Monday, September 17, 2007

Week 9


One thing I liked about You Tube is that it lets me see things I may have otherwise missed. It's amazing to me how many people will record events and then post them. I had the opportunity to watch Boomsday, which is an amazing fireworks display that is put on every Labor Day. Here is a link to a video of the grand finale:

One thing I disliked about the site was the fact that you didn have to sort through a lot of irelevant search results, depending on what you wanted to see. If I searched for "Newfoundland dog" I got quite a few entries about Newfoundland -- the place in Canada, not the breed of dog.


One of my biggest problems in fnding an interesting podcast was finding one that had been recently updated. Many that I came across hadn't been updated in months. One that had some recent entries was Sunnyvale Public Library which podcasted some of their programs. Some are interesting, but some are very long. I'm not sure I could listen to a presentation for 58 minutes. I'll be interested to track this in Bloglines to see when -- if ever -- another podcast is added.


Of the different audiobook resources, I liked the OverDrive because of its selection of popular titles. However, the fact that one cannot put the audio titles from OverDrive onto an iPod results in problems for me. If I'm downloading audio, I'm downloading it for convenience. I like to download audiobooks and listed to them while I walk or while I drive. I can't do this if it's not available on my iPod. Though I have to pay to use, I have found this site to be easy to use when downloading audiobooks.

Maryland 23 Things -- Overall

I enjoyed this program and definitel learned about new resources available on the internet. While there are a few I don't think I'd ever use again, I picked up information and learned about sites that I have incorporated into my everyday internet use. Particularly useful were google docs and the RSS feeds for news. If a program similar to this was offered in the future, I would definitely participate. I feel that the value of what I did learn far outweighed the content that wasn't something I would use again. And even the things I won't use again are good to know just to be familiar with them.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Week 8 - Online Applications

This was probably one of the most valuable lessons. I have a household budget document in Excel. My husband insists he overspends because he doesn't have access to the document except for when he is at home, and he doesn't want to get on the computer when he's at home. I've now transferred our household budget into google docs where both he and I can access it from any computer with internet access. Our days of overspending will be coming to an end this month. (Yeah, right.)

My favorite site that I explored of the Web 2.0 award winners was 43 Things. It was inspiring (in many cases) to see what people wanted to do with their lives. And I can appreciate the fact that the entries are varied. While I was exploring I saw entries such as "make people happy", "study the Bible", "be a morning person", and "Learn how to grind dance for free and fast". It was interesting to read people's entries on why they wanted to accomplish a particular thing as well as read people's entries who had accomplished a particular thing and whether or not they recommended pursuing it. This site is one of those that can suck you in as you click from link to link.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Week 7 - Wikis

I found the Library Success wiki to be interesting because it compiled ideas from libraries around the country. However, I think it is difficult to come up with a standard definition of "library success." For example, in an entry on programming, a program that drew four adults is touted as a success. In my mind, a well-attended program is a mjor criteria in whether or not it is successful. I wouldn't judge this program as a success. The fact that anyone can enter what they consider to be a success without defining the standards of success can show a drawback of a wiki -- anyone can create an entry, regardless of how accurate such an entry is.

I also looked at the Bull Run Library wiki which is, interestingly, done by a library customer as opposed to the library itself. It is full of good information. I'm not sure a wiki is the most useful format for such information, as it is very text-heavy. When thinking about a public library, I wouldn't use a wiki to learn about current events. To me, a wiki is more about the history -- or a narrative -- than a quick list of events.

Week 6 - Web 2.0

I first read Into a new world of librarianship and was enjoying the read until I got to the last paragraph which began, "Librarian 2.0 gets content." I read the "content" as being an adjective meaning satisfied with where one is. I was a little taken aback since this seemed to go against everything previously described as what Librarian 2.0 should be. But as I continued on in the paragraph I realized "content" was the noun, not the verb, and the librarian needs to understand all that comprises libraries.

I then read the Wikipedia entry on Library 2.0, figuring this would give me a jump-start on week 7's wiki lesson as well as provide me with some general information on Library 2.0. I particularly enjoyed the explanation on the debate surrounding Library 2.0. I tend to agree with both sides of the debate. Much of what Library 2.0 advocates is already being done. However, Library 2.0 does encourage a more thorough understanding of and use of technology on the part of the librarian. I know I'm not using all the technology available to me for a variety of reasons, including the fact that I don't have time to learn it all and some that I have learned have not been useful to me. I think it would be good to find a balance between what is useful and what is trendy, but it's hard to determine which is which until a few years have passed.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Week 6 -- and technorati

I really enjoyed learning about I think it could be very helpful as I sometimes want to show someone a site that I have bookmarked on my computer, but don't know the web address. Just the other day I wanted to show my mother-in-law a website I had found, but was at her house and couldn't remember the site. I tried searching for it, but to no avail. Now I can start tagging things in and never have that problem again.

Technorati was also fun to explore. I didn't know there was a place on the web dedicated to searching just blogs. However, I did know that one of my friends has several blogs, but I was only privy to one. By searching her screen name for the blog that I read, I found one of her other blogs on a different blogging site. Nothing juicy to find in her other blog. In fact, it was pretty much the same stuff she writes in the one I read. I'm pretty sure I already have access to the juicy blog and the one I found by searching her screen name is her more tame version for family. Of the 51 million blogs currently being tracked by technorati, I can't help but wonder how many of them are being written by the same person. I have two blogs -- one for 23 Things and one for friends. Clearly my friend has at least two blogs. While there are 51 million blogs, I'm guessing there are only 17 million bloggers.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Week 5

Here's a billboard I made with a photo we took when we were on vacation earlier this summer. I could have a lot of fun making billboards and mosaics of friends and family. This shot is somewhat boring since there isn't much to see. But it was a good restaurant and it was very cute from the outside.
I really enjoyed playing with LibraryThing. I decided to search for some books that are on my "All Time Favorites" shelf. I began by searching for them without the book in front of me. One book I entered -- The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh -- did not come up with the cover design that I have. So I retrieved the book and entered the ISBN number. I still didn't get the cover design I had. The edition that came up was from 1999 while the edition I have is from 1977.
I've been looking for something to use that will catalog our home library. At this point, I've only tagged my entries with the word "Favorite" because that will help me know where the book is located in the house. (That is to say, on the "All Time Favorites" shelf.) I need to play with this some more to see if there is a way for me to easily identify the location of the book as well as use tags to help search for it.
My favorite feature of LibraryThing is when you open one of the books in your catalog and LibraryThing provides recommendations on other books you may also enjoy. It was interesting to see that I had read and enjoyed many of their recommendations. Here's my catalog:
This was another fun site. I created a roll that searches numerous recipe sites. It was also fun to explore other recipe rolls that people had created. I found some new ideas for dinner, which is always nice. Here's the link to my recipe rollyo which includes recipe sites I frequently search: Rollyo could also be useful for better targeting your results. If there are several sites you go to for information on a topic, you can roll them into a rollyo and just search those sites rather than searching the entire internet. By searching my rollyo for recipes with the topic "chicken and salsa" I ended up with only recipes. Searching "chicken and salsa" on google requires me to sift through irrelevant results. Rollyo can help you target your search and save you time.

Week 4

The RSS has made my life much easier. Instead of visiting several news sites, I can now visit just one and scan the headlines. If a stort catches my eye I can click the link to read it. It's really been a timesaver in helping me keep abreast of news in various cities of interest.

I added Merlin to my RSS feeds, though I'm not sure how often there will be new stuff added. It's been slow so far, but I learned a few things, like what citebite was and how I could use it. I think this could be a useful tool for those in Maryland libraries, but only if it becomes a more active community.

In searching for feeds, I found Feedster to be helpful. I liked that you could search for topics of interest, and I liked that you could search for blogs, newsfeeds, podcasts, or all of the above. It helped me find some blogs and newsfeeds to follow my favorite college football team.