Friday, March 7, 2008

# 23 And Now It's Time to Say Goodbye

My favorite things:
  • Getting inspired enough to buy an MP3 player
  • Finding out all that stuff about Zombies
  • Learning how to make neat widgets
  • Bloglines--I use it all the time at work and home
  • Checking out all the neat things I'd heard about but hadn't made time to explore, and discovering ways to use them in my everyday life
  • Tagging--that's come in handy at work
  • Rollyo
  • Making avatars
  • Posting funny videos
  • making mash-ups
Impact on my lifelong learning goals:
  • Reinforced that it's a great idea to play with new things and have fun and I might also discover useful tools for home and work
Unexpected outcomes:
  • I didn't know I'd end up buying an MP3 player
  • I had tried Bloglines and given up on it, so I didn't expect it to become part of my daily routine the second time around
  • I use my avatars a number of places
  • I started a blog for my writing life when I didn't think I was interested before

What could be done differently to improve the program:
  • More time
    • It's impossible to do one's regular job properly and thoroughly explore 23 Things in nine weeks. I enjoyed this and took time to do it, and even I took lots longer than expected. People with less motivation and less access to computer time are not going to be able to do this within time and may give up
  • Update the instructions periodically
    • Quite a few times I would read the instructions linked to from the 23 Things page then discover the reality was different. I can make the leaps and figure it out. Some people may not be able to do that
  • If this is rolled out to branch staff I suggest making sure that agency managers buy in, and that they have a monthly meeting on one or two Things so staff can discuss their experiences and those who got it can demonstrate to those who didn't get it. Staff need to be encouraged to read each other's blogs and comment
Would I participate in something like this again?
  • Absolutely!
How I would describe my learning experience:
Now I'm excited to try out

Friday, February 22, 2008

I'm Hearing Even More Things

Well, I bought me a Creative Zen MP3 player and blogged about the experience of downloading my first audio book on the Library Shhh-out Out Blog recycling the "I'm Hearing Things" title.

I am quite in love with my new little gadget and am really enjoying listening to my first downloaded audio book in the car.

Friday, January 25, 2008

#22 I'm Hearing Things

wOw! There's a ton of audio books out there and all sorts of ways to get them. While I am pleased with all the contemporary material available on Netlibrary and Overdrive, it's hard not to be amazed and overwhelmed by all the old books on Project Gutenberg. A huge number of 19th century novels by H. Rider Haggard can be found as ebooks, way beyond what you can find these days without trawling the old book stores--and two are in audio format. The download instructions there are not as complete as those at Netlibrary or Overdrive, but I think I could muddle through.

I found the World eBook Fair to be a little more obscure. The very small annual fee seemed okay, although puzzling since they get a large portion of materials, including eBooks from Project Gutenberg, it seems. I did get excited by all the science fiction titles from Baen until I saw the small print that explained that they were sample chapters. Booooo! Hisssssss!

It would have been great to have a look inside the scanned children's books, because they would be more like the real books than the text only Project Gutenberg versions, but I wasn't about to plop down eight-bucks-something just out of curiosity. I did enjoy looking at the covers, though. I was surprised to see some scans of Beatrix Potter books published by Warne (now owned by Penguin). I assume they got permission.

There are many collections on the World eBook Fair that think I would never use--but you never know when you might need The Victorian Prose Archive or The Swami Center Collection. It's nice to know they exist. The various collections can provide tips of where else to go on the Internet to find eBooks.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Disappearing Zombies

Yikes! My Zombie News Feed has disappeared. It must have shambled off somewhere over the holidays. I guess I'll have to try and reinstate the link before I move on to the home stretch.

Back again--I've discovered the problem. Feedster is DEAD. Maybe it will become a zombie web site now. I guess I'll see if there is another site that does the same thing.

Back again, again--I did a Google search for news widgets and came up with the suggestion of using a Grazr widget to post a Google Blog Search. Voila! It seems to be working for now (see right column) but we shall see.

Friday, December 14, 2007

#21 Podcasts Have Nothing to do With Whales

According to, Podcast Alley, and Yahoo Audio there are no podcasts about me. That's funny, because I was interviewed for a podcast last year. Check out the May 25, 2006 episode of Mr. Ron's Once a Week. It probably doesn't show up on a search because my name doesn't appear in the written description. I did find a weekly podcast about circus freaks called The Human Marvels and added it to my Bloglines account. I already had a science fiction show saved there.
Podcasts are broadcast with many forms of software players so there seems to be something for everyone.
Libraries are starting to use podcasts for news, storytime, booktalks, author interviews, etc. There appears to be a variety of on-line tools to create podcasts. Maybe we should do an audio version of the Library Shhhout-out.

#20 Video Killed the Radio Star

I've been checking out YouTube for quite a while now. You can spend hours there. It's a fun way of getting a glimpse of "where are they now" celebrities, old rock bands, shows from the early days of British TV, and even family members. Yes, my cousin who is a singer is on YouTube. There are clips of his TV appearance on a British TV talent show in the 90's where contestants had to pretend to be famous celebrities, some shaky video of a pub show, and even a clip he loaded of himself landing a plane.

Here he in on Stars in Your Eyes as Bobby Hadfield of the Righteous Brothers.

I was interested in that huge list of other video hosting sites linked to from the Learning 2.0 site. Whew! Who would have the time to explore them all? I see Yahoo videos cropping up more and more these days, though, and some Google video.

I like YouTube's social networking aspect where you can find out more about the person who posted the video and find out their other posts. The comments can be interesting, although there are a lot of trolls.

YouTube might be a good way of sharing programming tips with other libraries or among staff. You'd have to watch out about violating copyright, however, and only use fair use portions of copyrighted materials. It would be great for displaying programs with content created by the participants, though--like improvised drama, booktalks, poetry readings, etc. Permissions would have to be obtained from the performers. Promotional pieces for the library could be produced and linked to YouTube from other sites.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

#19 Exploring Web Award Winners

I've tried out some winning 2.0 sites.

I can't get excited about fuzzmail. I previewed it on the site to find out that it just shows you an animation of the way the message was created with the spelling corrections and editing included. Mostly you just don't want people knowing what a spelling dork you are. The message I sent myself hasn't shown up in my in-box yet. I don't instantly see any library use.

Wow! With Shopify you can create your own on-line store as easily as creating a blog. This might come in handy for libraries that have a gift shop.

That's the first time I've looked at Craig's List. Interesting and useful in general. Again, can't think of a library use. I noticed that people don't give away things free in England like they do in this country. I guess this is a land of excess and opulence.

Okay, I knew going in that Cocktail Builder wouldn't have any library applications except for recovering from the library when I get home--I had to look, anyway. I now know how to make a drink called Lady Godiva's Nipples. I've already tagged that puppy on and I'll be picking up the Chambord raspberry liqueur on the way home.

I bet there's a good use for swivel. It looks like a useful tool for putting statistics in understandable visual format--maybe circulation, programs statistics, work flow information, etc. I can't tell right away if you can keep your charts private, however. That may have an impact on what data one wants to upload. I don't see a quick explanation of how to, though.

wufoo: Well, on-line forms and surveys--of course that might be handy to get patron in put and staff opinions. The site is explained a lot better than swivel, too.

ning: Make your own social networking site. That might be a fun way of creating spaces for people to discuss books, etc. or for staff to discuss training.

On to the next thing.