Monday, October 13, 2008

Blogging with Sue

Training session with Sue, and talking about how Blogs, Wikis, and other Web 2.0 tools could be used in our IR&S environment. What opportunities can we find? Where shall we look?

Here's an article from a blog about libraries and job titles in the era of Web 2.0.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thing-free for the first time !

This is my first blog post since I finished my 23-Things-on-a-Stick blog project supported by Minnesota libraries.

So, the first thing I did was log onto my Blogger dashboard and skimmed through some headlines - one of the blogs I'm monitoring has to do with LIS news (multiple posts per day). I read about the California State Deputy Librarian, Stacey Aldrich, projecting four things to watch in the future of libraries, and she referenced a Sony Corp patent for beaming sensations directly into the brain - part of the next generation of gaming. Link is to the USA today story. I'll practice looking up this patent later (what's the US class, I wonder??) .

So, the system seems to be working. Except now I'm supposed to be pondering how the development will impact libraries. I think the point is that libraries, particularly public libraries, need to be aware of the development of technologies on the horizons. And I recall about three years ago, one of my clients asked me questions about computer systems which accepted input from anywhere in the room. He must have read some early promo about Wii. and now, they're everywhere (even the state fair this year) !

Before finishing up, I took a look at the recent blog additions to Science Blogs from the past 24 hours. Always something interesting there! Ah, this is fun, and relaxing!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Thing 23 - Final Thoughts

Whew, I'm done. Inspired by the deadline, I've met it.

I just removed from my blog the countdown clock I had added a few weeks back (and so much work it took to get that item working). I replaced the clock with a jpg picture of a ticket saying that I'd finishd 23 things - and it looks great!

This is proof that I have learned a whole lot in this project, enough to make minor changes to graphics, to be able to make the blog aesthetically pleasing, at least to myself.

I'm glad I pushed through to the end of this program. Quite recently, we had to log on to the 23 Things ning, one of many social networking sites (I'm not sure how they all differ exactly, but that's a question to answer later). All who join are presumably 23 things on stick contributors, and activly trying to fisnish up. Sending a note to another member was one of the assignments. My person wrote back to me, and I intend to reply. So- I actually have been 'social' in the social networking tool. I didn't just 'observe' this phenomenon !

As I wrote in my survey response, I was really impressed with the Common Craft videos, and the most useful was the one which described wikis, and when they were a good idea, and when a blog or other tool is better. It raised the question: What ARE we trying to accomplish with a particluar tool, and is it the best one? What incentive do my intended users have to log on and participate?

With 23-things, it has been self interest - an excitement to learn. My users have to get somthing out beyond the joy of using the tool.

Thing 22 - What did I learn today ?

Keeping up-to-date is the idea behind this 'thing'. I am glad this project has had so many (23) steps, because as I've developed proficiency, I can easily do things that were difficult when I first began. Such as signing up to monitor blogs. And I've found a more sensible way to do it - from the dashboard of this blog. I have now directed about four interesting (and active) blogs to be delivered here, where I already am. I guess I find GoogleReader to be mostly out of the way, off my beaten track.

I plan to keep this blog somewhat active. I will monitor my incoming blogs, keep my eyes open for other good blogs to monitor, etc. And add good ones. Specifically, and measurably, I plan to add to my 23-things blog at least once a week. Maybe check up on my blog monitoring from work. I still have weekly visits to the coffee shop near Tae Kwan Do, so I will keep using that time for blogging.

The goal will to keep my brain engaged in Web 2.0 tools and applications of those tools to help foster interactive communication within my organization.

In a related vein, I plan to start a second blog, a more personal blog, which I can share with my extended family (which is thinly spread on three continents). That blog will start from the same dashboard, which will increase the likelihood that I'll review the blogs I'm monitoring, and apply more of the 'fun' tools on my personal blog. More opportunity to explore these tools. Photos, fun, communication.

I'm psyched!

Thing 21 - Beyond MySpace - Other Social Networks

I have heard about for ages - as I listen to MPR/NPR often. I hadn't realized the goal is for publishers to harness social networks around writing/publishing. I guess that observation leads to a larger question - who benefits/hopes to benefit from any of these sites?

I joined the 23 things Ning, was refreshed by the observation that we all enter our full names. On our blogs, many leave cryptic names (myself included), but the social networks request full names, and it seems we comply. Now, in Ning (and Facebook, last thing), most of use were fully identified.

23 Things on a Sting - Ning Page

I also added the Ning badge to the right side of this blog. Check it out!

I was getting ready to leave comments for another member, when I realized that others had much more information about themselves on their profiles. I don't have even a photo close at hand. I added a bit more content, then sent a note to a recent visitor. Wonder if I'll ever hear back. I'd better check back, just to see if anyone writes to me!

I was filling out my profile, and found myself blabbing on about web 2.0 in my workplace. Seems like a better addition here: In my workplace, Web 2.0 is not far away. We have corporate initiative to use wikis, blogs, and even social networking to the corporation. I think people are watching to see what happens, but it's quite evident that the library need to be involved. Needs to be prominent. Available.

I may clip that later and place it in one of the last blogs required. Thoughts on Library 2.0.

Anyway, I also joined Flixter, as I enjoy movies. Immediately, I was asked to choose a background graphic, and the choices seemed aimed at teenage girls. Fans of movie mags. That may be the hook, which seems to miss me. I agreed to have reviews sent to my email, so I'll see what that yields.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thing 20 - Libraries and Social Networks

I chose to try Facebook, and enjoyed poking around. I realized that one can click into a group, and then back out just as easily. I feel a little bit guilty signing up, logging in, joining up, and then not being sure how much of a contributor I'll really be.

I wasn't able to find many 'friends' - I recognized people from college, but not enough to be 'friends'. My brother-in-law was extracted from my email ( I have very few names, only family, in my yahoo email account). So I 'friended' him, and it will be interesting to check in and see what his page looks like. The whole family seems to use the same email, so maybe they will all be there (they're all in their photo).

I joined two groups, the 23 things on a stick group, and the Library 2.0 Interest Group. Lots of information on the 2.0 group. And I added to the wall. I don't know if all social networks are like this, but I felt quite adequate with no photo in Facebook.

Ultimately, I think I'd like to join LinkdIn. A couple of colleagues from work have mentioned that they are there, and my recent professional organization PIUG (Patent Information Users Group) has a group (or whatever they call it). I'll have to join that one too.

I haven't yet figured out if social networks make life easier, or more difficult for the introverted. I should search on that question the next time I have an opportunity search ELM databases (see, I really learned something !).

Maybe I should have searched for an introverts group on Facebook. Next time. . .

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thing 19 - Explore Podcasts

As I mentioned in Thing 3 - RSS feeds, this is one technology I am familiar with, from the perspective of a consumer. I listen to podcasts of favorite radio shows while working out, gardening, dinking. So, I'm excited to delve deeper in this technology.

I reviewed the local podcasts, and took a quick listen to several podcasts, such as the Minitex Reference 5th Grade Interview, and Minnesota Public Radio's Grammar Grater. The MPR site has great material on it, and is my favorite source (though the audio quality of the one above seems a bit weak - I think I'm hearing bleed or feedback.

I find that the directories are more difficult. I was completely unimpressed with and Maybe I was having trouble coming up with good search terms. I had some better luck with the Educational Podcast Directory. I chose the category 'science', and found some useful discussions on scientific subjects.

As for regular podcast subscriptions, my favorite one is from Wisconsin Public Radio - the show is 'To the Best of our Knowledge" - covers a wide subject area, from history, sociology, science, and human experience. Highly, highly recommended by me.