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May 05, 2009


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Andrew Marcinek

I have used so many of your recommended tools and have included them in many of my lessons! Have a look, http://iteach20.blogspot.com/


Hi Phil,

how have you been? I still drop by from time to time. Thanks as always for the Pageflakes link. We need to catch up sometime. I have been working on a new project for a while now. I will contact you soon.


Tom Roper

I agree about TypePad, though I fear I may have recommended it to you long ago. I've been using it for over four years. Originally I went for it as my web host would not let me install MovableType, which was then the blogging tool of choice, and TypePad, a scaled down and hosted version of MT, seemed the next best thing.
But their product development doesn't seem to have gone in useful directions, at least for me. Streams of widgets, mostly useless, the disappointment of TypePad Connect which could have been so much better, advice aimed at those who want to hunt the snark of making money out of their blogs, poor statistical reports, and featured blogs that are either dull or crazy or both. I hardly ever use the web interface to post, preferring ecto.
I have also run blogs on Blogger and WordPress; the former is good, though limited, the latter I found rather fiddly. Like you, I expect I'l stay put. I'm part of the Beta group and had an e-mail this morning telling me, 'This is a special message for our favorite people – the TypePad Beta team. We're so excited, we just had to let you know: the new TypePad is almost here. We've been road-testing it for weeks and we can’t wait to share it with you'.
Will it be as exciting as they promise? I think I reserve judgment.

Philip Jones

Hi Phil,

I'm interested in your passing comment about not being overly fond of promoting Google when there's a good alternative.

I've found myself very much drawn into the Google family (Gmail, Google Docs, iGoogle desktop, Picasa, etc.) I wonder if you might feel I am over-committed to Google's solutions to my requirements?


Playing devil's advocate a little, Phil, sell Twitter to me. You say 'Obviously' above; I'm not totally convinced. In my experience, people coming new to Twitter can't really see what the fuss is all about. One comment recently received from an academic is a typical reaction - 'I just don't get Twitter even now: it's like being at home with my family. I am never sure if anyone is listening to me.' The Find People facility isn't great and, at times of peak usage, performance suffers noticeably.

Phil Bradley

Hi Philip,

I just believe in the 'not all my eggs in one basket' approach! If Google goes down tomorrow (and it does happen), how are you going to cope? If you can manage just fine then I don't think there's a problem. However, if you can see lots of problems, it might be worth using other resources - perhaps just as a backup even.

Phil Bradley

Although Twitter is quick to pick up and use it does take time to really 'get' it; in my experience from people that I've talked to, between a fortnight and a month. However, what I get from it is:

A much greater feeling of 'community' than I've ever had from any other forum or resource such as Facebook.

I talk to many more librarians via Twitter than any other resource.

I get a lot of useful links to resources that immediately interest me because they've come from the people that I follow.

I keep on top of the news much more with Twitter trends than other news sites.

I find direct messaging works faster than email and is more effective.

I can share images and sound recordings quicker and easier than with other resources.

I can ask for help and provide help quicker and more effectively than with any other source.

Twitter has an impact and immediacy that no other resource has done for me in the past. I'm happy to stick my neck out and say that if they keep on the path they're already on, it's going to be second only to Google in terms of use and importance within a few years.

If someone isn't sure that they're being listened to perhaps they need to start thinking about what they're saying and who they are saying it to? I agree that the Find People function is poor, which is why I don't use it - I'll use any of a dozen other resources instead, and performance can be slow - but that's a technical rather than user issue which can be fixed.


Thanks for your reply, Phil. Personally, I think Twitter's immediacy its biggest asset. Having said that, I can still see why there are plenty of agnostics out there. My own view is that Twitter won't continue in its present format - Twitter-type functionality will be merged / incorporated into another product.

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