Monday, 26 March 2018

Rudai23 - 23 Things for information Skills - A Summary

I’ve just finished a great course ran by the members of the Western Regional Section of the Library Association of Ireland, I’d recommend anyone to do it...



I must say, I really enjoyed doing this course. There was a nice balance of revisiting old skills and knowledge with new material. It was a great opportunity to marry some 25 years worth of experience with exploring new applications and programs. The whole area of developing your online presence and corporate identity was fascinating and could be a separate course all on its own. Huge thanks to the whole team and all the people who wrote the different exercises. Special thanks to Michelle Breen, my course supporter who put up with me pestering her all the time.


For those just starting out, there were 22 different exercises to cover, after each one you wrote a blog post detailing your experience. For most people they have to set up a new blog for the very first time. To some, this can seem a daunting task but the advice I would give is just go for it, don’t worry too much about the content and appearance of your blog, these are all things you will work on during the course and tweak until you get to your liking. The most important thing is to just get going. If you are just starting the course, I hope this blog will give you an idea of what you are getting yourself into. Sometimes, if I was stuck, I would look to see how others approached the exercise so maybe this might help you in this way also. For me, this blog will act as a reminder of everything covered and allow me to reflect on the whole experience.  



At intervals you do a reflective exercise on the section just complete and blog about that also. When you’ve completed these reflective blogs you are awarded badges which detail what you have covered. 


So, here’s how it all went down. (If you want to just browse my blog, the best way to find the Rudai23 posts is to scroll down on the left until you come to labels. Then click on Rudai23 and you will find all the posts about the course)



Thing 1 – Setting up a blog.
The first exercise was to look at the different programs one can use to blog with. I chose Blogger which is owned by Google purely because I already had a Gmail account so it’s easier to cross-share your content. Set-up during the first week of September 2017, I already had an idea of what I wanted to do and the appearance of my page.  I played around with the templates and settings and went with the name of John The Captain Ryan. My Blog website is https://johnthecaptainryan.blogspot.ie but .COM also works.       
             
Thing 2 - Write Your First Blog Post             
Posted on 12th September with a title of: The Girl with all the gifts, the link is HERE. Apart from doing the course, I also wanted to blog about the things I love so I planned on doing book, movie and TV series reviews and Scrabble. I went with a movie review for my first blog.         

Thing 3 – Image Banks            
Posted on 21st September with a title of: Copy Right or Wrong, the link is HERE. This was an interesting exercise exploring the use of images and understanding the use and sharing of images. A lot of the time now, I try to do my own artwork.             
  
Thing 4 - Communicating Visually            
Posted on 2nd October with a title of: Communication Visually, the link is HERE. This was great fun and something I will use again. 

Thing 5 - Video Presentations             
Posted on 5th October with a title of: Video Presentation, the link is HERE. I did my first ever screen capture video and learnt loads. Be well prepared before you start!

Thing 6 - Reflective Practice            
Posted on 10th October with a title of: My Journey So Far Doing the Rudai 23 Course, the link is HERE.

At the same time you learn how to create an account with Open Badge Passport, how to use the application and get this sample badge:


Thing 7.1 - Online Exhibitions         
Posted on 11th October with a title of: Online Exhibition (part 1), the link is HERE. This was also interesting, with lots of options to examine.

Thing 7.2 - Online Exhibitions         
Posted on 16th October with a title of: Tintern Abbey Exhibition (part 2), the link is HERE

During blogging over the previous few months I had noticed that sometimes images were disappearing from my blog. This was not ideal when an exhibition blog was all about images. After asking my course tutor for advice and searching the internet for solutions, I eventually found one so blogged about it, titled Fixing Broken Images in Blogger - HERE

Thing 8.1 - Infographics          
Posted on 23rd October with a title of: Be Aware LGBT, the link is HERE

Thing 8.2 - Infographics         
Posted on 31st October with a title of: King is King, I redid Thing 8 and the link is HERE. My first attempt was dreadful because I hadn’t prepared my information and honed my message well enough. This is the reason I redid this exercise.

Thing 9 - Reflective Practice            
Posted on 31st October with a title of: Reflective Post, the link is HERE

After a couple of days, if successful you will get your first badge titled “Visual Communicator” (based on your Thing 9 reflective post) which looks like this:


During the course, I found the reflective practices difficult but they were interesting.


Thing 10 - Networking Tools            
Posted on 16th November with a title of: Networking Tools, the link is HERE. This was the first exercise where we were setting-up social media accounts (if you didn’t already have some).

Thing 11 - Your Professional Brand            
Posted on 4th December with a title of: From Aardvarks to Anoraks..., the link is HERE. This is a fascinating exercise which gets you to examine your online presence and create a cohesive online profile for yourself.

Thing 12 - Collaborative Tools            
Posted on 8th December with a title of: Collaborating, the link is HERE. We looked at different ways of collaborating with colleagues but for me face-to-face is still the best way to work as long as everyone is well prepared beforehand.

Thing 13 - Reflective Practice            
Posted on 8th December with a title of: Reflective Blog, the link is HERE. This exercise is based the experience of Things 10, 11 & 12. I also did an overview of my blogging experience to date.

I concluded with the following: “I’m really happy with where by blogging is going and my ever developing online presence.  My blog has now over 3350 views with a massive amount of that traffic coming from Facebook.  I will need to use Twitter and Instagram a little more in the future so all my eggs are not in the one basket and hope to help others shares their blogs too.  A great way to get a blog noticed is cross promotion between other bloggers so I will be looking for a few other bloggers to do this with.”

This is the next badge you get after completing Thing 13 titled Online Networker.


We took a much needed break after this and restarted in the New Year. I was really enjoying blogging and couldn’t wait to get going again. Over the next couple of weeks I had a good look at my blog, wrote a couple of summary blogs, tweaked the appearance and installed a couple of new gadgets.

Thing 14 – Personal Information Management
Posted on 16th January with a title of: Personal Information Management, the link is HERE, this is massive and after the Cambridge Analytic & Facebook mess even more important.

Thing 15 – Evaluation information.
Posted on 25th January with a title of: Wikipedia - What is it all about, the link is HERE. You explore and are given the opportunity to evaluate and correct information in Wikipedia. Wikipedia want groups of volunteers to update and create new content for their website. I think Wikipedia should instead pay Library Professionals to do the job. This is the best way for Wikipedia to become a resource of repute.

Thing 16 – Your Digital Footprint
Posted on 31st January with a title of: Your Digital Footprint, the link is HEREthis exercise gets you to evaluate your online presence and think about your online security.

Thing 17 – Sharing Your Work
Posted on 13th February with a title of: Reflective Blog, the link is HERE . I had no previous presentation to share so had to create one.

Thing 18 – Reflective Practice
Posted on 19th February with a title of: Reflective Blog, the link is HEREThis exercise is a reflection based on Things 14, 15, 16 & 17. Following completion you get this badge for Critical Thinker:


Thing 19 - Podcasts
Posted on 22nd February with a title of: Podcasting, the link is HERE. This was awesome and I will be doing more podcasts.

Thing 20 – Advocacy and Engagement
Posted on 27th February with a title of: Advocacy in the Library, the link is HERE. This was interesting and something I have never done for the library, but I have extensive experience advocating for the LGBT community.              

Thing 21 – Professional Groups
Posted on 27th February with a title of: Library Professional Groups, the link is HERE. This is all about connecting with Library professional groups around the World.  

Thing 22 – Reflective Practice
Posted on 6th March with a title of: Reflective Practice, the link is HERE. This brings together your experience of Things 19, 20 & 21.

You get the 5th badge following completion of Thing 22 titled Engaged Professional.


I thought it would have been interesting to do a reflective post of the whole experience so that’s mine. As I move forward with blogging, I have to look into backing-up my blog and perhaps hosting my page as I don’t want to leave everything in the hands of Google. I’ve read some nightmare stories of, when a blog is reported for breach of conditions Google just closes down the page and people lose everything. Saying that, I don’t intend breaching any conditions, but, if someone reported my page because they don’t like the content, (e.g. an extreme right wing keyboard warrior complaining about my LGBT content) I’d hate to lose it all.


Picking up from my mid-course conclusion, I’m still enjoying blogging and since the 8th December when I had 3350 page views it’s now jumped to 16,390 page views so something is working.

Huge thanks to the Rudai23 team who started me on my blogging experience.

Blog On Peeps.



John the Captain Ryan

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Love, Simon (movie review)

I drove a round trip of 370 km to go see this movie yesterday.



I got to see the movie yesterday thanks to Corks RedFm and the Gate Cinema in Cork city. If you haven’t read the book, check out my review here.



The film is amazing, beautiful, powerful, funny, poignant and relate-able. If only this movie were out years ago, what a different world we would live in. I brought my hubby who doesn’t watch rom-coms and he loved it. There were tears, laughter and joy. We left the movie theatre holding hands. But, I just can’t put into words, let alone write a review until I have seen it again so instead, here is a tiny snapshot of what the Twitter-verse is saying. Did you make the list?

Orion Corloto hits the nail on the head @orionnichole


Just like Love, Ari, I want everyone to see the movie too. Seriously, don't be tempted to download it, pay to see it and show the studios we need these types of movies @FinalJudgement


 Well Done Anthony @anthony_pichacz


As the tagline goes, everyone deserves a love story and love wins always Anthony @AndrewGhai


It's such an empowering movie and book, well done Logan @LoganBallge


Thanks and hopes to all the community from Josh @JoshRadwell 


I agree, it means so much, but on top of that, it's a brilliant story with amazing actors and a fab soundtrack. @PJandThomas


And it wasn't a halfhearted snog either. Glad to find another Paddy. @greenwordsmith


Beautiful is one of the most used words to describe the movie Justin. @JustinCrumpler7


Life changing doesn't even describe it. Congrats Kai @marvelusholland


After beautiful, important representation is the next most popular comment, thanks Jill @amesLy30


You go girl @_catwashere


One of my fave quotes from the show and probably the most relate-able for people when they come out. Kudos Zach. @zach_craymer 


Yep, I agree with you Johaunna, great writing and acting @johaunna37


For me, watching the movie reinvigorates me to continue the fight so, yes, the excitement and empowerment for older gay people is immense. @OvaThrone


Energy, Joy & Life. Hell ya! @MarleyTeter


Again, one of my fave quotes. @TheRobSandlin


We cannot thank Becky enough for this awesome story. (ps Ryan, I'm a Ryan by surname) @rantryan


And finally, this is an amazing sentiment and if anyone cannot afford a ticket let me know also. Huge shout out to Danielle and all the others offering the same. @DanielleRogland



The more I think about it, I don't need to write a review, these tweets cover it all. See it. See it again. Buy a ticket for someone who cannot afford it. Tell everyone about it.

Without a shadow of a doubt this movie gets 10 out of 10 planets.





John the Captain Ryan

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Always Use Protection

With the recent revelations about how your information can be used on FACEBOOK here are a 3 things you can do to protect yourself, your family and friends.





ONLY allow your friends to view your full profile. Change your settings now, seriously, this is the one thing you should always do. Apart from reducing unsolicited friend requests, it stops strangers stalking your page, stops strangers learning things about you and stops strangers commenting and copying things on or from your profile.

Go into the privacy check-up in the help centre menu and go through the 3 steps that are prompted.



  1. Only allow friends to view posts
  1. Delete out all those apps you have allowed access to your page (remember that quiz you took to find out your favourite animals and colours)
  2. Ensure ONLY your friends can see any personal details.

ONLY allow your friends to view your friend list.

Click on your friends, click the manage button as shown below:




And change the drop-downs to FRIENDS only.


This especially stops anyone viewing your profile, gathering information about your friends and then approaching you with a message like “OMG, can we be friends, I see you went to the same school as me with Joe Bloggs” etc...

When you have made your profile more secure, don't be accepting friend requests willy-nilly. Only accept them if you actually know then or if you actually have friends in common.




Also do regular purges of your friends list. I use the birthday reminder to help, when I get a notification and if I don't know who the person is without clicking into their profile they are toast.




Stop putting information on facebook divulging stuff about yourself.For example...

My first dog, Henry died yesterday and we are all heartbroken...



Hang on, a popular security question is “name your first pet”.

Look at this lovely picture of my little girl (Mary) first day at school, her teacher Miss Murphy is soooo nice

Wow, big mistake on so many levels...

a. There are any number of freeks out there that can use the photo (especially with geotag if you have it turned on) to find out where she goes to school (crest on jumper)

b. They now know her name, approx age,what she looks like (their type...ooohhhhh on so many levels) and could even approach her on the street.

“Hi Mary, I was talking to your mum the other day, she is so proud of you starting school and I'm so sorry Henry your dog died! My son is in your class and loves Miss Murphy, what do you think of her”

Getting the idea people!

Stop telling your life story and divulging your whereabouts. For example...

Advertising you are going on holidays (your house will be empty for 2 weeks)

Talking about your friends and family (allows stalkers to collection information about you and also those you love)


Anyway, that's just three things you can do. Have a private account. Protect you and your friends and don't be telling your life story on the internet.

John The Captain Ryan

Friday, 16 March 2018

Pray the Gay Away...Let me hear you now...Amen!

“Change the use of the word THERAPY and instead use the word TORTURE”.




Fair warning, this is going to be a bit of a rant but I have to put these thoughts down into some kind of coherent message.


But before I go down that winding route, I first want to give a huge shout out to Senator Fintan Warfield (Sinn Fein) who this week has introduced a bill to prohibit conversion therapy, as a deceptive and harmful act or practice against a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and, or gender expression. It also aims to stop people being brought out of the state for such therapies. (proposed legislation HERE)



If you believe the Earth is flat, that God created the World in 7 days (a few thousand years ago), that dinosaurs are not real and that it is possible to Pray the Gay away...well by all means keep your opinion but you can stop reading now. If however you are a person of strong faith and believe in the love and understanding of your God(s) stay with me. Put it this way, I can respect you have a strong faith if you can respect the knowledge, study and opinion of medical professionals, or, look at it another way, if you need a heart transplant, you and your family and friends will probably say a prayer to God to keep an eye on you but you will still go to the heart surgeon for the operation. Any-who...

I want to talk about gay conversion therapy and why it should be banned in Ireland. I ask everyone to pester their elected representatives and ask them to support this new bill. Even using the term THERAPY is misleading. According to OED, therapy has two definitions:


1. Treatment intended to relieve or heal a disorder. Example: “a course of antibiotic therapy” &

2. The treatment of mental or psychological disorders by psychological means. Example: “he is currently in therapy”

Being gay is not a disorder. When discussing this barbaric practice we should change the use of the word THERAPY and instead use the word TORTUREAcross Europe and the World, medical professionals are condemning the use of conversion (therapy) torture. Malta became the first country in Europe to ban these therapies


(You cannot switch being gay on and off.)

In the EU’s latest report on Fundamental Rights, there are many statements about the rights and freedoms of LGBT people (including Trans people being allowed to officially change their gender) and the Intergroup’s Sirpa Pietik√§inen (MEP) says “The UN Committee Against Torture, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the Human Rights Committee have already condemned the practice of conversion therapy in several countries.”

In the UK, medical bodies including the NHS have signed a voluntary Memorandum of Understanding that disavows gay cure therapy. British health minister Jackie Doyle-Price said “The Government rejects utterly the notion that sexuality is something to be cured, and condemns gay conversion therapy. 

It has been condemned in the US by groups such as the American Psychological Association and the American Medical Association. At home in Ireland, the practice of conversion therapy has also been condemned and discredited by the Irish Council for Psychotherapy.



The National LGBT Federation (NXF) Board Member Adam Long commented: “The National LGBT Federation is very pleased to be working with Senator Warfield to ensure that harmful and abusive so-called gay ‘conversion therapy’ is prohibited in Ireland. A ban is all the more pressing in light of comments by Mary McAleese recently, which highlighted the prevalence of this practice in Ireland, and also the very firm resolution passed by the European Parliament last week calling on all member states to implement a ban. We therefore call on all parties and members of the Oireachtas to support Senator Warfield’s legislation.”

The NXF also says: "This so-called 'therapy', which has been condemned by all reputable health organisations, is not only ineffective but deeply harmful to LGBT individuals subjected to such 'treatment'. It is rooted in homophobic assumptions and ideologies and has no place in any civilised society”.

So, I hope you are still with me. Summary so far, it is not therapy, it is torture and many professionals around the World condemn the use of such “therapy”. A complete list of professional opinion is here.

Ok, so we can agree this (therapy) torture never did and never will work. There is nothing medically wrong with not falling into a hetronormative role and there is nothing to be cured. There is no medical evidence to back up the practice of such therapies. But, you think, sure this isn’t happening in Ireland so it doesn’t matter...

Oh, darling you are so wrong. I heard it was happening a few years ago – back in 2010 Cormac O’Brien investigated and reported in GCN about it - https://gcn.ie/gay-conversion-therapy-brand-new-ireland/


And now former President Mary McAleese revealed that an international Catholic group run by Courage was operating a chapel in Dublin where priests sought to help “persons who experience SSA [same-sex attraction] to grow into their true identities”.

So this is happening in Ireland. HERE and NOW.
  
Leo Varadkar is visiting Mike Pence this morning and he says he hopes there will be time to discuss gay rights. However, Pence has barred the press from the meeting and I can only imagine how "unfortunately" there will not be time to discuss these issues. Of course we already know that Pence is an advocate of such therapy. In reality, Varadkar probably cannot sway either Trump or Pence’s opinion anyway.

But here’s what we can do, we can keep tweeting and posting about the issue. We can keep asking our elected officials their opinion & educate them about the damage these therapies do. We can ask them to support this new bill. We the people are the only ones that can make a difference. Love is Love. 


John The Captain Ryan




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