Val Skelton My Favourite Tipples from a freelance editor and conference director
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By Val Skelton


My Favourite Tipples are shared by Val Skelton, an editor and conference programme director specialising in the information management field. She shares her favourite online sources in areas from keeping up with breaking news to collaborative working.


A key challenge for home-based freelancers in any sector is finding ways to maintain and update their skills and knowledge.

This can be even harder for those of us providing services to information professionals. Our clients could be working in any sector and their roles are incredibly diverse.  I need to keep up to date on topics ranging from the latest trends in corporate training, data protection and copyright law, scholarly communications, User Experience (UX), advanced search skills, apps & tools and tech trends, to name but a few.

  • Feedly: After quickly checking my various email accounts and responding to anything urgent, I go straight to my Feedly. At the last count, I subscribe to over 350 newsfeeds divided into broad subject areas such as copyright and leadership. I review the feeds about once a month, deleting feeds which are no longer relevant. I will return to Feedly three times a day - the game I play is to ensure I never have more than 1000 unread stories!
  • The Memo: I'm really enjoying this curated news site about digital innovation. I like the way it's designed, the way it's written and I'm interested in the content.
  • LinkedIn: I've noticed that since it was redesigned I am using my LinkedIn account much more and find myself logging in at least once a day.  I like the way the newsfeed highlights items shared or written by my contacts - often surfacing content I wouldn't see elsewhere. Also, the publishing template makes articles so attractive, I find myself writing and sharing my own content more frequently.
  • Padlet: I've been using Padlet a lot recently for collaborative working. Every month Phil and I send an update email to Phil Bradley Training members. We use Padlet to save ideas and news stories we want to share with them. Padlet lets us move tiles around so that themes and "stories" begin to emerge. It makes writing easier and hopefully enhances the ongoing learning experience for our clients.

For fun: 

  • The Secret History of Hollywood: When you work from home, you are your own boss, your own workforce and your own office clown. Thank goodness for BBC iPlayer Radio and podcasts. 

An article in Jinfo which I found particularly interesting:

  • I've always been fascinated by future scanning and trend spotting. I like looking for patterns and making inferences about how change will affect the way we live, play and work (and the types of jobs we might have). As someone who has developed and managed library and information (LIS) training programmes, "Does your information team possess 'radical adaptability'?", an interview with LIS consultant Kim Dority, could have been written especially for me! 

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