Email on the go - I use email a lot. It’s hard to believe how long I’ve been using email for, but also, how my use of email has changed.
My email history
My first account was set up when I was a student, it was trivia_angelos[a]hotmail.com (no longer operational).Once I started working, I had a work account sarah.jones[a]stonebow.otago.ac.nz (no longer operational). Then, when @stevegallagher and I got together, we set up a joint account through Actrix (no longer operational) but we migrated our joint account to Gmail once that set up (we still use this). In the interest of finding a job back in NZ, I set myself up with my current sarah.kj.gallagher[a]gmail.com, and also have one for my research flatnames[a]gmail.com, and a work address sarah.gallagher[a]otago.ac.nz. It’s a lot of accounts.
The perspective known as “technological determinism” purports that technology itself is not a ‘tool’ but is a driver of change and creator of society (rather than society driving the change). There’s no question to me that technology is a driver of change. I’ve observed marked change in the last 20 years just in the way I communicate.Here’s a quick time line.
1991 - My first year at University I wrote a lot of letters and spent $5 a week on stamps. Toll calls were very expensive.
1995 - Started using email.
1997 - Work email account - using email more instead of writing letters.
2001 - First mobile phone (second hand motorolla clamshell). Email remained a major communication tool. Phone rates (mobile and terrestrial were still expensive).
2003 - email continues to be the major way of communicating for me, especially while overseas. First attempts at blogging.
2005 - I can’t remember when I first used IM, but I do specifically remember using it in London on the day of the bombings.
2007 - Joined Facebook and Twitter.
2012 - First smartphone - use for txt, calls, skype, SM communication. Txt between iphones. Email has a crucial role for us in documenting our EQNZ process with insurance / EQC
2013 - Use Facebook and Twitter for casual communication. Email for work and official communication. Rarely write letters (must try harder).
How do I use email on a daily basis?
From my phone I email photos to my family, I email myself articles. What I love about my ipad and iphone is that I can access all of my email accounts really easily.
I do subscribe alerting services that I’m interested in - most cause information overload and I should unsubscribe from them as it more often than not they just get sent straight to the trash!
I find email for work extremely helpful, again I do become overwhelmed by the volume of email I get. I use folders to store emails I’ve read and actioned. Being able to access my email on the go means I can be responsive to my academics and students, and for them, that’s really important.
Because I receive so many emails I do check it when I’m on holiday - the logic being that if I clear the flotsam and jettsom before I get back to work it’ll be less onorous. It can be hard to switch off when work is just at the end of your device, and it’s certainly something I need to work on!
I LOVE taking photos. Ever since I had an epiphenous moment with my Dad’s SLR at aged 16, I’ve loved to take photos. For me it’s about many things: saving/making memories, finding beauty, noting detail, and preserving ephemera - particularly local street art.
When Flickr began @stevegallagher and I set up an account and started posting our images. I was really dedicated and organised at first, I uploaded my photos from our digital camera monthly to a folder on the PC. I then chose the best of the bunch to add to Flickr, adding tags and putting them in sets. Then I had a baby and it all went pear shaped.
It was great for my Dunedin Flatnames project - sharing the photos through Flickr and Facebook really was the making of the idea for a book, and also proved to be the only means of finding the community and collecting people’s stories.
Another layer of photo management complexity entered the room when @stevegallagher and I adopted smart phones. Now the digital camera is hardly used, we upload photos to Twitter and Facebook, and it’s a bit of a shambles, to be honest. I still ahven’t made photo books of some of the most important periods in our lives: our OE and our daughter (the shame).
Taking photos from my smart phone is fantastic - usually I just use the camera and then send it to a particular service. I did use Path for awhile as it has some lovely filters but it was yet another SM service so that’s faded into the background for me.
Here are some examples of how I have used the camera on my device:
capture a new piece of street art or a flat sign quickly and share it on Facebook / Twitter
take pics of my daughter and email them to her cousins and grandparents
when I had a car accident recently I was able to take photos of the damage, and the number plate of the car that hit me
take photos as reminders (eg book to read or buy for the library)
Thing 2 has inspired my to start taking my photos using the Flickr app - hopefully this will help me bring some organisation to the disgraceful mess that is my electronic midden of photos.
I was an early adopter of Twitter - back in 2007. It took me ages to really get how to use it and and what to use it for. 140 characters seemed so small, so restrictive!
How I use it personally
I follow people who are into things I’m interested in, or who have something interesting to say. I RT information I think will be interesting to people who follow me. I use it to catch up with people (eg DM). Since the CHCH earthquake I follow public services like civil defence, geonet, city councils. It still blows me away that I can send a tweet to an author I’m reading, or a musician who’s gig I’m going to. I’m sure that my use of Twitter has improved my writing to some extent. It’s certainly ensures I am concise!
How I use it professionally
I follow associations, journals, colleagues, people who inspire me, other GLAMs, news sources and people / institutes / journals in the health area.
“Think of Auckland’s Waterfront and books aren’t the first things that spring to mind. But a little shipping container on Te Wero Island has been turned into a temporary outdoor library, and passersby are pouring in and then poring over the tomes. Books still seem like an odd fit, though, in an area more associated with bars, restaurants and rugby world cup launches. Justin Gregory talks to project manager Marieke Numan and asks her why books, why here?” (Radio NZ, 21 April 2013)
Since the September 2010 earthquake #eqnz Gap Filler @gapfillerchch has been contributing enormously to the people and city of #chch. Now they need a hand. Watch this, RT or share this, and give a little back.