Yesterday I took part in the Dartford Half Marathon, this was described as "challenging" course which in my mind meant hills! So I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was only one major hill, albeit one mile long!

To cut a long story short I ran what I considered a pretty perfect race although I could have probably gone a bit quicker in the first 6 miles, after 10 miles I "kicked" for home and made it there in a time of 1:43:23 smashing my previous PB by four minutes! very pleased overall especially as I had enough left in the tank to pass two people in the last 400 metres.

Tagging inside the Enterprise

This is the title of a really thorough and informative presentation from David Hobbie Litigation Knowledge Manager at Goodwin Procter and owner of the Caselines Blog

I like the idea of Tagging being about more than just external Websites, in David's presentation he includes People, Document Management System Documents, Intranet Pages and much more.

Cliffe Woods 10k 2008

Surprise surpirse on Sunday I ran yet another 10k this time the setting was Cliffe Woods in Kent for the rather originally named Cliffe Woods 10k. Unfortunately the run didn't take place in any woods which meant runners had to endure temperatures in the mid 20's...hot when you're pounding the mean streets of Kent.

Thankfully there were not one, not two, but three, yes three water stations along the route and boy did we need them. The best part of the run had to be being hosed down by a very kind old man in a garden that adjoined the course, bliss!

Despite the heat and the fact that I had never run the course I managed a very decent time of 45:25 so naturally I was disappointed not to run a sub 45 10k, but I was over the moon when the results were made available online and I discovered I had come 91st (first time in the top 100 for a race) out of 446 runners! I'd like to thank the runner who always wears union jack shorts who I paced myself against!

Energy Institute - Spring Seminar 2008

I'm a bit late reporting this, but I'm going to nevertheless, this seminar took place on the 28th of May, from the website of the Energy Institute "The seminar was designed for information professionals keen to find out more about Web 2.0 and how they might use it within their own organisations. Catherine Cosgrove, Library & information Service Manager at the Energy Institute, chaired the event"

There are some really useful look presentations available on the site, including;

Phil Bradley - Using Web 2.0 resources in your Library
Adrian Arthur - Web 2.0/British Library 2.0

There are also links to two videos on the IET.tv website which look interesting, enjoy!

Yusing Youtube

I've finally taken the plunge and registered to use Youtube call me a technophobe if you like, now don't expect me to start posting videos of myself or the work I do online I'm primarily using Youtube for the many videos explaining Web 2.0 and Social Media concepts and what better way to explain Web 2.0 then by using a Web 2.0 tool.

Suffice to say that no sooner had I started using Youtube then the ilibrarian posted about 100 Awesome Youtube videos for Librarians one of my favourite amongst these has to be the Librarians of Second Life the somersaults are great. If those videos aren't interesting enough you can always check out the UK Parliament channel!

Running in the rain

This was pretty much the theme of the run I took part in last night along with 40 other brave souls from my firm and 12960 other participants. I really enjoy running the JPMorgan Chase Challenge not just because there is the prize of a nice cold beer and a barbecue at the end but because it'ss a very informal social event, which I would recommend as a run to anyone who asks.

Anyway after all the rain I still managed to set a new PB of 26:11 smashing my previous best by a whole 4 seconds! I blame the weather and the 6 legged girl I had to manoeuvre around!

How to use Social Media tools..and still stay productive..

...sounds difficult doesn't it?! but it cant be done and to prove it Lifehacker has published a post on exactly how to do it. The article has three main principles to using Social Media and staying productive they are:

Principle 1. Set a North Star

Here you need to ask yourself, why am I or why do I need to use Social Media tools? Is it as part of the work or do, to waste time or for a combination of both of these.

Principle 2. Apply the Pareto Principle

This principle which you can read all about on Wikipedia states that "80% of the value comes from just 20% of the content you read" mind boggling but apparently true. So to apply this to your use of Social Media tools you should review what you use on a regular basis, weed and unsubscribe from RSS feeds you don't use or don't find useful anymore and concentrate instead on the content that is really useful.

Principle 3. Schedule Time to be Social

This principle is about ensuring you set time aside to be social and time when you need to work. One of the other principles I would apply when using Social Tools is to use your common sense, if you're blatantly "mucking around" on Facebook and you have decided to use Social Tools for business then you're not applying this principle. Other then that relax and enjoy using them for what they are but try not to get too distracted/caught up with using them!

How to make Facebook useful...

...some excellent suggestions here from the ReadWriteWeb Blog on How to make Facebook useful... of course I only ever use Facebook for professional reasons!

Taking the pain out of RSS

I don't think RSS is a pain but I really enjoyed reading this article which describes the ticTOCS project. "The aim of the ticToc's project is to develop a service which will transform journal current awareness by making it easy for academics to find, display, store, combine and re-use journal tables of contents (TOCs) from multiple publishers in a personalisable web-based environment"

Sounds great and it works, at least according to the article it does. Now although this article isn't directly relevant to the Legal Sector if you want to promote the benefits of using RSS to individuals then extracting some of the content from this article would be a great place to start. For example...

..."Use of RSS for the distribution and receipt of frequently updated online content of various kinds is becoming increasingly widespread"

"RSS has certain advantages over e-mail as a way to be alterted to new information" RSS Feeds include direct links to articles, and RSS is less intrusive as an alerting method - you can look at you RSS feeds whenever you want"