LIS Professional Media Monitoring: NLS8 blog

I chose to follow and monitor the NLS8 Blog for 3 months to meet the professional media monitoring requirement.  I monitored the blog for the period November 24, 2016 – February 26, 2017.  I had already been following NLS8 on Twitter for a number of months.  I was very interested in monitoring the NLS8 blog because I applied for a student bursary to NLS8 this year, and would love to attend the symposium.

NLS8 is the 8th New Librarians’ Symposium, being held on June 23-25, 2017, at the National Library of Australia, Canberra. The New Librarians’ Symposium is a 3-day event held every 2 years, hosted by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA).  ALIA is the national professional association for the library and information services sector. The New Librarians’ Symposium is a popular professional development event, and encourages attendance by new graduates, in this way encouraging information exchange and networking.

NLS8 has a suite of online and social media channels it uses to connect with the LIS community: a Twitter handle and hash tag (#nls8), website, blog, prominent link from the ALIA website, and interested parties can sign up for NLS8 email updates.  During the 3 month period that I monitored the NLS8 blog, 9 new blog posts were uploaded.

A series of 4 blog posts during November and December introduced the key note speakers for NLS8, providing brief bios, and relevant links to their work.

Blogs in February included:

Most posts were written by NLS8 committee members, however, guest posts were also written by LIS professionals such as Ellen O’Herir, ALIA Students and New Graduates Group National Co-convenor, and Kylie Burgess,  MIS(LIP) Student at QUT and blogger for ALIA Students and New Graduates Group.

The key themes of the blog posts were around supporting and encouraging students and new graduates to come to NLS8 to volunteer and network.  NLS8 blog, in association with its sister social media channels, could assist my early professional development in the following ways:

  • It keeps me informed about the New Librarians’ Symposium, a professional development event aimed at students and new graduates.
  • As a student, the content is extremely relevant to me.  Networking and volunteering are great avenues for students to meet other students and professionals in the area, so tips and information about why and how to network and volunteer is valuable.
  • Other blog posts also provide great information and links to other information that is relevant for students and new graduates, e.g. library podcast links.

The exercise of following/monitoring a LIS social media channel allowed me to see how effective a method this can be to assist in maintaining awareness of current happenings, trends, events, research articles, etc, in LIS areas.

My favourite niche social media site

My Fitness Pal (MFP) is an uncommon social media site I use.  I don’t know whether it is uncommon, or what you might call “niche” or “special interest”.  A lot of people use it – 80 million, according to  Wikipedia.  But I guess when you compare it to Facebook, which has apparently 1.59 billion users, according to The Statistics Portal; 80 million is not that big a deal.  I have been using this site, off and on, since 2013.  There is an app as well, but I prefer the website. MFP is a tool to help you track your food and exercise to help you achieve health and fitness goals, mainly around losing, gaining or maintaining your weight.  So, I use MFP to track my food intake at times, mostly when I’m trying to drop a couple of kgs for an upcoming race.  I always log my exercise (well, another fitness app I use, Garmin Connect, logs it for me, because I have it synced to MFP).  This is my Garmin Connect dashboard, below:

GC

Now, bear with me; when I get home from my run, my GPS watch sends my run data by bluetooth to the Garmin Connect app on my tablet, which then sends my run data to MFP, where it posts to my exercise diary and my “news feed”. Got that?

Back to MFP.  There is also a social side to MFP.  I have a community of “friends” there that I have accumulated over the last couple of years; people with whom I share similar interests – runners mostly.  I have not met any of these people in real life, but we are all there to improve our health and fitness, and achieve personal goals.  It is a very supportive community.  It gives me somewhere to talk about, and get advice about, running stuff; e.g. what headlamp should I buy for early morning runs; what hydration belt should I use for long runs; what should my nutrition be like on long runs, etc.  As you can see from my profile pic (below) I identify as a runner on MFP.

MFP

I will impart a word of warning about the main forums on MFP, though.  There are a lot of diverse opinions about anything and everything diet and fitness related, some well-informed, others less so.  You will see debates around diet topics such as low carb, keto, paleo, clean eating, intermittent fasting, shakes, detoxes, weight loss drugs, starvation mode, and more; and debate around exercise topics too; e.g. strength training vs cardio, quality vs quantity in running training, can you gain muscle while in a calorie deficit, to name a few.  Like anything you read on the internet, you need to do your own research to determine the credibility of the information.  I did learn a lot on the forums, and reading posts there gave me the concepts and key words to do my own searches.

I like MFP. I like that it has a purpose, and it is useful. That appeals to me.