Here it is - the final Thing! I made it!
A lot of ground has been covered in these 23 Things, so an obvious question is, "How do I stay on top of all these tools, platforms, streams and other gubbins?". An answer would be to have a look at Rudaí23's final Thing! They suggest Flipboard, Hootsuite, Buffer and Google Alerts.
I've never really got on with Flipboard - I don't like the magazine-style format - so I thought I'd take the other three for a spin. I set up a couple of Google Alerts - not a tool I'd used before - which was a painless process. I have yet to see the service in action, so I will reserve judgement until the e-mails start rolling in. I set up a Buffer account for my work Twitter, but again, have yet to properly road test it on the information superhighway1. I'll get a bit more stuck in to these tools after the half term break.
Finally, I started playing around with Hootsuite this morning. I have used it only briefly before, so I thought I'd get a bit more in depth with it. For those who don't know, Hootsuite is a tool for managing multiple social media accounts - you can connect it to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, WordPress and Instagram. The free version lets you attach 3 social media accounts, but I only use Twitter and Instagram at work, so this is not a problem for me.
Hootsuite lets you schedule tweets in advance (a feature that would seem to make a separate Buffer account superfluous - or am I missing something about Buffer?). I currently use Tweetdeck at work, which is similar to Hootsuite, but not quite as feature rich, and just for Twitter. I will probably be switching now, thanks to this Thing.
I used to struggle with FOMO2 on social media, and would obsessively look through EVERYTHING that was posted on my Facebook and Twitter feeds. A few years ago, I got so far behind that I gave up looking completely rather than face the massive backlog. But now I think I do OK - I don't keep up as much as I would like - even with tools like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite - but that's fine. I'll survive.
While I was playing around with Hootsuite, I decided to check out the analytical tools to see how the school's Twitter feed has changed since I've worked there. The free account gives you very limited options, but I only really wanted to see how the number of followers has changed since June. The results in Hootsuite were - to put it simply - wrong. But now I really wanted to know. So I fell down the rabbit hole of analytics, and spent the next few hours looking up the best free Twitter analytics tools that would give me the information I was after. It was surprisingly difficult to find. Twitter's own analytics tool was confused - it said I had -51 followers at the start of August. I tried many others, but the only one that gave me the exact information I was after was SocialBro.
While poking around in Buffer, I came across a web app called Pablo. Created by the Buffer team, it lets you easily create those pretty pictures with inspirational quotes you see all over social media, like this one:
It's quick, easy and free! Click the image above to check it out.
So here we are, at the end of the Rudaí23 course. I have already put a lot of these Things into practice, and doing this course has definitely made me a better librarian! And having got into the rhythm and habit of writing regular blog posts, I hope to be able to keep that up now that the Things have ended. I was planning on doing NaNoWriMo next month, though, so you might not see that much of me in November...