Monday, May 21, 2012

Consider your personal brand - Thing 3 (cpd23)

Having an uncommon name truly makes it easy to Google yourself. Just for grins, I also searched my name in Bing.

I had expected that my YA book recommendations blog BooksYALove would be at the top of both searches since I've published over 200 posts there in the past year, but was surprised to see the IASL Meeting Place (official communications channel of International Association of School Librarianship) as #1 on Google & #2 on Bing, even though I'm not that busy on it.

Odder yet, Bing had my Linked-In profile as first search result, and I really connect with that rather infrequently (it was sixth result on Google) - perhaps Bing automatically gives Google-based sites less impact or Google artificially raises them (Blogger, Picasa, Gmail) in their search algorithms.

Bing asked me if I wanted to see more results of my name search by also logging in with my Facebook - umm, no thanks. While I do try to keep my FB self and comments to other FB users in the "safe for work" realm of language and content, that Katy is purposefully not linked directly and continually to the Katy who blogs & Tweets as BooksYALove, participates in library associations, etc.

I did notice that my comments on other blogs did appear in both sets of search results - as long as I used my full name (often automatically by using my Gravatar or other profile). Usually, I just comment as Katy M with my blog name & Twitter handle as part of signature line, so most of my comments to other bloggers don't show up in this specific name search. I'm very intentional about including my library-related & BooksYALove info in my signature line when replying to professional-type emails, too.

As to personal branding, I've recently revamped my BooksYALove blog (thanks to my creative daughter) with new logo and new background in its established color scheme, used the same logo & background on my Twitter page, and will have Emily-designed business cards to match printed up as soon as I use more of the inexpensive ones that I had made just before we embarked on the site refresh project. All this is in preparation for moving BooksYALove to its own domain, rather than being directly Blogger-hosted, so I wanted an original background instead of the Blogger-provided theme (copyright and all that).

So the IASL Katy is one "me" and the BooksYALove Katy is another (both professional and library-related),  the me on Facebook is personal, and my Twitter handle as BooksYALove is a bit of a mix of both.  Still, all are "safe for your grandmother to see" as a wise mentor once counseled as the best way to communicate online.

Thing 2 (cpd23) - a-visiting we'll go

It's almost too bad that Thing 2-Visit other cpd23 blogs - is the second Thing to do in this course, since many newcomers to the program are just getting their blogs started or have set up their blog but have no content yet. Some of us repeat cpd'ers do have posts available for reading, but they're usually last year's reflections and discoveries (as far into the course as we got).

But if we waited until midway through cpd23 to visit other blogs, then we'd miss seeing some great ideas on how to configure our own blogs, finding out who else is in our area of specialty or geographic region (or isn't), and so on.

So I've subscribed to some current cpd23 participants' blogs - by RSS or by email, depending on the options offered - and will have their new posts arrive automatically in my reader/mailbox. As I do with most blogs that I follow, I'll read most posts as information which requires no comment on my part, but will definitely try to respond to cpd23 posts in a meaningful way. (who wants to read "me, too!" as a comment??)

Onward through the 23Things!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

CPD23 Thing #1, once again

Although I'm not currently working in a library job or library building, I do consider myself a "librarian-at-large" as I am consulted by friends and family for research assistance and just cannot help sending on great links and sites to folks who'll appreciate them. My young adult book recommendation blog - - is my biggest outreach, as I search for the great books from debut authors and smaller publishing houses, the books that aren't plastered all over the bestsellers lists.

With BooksYALove, I've done several blog challenges and am currently halfway through the WordCount Blogathon as I marked my book blog's first birthday on May 1, 2012 and will soon have 200 YA book recommendations (no spoilers!) in total.

I did Library 23 Things in 2008 and its follow-up Library 11.5 Things in 2009  (see my earlier posts on those topics using labels), so it's time to polish up on my technology skills again. I tried CPD23 last year, but real life got in my way, and I couldn't catch up. And perhaps with the more-relaxed pace of the 2012 version of CPD23, I'll get it all done this year!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

cpd Thing 3: Consider your personal brand

Well, having an unusual name certainly helps with this cpdThing!

My first go-round of searching for "Katy Manck" brought up my real-blog and my work with the International Association of School Librarianship especially our GiggleIT Project (free online writing & creativity showcase for students 10-14, with lesson plans & ideas for TLs as sponsors)   - most results related to my book reviewing & IASL.

Checking for my name as "Kathryn" netted fewer results, specifically those relating to me as an alumna of the University of North Texas graduate library school or of Austin College (undergraduate).

Not too many crazy photos, although I do wish that the pix of me riding the camel at Uluru in Australia hadn't been mangled in the camera's memory before I could upload them!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

cpd Thing 2: Explore other blogs

Trolling through the Delicious list of cpd23 participants' blogs was a bit like our first visit to the neighborhood Chinese restaurant in Beijing in 2005 - the very brief English descriptions gave fragmentary and puzzling glimpses into what might arrive at the table if those items were selected!

Many cpd23 blogs had cryptic names (as mine admittedly does) which don't tell the reader what to expect. Other blog names were subject-specific yet painfully plain. Experience levels range from newest of newbies (blog set up, but not even an intro post) to average library folk (know the tech, have a fair-decent blog, perhaps LibraryThings veteran) to the superstars (customized blog w/uber-relevant blogroll & detailed posts).  If the blogger told us their location & library type, that was a definite plus.

So, I wandered through the list, checking on blogs by librarians in different sectors and geographical areas, and selected 9 that I've subscribed to during our cpd23 voyage together. I've learned that it's far easier to have a workable number of blogs to follow and comment on when it comes to these sorts of LibraryThing online 'classes' than to try to rush through a section of the blogroll for this Thing, then another section for the next Thing.

And to add to the fun, I've also signed on for the eduMOOC (Massive Open Online Class)  about Online Learning from the University of Illinois Springfield USA which begins June 27 and runs for 8 weeks, discussing "Online Learning Today...and Tomorrow." Almost 2,000 other folks are already signed up, so this ought to get interesting! Earlier I tagged along on CCK2011, a MOOC about Creativity, Connectivism & Knowledge, so the broader-yet-narrower scope of eduMOOC looks to be a bit more manageable.

Plus the Ultimate Blog Challenge begins on July 1 for my "real" blog - BooksYALove - where I recommend YA books beyond the bestsellers, especially books by first-time authors and smaller publishers, so that's 31 days of specific blog-a-liciousness to play with...

Also dipping my toes into Thomas Dolby's new sorta-MMORPG called The Floating City, which requires cooperative trading strategies to discover the detailed rules of the game. Completed my first trade and received download of "She Blinded Me With Science" (love that song!) - ultimate prize for winning team is live concert...ooohhh.....

Let's get rolling, cpdsters!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Running with cpd23

Ah, more tools for my arsenal of research & social connection skills! I did my first 23Things a few years back (the impetus for starting this blog), and I know how much has changed in the social media spectrum since then.

Then, I was a high school librarian; now, I'm sorta-retired (not working, but no retirement pay coming yet), and busier than ever as an independent book reviewer (as guest on - best books for babies, kids, tweens, and teens) and blogger (my own - recommending YA books beyond the bestsellers).

I remain active in the International Association of School Librarianship as Treasurer and continue to promote IASL's GiggleIT Project our free online student writing project, most recently at the Texas Library Association annual conference in April.

Looking forward to the 'new' Things which have appeared since my last go-round - Zotero, Prezi, etc. I'm finally on Twitter ( @BooksYALove) and am having such a good time following YA authors (some even follow me - eeep!) and movers/shakers in the library world - adding to that useful folks list will be great.

**Katy M
Recommending YA books beyond the bestsellers at
Follow me on Twitter @BooksYALove

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Pretty darn wonderful

Some things are just flat-0ut wonderful and must be shared:

Jake Shimabukuro performs Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" - on the ukelele!

If the Moon were centered over Alice Springs, Australia, using BBC's Dimensions mapping app

Today's front pages from over 750 newspapers in 79 countries - Newseum