A few weeks ago, I introduced blogging to some of the librarians in my department. Along with another teacher-librarian, we showed some of the tools we use to find and keep track of the blogs we follow. I use Google Reader, as does my coworker. For us, it works. It was not always this way for me, however. When I first started using an RSS Reader, I used Bloglines. I thought I wrote a post about why I changed, but I looked back through my archives and couldn't find it. In a nutshell, I liked a few features of Google Reader that weren't available in Bloglines - features that made my experience better. Anyway, Google Reader is my RSS of choice. This leads me to a little advice I'd like to share - whether you're relatively new to the World of Web 2.0 or not.

If you find a tool that works for you, stick with it.

Believe me, you will have plenty of choices to make. RSS readers - Google Reader or Bloglines? Social Bookmarking - Delicious or Diigo? Online photo storage/sharing - Flickr or Picasso or iPhoto, etc.? Blog platform - WordPress or Blogger? And these are the ones that are out now! There will most certainly be new ones that pop up down the road, but my advice is this, if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Now, I'm not saying ignore the new stuff that pops up, especially if it's recommended by people you trust. I'm simply saying that if your current tool of choice is working for you, you probably don't need to change. I use Delicious for my social bookmarking. It meets my needs. It does what I need it to do. Should I consider Diigo? Perhaps. Are there features that I might find valuable? Perhaps. Is it worth at least exploring? Perhaps. But why? I've had several people tell me they like Diigo better. I've read quite a few posts and tweets comparing the two. But, the way I look at is this - if I have something that serves the purpose I need it do, why switch? I understand that there may be features of Diigo that are better than those in Delicious, maybe even one's I'd use. However, in my case, Delicious is providing what I need. With that being said, I did export my Delicious bookmarks, created a Diigo account, and imported the list, but haven't looked at Diigo since. I'm not sure I want to take the time, much less have the time, to learn another Web 2.0 application.

I'm curious. Do you think this is good advice or do you think people should check out the new sites that pop up? Should they check them out even if what they're using is meeting their needs? Please give me your input.

4 comments

  1. Wm Chamberlain // May 22, 2009 at 11:18 PM  

    I stick with a site too, until I find another that will work better for me. As a "get it done" person I like to know the program well enough I don't have to think about it, but I still feel a responsibility to my students to examine new tools as well. In effect, trying to model continuous learning for my students.

  2. Dennis Grice // May 22, 2009 at 11:41 PM  

    As a creature of habit I generally resist change. As you said, if I find a tool I like I'll stick with it - until I am compelled to change.
    I started my first blog using Blogger, my first wiki using Wikispaces, and started posting pictures on Flickr. As new tools became available I've checked them out, played them, and found some unique features, but as most of my content is on these big three I'll most likely stick with them until a) they go away b) using it becomes too inconvenient or expensive or c) I find something that works so much better and saves me so much time I'd be stupid not to change.
    I realize that these tools will not be around forever and that someday I will be forced to move all my content to something else (albeit with some kicking and screaming). But hey, that's what happens when you work with technology. If this wasn't true, I'd still be content using my AOL e-mail and my 14.4K dial-up modem.

  3. Andromeda Jazmon // May 23, 2009 at 4:47 AM  

    I think one should always be open to changing tools because needs/opportunities change. I am still in bloglines even though I hear great things about G reader, & for the reasons you said; it works for me, I tried G and it didn't seem a whole lot better, and I don't want to learn a new software right now. But I am trying to stay open to the thought that I might decide to switch this summer if it seems better. I switched from delicious to Diigo because my co-workers at school are in Diigo and we have a group there. That is working a lot better for me. Everything is so fluid I don't think it serves to have hard policies.

    Good discussion - thanks for starting it!

  4. tara // May 23, 2009 at 7:31 AM  

    I think it's great advice, Chad, especially if you are dealing with a new tech user. Feeling comfortable is the key to continuing with tech and not getting completely frustrated. I, too, started with wikispaces and then used pbwiki and found myself missing what I knew with wikispaces. I've used both, but I tend to stick with what I learned first until it doesn't work for me anymore or I want more that it can't give me.

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