Alchemical Thoughts

Posts Tagged ‘social_networks

I decided to try my hand at this after reading this post, “20 Questions I Have for People Who Were in Their 20s Before Cell Phones & Internet” found at forever twenty somethings.I was a bit younger than my 20s in those days, but I certainly faced these questions too. It was not a big deal then. To be honest, I wonder how easily spoiled today’s youth are by cellphones and the Internet. My cohort and I had to make do without, and we did just fine. In fact, in many ways, the pace of things was not as rushed. Now, to date myself a little bit, I grew up as a teen in the 1980s. I barely recall my early days of getting on the Internet. My first personal e-mail was on Hotmail, and I do still have and use that account though it is no longer my primary e-mail. My first real e-mail was in college, back when it was using a VAX system of all things. I do remember AOL and those pesky disks they used to send to try to get you to subscribe to their Internet service. Boy, have we come a long way in a short amount of time. Before that, I survived without all this technology just fine.

To be honest, a lot of this seems like a big first world problem, but I am doing it for amusement now. I copied the questions from the post. I will then type out my answers (some snark may be included):

1. How did you make plans?  You agreed with people beforehand on things like where you would be and at what time. You either talked in person or over the phone. Yes, we did have telephones back then. We had already moved past the telegraph.

2. How did you CANCEL plans?  Usually you tried to call as soon as you knew.

3. How did you know who was calling you before you picked up the phone?  Until the advent of caller ID, you did not know. However, once answering machines came around, you let the answering machine pick up so you could screen the call. If you were real snarky, you could even put funny messages on your answering machine to greet callers. Heck, if you did not feel like taping your own, you could buy those messages recorded for use. One thing you may keep in mind is that back then spam calls were not really the problem they were now. Back then, you knew most of your callers were family or friends, i.e. people you wanted to talk to. Nowadays, it’s not really safe to answer a phone, and since it is easy to spoof called ID, I still let the answering machine pick up so I can screen.

4. How did you rid of the fear that is calling people?  I would not label it a fear, but I do dislike talking on the phone. E-mail was a welcome arrival. I much rather e-mail people than call them.

5. How did you find out information about people before you went on dates with them?  You really did not have much options here. If you knew a common friend, you pumped them for information maybe.

6. How did you find people to date in the first place???  Well, school, church (back when I was a church goer, I did have an older girl hit on me after church. True story. That did not get far, but that is another story), other gatherings.

7. How did you keep tabs on exes?  Why the hell would I want to do that for? Anyhow, back then I did not have an ex yet.

8. How did you keep tabs on what your entire graduating class from high school was doing?  Given I did not (and still do not) give much of a shit what the folks in my high school class do, this was not nor is now much of a concern.

9. How did you look for jobs?  The newspaper and word of mouth.

10. How did your parents get in touch with you when you were out? Back then, you told your parents where you would be, and you better be there or else. Growing up back in Puerto Rico, this was common. You went to a friend’s house to hang out, you told your parents who it was and where. Odds are good our parents knew their parents, so they could call and check. Also, we had fairly firm curfews. I had to be home usually by 6pm or so, which was dinner time. One way to know was if in the house you were visiting the TV was on. When the news went on (this was before the days of CNN), you knew you had to head home. If the theme song of the soap opera that came after the news came on, you knew you had to run home because you just overstayed. Back then, the soap opera theme song was the one for the soap opera Cristina Bazan. The song was “Atrévete” by José Luis Rodríguez, aka El Puma. (Link to YouTube).

11. How did your survive waiting for meetings, appointments, trains, or anything without being able to pass time by pretending to look busy on your phone? If I had to and I could, I carried a book or some other reading material.

12. How did you do ANYTHING at work before email? You talked to people. You called on the phone. The work pace was likely a bit slower, but that was a good thing. We survived just fine.

13. How did you tell co-workers (or someone else you were meeting) that you were going to be late when you were stuck in traffic or stuck on some disabled subway car? They had to wait, and that was the end of it. You explained what happened when you got there, or if you could, you stopped at a pay phone and called in. Again, the world did not end.

14. How did you sign up for classes at the gym? You went to the gym and signed up. Or you called over the phone I guess. This was never a concern for me though. Why, how do people sign up now? Even if you sign up online, you still have to go to the gym in person, so I do not see any advantage from signing up online or doing it when you get there.

15. How did you know where you were or where you were going ever? See #10, apply it to other people. Again, people were more understanding and patient, so this was not an issue.

17. How did you always have change on you to use these pay phones? You learned to carry some change in your pocket, no big deal. To this day, I carry at least two quarters in my pocket for pay phones. It is more a ritual than anything else given I have a cell phone, but the habit remains. For long distance back then, you often had a phone card.

18. How did you research anything for school? Did you have to go through the Encyclopedia? What? You think research did not happen before the oh so precious Wikipedia? Yes. We had encyclopedias, and we learned how to use them. We also had libraries and librarians to help us with our research if need be. The tone of this question makes it sound like we lived in the Dark Ages. We had books then, and we still have them know. We also had journals and indexes to find articles just fine. You learned to use things like Reader’s Guide and got on with it.

19. How did you find out about the weather? I looked outside. I watched the news and got the weather forecast. Listened to the radio news for any alerts. Again, the world did not end.

20. How did you stay in touch with friends? Talking in person. Phone calls. A bit more distance, letters and cards via mail.

In the end, we got along just fine. The world did not end. People knew to be patient, and they knew to wait as need be. Sometimes I think cell phones and Internet have made people impatient because they have to know now right this second or else. Also, since people were a lot more patient and less tech, people were a little less rude. I mean, there were no cell phones, so you could not whip it out in restaurants and movie theaters, but you actually had to pay attention. You needed to let people know, you called ahead or told them early enough without so much rush. And that is how we survived just fine.

And here we go with list #34 of the ever popular (well, to me at least) series of books and stuff about I want to read. I have not posted this for a while, but it is not for lack of books I want to read. I hope now that some things are settling down that I can get back to posting them more regularly. So, here we go.

Items about books:

  • I will admit that I am not much into the modern incarnation of vampires in fiction. I will keep my opinion of that abomination known as Twilight to myself this time. However, the plot description and review of The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa caught my eye. It is classified as a YA book, but it might be something to take a chance on. Find the review here at My Favourite Books.
  • I have kept a personal journal for years. Though I have always fantasized about adding a bit of art to my notebooks, I never really get to it. Maybe I need a book like Quinn MacDonald’s Raw Art Journaling. The book is reviewed in A Penchant for Paper.
  • Via Grist, Wenonah Hauter is interviewed and discusses her book Foodopoly: the Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America. From her interview, something to think about: “Just 20 companies produce most of the food eaten by Americans (yes, even organic brands). These companies are so large, they have the economic and political power to dictate food policy, from laws on advertising junk food to children and manipulating nutrition standards to weakening federal pesticide regulations and blocking the labeling of genetically engineered foods.” If you need a bit more convincing, AlterNet has an excerpt of the book.
  • This story by Sarah Posner in AlterNet caught my eye about one of those Christian megachurch huckster con-men who had his church put in foreclosure (he, however, kept on reaping money and paying himself handsomely. No surprise there). The story certainly has a nice ironic element to it, but what caught my eye as well was the fact that Ms. Posner has a book out, and I may be interested in reading it. The book is God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters.
  • Via Lambda Literary, a review of Chicago Whispers: a History of LGBT Chicago Before Stonewall.
  • Early review (Spanish language) of a new forthcoming complete collection of Gabriel García Márquez short stories. Published by Mondadori, it is simply titled Todos los cuentos. (link to publisher as there is no WorldCat record yet) Review from Papeles Perdidos.
  • Something work-related for me. Via Marketing Matters for Librarians, a small recommendation for 101 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits: A Field Guide. Apparently, it has a few things we librarians can use.
  • Via Bookgasm, a review of The Year’s Best SF 17 edited by Hartwell and Cramer. This is the one anthology series I pick up every year, even if I do not get to it right away. The Better Half reads them as well. Initially just Hartwell, and then with Cramer, for me, this is the anthology that really does a good job putting a compilation of solid hard science fiction stories. The Dozois series is usually pretty good as well, but it is not one I read regularly. I have not tried the ones edited by Horton.
  • Something different via Bending the Book Shelf blog, some transgender romances. Not the usual stuff I read, but I am always curious about new (to me) things to read. For the most part, these are e-book editions, so I may not get to them right away, but I am jotting down for reference, plus for the unlikely possibility someone may ask, “can you recommend something” in this topic. First, a review of Shemale Vice by Crystal Veeyant. I admit I giggled a bit at the title, which yes, did make me think of the Miami Vice series (the original 1980s television series, not the piece of shit movie remake Hollywood pooped out later). The book seems to be about a prostitution ring and corrupt cops (not a bad combination) with some good sex thrown in. Next, a set of short reviews of novels by Prudence MacLeod. In addition, the blog also features an interview with MacLeod.
  • Jessa Crispin, writing for Kirkus, reviews Eddie Campbell’s book about money in the art world entitled The Lovely Horrible Stuff. By the way, it’s a graphic novel.
  • Blogging for a good book provides a review of Jay Bahadur’s The Pirates of Somalia. According to the reviewer, Bahadur “provides excellent analysis on the evolution of piracy in Somalia.”

Lists and bibliographies:

There are a couple of 2012 award lists here. I will likely add the 2013 lists in a later post if I find items of interest. The links have been in my reader for a bit, so I am catching up now in adding them here. I hope readers out there looking for some ideas find these useful. I know I do.

  • Katherine Dacey, The Manga Critic, offers a list of “7 Essential VIZ Signature Manga.”
  • From IO9, a list of “Essential Star Trek Novels That Even Non-Trekkers Should Read.” I think that the Better Half has read all of them already. From the list, I have read Peter David’s Imzadi.
  • An award list. This one is the Goldies, which are the literary awards of the Golden Crown Literary Society, which is “a literary and educational organization for the enjoyment, discussion, and enhancement of lesbian literature.”  This is the 2012 list. The 2013 awards are soon to come. Hat tip to Lambda Literary. I am always looking to expand my reading horizons, and there are some items in speculative fiction that may be of interest.
  • For more science fiction and speculative, here is the 2012 Locus list.
  • From Bookgasm, a Eurocomics roundup with some interesting items. Not sure how easy or not some of these items will be to find. More often than not, by the time I read about some of these, they have already gone out of print, making them a pain in the ass to find since I would rather avoid, as the blogger describes it, “the overpriced black pit known as Amazon Marketplace.”
  • Via The Prosen People, here are “Five Comix about Israel Worth Reading.”

Now that it seems Yahoo! is going to sell Delicious, and things are calming down a bit, we are getting some thoughtful reactions. Here are a couple of posts I have come across that provide some calm and lessons.

I don’t know if I can add much else other than the need to back up things in more than one place. Some good food for thought there. If you need an alternative, Phil Bradley has compiled an excellent list of “28 delicious alternatives.”

Some things with ideas I think I can use for work mostly. Some may have personal application.


Via Social Media Examiner,

  • 6 Social Media Success Metrics to You Need to Track.” I personally do not care much for social media metrics for my own blogs and other social media presences. This in large part because I mostly do it for myself either as a form of professional development or as a hobby. However, for the library’s social media efforts, we do need to be doing more assessment, in large measure because the big honchos want assessment done as part of accreditation, and if I can somehow use some measurements that could go into those assessments, someone would be happy. I could go on a whole rant about some people being overly obsessed with numbers and forms, but I will restrain myself. At any rate, for the library there are some metrics I would be curious about since it would help me then improve content and engagement.
  • 26 Tips for Enhancing Your Facebook Page.” Our Facebook page is a primary way for us at this point to communicate and engage with our community. However, I am always looking for ways to make it work better for us. There are some items that might not be applicable due to being too business-oriented, but I think there are some good ideas here. Given my workload, I can use all the help I can get.
  • 21 Ways Non-profits Can Leverage Social Media.” This is a post with some basics, but it still has a few ideas I have tried that may be worth exploring for the library.
  • 26 Twitter Tips for Enhancing Your Tweets.” Personally, I do not use Twitter very much. I do have an account on it, and I mostly have a couple of other social media linked to it so they post automatically. I probably could do much more with it, but microblogging just seems way too short for me, and some of the mechanics of Twitter are just not too intuitive for me. In terms of the library, the director has asked me to look into it. So far, I am not convinced it would work for us based on our other social media presences. But I have to be prepared for the day when it may be inevitable (we’ll probably do it anyways regardless, and no, I am not commenting further). It is not that I am being negative about Twitter. It is just that it does not work for me personally, and as the outreach librarian, which includes our online social media tools, I don’t think we would have that much use for it at this point in time (later, maybe, but that would be later).
  • 3 Simple Ways to Rapidly Create Custom Facebook Landing Tabs.” This I definitely have to look into and implement at some point. Given that Facebook pretty much eliminated apps. (or made them so invisible as to practically not letting them exist) from profiles and pages, I may need to do some enhancing.

From Musings about librarianship:

Via Lost Remote:

Via Librarian in Black:

Via Mashable:

This is in the context of the lack of academic rigor in library schools and the fact that the librarians who distinguish themselves in spite of said library schools often do so via online social media. I also noticed the quote as I was finishing a recent blog post about librarians who build their reputations online and look down on those who don’t.

These days librarians don’t even have the excuse of no travel funding. Reputations are made online. Look at me. I’ve earned the ire of half the profession, and I don’t even exist!” — from the Annoyed Librarian.



July 2020


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