Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Week 9, Things # 20-23

Thing 20-
I could have have spent hours perusing Youtube! I started with "most viewed" videos within
this year, although there were some worth mentioning I changed my search to "Top favorites" of all time. This brought me to a video clip called " Evolution of Dance". Since I've always had an interest in dance, this seemed like an appropriate selection. The 6 minute clip featured a comedian engaging his audience with his interpretation of the evolution of dance. From Elvis hip gyrations to the classic running man, I couldn't stop laughing. Not only was this funny, it was cleverly choreographed. Youtube proves to be a great cultural insight into today and years gone before.

Thing 21-
I chose podcastalley.com for my podcast search tool. Categories ranged from entertainment to science and health. I have a great interest in health and fitness so I chose to add "Fitness Rocks" to my bloglines account via RSS. I also took a look at Merlin's site to find out how libraries are incorporating podcasts. I was surprised to see the number of podcasts available, including stories for kids, library news and book talks. I also found out that subscriptions are not always necessary to listen and one doesn't need an iPod to download, a PC will do the trick!

Thing 22-
I decided to look into Project Gutenberg's selection of audio ebooks, I couldn't locate some of my favorite authors but I was able to find a few who have published well known works including Jane Austen and Agatha Christie. Instead of downloading Christie's "Secret Adversary", I used the read online feature. Unfortunately the computer being used for this exercise lacked sound. No matter, I enjoyed reading from the PC all the same. I will definitely be downloading in the future, what a convenient way for patrons to find and read/listen to their favorite titles.

Thing 23-
Wow, I can't believe I made it to the end! My only regret is that I did not have enough time to fully explore each exercise/site. Some exercises required more time than others and I wish I had more time to devote to them. In addition, my learning style requires repetition, so in order for some of the new applications to be ingrained I will have to revisit them. Overall, I think 23 things gave me well-needed exposure to pertinent internet tools and features. Even if I'm not an "expert on the web" I do have more knowledge and can speak the language more proficiently if you will. Some of my favorite exercises included the more creative and fun sites such as flickr, online image generators and Youtube. I did appreciate the more practical applications such as wikis, google docs. and podcasts. I also have a better understanding of how libraries can implement these various tools. Hopefully this newly acquired knowledge will benefit not only me but my family, friends and of course fellow patrons. Until the next discovery sequence.....:)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Week 8 Things 18 & 19

Thing #18
After exploring Zolo Writer, I decided to create a desperately needed spreadsheet to help with budgeting for an upcoming vacation. The speadsheet was easy to create however, I couldn't find a calculator feature to total my expenses. Fortunately my brain was up to the task! This site had very cool options, I was able to "share" my spreadsheet simply by typing my husband's email in the designated box. He will be able to read and edit the spreadsheet via his email. When editing occurs I will be notified of the changes. The other very helpful feature is that you can change the format of the document so that it can be viewed in various programs. Have you ever had a an email document you couldn't open? Not fun, I tell you! Anyways, I will definitely make use of this web-processing tool:).

Thing #19
I chose to select from the "short list" of winners of the Web 2.0 awards. Ranking #1 for City Guides and Reviews is "Yelp" a wonderful tool that the Library system could definitely implement. Yelp is very user friendly, all you need to type in is a keyword and city/state or zipcode. The search is very generic so it doesn't matter how much of the name you know, for example to find local seafood cuisine, you could just type in "crabs" and 20646. A list of neighboring seafood restaurants will pop up with phone numbers and maps etc. Patrons can look up community businesses and services including restaurants, automotive, hotels and even religious organizations. In addition, reviews can be accessed and added for each business. I think this would be a valuable addition to our community database covering the tri-county area and more!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Week 7 Things 16 & 17

Thing #16
Wikis, wikis everywhere !! I never knew there were so many types of wikis, from instuctional to recreational, there's even a wiki for wikis. I also discovered an "outreach" wiki, this might be something that the girls and I could implement into our resources. This particular wiki shares "best practices" for outreach programs, including childrens activities and instruction. In addition, I thought it would be cool to have a community wiki, where local businesses and organizations can add events such as fund raisers, concerts, and activites. Even restaurants could get on board by posting lunch/ dinner specials , bands etc. If a cancellation comes up all they would have to do is edit the page. Wikis are definitely the future "hot spots" offering a world of information. * Just one more thought to add- Wikipedias should be used cautiously as reference sources since they are a collaboration of scholarly as well as personal insights.

Thing # 17
I had fun "playing in the sandbox", what a way to get to know people and also get ideas for things to do, books to read, sights to see etc. It's amazing how simple it is to create your very own personal wiki- that people can add to of course :) I will have to go back another time and add "my favorite things".

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Week 6 Things 13, 14 &15

Thing # 13
Del.ici.ous is not only a great personal bookmarking tool but it allows connection to others. Research, results and reading lists are shared on a variety of topics. I especially like that there's an RSS feeder link to transport your bookmarks to your bloglines account. There's nothing like going to one page to access all of my favorite resources ! In addition, the site reveals the most popular articles per tag including number of saved "bookmarks". This feature alerts users to possible value of content and serves to filter less popular resources. This would definitely be a useful site for avid researchers and readers.

Thing #14
Technorati the "blog" search engine gave multiple results when searching "Learning 2.0 " via keywords, tags and the directory. Searching the blog directory resulted in the fewest hits, a whopping 197 blogs. The next runner up was searching by keyword (exact phrase), this resulted in 4, 031 posts. The winner of the challenge was the tag search, producing over 22,000 blogs including visual media. Although the results increased there was alot more to weed through, it was similar to a google search without the quotes. As for the top favorite blogs it wasn't a surprise that technology and money were involved. I liked the Boing Boing Directory of Wonderful things. The comet picture was awesome :) As for the top searches, google and you tube were not surprising but Britney Spears and Paris Hilton ????? Ok, moving on...

Thing # 15
After reading several perspectives on Web 2.0 and the library's future, I decided to respond to the article, "To A Temporary Place in time..." . I agree with the author in that it is inevitable that libraries and librarian's roles will evolve but some things should not be left behind. I also see the future as perfect blend of technology, unlimited resources , humanity and last but not least community. As technology excels so should the library's data, including access to resources and updated formats/ vessels of information. Librarians will still be stewards of knowledge but this knowledge will continually grow and may be delivered and perceived entirely different then it is today, i.e. virtual graphics. Librarians must be educated and trained sufficiently to serve and guide our patrons in the age of information. Not everyone these days is computer savvy and I believe there will still be a need for human intervention and guidance. I acknowlede that the Library's infrastructure and role in society may change, but I hope that our servitude and connection to eachother remains. The author spoke of a future retreat, a place one goes to think, learn, rest and reconnect. Who's to say that one can't keep up with the fast- paced world of information while reclining on a leather sofa and sipping Starbucks at their local library:)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Week 5 cont'd - Thing 11&12

#11 The LibraryThing site proved to be both useful and interesting. I was able to catalog and rate several books very easily. In addition, I quickly found recommended reads and reviews by fellow subscribers via the social data feature. It was interesting to see the number of people that held the same books in their personal library. I think this is a very innovative site which I'm sure will continue to grow. Looking forward to adding to my collection & sharing more reads! www.librarything.com/catalog/nmiller75

#12 Choosing the subject was the hardest part about setting up a Rollyo search tool. I opted for photography (no surprise there!) and put together a limited list of websites. I plan on adding to that list as I find appropriate sites. I have to admit that I never thought I'd be able to create my own search tool, pretty cool :). http://www.rollyo.com/nmiller75/

Week 5 - 10th Thing

Wow, I had a tough time choosing which generator to present. After making myself a virtual ice cream cone and adding my name to a chocolate bar, I decided to check out the "sketch generator". Basically it turns photographs into sketches. This caught my eye because I love photography and and have an appreciation for art but have never been able to draw, paint etc. All you have to do is upload a photograph from your hard drive, flickr or my space account and you're ready to go! This handsome critter is J.J. (husband's dog). I definitely enjoyed this exercise :) .

Monday, July 9, 2007

Week 4 Things 8 & 9

Things 8 &9

I thoroughly enjoyed using my bloglines account. It's very convenient to have my favorites listed on one site and it does save alot of precious time! The bloglines website made it very easy to add a variety of feeds, all I had to do was check, check and check again. I can see how this becomes addictive, I'm curious as to how much space I have for my listings. Merlin also proves to be a useful site. I found it very easy to add feeds from the homepage. After clicking on the info island link, I was able to access the RSS icon. I was surprised that I'll I had to do was select my web- based reader and then the subscribe button. Technology just gets better and better!
Well- logging off for now :)