Playing on the Internet for a living

Phil Bradley looks forward to his presentation at Internet Librarian International 2011. He just can't tell us anything about it yet!

I am very fortunate that my job is playing on the Internet.

Most days I spend reading Twitter, looking at posts on Google+, poking through Facebook, checking out various Web 2.0 and social media sites and combing through my RSS feeds. I'm looking for interesting sites, resources and applications that are referenced and I'll go and have a look at them. This involves registering, trying them out, seeing how they work, if they break, and seeing if they match up to their hype or if they fall far below it.

Then I write about them.  In my blogs, or in articles for publications that I work with, or I'll put something onto my own site at for people to look at.

I try to be as honest as I can be.  If I really like something I'll explain why, and if I think something is a stinker I'll point that out as well. Quite often, however, I can spend time researching something and then not mentioning it anywhere - if I don't think it's ready for 'prime time', or has no value to librarians then it goes into the bit bucket.

Not everything that I really like makes the grade of course.  Many is the time when I get used to a particular product only to find it has closed.  But to be fair to myself, if I slate something it doesn't usually turn into a great success.

However, over the 15+ years that I've been wandering the highways and byways of the Internet I'm pleased to say that I often find real gems.  These can save you time, make your life easier, make your work more effective, or even allow you to do something you couldn't do before.

My session at Internet Librarian International 2011 is going to be looking at a few of the things that I've found recently. I'd love to tell you what, but at this point I have absolutely no idea.  It's quite likely that some of the resources that I'll point out haven't even been made public yet. However, I will be talking about resources that work with tablets, mobile phones, social media resources and that are appropriate for information professionals. I'll also hopefully find one or two that are simply great fun - but what they are, even I don't quite know yet!

Phil Bradley is an information specialist and well known Internet consultant. He runs courses on various aspects of the Internet, is a webpage writer and designer, is the author of several books about the Internet and speaks on various Internet related subjects at conferences.

Image courtesy of UrbanTofu via Flickr.