Keep On Keeping Up

When it comes to keeping up with the latest news, information, resources, technology tools, software, business trends, blogger posts and all the other types of information of value, I’ve explored how to make it as organized and efficient as possible. I’ve practically tried to make a science out of it – and not just for keeping up in librarianship, but also higher education, information technology, instructional and educational technology, and other peripheral fields. I take pride in doing a good job of keeping current with professional developments. But lately it seems that keeping up with all the things I’d like to is becoming more of a challenge.

At a recent professional program someone asked if I had heard of some web utility and no, I had never heard of it. This seems to be happening more and more lately. I don’t think my keeping up regimen is slipping, but it’s more likely that the pace at which these new technology tools [zoho, plugoo, diigo] are released is spiraling outward exponentially. With respect to keeping up, while I feel like I’m still doing a pretty good job of keeping up with library news and developments – and in key peripheral fields like higher education and educational technology – it’s all the new techno-utilities that are particularly difficult to track. To complicate things I’ve been adding new sources in design and innovation to my reading.

So someone asked me recently if I could share some ideas on how I manage to juggle writing articles, blog posts, presenting, etc. I gave a few suggestions (see the comment) for what they are worth. Do I have any similar ideas for keeping up, I asked, that I could use to inspire myself to do an even better job? I’m not so sure. It is possible, I imagine to reach a time limit when you just are unable to add one more blog to the aggregator, another table of content alert, or another magazine (I’m an avid magazine reader and routinely raid the periodicals received at my library). I may need to heed the advice of someone who once said “if something is significant enough, you’ll eventually hear about it” – though I like to hear about things before other folks do.

I still believe it is possible, as I have maintained in the past, that you can do a reasonably good job of keeping up in 30 minutes a day if you develop a good regimen – and follow it. But with respect to this ever growing list of web tools, it’s likely that we’ll all need to be much more selective about determining which two or three we think will provide the most return for our investment of time, and then concentrate on developing skills with those tools. So the next time I hear someone ask me if I’ve heard about a new web utility [look here if you want to see what I mean] and I haven’t, I will need to relax and not worry about it all that much.

4 thoughts on “Keep On Keeping Up

  1. Steven – keeping up gets to be more of an adventure when you are trying to show someone else…I am waiting for web-based tools that will help us do “environmental scanning” – as you say, in a systematic, structured fashion so we know both what we’ve seen and what we’ve missed…!
    Thank you for your thoughts-
    Brian McLaughlin, Syracuse, NY

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