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Our Evolving Use of Tools

Posted by Editor on September 16, 2010

by Roy Tennant on LJ, September 16th, 2010

Lauren Pressley has a thoughtful and interesting description about how her use of current awareness tools has changed over time, and how it will continue to change. This struck a chord with me, as my use has changed over time as well, and although some aspects were similar, others were different.

As the owner of a couple electronic discussion lists, I still find that method useful. I like not having to do anything to have the messages drop into my inbox. That’s why I never really liked bulletin boards, where you had to remember to go to a particular site to check messages. But I certainly can understand how others might find electronic discussions annoying or in the way. They may prefer “digest” mode or some other method of interaction entirely that doesn’t clutter their in-box.

The most dramatic change in my use of current awareness tools has happened just in the last year or two. Whereas before I would check my RSS aggregator on a regular basis, now I don’t bother any more than about once a month. Why? I rely on the people I follow on Twitter to alert me to cool posts they’re reading. In other words, I’ve applied a filter.

I’m also dabbling with some other current awareness tools, such as Google Alerts, iCurrent, and Flipboard on the iPad.

The point is obvious — as technology evolves so must our use of it. Some tools will recede in importance as others gain. We would do well, as information professionals who need to keep our fingers on the pulse, to regularly check in with ourselves to make sure we’re using the right tools in the right ways for our professional need to remain aware and engaged. Let me know which ways you find most productive these days to keep current in a comment below.

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 16th, 2010 at 11:36 am and is filed under Uncategorized . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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