Wow, I just realized I have a pronounced negative initial reaction to anything new that I don’t immediately recognize as personally beneficial. My initial reaction to several of the Things I’ve done in this program was “what use is this?” And, if I had not been doing this for ConEd credit I probably would have passed up learning about these new technologies (I have a very short attention span).
For example, Thing 13, social bookmarking, was immediately repulsive to me. I don’t want to share my “favorites” with the world (you can deduce quite a bit about someone from what they read or listen to and there’s a lot I’m not sure I want the world to know about me). Plus, if I’ve already got my favorites stored in my computer why in the world would I need to store them again on a social bookmarking site.
If I had been looking at this on my own I would’ve simply skipped on to the next Thing and filed social bookmarking away as “irrelevant”. But, knowing that I had to do a blog post about using it, and doing some of this training from home, I stuck it out, dug a little deeper and found that this social bookmarking thing just might be worthwhile (just like RSS feeds and Rollyo).
When I was working on my Rollyo searchroll on Low Carb Recipes for Thing 12 I was adding my favorite sites to the list when I found myself having to search for websites that I had in my favorites on my computer at home but hadn’t bookmarked on my work computer. Plus, last night when my wife asked for help working on her homework on her netbook, I found myself searching for a particular website that I knew I had bookmarked on my laptop. Dang, if I only had my bookmarks in one place that I could access from any computer… wait! Social bookmarking! And, I can keep my favorites private and not share them with the world.
I’m not sure if I’ll use the social networking aspect of the bookmarking much but I can see how it could be useful for professionals (like the math teacher in the tutorial). I find myself using upward of five different computers regularly (one at work, three at home and various other public or staff computers when I’m out at branches doing classes) and having the same favorites available on all of them would be extremely useful.
I need to stop being so initially cynical about the value of something new. Doing these 23 Things is not just teaching me about technology but also about myself!