Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Week 9, Task 23: Summarize your thoughts about this program and learn more about where to go from here

Whew! Task 23. Our Web 2.0 course is over and I have to admit that I have mixed feelings.

I definitely feel that this is a course worth taking. It would be naive for us to presume that our world is not going in an increasingly technical direction. I hope that libraries with print text do not become obsolete but it isn't outside the realm of possibility. So how do we survive? By keeping up with the times. We need to know what type of new technology is out there and what new developments there are within these technologies. We may not need to use them everyday but we need to know they are available! So in this sense I think this course was well worth my time.

I love to learn new things. I truly enjoyed learning about the different "tools" out there that I wouldn't necessarily discover on my own. I also liked the discovery resources and exercises because they pushed you to really learn about the different tasks. My favorites usually involved the creative outlets like Flickr, the image generators, creating our blogs, and YouTube. I also liked some of the more social sites like Library Thing, Wikis and the online productivity tools. I also like the RSS feeds (for me Google Reader) so that you can get the stuff you're interested in sent directly to you! I fully intend to continue using many of these tools and even if I don't use some of them, it is good to know they are available.

I personally liked the fact that this course is something you can do on your own (or with help if you need it). I wouldn't change too much about the course except perhaps making it even more of a self discovery concept. I think it would be interesting if we could choose the 9 weeks (or 23 things) that we found most interesting out of the original 43 things program (with a couple "must-dos" if necessary). Then have some sort of group get-together where we could teach each other about the items that we selected and the other participants did not. That way we could do the whole 43 things course in approximately the same time period.

I would take another discovery program if it was offered on one condition (and this is where the mixed feelings come in): If I could take it in the winter! I loved this course but it did stress me out at times. We are exponentially busier in the summer than the winter and squeezing this course into my day was chaotic at times. So although I'm a little bummed that I no longer have a legitimate excuse to play on my work computer, I'm kind of glad the extra work-load is lifted.

So in sum: I came, I learned, I loved it, I would do it again (but in the winter).

Monday, July 30, 2007

Week 9, Task 22: Learn about Audiobooks

So Audio books are pretty great. I checked out Overdrive and NetLibrary. I preferred NetLibrary and I thought the tutorial was excellent (both the one provided by the website and the 23 things tutorial). I downloaded Janet Evanovich's "One for the Money". I've read it already but I am dying to hear the storyteller's spin on the voices (being from Jersey myself).

I love the idea of having easy access to all those audio books. What a great tool for the visually impaired! My only complaints are that I couldn't find a lot of the books I wanted and NetLibrary is not Mac-friendly. Also, most of the books seem to be older. I am going to delve further into both sites and search some more, when I have a little extra time (this winter?!). I plan to fully utilize this tool!

Week 9, Task 21: Discover some useful tools for locating podcasts

Here is a link to my Public Google Reader which has one of the podcasts I subscribed to (click on Vincent's name):

So I tried to make a podcast. I signed-up, made the podcast, and when I went to save it the website crashed (froze for a half hour) so I logged out and when I went to log back in it wouldn't let me. *Sigh* I gave up. I at least got to record the podcast which was rather cool.

I surfed the different podcast search engines and listened to a couple library related podcasts. I didn't find any of them terribly stimulating so I listened to some book related podcasts. I just finished "My Sister's Keeper" so I listened to a podcast about that. I then listened to a couple Harry Potter podcasts because they are EVERYWHERE since the release of the book! I then looked for a podcast on the King Tut exhibit. I didn't find too much on it which was disappointing. I subscribed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art's podcast, which is above. That's about it. Podcasts could be useful but I feel they are a bit like YouTube.......a lot of crude to wade through to get to the good stuff!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Week 9, Task 20: Discover YouTube and a few sites that allow you to upload video

So this was an easy task for me. I am a YouTube veteran and have embedded videos in my MySpace blog before. In fact, I already did it here in my Week 6, Task 14 post. It is pretty straight forward stuff. I do have a hint for anyone who is getting frustrated by an interrupted feed (your video keeps stopping or "hiccuping"). Wait until the video is about half over, take your mouse and drag the progression marker back to the beginning of the video. You will have to watch the beginning again but you should be able to watch the whole video uninterrupted.

I generally enjoy using YouTube. My only problem with it is the amount of "you know what" you have to wade through to get to the videos you want. I definitely think there are ways that YouTube could be used for the library. I think it would be pretty interesting to have an instructional video embedded on our web page that explained how to use our online card catalog to reserve books, etc. We could also put videos in showing recent programming or events held at the library.

The video I chose was a music video. I'm a huge music nut and love almost all music; new, old and anything in between. I like this song for a multitude of reasons. The two biggest reasons being that the content of the song strikes a cord with me and because it is just pleasant to listen to. The music video is by The Fray. The song is "How to Save a Life". Here is some background info:

Taken From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

According to lead singer and songwriter Isaac Slade, the song was composed and influenced by his experience while working as a mentor at a camp for troubled teens:

“One of the kids I was paired up with was a musician. Here I was, a protected suburbanite, and he was just 17 and had all these problems. And no one could write a manual on how to save him.”

Slade claims that the song is about all of the people that tried to reach out to the boy but were unsuccessful. As Slade says in an interview, the boy's friends and family approached him by saying, "Quit [the problem behavior] or I won't talk to you again," but all he needed was some support. The verses of the song describe an attempt by an adult to confront a troubled teen. In the chorus, the singer laments that he himself was unable to save a friend because he did not know how. While this was the original intent of the song, the band has opened the song to interpretation.

Here are the Lyrics:

Step one you say we need to talk
He walks you say sit down it's just a talk
He smiles politely back at you
You stare politely right on through
Some sort of window to your right
As he goes left and you stay right
Between the lines of fear and blame
And you begin to wonder why you came

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Let him know that you know best
Cause after all you do know best
Try to slip past his defense
Without granting innocence
Lay down a list of what is wrong
The things you've told him all along
And pray to God he hears you
And pray to God he hears you

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

As he begins to raise his voice
You lower yours and grant him one last choice
Drive until you lose the road
Or break with the ones you've followed
He will do one of two things
He will admit to everything
Or he'll say he's just not the same
And you'll begin to wonder why you came

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Hope you enjoy it!

Another hint: If you are having difficulty changing the code with Blogger's HTML edit then you can paste the embed code into Word, then re-cut and past it into your blog.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Week 8, Task 19: Discover any site from the Web 2.0 awards list

I chose the Web 2.0 site called Upcoming. Here is a link: http://upcoming.yahoo.com/. It is a site sponsored by Yahoo that lists upcoming events in the country. You can search for events by location or type of event. Events can also be sorted through by either searching the tags placed on events by other members, or using the event categories suggested by the website. You can also join different groups. The advantage here is you can join a like-minded group of people who like to attend the same rock concerts, craft shows, art shows, etc. that you do. They can also help you stay aware of the different events coming up. Groups also can hold discussions.

I liked the site because it could be a quick way of finding something fun and social to do on a day off. The down side is that it isn't as flush with activities as it could be. It seems to be mainly a techie arena at the moment. There are about 55 pages of groups and approximately 85% of those groups only have 1 member (the person who started the group obviously). I see a lot of potential here. It could be a great social tool! I really think Yahoo should put some advertising $$$ behind it so the word gets out to the non-Web 2.0 crowd.

I definitely think there is a use for this website as far as the library is concerned. It is a free marketing tool for events!!! How wonderful! You have to love any free PR. In fact, I started a group called Maryland Public Libraries. I am going to get the OK from our Director extraordinaire and our lovely Lisa Harrison 1st but I thought it would be great to put our Calendar of Special Events, as well as a link to our web page, on the site. I would like to send out an invitation to other Maryland Libraries to join the group so they can list their activities as well. Plus, discussions can be held to discover new programming ideas and the success and failure of past programming. Plus there is a RSS feed so you can stay on top of what is going on in other Maryland Public Libraries (if we get enough interested parties). I hope that word of mouth, if not advertising $$$, make this site grow! The possibilities are endless.

Week 8, Task 18: Take a look at some online productivity tools.

I love the idea of having access to word processing and other office applications over the Internet! For instance I don't have Microsoft Office on my home computer. It's nice to know that I can use an Excel style spreadsheet on the Internet for free! Plus, if I'm collaborating with someone on a project we can both access the material on the web and make changes without having to do a bunch of time consuming (and frustrating) emails. Now if they would only include a Microsoft Publisher type application I would be in Heaven!

I'm using the Google Docs instead of the Zoho just because I already have a Google account and my nogin is already swarming with usernames and passwords (I actually have a list from all of our 23 things projects). I really like the Google word processing. I just surfed around and you can do some pretty neat stuff. You have an Insert Tab that allows you to, well.......insert stuff. Example - a picture of some water lilies:

You can also insert Links: Worcester County Library's Homepage
and Tables: I edited this blog after sending it here from the Google Docs. It didn't like that!! Therefore my table is now messed up! Sorry! It was a brillant red color and had text in it (which I think you can still see). Oh well. :o(
I told the table selector to match the table width
& height to my content.You can also choose what
snazzy color you would like your table to be! :o)

You also have a Revisions Tab. You can go back and check out all your revisions. Your work is saved approximately every minute. If you are unhappy about how your document in shaping up, or you accidentally deleted something you can't retrieve another way, you can go back to a previous revision and choose to reinstate that version. Also, you can select several versions of your document to compare to each other.

I'm pretty impressed. I really think it is a great way to do collaborative work with your co-workers! The only drawback that I can see is since it is on the web it might be more vulnerable to hackers, etc. But honestly, who would be interested in hacking into my stuff?!

New drawback - you can't edit content through your blog, once you publish the word processing doc. to your blog, without negatively affecting Html code for tables. Just a heads up.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Week 7, Task 17: Add an entry into the Sandbox Wiki created with PB Wiki

So the Sandbox was fun. I added a Go Ravens to the 1st part and a blue crab to the picture section. Here is the link (if it hasn't already been edited again):

I also added my blog to the favorite blogs section. They are experiencing technical difficulties so you can't link with your blog name. At the moment you can only add your whole blog URL to the list. You are supposed to put your blog under your area of Maryland. There was an ESRL spot but nothing for Worcester County specifically. So I created a Worcester County spot as a subset of ESRL. Gotta give props to our county! ;o)

I also created a new page about The Big Read Event happening in October, 2007:


I created a link on the home page too just to get the word out. You can never have too much good PR!:


Week 7, Task 16: Learn about Wikis and discover some innovative ways that libraries are using them

So Wikis are a little hit or miss for me. I find most of them quite enjoyable but some of them too disorganized to be enjoyed. They are a living thing so I guess that disorganization is bound to be a side-effect at times. I don't necessarily mind disorganization on the whole but when it comes to an educational/instructive site I need at least a facsimile of structure.

Points I really enjoyed: You have to suspend all ego to participate. You throw your thoughts, information, assistance, etc. out there and anyone can tweak, edit, change, or erase what they want. I sort of like that. I think it invites a certain type of participant that is open to change and free thinking. No control freaks allowed. It actually would be character building for anyone who is trying to become less rigid (I know I need a kick-in-the-butt sometimes!).

I also like that if you go to a wiki and find content missing that you need, or that you think others will benefit from, you can contribute. It's kind of like the study groups in college. You do your part, your study buddies contribute their parts and you have a finished product to work from. It is not only time effective but you can glean information that you may not have pin-pointed on your own. Everyone brings their own knowledge, creativity, personality, humor, and "mojo" to the experience.

Points I didn't care for: The disorganization mentioned above. I do have to point out that I found this to be more of an exception than a rule. Some of the wikis were redundant or unnecessary.

My favorite wikis in our discovery resources/exercise:

Book Lovers Wiki - I loved this wiki. It was so easy to maneuver through and if you are interested in a book you can click on it, see it's availability, and add it to your book cart. I can't wait until we have this type of accessibility up and running. I think it will be a BIG draw.

Using Wikis to Create Online Communities - I found this to be the most informative and "relatable" wiki (about wikis).

A wiki idea: I think a wiki for teens about print books, e-books, music, library programming, etc. where teens can actively contribute to the wiki would be a way to reach this difficult demographic. It is in a format they are more comfortable with (computers/Internet), it can be anonymous (judgement free), and it gives them a sense of control and independence (which they all want at that age) while promoting reading. It could include book reviews and recommendations, ideas for programming, and they can rate our programs. Of course there will have to be someone to monitor for spam and inappropriate material/content because they ARE teenagers. I just think it might be a window into the mysterious world of the contemporary teenager.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Week 6, Task 15: Read a few perspectives on Web 2.0, Library 2.0 & the future of libraries

Huuuuuuuuuugh..........whoooooooooosh..........huuuuuuuuuuuuugh.......whooooooosh. Em, ugh *snort* ..........OH! Was I sleeping? Did I snore? Sorry! *blushing*

OK, I know it isn't easy to make this subject (Web 2.0) sexy.

Let's face it. We librarians are a little worried that we are going to be put out to pasture. The world is changing, fast! Each generation depends on the written word (non-digital that is) less and less. How information is assembled and accessed is definitely changing and we have to keep up with the times, if not stay ahead of them. I found the articles a little.............um..............uncomfortable - for lack of a better word. We discuss our future as librarians in an urgent way. We pick the future apart and try to predict how we will be needed and then construct paradigms that will allow us to justify our existence. I sometimes feel that we are trying to convince ourselves, as well as the public, of our importance and how we are irreplaceable as an information nexus. We need to relax. We have always evolved and will continue to do so.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Week 6, Task 14: Discover Technorati and learn how tags work with blogs

Technorati is a fairly interesting site. I like the "watchlist" idea since you can monitor different topics being discussed in different blogs, videos, etc. It is also nice that people with common interests can more easily find your blog. Will I use it a ton? Probably not. Once again, I don't really use the Internet for entertainment. I might continue this blog once our 23 things program is over though, so I joined Technorati.

I was pleased to see that the top searches/top blogs didn't just consist of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan discussions and videos! In fact I found some political plugs for Ron Paul. I am a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat but I kind of like this guy. Some of what he says makes sense and lets face it, it is refreshing listening to a political figure have an intelligent dialogue. That has been lacking for quite some time (ahem).

So I am including one of the YouTube plugs for Ron Paul (funded by http://www.ronpaul2008.com/ ). It is a little heavy handed and over the top but no more than any other political candidate's plug. Mind you, I'm still on the fence over who I'm going to support for the presidency but I just thought it was an interesting political plug. I also find it interesting that YouTube, and similar sites, are being used by the presidental canidates. It makes sense! It is free, it is grassroots, and it appeals to several different demographics. Our world is definitely changing!

Here it is:

Here is my:
Technorati Profile for anyone who is interested.


Week 6, Task 13: Tagging and Discover Del.icio.us

I'm on the fence about Del.icio.us. This tool does offers some handy bonuses. I like that you can access your favorite bookmarks from any computer, that you can tag your web pages, etc., and that you can find things easily through a quick search. This would be a benefit at work ( if you tag all your library/work/book related websites properly) because you can easily pull up specific sites for reference purposes. So it does have it's perks.

On the other hand, I'm not a huge Internet junkie. I use the Internet as a tool but I can't say I use it as a huge source of entertainment. Don't get me wrong, I do flurk and surf on occasion. However, there are definitely other things I would rather do. Let's face it, as library workers we spend a HUGE amount of our time in front of computers. That is one of the main reasons I took this course! I don't know about you guys but when I'm not at work, I would prefer not to be sitting in front of a computer! My point (yes there is one) is that del.icio.us seems, to me, to be about entertaining yourself. Especially the part about stalking other users to find new sites. The site really comes across (once again to me) as a "techie" hangout. I will keep it in mind for work purposes (it WILL be nice to have all my most-used, handy, reference tools within easy access) but I don't see myself utilizing it much beyond that.

By the way......did anyone find the "inbox" that they were talking about? I couldn't find it.

Side note: I added Del.icio.us to my computer at home. When I went to use it, it made me sign in and then it had a glitch where it kept dropping me so I had to keep signing in. I found it inconvenient to use compared to the good old fashioned bookmark. Now I definitely feel that the only pluses to this site are the tagging, for easy searching of topics, and that you can access the info from any computer. But realistically, if you are at a foreign computer and there is not a del.icio.us tool on the tool bar then you have to go to their site anyway. Eh.

Week 5, Task 12: Roll your own search tool with Rollyo

Rollyo is pretty cool. It is convenient to have access to a search engine that simplifies things! It breaks down searches into subtopics so you don't have to weed through all of the unrelated crud that pops up when you use a large search engine such as Google. Don't get me wrong.....I love my Google! However, if you are looking for something specific like a health topic or particular books it is nice that you can use Rollyo. You can run your search in a more specific manner which will save you time. Very nice, very very nice!

I made my own searchroll. Anyone who knows me knows I have a penchant for jewelry! So of course I made a searchroll related to this topic:


It searches most of my favorite online jewelry sources.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Week 5, Task 11: Take a look at Library Thing

I really enjoyed Library Thing! I'm always looking for more books to read. This sounds like an insane statement since I am surrounded by books everyday. I'm a very picky reader.......well, sort of. I will read anything but I won't finish a book I don't like. Unfortunately not a lot has struck my fancy lately. A site like this will help me find readers with similar tastes and therefore some trustworthy book recommendations. That is the tip of the iceberg too. You can get reviews from readers, recommend the site to patrons, and increase your knowledge of "hot item" books without having to read them all (who has the time?!).

My catalog to date:


Note: I added a sidebar (it's on the right hand side) with a couple of the books from my catalog. Also, for anyone who checks out my catalog I only put Janet Evanovich's 1st book in the Stephanie Plum numbered series. I've read them all thus far but I didn't feel the need to note all of them in my catalog! :o)

Monday, July 9, 2007

Week 5, Task 10: Play around with an online image generator

Yahoo! Avatars U.K. & Ireland

Here is my avitar from Yahoo Avitars. It was pretty fun. Lots of options as far as apparel goes but not as many options for facial features and expressions. There aren't enough crazy haircuts either. I didn't care for the graphics on the other avitar generators though so I still rank the Yahoo one as the best one. You can export the picture (or headshot) to so many places too. Your blog, email, IM, web page, etc. Pretty cool.

I really enjoyed the Simpsons image generator the best. I created a couple of new characters. Unfortunately it is a Flash Media site and I couldn't establish a link or embed the pictures into my blog. I printed out the characters and I'm going to scan them at home. When I get a chance I'm going to insert them in here (finally got to it....see below). I still recommend the site though - especially for any of you "Simpsons" fans.

I named her Zora. I have a whole story in my head for her. She is Lisa's aunt. Homer's long long lost little sister. Homer's Dad had a fling and Zora was the love child. *Giggle* Hey, it could happen! It is the Simpsons after all!

This is Melvin. Homer's cousin. I don't have a mental story for him quite yet. Any suggestions?

I also surfed some of the other image generators. Here is a picture of me and the hubby that I had made into a sketch:

View full

Pretty fun stuff!

Week 4, Task 9: Exploring MERLIN and then....

OK - I'm not having an easy time with MERLIN. I tried and tried to subscribe to the feed through Google Reader and couldn't do it. I then hit the RSS button and my computer subscribed to the feed but I don't always work at the same computer so this was not the ideal solution for me. :o( I'm going to keep looking into it because I am curious if I am doing something wrong. Hmph!

I cruised through the other search tools. I'm already subscribed to all of the readers that I am interested in but I searched some different items just to see how the search engines worked. My ratings: Topix.net - loved it - very easy to use and I actually subscribed to another news reader through them. Feedster - Eh - it was a B-. I didn't think it was super user friendly and it had too many crappy feeds to sift through to find the good stuff. Syndic8- ick - I didn't care for this one at all. Not user friendly, took too long to upload, and they keep trying to get you to "register" which is annoying. Technorati - was a fun site - good for personal stuff but I don't think it would be the first site I would go to for work purposes!

That's it. It's good to know the search sites are there but I don't know how much I will realistically use them. At least not now, who knows what the future will hold..........

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Week 4, Task 8: Make Life Really Simple.......

Goodness Gracious I love the RSS/News Reader idea! I love to delude myself into thinking that I can stay on top of all the sites that I like to "flurk" through. I never do though. I'm so busy at work that I don't have time to stay current. I think, "I'll catch up on my day off". Well we all know how that works. After I finish doing all the stuff I need to on my day off (cleaning, shopping, laundry, paying bills, tending to my garden, playing with my puppies, etc.) I'm too pooped to pop. The Internet surfing/flurking is always at the bottom of the extensive list of things to do! Therefore it never gets done. So I love the idea that I can go to one site every day and catch up on all my Internet surfing. Plus, if I don't find a topic interesting, or worth the time, I can ignore it and I didn't waste my time getting the information. Yea! Whomever invented RSS new readers is a ROCK STAR! :o)

I think that this is heaven sent for librarians. You can easily stay on top of your work related sites as well as current events and online journals. Having all of that at your fingertips is wonderful! Think of all the time you will save.

NOTE: I used Google Reader instead of Bloglines. Google is my homepage on my personal computer. Since I intend on using the news reader long after 23 things is completed I thought that it would be a better fit for me personally (I checked with our 23 things goddess, Jen,to make sure it was kosher). It was extremely easy to set up. They provide a written tutorial which is well worth the read before you get started. VERY user friendly in my opinion. Of course Google generally is a user friendly group anyway. If anyone would like to use Google Reader instead of Bloglines, and has questions or needs help, feel free to contact me either here or at the O.C. Branch. I am still learning too but I may be able to help.

If anyone would like to check out my public news reader site here it is:

There are a couple interesting articles there (well, of course I think so). :o)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Week 3, Task 7, Anything Technology-Related

The Flip-Side:

The previous three days had been gloomy and chilly and many families were eager to fully enjoy their vacation at the beach. Kids were splashing in the ocean, sunbathers lapped up the sunshine, and various athletic individuals were surfing, running or attempting beach volleyball. In stark contrast a family, moving silently in disbelief while simultaneously wrapping themselves in hope, were positioning themselves on the beach in front of their hotel. A crowd of on-lookers surrounded them.

Hours earlier their youngest son, only 8, was in the water and in distress. He had been pulled into a rip-tide and was futilely trying to fight against it's pull. His older brother, age 19, had realized his brother's dilemma and had jumped into the ocean to save him. The older brother, through sheer strength of will and body, had managed to get his younger brother safely out of the rip-tide's tenacious grasp. The oldest boy was not so lucky.

The family sat silently on the beach and waited. Their older son knew how to conduct himself when pulled into a rip-tide. He had only battled the strong current to save his younger brother who was not so knowledgeable. The parents were sure, that at any minute, the beach patrol would tell them that their brave son had finally made it ashore. In the mean time, the EMS was checking to make sure the 8-year-old boy was OK.

What were the onlookers doing? Surely they were providing words of encouragement, or even helping to look for the young man. No. They were taking pictures and videos. Why? Because our culture of technology has turned everyone into a reporter. Why be concerned for your fellow man when you could exploit him? This is the flip-side of technology.

YouTube, MetaCafe and other such websites are creating a potentially toxic technology backlash. Don't get me wrong, there are positive outcomes to the YouTube craze. Young, talented movie makers can be discovered through YouTube. Up and coming musicians can get recognition and publicity through YouTube. Injustices such as the Rodney King beatings can be exposed through You Tube. However, there is a lot of bad that is let in with the good.

We live in an era of shock value. Bad news or gossip always travels faster than it's good counterpart. We are fascinated by "reality TV" and the "reality" shows that are successful are the ones with plenty of drama and strife. We desensitize ourselves to other's plights. Is this why when we see a family devastated by a tragic twist of fate, we want to document it for all to see? Do we take a picture or video so we can view the events on a screen because then it's not actually happening? I don't know. I do know that 20 years ago on-lookers may have gawked, and they probably would have gossiped, but they wouldn't have documented it for the purposes of exploiting it on the Internet. With the good comes the bad. Beware.

The older brother did not survive.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Week 3, Task 6 - Flickr Mash-ups & Third Party Sites

So I "surfed" through the mash-ups and 3rd party tools. Some of the mash-ups were not impressive but I did find a couple quite interesting. I think my favorite was the flickr graph. It is a website-specific twist on 6-degrees of separation. You register and then it connects you to anyone who posts comments or communicates with you on flickr.com. Then you can visualize how people you connect with actually connect you to others, etc. I wonder if Keven Bacon uses flickr.com? *giggle*

I also liked the quirky sense of humor. The top of the page has the quote "A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems." - Paul Erdos. You gotta love geek humor. :o)

Continuing on now........

Week 3, Task 5, Exercise B: Explore Flickr

Techniques to Success Originally uploaded by Salt Air ---that's me. :o)

A great Russian student at our library let me take this. Our library branch is located at the beach and we have a HUGE influx of Eastern European and Russian students who come and work here in the summer. They tend to descend upon the library to use the free Internet access (we average an hour to an hour and a half wait!) and I wanted to somehow capture an element of this. I thought a picture of all the kids waiting would be too "blah". I like this picture because it shows his culture (the Cyrillic language) but it also shows our cultural influence (note the hair).

For those who are curious, his shirt reads "Techniques to Success".

OK- on to the next part.......

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Week 3, Task 5, Exercise A: Explore Flickr

I Love Flickr! I'm a huge photog fan and I could spend 3 weeks on this task alone! I had a really hard time picking just one picture. This picture is by screen name Crazybobbles (he didn't give a real name in his profile):

Mr Fly Originally uploaded by crazybobbles

I love this picture because it brings my favorite photo elements together: macro photography and black and white photography (I think it was taken in color but I feel it reads as black and white). Macro photography, for the unfamiliar, are extremely close-up pictures. I love both these styles of photography because I think they force people to see the world differently, through a different lens if you will (the pun is always intended). Macro photography and black and white photography emphasize certain elements of an object such as texture and form. Color photography (in my opinion) is best at capturing movement and well, color. :o)

I loved this task. It was a little frustrating at 1st trying to figure out which blog service we had (I used the about key here - found out we were the blogger blog and went from there). Once it was hooked up though it was cake to get the picture here.

One more note on the picture above. I'm not a huge fly fan but the amount of patience (stubborness?) and luck it must have taken crazybobbles to capture that picture is astounding!

I know we are only required to do either A or B but I think I would like to try both. So, on to task B...........

Friday, June 8, 2007

Week 2, Task 4: Registering your blog and tracking your progress

Well I screwed up this one! :o) Patience has never been one of my outstanding virtues. I jumped ahead of the game and tried to register an invalid address as my blog address. When I tried to register the appropriate address the system wouldn't let me. :o( Fortunately, I was able to get a hold of our rock star liaison (Jen) and she cleared it up for me (Yea!).

I printed out the 23 Things Tracking Log and started tracking my progress. I learned something new! I didn't realize that you could click on the date and establish a link for each specific blog post. The knowledge base is starting to expand.................

Week 2, Task 3: Setting up your blog

Howdy folks!

I like this weeks 1st task. I like doing creative or artsy/crafty stuff. Plus, who doesn't love talking about themselves! I'm a narcissist, what can I say. It tends to be a Leo trait!

So setting up the blog was pretty straight forward. I have a profile on MySpace so this was not a new thing for me. It took a little time maneuvering around and learning the lay of the land. I find that it is quite a suitable site for what we are using it for. MySpace has more bells and whistles (and useless crude) and since it is so popular with the kidz you can download a thousand different wallpapers and templates for your profile. I like this blog site because thus far is it more subdued. More appropriate for work I think. OK, I've rambled enough................on to the next task..................

PS -for anyone who is interested (and over the age of 30) there are adults on MySpace. They are mostly located on the West Coast. I find the East Coast tends to be mainly kids. There are some interesting folks on it. Also, it is great resource for music, art, etc. and finding folks with similar interests. Just a thought, for any of you blog newbies who want to delve into the process further.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Week 1, Task 2: Life-long learning (71/2 habits....)

This time we were asked to read and listen to a podcast. The learning habits of successful life-long learners were discussed and a learning "contract" was proposed. I wasn't thrilled.........

Personally, I thought the 7 1/2 habits of life long learning was rubbish and a waste of time. First of all you are addressing a bunch of people who work in libraries. Don't you feel that 99.9% of these people are probably already interested in learning. Then to top it off you are addressing a bunch of people who signed up for the program. They are obviously interested in learning something new. Then there is the contradiction in terms. Several times "PLAY" has been mentioned and "Have fun!", "Enjoy the process" were also thrown around. After this they take learning and break it down into categories that can be labeled and put into a contract. Talk about sucking the fun out of something!

OK, I'll dial it back a little. I know that there are plenty of people who relish outlines, borders, rules and contracts. It helps them to organize in their minds, as well as on paper, and gives them some sort of accountability. So yes, I understand that this process could be helpful for some people. I also realize that someone put a lot of time and effort into putting this together so I don't want to belittle their work. However, I think that maybe calling them "keys" to learning instead of "habits" and changing the "contract" to an optional outline would be a better approach. Learning is an individual process that works differently for everyone. Trying to pigeon hole people into a specific structured learning process could really backfire in my opinion.