How I learned to be a better editor.

Twitter profileWhen I first got to grad school, Twitter was something about which I really only heard in disparaging terms. “Why do I need to know that you just ate a sandwich and took a nap?” etc. This was before I really started to think of it in terms of a “microblogging” tool rather than an “over-sharing” tool (an argument of which I have yet to effectively persuade my Baby Boomer parents).

I have been playing with Twitter since about 2008, getting a feel for how it works, learning the best ways to interact with both the site and its other members, experimenting with managing multiple accounts with services like HootSuite and Tweetdeck, and – perhaps most importantly – learning how to say what I want to say in 140 characters or less. This did not come naturally for me. I spent my undergraduate years writing history papers; brevity has rarely been the essence of my written communication style.

Twitter has taught me how to be more concise. Oddly enough, this actually helped my papers in grad school. I became better at choosing more articulate vocabulary terms so I had to explain myself less. It has also improved my email efficiency; since I can make my point with fewer words, I get through more emails in less time.

Additionally, I network better with Twitter. As a tool for public communication, there is less group compartmentalization to manage, and it is easier to make new connections (both discovering and being discovered). (Also, Twitter will not teach you to stop over-using parentheses. Clearly.)

One of the things I have enjoyed most about Twitter, though, is having a tool that lets me keep up with all of the things the people and agencies I follow are doing. I love knowing about new program implementations, getting quick links to new research data, and participating in brainstorming and crowd sourcing. Yes, I DO want to help name the new cheetah cubs at the National Zoo, and thanks, @NationalZoo, for asking!

It's not just you, Damisi. We all hate it.


Cataloging Fridays: “Morton’s Twitter Steak” edition

After reading what is perhaps the greatest customer-service-via-social-media story ever told, I knew I had my next Cataloging Friday subject: the meal delivered by Morton’s to Peter Shankman at the Newark Airport.

041 0 eng
043 n-us-nj
044 nju
090 HF5415.1265 |bM67 2011
110 2 Morton’s the Steakhouse.
245 0 0 To Shankman, with love |h[comestible] /|cMortons the Steakhouse.
260 Newark, NJ :|bMorton’s the Steakhouse [distributor], |c2011.
300 1 porterhouse steak :|bpackaged in take-out ware ;|c24 oz.
300 1 order of Colossal shrimp Alexander :|bpackaged in take-out ware ;|csize unknown
300 1 side order of potatoes :|bpackaged in take-out ware ;|csize unknown.
300 1 order of bread :|bpackaged in take-out ware ;|csize unknown.
300 2 napkins ;|csize unknown.
300 1 package of plastic silverware :|bpackaged in plastic wrap ;|csize unknown.
300 1 take-out bag :|bill. ;|csize unknown.
500 Title created by cataloger.
500 This meal, being the sum of all parts listed herein, was delivered to Mr. Peter Shankman at the Newark International Airport (EWR) on August 17, 2011 after Mr. Shankman requested a “porterhouse” from Morton’s via his Twitter account (@petershankman).
650 0 Mass media and business.
650 0 Advertising |xFood service.
650 0 Twitter.
650 0 Dinners and dining.
650 0 Beef.
700 1 Shankman, Peter.
856 4 2 |u
856 4 2 |u
856 4 2 |u

Things I learned while writing this entry:

    • I love social media even more than I thought I did before.
    • Reading about steak can, in fact, make one crave protein like a crazed troglodyte.
    • Beurre blanc sauce is not an authorized subject heading. I feel like it should be.
    • “Steakhouse” is not an authorized subject heading either, but it IS a “musical group.” (Sidenote: I can’t find them online anywhere, ergo: they must not be real.)

    • Did you know that there is such a thing as “ghost shrimps?” Because I did not.

No one wants to eat this.

*Disclaimer: This record, in all its hypothetical glory, was not actually entered into any existing catalogs. Any mis-appropriations of MARC fields are not intended to offend any catalogers that have more experience than myself in cataloging Colossal Shrimp.

**Morton’s location in the above record is based on the context of the article to which I originally linked: based on the author’s statement that the nearest Morton’s was 24 miles away, I assumed the meal was courtesy of the Hackensack, New Jersey location. If Morton’s needs to or would like to correct me, I would be happy to change the record.

***For more about Cataloging Fridays, click here.