Monthly Archives: August 2012

Unit 1: Back to the Beginning

Nope, I haven’t flunked out and had to repeat 672. Instead, my loyal readers will get to see my progress through the next class, 675. So here we are with another Unit 1, in which I will describe a small collection of digital objects, which I assume I will be devoting future blogs to different methods of cataloging and organizing. (Pretty excited to play with Drupal and Omeka!)

This was a surprisingly hard topic to choose. I mean, it’s not that I don’t own digital objects, or physical objects that I could use a digital surrogate to represent (e.g., taking pictures of my various shoes). No, I think my problem is more that I’m not much of a collector. I think there’s a gender dynamic where most guys generally tend to collect something, and identify as a collector, while most girls don’t. That’s not to say it’s a hard and fast rule, but in this case, I definitely fall into the latter category. Sure, I own stuff, but it’s not a collection that I feel passionate about…it’s just stuff. And it’s hard to say if whatever grabs my interest now will be something that works well over the course of the whole semester.

That said, what I ended up choosing to organize is a selection of personal writing. Yes, all the files will be the same kind (some form of text, not sure yet how I will format them), but at least they should be reasonably diverse in terms of tagging and metadata, since I write a lot of different kinds of things: papers for school, blogs for work, poems, short stories, essays, a personal blog, book reviews, etc. (Would including something from this blog be too meta?) My reasoning here is that they’re all objects that I care about, and they would represent something that I could see myself curating on a personal website, with an audience of readers. I could also see myself organizing a digital collection of writing in the future for a work-related project — perhaps if I were working on a library website, I could partner with a local writing group (NaNoWriMo?), or patrons who attend a creative writing program, to host a collection of writing from that library’s community.

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Unit 12: Finishing up with product management

It’s a little sad that this will be my final blog post for IRLS 672! Perhaps when I start up with IRLS 675 in a few weeks, there will be further assignments, or perhaps I will end up using this blog for a record of personal endeavors.

This last week crammed quite a bit of information into one short unit on project management. Something that really jumped out at me from the readings was in the Microsoft one, specifically the tradeoff triangle and tradeoff matrix. Basically, inserting the words “resources,” “schedule,” and “feature set” into the blanks, simply using this sentence can define which variables are fixed and which are adjustable. Without a formal project plan, the “feature creep” and “user creep” mentioned in other readings can render initial goals (such as keeping within a reasonable budget or time period) irrelevant.

Given fixed ____________, we will choose a ___________ and adjust ___________ as
necessary.

Although this is a bit of an anticlimactic note to finish on (yeah, okay, I found this far dryer than the SQL unit; maybe it would have been more interesting with a hands-on component?), I have to say that I’m a bit surprised not to have had exposure to other project management materials in my previous library school classes. Perhaps I’ll never oversee a complex IT project such as the readings are intended for, but I’ll certainly be in charge of smaller projects — in fact, I am already, and I’m a participant in many more. “Project management” seems more like a buzzword than something that my classes or organization has invested much time in researching, and this is definitely an area that I can tell would do me well to come back to and study in depth.

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