Most evenings I sift through my too full reader, often times choosing entire folders to “mark as read.” Ten days or so ago while I was in Minneapolis, MN for AASL11, I found myself nightly just immediately going up there and without a second thought clearing it out to 0. I just didn’t have time to read it all, and once the number reaches 1000+, a slight pang of guilt usually is all I need to motivate using the “mark all as read.” I really shouldn’t say pang of guilt, as more often than not, this is one of the guilt free actions I use in my reader, clearing the way for whatever is new. Most of the time I figure if it was noteworthy in the world of RSS today, it will probably show up in feeds tomorrow, so eventually I will get the chance to digest it.
what to read, what to clear?
So tonight, I pulled up my reader, and began sifting through. There wasn’t too, too much to read, but it was upwards of 400+ posts. Now in my reader habits, when the number is really high, generally I select a few folders that get too full too fast, like news, and mark as read in an attempt to bring down this number. Or sometimes I click through to favored folders, like School Librarians, reading them first and then assessing to see if I can clear the rest. My patterns are my own and they generally work for me.
it’s my digital footprint!
After supper, I pulled up my reader and loaded all. The number was pretty high but I decided to cruise through it, using the j shortcut keystroke to quickly go through them. I even used the u shortcut keystroke to hide my folder structure and maximize my space for content. I got quite a shock as I was happily trudging along. I popped out of the reader to comment on Polly Farrington’s and Diane Cordell’s blog posts, and even stopped to read a few twitterfeeds for some tweets that mentioned me. Yes, I subscibe to a twitter search where my twittter name is mentioned! It may seem self-centered, but it assures that I know what I am being referenced about. It’s about protecting my online persona, or digital footprint, more so than an ego trip. Tonight I learned one of my tweets was favored. It was this one:
Thanks @sraslim for favoring my tweet!! You see, using the many different tools I use, I have finally set up a password manager. It has about 90 different logins and passwords that I use, and more often than not I have to refer to it. Perchance that is a sign of aging? I am nearing the 50 mark. It is is but one way to manage my online identity.
let me explain…
I felt I should explain my tweet, as it is all related here–I’m getting there I promise. Tonight as I was cruising through all those feeds, I became confused when my own wikispaces had an update–one I did not make. I have had updates before from contributors, but generally these happen when I’ve extended invitations for adding content. That’s the beauty of a wiki–collaboration is instantly enabled. But the conservative side of me generally stays protected most of the time, only going unprotected when I really want visitor contributions. I subscribe to the rss feed of my wiki to check additions and or changes. Getting the alert in my reader reminds me to check out new contributions. This one was not expected.
curating for self -preservation
Alerts have been a lifesaver. You see, I worry about my digital footprint, especially since I began blogging more than five years ago. I also worry about my own children’s digital footprint, as well as my school’s footprint. Enter Google alerts. I set up numerous alerts to see how my name, or my kids’ names, and yes, even how my school and library program’s are bandied about. Now mind you often the content that is curated from these alerts is about the many other Cathy Nelson’s out there (and mind you there are numerous), but I decided this folder in my reader was also a good place to subscribe to other types of feeds, including my own blog, wikis, and by golly even twitter mentions!
Fast forward to this evening. My wikispaces’ homepage had been seriously edited with a set of strange pictures by a “guest.” My wikispace not used since mid June had been left unprotected! Egads. When I left it that way in June it was purposeful. But I guess I got so busy this summer that I forgot. I immediately reverted the page to my June update–thank goodness Wikispaces as most wikis offers that capability, and I locked down the wiki, taking it back to the protected state. I also changed my password for good measure.
our kids need to know this!!
So what is the take away from all this? Students need to be taught to monitor their digital foot print too. What a great example to share with my students. It is also an opening to a conversation about curating information. I will be having this conversation soon, as I have a class who is looking for sources to store and build their research into an end product. I think I can link that concept with curating information, and even wriggle into the discussion the need to monitor and protect your online reputation. Wish me luck.