Thursday, October 8, 2009
I've expanded my understanding of Web 2.O utilities with this project, and I'm impressed with Ms. Blowers for setting it up. I would participate in a future 23 Things. Maybe the Big Stick my more advanced class mates used could be my next project with this blog.
I'm going to go through and add Web 2.0 blogs to my RSS feed, and list them here.
Web 2.0 blogs added to my RSS feed
http://librarybytes.com/ - Helene Blowers' blog
http://www.opal-online.org/ - OPAL
http://www.lifehacker.com - Lifehacker
The only things I didn't like in 23 Things on a Stick were the Online Gaming Thing and the over-the-top social networking Thing.
This was a fun and educational project, and I feel like I really benefited from 23 Things on a Stick.
Thing 13 - Online Collaboration Tools - I'm frustrated we don't use these in my work, though!
Thing 2 - RSS Feeds. I may not keep up this blog, but I love my RSS feed, and will keep it.
Thing 14 - LibraryThing - Thanks, Dr. Martens for supplying me with my latest addiction. :)
Thing 10 - Wikis - I love wikis, and 23 Things gave an good overview of them, which I will return to for my final project in this class.
Things 4-6 provided info on Flickr and images that I was not acquainted with previously.
This was a great exercise for me, because I've always thought I knew alot about Web 2.0, but due to my natural inclinations and disinclinations, there are things I missed. I don't have a camera, so I don't use flickr, so I don't pay attention to any of the other image editing stuff, because I didn't feel like I could use them as much. 23 Things on a Stick made me go over lots of information that I would have missed otherwise.
I DO NOT want ANOTHER smarter, better, social network JUST FOR ME. I have Xanga, Hi5, doostang, LinkedIn, LibraryThing, Ning, Twitter, SparkPeople, Instructables, Facebook, Myspace and probably other accounts. That's too much already. I don't need to make more friends, I cannot keep up with all the ones I have at this time.
I've heard ads for Gather on NPR. I love NPR, but due to all my other overcommitments, I probably won't love Gather. I would join WebJunction if it was beneficial to my work.
So here I am on Ning now, per THings' request:
Visit 23 Things on a Stick
I've seen 43 Things, but I don't want to join. I've seen Craftster, which looks awesome, but I don't have time for that kind of hobby in my schedule, and I don't want to create another login, get other email clogging my accounts. I see where these things could be useful to specialized segments of the population, and Craftster particularly looks pretty user friendly and cool, but it's not for me.
The social network market is saturated. Get you a facebook group and get over your hyper-specialized self. I cannot keep up with so many groups, and I bet most other people can't either, librarian-types or not.
10/11/09 - Social Network thoughts update:
Livejournal is an early blogging/social networking site that is going strong, perhaps because they have many, many diverse groups. If you have an interest, they have a group. And if you change interests, you don't have to make a new profile and password. Note the security risk if you use the same password for your multiple profile logins. ) And it's all in one place, one profile, one password.
Another option for diverse groups is to become an app for another site. Xanga, a blogging site is now connecting to Facebook, and allowing users to post xanga entries to facebook. This gives Xanga some more "face time" with a wider community, and it may help xanga users see a continuing relevance in maintaining their accounts. Not everyone is happy about Xanga and facebook coming together, though.
In the past, I've considered MySpace more of the party site, and thought Facebook to be the "clean" version of Facebook, because using it, you were less likely to get viruses than on MySpace. With all the new ads and apps on Facebook, that may not be so. I use MySpace, and I do not intentionally visit bad links or click on suspicious-looking links there, but I still get viruses from MySpace.
I could see where this would be a problem for libraries and lead to them blocking MySpace. In addition, MySpace is a big bandwidth sucker, and could detract from more "worthy" web use.
The Myspace and Teens Library Success page looked to list about 90 library MySpace profiles, but hadn't been updated since May 2008. When I searched MySpace for "libraries," I found about 500 related items. Not all of these are actual libraries, but many of them appear to be.
Libraries can and do promote themselves the same way. Often, if I am visiting a homepage of someone who's work or writing I appreciate, I'll find out they have a fanpage on facebook, or a MySpace profile. If they have either of these, I'll add them, so I can keep up on them. It's a good way for me to stay updated on artists and organizations I like, and when I add groups or pages now, my facebook friend's see it, and they find out about the page and get the chance to add them too. It's free potential exponential advertising for an organization or persons' work or services. There's no reason for a library service NOT to have a facebook or MySpace page.
While doing this Thing, I searched "Oklahoma" + "library" on facebook and found that the Oklahoma Library Association has a page, and I added them and became a fan. My library-inclined friends (and all the others) will see this the next time they check facebook, and they will know about OLA and have the opportunity to fan the page also. Free publicity, just like that. Only drawback - the virus issue.
I eventaully listened to Invisible Ancestors podcast from the OPAL archive on EPN.
Ideas and strategies for recreating their stories. It was about using LOC primary sources available online to find more information about ancestors.
It was put together as a webinar with questions allowed at the time of taping. So another web 2.0 technology was used within the podcast.
The recording was live, and people making mistakes, learning to use the tech was interesting as well. There was some good information in the podcast, so I'd recommend it. It wasn't the most gripping thing to listen to all the way through.
I'm adding my friend Wetootwag's Bagpipe Podcast to my RSS feed. He's a bagpipe playing, kilt-wearing, Ojibwe-speaking Park Ranger, and he'll probably get back to the updating when Grand Portage National Monument closes for the winter.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
My husband doesn't like it when I leave YouTube windows open, but it happens, because I play music to myself, because my CDs are still in storage, and I never uploaded much music to my PC. Tonight, I've been crabby and by myself, so I've been hitting the Patsy Cline pretty hard. Here's her first TV appearance, in a little cowgirl outfit her momma made her:
How would I have ever seen this video if it weren't on YouTube?
YouTube has made some careers - Kimbo Slice, the MMA fighter, and Lauren Luke, the makeup artist come to mind. It's a pretty basic method of web 2.0 communication, and librarians need to be fluent in it, to better understand and aid their clientele.
I don't have TV, so being able to watch video online is really nice for me. I also like that youtube doesn't have audio ads. YouTube is also amazing for communicating information to anyone who wants it, even if they are far away. Example: I play banked track roller derby here in OKC. Bonnie D. Strior in San Diego is really good at banked track roller derby, and I learn the best stuff from her. Bonnie's YouTube broadcasted moves benefit roller derby leagues around the world.
She doesn't know I'm interested, she doesn't communicate directly to me, but the available info is helpful to anyone who searches, or whoever stumbles upon it. Think of all the derby leagues and individual skaters who benefit from this!
One more gratuitous YouTube vid: The Whip It movie trailer, starring the track that I made with my own hands and skate on here in OKC.
It's so beautiful.
To access this cite, you have to be a member of the Metro Library, and enter your card number and the first 4 letters of your first name on the website. It is nice that this information is available for local patrons, but kind of a downer that this isn't accessible to the public outside the metro area. (Note: i read Tara A's blog, and she found the Oklahoma Digital Prairie. Problem resolved).
This is a valuable resource, but maybe not good for a novice user working solo. A librarians help getting started would be a big boost in the customer's ability to use this resource.
One of the best part of the Metro's database collection is the OKC area photos. I found some pics of old public schools. One is Emerson high school, which I believe isn still standing, but the building doesn't look the same. This picture was linked to an essay called "Early Public Schools in Oklahoma City by Larry Johnson, This is fun and imformative local history. I'm impressed by this database of interlinked local information, aside from the giant EBSCO-type sites, which are also available.
These guides could be helpful in planning long term, large documents or group projects at work. This kind of timeline would help keep everyone on the same page.
These tools would be very useful in the "how to pass your classes" classes that they make freshmen or new students take at the beginning of fall semester, or even in high school. I had to write "real" MLA style research papers in high school, and I think that helped me get through my undergrad. The prevelance of the "how to pass" time management classes implies that some high school students don't have to write these kinds of papers and plan ahead so much.
So anyway, now I have a Second Life, and 22.8 MB less hardrive space. Ugg. Username: Smitten Tchailenov. And I can't open Second Life. I can log into my account, can't go anywhere. Having wasted a significant amount of time and harddrive space, I am now angry. I am done with online gaming for now.
From what I've seen of other people using Second Life, it takes people a while to find their way around, and alot of things that provide a diversity of experiences have to be purchased.
I think libraries (and LifeChurch)are going to where the people are, and the people are on Second Life, so libraries and other social and information centers will go there, too.
We have a small church library, and NOW I want see if we can’t get our books on LibraryThing, it looks to be a great small library tool. I also love the tagmash tool.
One of my very most favorite books, the Diamond Age, was recommended to get a reader back into science fiction. No kidding, guy. Excellent choice.
Too bad I have to more homework tonight, or I would just play with LibraryThing.
The Thought stream feature looks really useful, and easy to use, with the automatic formatting. Easily folded paper printouts of my extant schedule could help me get through a weekend of socializing and planning away from my work PC.
I like how parts of isync were modeled after a traditional hard copy organizer. It would be interesting to see if that works.
I also checked out tada list, stickies, Scrybe and backpack and PDF converter. I’ve read lifehacker, and I enjoy it. It’s kind of like instructables, but smarter. All were useful, but they were spread out, and lack an interconnectedness that would be beneficial
Having so many tools in so many different locations, not all being used by the same people who work together, can result in lost productivity. If I used Backpack, and all my stuff was there, I wouldn’t really want to take the time to move all my information to another site or utility, and my friends and coworkers would no doubt feel the same way. They have a utility that they like and it familiar to them, they won’t a productivity –draining switch to another utility.
All of these utilities will duke it out, some of the weaker ones might go under, but I think there's always room for freeware. It's free! People like free stuff and snatch it up.
Still, compatibility issues remain a productivity drain. I would want to have all of my featuers in one location on one app. that’s why Google is so permeates our lives. They have everything connected to one account.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Mixx lets you find people with similar tastes and friend them.
So does Digg
Mixx allows you to comment on the articles you select. So does Digg,
Newsvine had the shortest overview – one page, 4 diagrammed images. I liked that. It was easy to read.
I have visited Digg before, and wasted several hours. It was kind of fun, but I didn’t feel like I was being very efficient with my time. It’s a worm hole of information, and all the stuff I was looking at was pretty dumb, For me at least, it’s easy to have good intentions, and think “I’m going to select some high quality news recommended me by the masses in all their wisdom, and then end up looking at something vapid that caught my eye, and on down an hours-long chain of point and click bad choices. I’m not even going to create a Digg account for myself, even though it would be fun.
I searched for “Whip It”, the title of Drew Barrymore’s new movie (starring the Red Dirt Rebellion Rollergirls’ track, that I made with my own hands, and just got back from skating on tonight) on Mixx, and came with this video – Juliette Lewis Talks Gangstas, Villains, Roller Derby and Rock. It’s a good interview, with clips from the movie. Which is fabulous, by the way.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
De.licio.us’ ”Filtering by authority” helps cut through the superfluous extra information, that accumulates with ease of use of web 2.0 “things”, so the problems are handily self-managed.
I understand why teachers don’t like Wikipedia – the information cited is changeable, and very well could be incorrect, but I don’t think Wikipedia is a bad source of information, and it is a fabulous starting point. In my own research, if it is an assigned topic I am unfamiliar with, I go to Wikipedia to get an overview, something I will not get from scholarly journals, because those already assume I know the subject. Checking Wikipedia is lighting a lamp in the darkness of subject-specific ignorance. Teachers don’t like Wikipedia often, so I never cite it, but I use it as a jumping off point.
Often the citations in Wikipedia articles are solid, citeable resources, so Wikipedia is also good as a subject directory.
At my work, a running wiki could replace another one of my duties – updating and editing the Help Desk website. What often happens is, a phone tech finds a solution to a problem. They email me or their coach (who emails me), I discern whether or not the info could be useful to another tech, which it usually is. I update the intranet, and notify the whole help desk via email of the update – an overview and where it can be found. If we had a wiki, we would just need someone to check and approve the updates as the techs made them, and the techs would have an investment in the intranet site and be more inclined to use it often, as they should.
Editing the declaration of independence was cool on my own, but it was also really interesting for me to see the Minnesota Public Libraries collaborative edit. I think the Founding Fathers might like it, but I’m not sure if it would be faster for all the FFs to review and edit the Declaration of Independence, or if it was less cumbersome to just have a couple of guys look at it, and then everyone else agree that its good enough to sign. In my work, I think it is better to use use Google documents ( which I prefer – Google knows what I like, darn them).
Collaborative editing would save time and confusion in my job. I create the original rough draft document of whatever we’re working on, and then I send that document to the resident expert on whatever the subject matter of the document is, too my boss and to the Quality Assurance team. They then have to send back the edited copies(sometimes hardcopy, WHY?) to me, and I put them together and do the same thing again until everyone is satstified. If we used Zoohoo writer or Google docs, I could probably save time and elimate an aspect of my job. My company would then give me more coffee breaks or less hours, maybe. Risky. :)
This sort of application can be used to promote a variety of things in one graphic. It’s an easy tool to show multiple images in one space, and could show the user to show them more pictures in a small amount of space and time, to pique their interest in whatever it is you are trying to show them.
These sorts of programs make it easy to present a polished-looking page to your users, with little time invested to make it. Very useful, I like it.
EMAIL - My business uses email all the time to communicate. I think an office with email definitely has productivity superior to a business without email, but I haven’t had the opportunity to compare my office with an emailless office. I use text messaging to communicate with my husband. He doesn’t answer his phone at work, so if I need to talk to him during the day, I text him. Texting is also the primary way I communicate with my roller derby Board of Directors. Email is fast, but texting is even faster, and is accessible all the time.
TEXT - When I’m away from a computer, I use text services like ChaCha to replace the search function when I have a question. The downside to texting is that I can’t back up my texts the way I can email, and I’ve often accidently deleted messages that were important to me.
WEBINAR - I didn’t have an opportunity to view a 23 Things webinar, but I have used webinars at work. I’ve assisted the trainer at work with them frequently. Webinars are a great way to demonstrate how software programs work for our customers, and certainly save the company travel time and expenses that would be used going to a face to face meeting. Also the webinars can be saved to view later and train others later.