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Imported Tumblr – Working for you?

Dear Readers,

I have been piping in content from a couple of my Tumblr blogs for a few weeks a now. I’ve noticed an uptick and traffic, but I’d like to get feedback from you on whether the imported content is a good thing. So I’d like you to take a minute to do a two question survey.

The first question is about the tumblr content. I have my choice of keeping things the same, only importing photo posts or not importing any Tumblr posts at all. So those are the choices you have to vote on in the survey.

The second question gives you a chance to comment about the blog in general and what you’d like to see in it. I’ll definitely think about the responses as I move forward.  Only state level politics is off the table. I’ll even discuss Mark Begich, Lisa Murkowski and the US Senate campaign from time to time. But I won’t take public positions on state officials, bills or ballot measures as I find that inconsistent with my position of providing information resources to state officials across the political spectrum.

So, if you’d like input on what goes here, take the survey.  It closes next Saturday at 11:59pm. You are also welcome to leave a comment.

Thoughts – Now with Tumblr Content!

Dear Reader,

I’d like to thank you for your patience over the weekend as this mostly inactive blog has had a bunch of postings, many of them tagged tests.

I think I’ve done with my revisions so far. While the frequency of postings here will rise past my past output, I don’t think it will overwhelm you.

If you read this blog through some sort of feed reader, the biggest change you will notice is that I’m piping in content from two of my Tumblr blogs – one mostly devoted to photography, science and fandom and the other devoted to politics. I’m keeping the Tumblrs because at least for now, Tumblr is superior for blogging photos and links than WordPress is. In particular it lets me schedule posts when I’m hitting a “share” button on a web page. WordPress wants to post such finds immediately.

That’s why I’m keeping my Tumblr blogs. So why am I piping in the blogs here? For two reasons:

1) Tumblr isn’t as nearly as popular as other social media platforms. There’s a chance some of you have barely heard of it. I suspect it will get more popular, but its not there yet.

2) Tumblr doesn’t have a great comment mechanism or post statistics. Most people comment by reblogging your post, but they usually can’t comment on the post itself. You get notified when people like or reblog your post, but you don’t get stats of who read something. So now, you can comment on what moves you to comment and I’ll get better statistics.

I think bringing my Tumblr content in will be an overall plus for the blog, especially since it will bring back more of my photography to this space. I’m anticipating that you will see an absolute maximum of five or six posts per day and most days usually less. But if it gets to be overwhelming, let me know and I’ll think about (but not commit to) making changes.

If you visit the blog site itself, the biggest changes you’ll see is that I dropped the now irrelevant Tumblr feed, my public Facebook feed which I don’t think people were paying attention to anyway, and the Flickr widget which hasn’t been updated in awhile. I also moved the Goodreads widget to make it more prominent.

Finally, I’ll be revamping the “blogroll links” in the near future.

While I can’t make any promises, I would like to return to making some kind of longer entries here in addition to the Tumblr content now piped in. We’ll see what happens.

New blog title – Thoughts from an Alaskan

In recognition that I rarely post library-themed posts here any more, I’ve changed my blog title from Alaskan Librarian to Thoughts from an Alaskan. If you were a fan of my library writing, check out Daniel aka Alaskan Librarian on Tumblr. That’s the site I’m attempting to turn into “my professional presence.” Though that may be a false distinction as one could argue that all online presence can be construed as one’s professional presence. But I still feel a need to try and separate out the library stuff from the political stuff that used to be here often.

I haven’t been writing much about politics lately mostly because I’ve been feeling helpless to affect anything at the federal level and partly because I’ve been in a great online class for the past few months.

But who knows, I may find my voice again. And if I don’t on politics, there are interesting things in science and other areas of life to share.

New blog for library stuff

I have started a new blog to focus on issues in libraries and librarianship. It’s called Daniel, A librarian in Alaska and can be found at danielcornwall.tumblr.com.

Twitter Followers: The End of My Feed is Near! Options if You Want Them

In the last couple of days, I’ve noticed a few new Twitter followers who don’t seem to be spammers. I found this odd as practically the only Twitter activity on my account these days are automated posts from this blog and my public Facebook page.

A few weeks ago I decided to terminate my Twitter account at the end of 2012. I just really don’t pay attention to it anymore. I don’t wish to people to think I’m snubbing them if I don’t notice an @danielcornwall for a month or two.

Many people find Twitter VERY useful and I won’t argue otherwise. It just doesn’t fit into my communications mix right now which is mostly Facebook, e-mail, Tumblr (for my more leisure side) a tiny smidge of LinkedIn, and even tinier smidge of Google+. In 2013, I plan to make more use of LinkedIn because it seems to be a decent “professional/non-political” space to be in.

So if you’re one of my 215 followers and don’t want to miss my minimal Twitter content, here’s what to do:

  1. Subscribe to this blog, either by the “email subscription” box in the upper right hand of my blog, or via the blog’s rss feed.
  2. Subscribe to my public Facebook feed or “like” my page on Facebook.

And if you won’t miss my Twitter feed? I’m not hurt. It’s a HUGE twitterverse after all. I just hate to see people sign up for a feed days before it ends.

Reminder about photo blog

For those of you getting this blog through RSS/feed readers, I wanted to remind you that the vast bulk of my photo blogging is taking place on Tumblr. The address is http://alaskanlibrarian.tumblr.com/ and it is usually pretty active. Plus, if you like my photos but don’t care for my politics or library science musings, the Tumblr blog is for you. It is virtually all photos all of the time.


New Photo Blog on Tumblr

One of the occupational hazards of being a modern technology/digital resources librarian is the compulsion to experiment with “new to him/her” technologies. I like to think I keep a good handle on this most of the time, but this week is not “most of the time.”

I decided to start playing around with Tumblr and so far it seems to be a superior platform for blogging photos from Flickr than WordPress is. One special thing I like is that the blogging to Tumblr app on Flickr imports my Flickr tags to my Tumblr tags. When I blog a photo to WordPress from within Flickr, the category is listed as “uncategorized” and stays that way until I log into WordPress itself and fix it.

You can find my photo blog at http://alaskanlibrarian.tumblr.com/. It is titled “Photos by an Alaskan” and the intention is that it will be about 90% photos with a little bit of tumblr style reblogging and the occasional Q&A. If you’re a user on Tumblr and enjoy my photos, I encourage you to follow me.

I’ve posted links to the tumblr blog on this site.

My opening of the Tumblr blog doesn’t mean that photos here will entirely stop. Nor does it mean that I’m shutting down this blog. At least not any time soon.


Presenting My Public Facebook Page

After some thought I have established a Facebook “fan page” for myself at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Daniel-Cornwall-Librarian/147356955366122 that will focus on the professional side of my life. Should you be here primarily to hear about library and government information resources, I invite to check out this page. You don’t have to be a Facebook member to view the page, but if you are a Facebook member you can like the page and get a politics/religion free feed of items. “Liking” the page also allows you to comment on my items.

The content of the Facebook page will be a mix of links to things I find interesting in a professional or hobby sense, plus some longer items excerpted from my current writing project, a writer’s guide to government information. I’m writing the bulk of this book during this month (National Novel Writing Month), but I expect the project to keep me busy for at least a year (assuming I don’t drop it).  There may also be some commentary on library items from time to time. If there’s a way to plug in a RSS feed from it, I may do that once I decide to drop the “We are the 99%” photo feed. Not that I’m there yet.

If you happen to be a fan of the Alaska Agency Databases series, those posts aren’t moving. Future installments will stay on Alaskan Librarian. Likewise with political/religious/personal posts once I get around to doing them again.

See you here and/or on Facebook. If you’re in the North like I am, stay warm!

Sometimes it’s the little things that count and annoy

Since most of my readers appear to use RSS feeds to consume content from this blog, you might not have noticed that the front page of my blog looked weird ever since I posted Three Books on Cooper Landing.

I noticed it a few posts after, but only got around to fixing it till Saturday, May 28th. To isolate the problem, I reduced the number of posts that appeared on my front page until the front page looked normal. Then I added back the next post and confirmed that the display looked odd only when that post was displaying. That turned out to be the Cooper Landing post.

WordPress’ default is WYSIWYG, but you can easily switch to editing HTML. I did so and decided that in the book citations I copied over from WorldCat there were some unmatched <div> tags. These tags without an obvious home probably somehow latched onto the invisible CSS that powers my WordPress theme and started messing with my display, throwing my Flickr widget down to the bottom of the page.

I removed all the <div> tags in the Cooper Landing post and all was well. <div> tags have also been given me headaches at work. Those headaches are going away as I learn more basic CSS but I’m still annoyed that I keep running into problems that are as obscure as a single </div> tag throwing everything off.

Caveat Lector

Thanks to my new “subscribe by e-mail” feature, I can tell a couple of librarians have signed up for this blog over the past few days. I suspect others may have picked up the feed as a result of my recent participation in Library Day in the Life Round 6.

If you’re a librarian who has signed up in the last week, you’re certainly more than welcome to stick around as long as you find this blog engaging or not too annoying to unsubscribe. I thought I should warn you that the title of this blog, “Alaskan Librarian”, refers more to me as a person and less to the subject matter of this blog. That is, this is a blog written by a librarian in Alaska and not so much about libraries or librarianship in Alaska though this does show up from time to time.

The one library-like topic you’ll see here regularly is my Three books on … series.  This series appears once a week on Saturdays. I am working through the list of communities on the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development’s Community Database. I take the names of inhabited communities from that list and perform a subject search in WorldCat. I then list out three books (when available) along with reprinting the “location and climate” section of the community from the Community Database. The books are chosen on the basis of interesting titles, and I give some preference to titles available online. My aim with this series is twofold – to publicize the availability of the amazingly useful Community Database and to show Alaskans that no matter where they live, some library has books relevant to their community.

Aside from the “Three Books on …” series, I can go for weeks without mentioning a library related subject. Aside from my participation in “Library Day in the Life”, I tend not to write about my workplace. I like my job. A lot. But I don’t think I need to chronicle it here on a regular basis. While I do get frustrated with work (who doesn’t?) a blog is NOT the place to take out my frustrations with work. I don’t find that professional.

So, what do I write about? Alaska (though NOT state politics), Astronomy, Civics, History, and Photography, among many other subjects.

If you’re eclectic in your interests, I think you’ll like it here. If you were hoping for the ins and outs of librarianship in Alaska, you’ll need to look elsewhere. You have been warned. Thanks for stopping by regardless of whether you stay.


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