This month’s Glam Blog Club topic is How I Ended Up Here. I’m taking the question quite literally, and explaining how I ended up HERE here, on this blog.
I wouldn’t be writing this blog, or possibly even be in this profession, if it weren’t for the networking opportunities, support and mentoring I’ve been privileged to access in the last few years.
It all started around the time I took a secondment in May 2015, in my first dedicated job in recordkeeping and archives. I’d already worked for five years in a University governance role that included recordkeeping responsibilities mixed in with other compliance-related aspects such as privacy, legal compliance, policy and committee governance. I’d become quite interested in recordkeeping, having voluntarily read some textbooks about it in early 2014 as part of my professional development (I’d been advised years ago to always propose a mix of paid and ‘free’ professional development on my annual plan). In fact, I enjoyed my reading so much, that mid-2014 I enrolled in a University course to become qualified as a recordkeeper and archivist. So when the opportunity arose in 2015 to do a job specialising in recordkeeping and archives, I took it!
I’ve always been a fan of continuing professional development and lifelong learning. I think in my whole adult life, I’ve had no more than 1 year’s break between each University course enrolment. My annual plan at work always involves requests to attend workshops and events, or to use some work time to read. But when I started the dedicated recordkeeping and archives role, I decided it was time to take it up a level. I decided it was time to network and really understand the profession I was working in.
In my University studies, I had to write an assignment about microblogging for knowledge sharing. I had never blogged or microblogged before, so I set up a Twitter account in order to understand it better. I followed some professional organisations like ALIA, RIMPA and ASA, and occasionally logged in to read my newsfeed. Through my Twitter feed, I found out about Cardi Parties. I attended my first one early in 2015, but for various reasons didn’t make it back for a while. Then in May 2016 I attended my second Cardi Party, and the rest is history!
While I’d been a lurker on Twitter for about a year, I realised at that Cardi Party that GLAMR professionals, especially new professionals, use Twitter a lot and so should I. Some very kind people stepped me through my first few tweets and gave suggestions on how to use Twitter. So I Tweeted about the event and have never stopped Tweeting since:
I’d thought here and there about starting a blog, but really wasn’t sure where to start. So when New Cardigan announced GLAM Blog Club late in 2016, I decided to bite the bullet and make my first post, on what I learned in 2016. I’d already built up my confidence with public self-publications, by Tweeting a lot at events and about the profession. But I was still a bit worried about potentially embarrassing myself or my employer. So I asked my Manager to look over the draft of my first post to check if it was acceptable. They gave some good advice to tweak it, and some encouraging compliments, and soon after I made that first post public. I still get my Manager to check over any drafts if they mention work, or to get general feedback on the direction I’m taking if I’m a bit stuck.
Since that first post I’ve had trouble keeping up with monthly posts, but I’ve made a few contributions to Glam Blog Club and have also posted about some other random GLAMR topics.
I enjoy reading the Glam Blog Club posts each month, and I try to contribute where I can. There are many similarities between the GLAMR professions, and I think we all have a lot to learn from each other. But primarily I’m a recordkeeper, so my only wish is that more recordkeepers blogged and participated in GLAM Blog Club, as I’d love to network more and learn more from others doing similar jobs to me.
If you’re a recordkeeper (or in any GLAMR profession) and thinking about starting a blog, here are my tips to get you started:
- If you’re not sure what to write about, start with a structure such as GLAM Blog Club
- Do a bit of research on what technology you’d like to use, but I ended up using wordpress.com because it was easy and free to get started (though I do now pay an annual subscription to make mine ad-free and for other features)
- Check with your employer if it’s OK to have a blog, especially if you will be writing about work. If you are writing about work, I suggest getting your Manager to check your draft post to ensure it’s OK to share, in case there may be confidential or sensitive topics they want to check over
- Make sure you register your blog with Aus GLAM Blog Bot, so your posts get more visibility.
So that’s my story of how I ended up here! Be sure to read the other GLAM Blog Club posts this month!