EBM and Clinical Support Librarians@UCHC

A blog for medical students, faculty and librarians about their use of evidence based medicine, clinical literature, Web 2.0, sources and search strategies

News, Web 2.0: Thinking about Web 2.0 and Owls at 5:00am

Folks, I am in a funk at the moment as my PC had a small nervous breakdown during our office move last week and is out of commission, awaiting an arrival of the part that broke. I have no printer. Being something of a messy packrat-cubicle person…I know where almost nothing is at the moment. It’s sort of like technology withdrawal, but being printer-less and PC-less has provided ample time to explore other peoples’ Del.icio.us tags… which is now something I’m addicted to. That is why there have been few posts on the blog.

This month I have begun writing a new instructional class on the uses and tools of Social Media in a health science setting.

The class is targeted for Digital Immigrants, not Digital Natives who’ve grown up with a cellphone and a PC and mouse in their hand since kindergarten. I’m hoping faculty will attend this class. Being PC/printer-less has been an occasion to read, think and write in long-hand (like in the olden days), which allows (or requires) one to think slower. In the 2008 multi-tasking hi-speed Information Age I fear sometimes that time for reflection does not fit in well with the Always On / Attention economy.

So instead of jumping into the content/subject links to Social Media in this new class, the first question for people who attend this session will be: What is your purpose, or what is it that you want to accomplish, by your use of social media sites? More on this subject in the near future.

On a side-note, one of the advantages of writing a blog is that when you can’t sleep at night, you always have some things to think about… like your next blog posting. This turned out to come in handy recently, when I was awakened at 5:00am by one or more Great Horned Owls conversing out in the state forest – 16,000 acres and teeming with native wildlife – near to where I live. There was a veritable cacophony of owl-hootings going on for about an hour or so. He/she/they stopped just in time for my alarm to go off at 6:08am.

Those pre-dawn thoughts led to a consideration of some of the ways in which our lives have changed with the advent of the Online World/24×7. Once I got up, Wikipedia informed me that Great Horned Owls (Bubos virginianus) are permanent residents of their stretch of forest (i.e. they do not migrate), and that this time of year is when they begin to search for mates. Their calls are rhythmic and loud. At this link (bird sounds MP3 file) you can hear what their calls sound like.

In the pre-online days (circa 1990), I’d have had to go to an actual public library to check with a librarian who might have helped me use their print collection for books about Owls. That morning, thirty seconds spent online using Google and Wikipedia allowed me to find as much info as was needed to get the basics on Bubos virginianus.

Three cheers for Web 2.0 and social media tools! Now I need a nap.

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