Saturday, November 24, 2007

Week 9, Thing 23: Summary

I can't believe I managed to finish by the deadline! This experience has taught me that my time management skills have not improved much since my college days (I pulled many "all nighters" to finish papers on time). Despite my desire to follow the weekly outline of the 23 Things program, I have completed most of the program in the past two days, just in time for the deadline. I seem to work best under pressure, although I wish I had been able to spend more time over the past couple of months on some specific parts of the program. It has been a very worthwhile experience, and I feel more comfortable now with some of the new technologies. Although there are some that may not be useful to me personally, it is good to know what exists. I don't know that I had a favorite discovery or exercise, but the concept of tagging and the various ways it can be used was very enlightening. I also enjoyed the techical aspects of linking various accounts and uploading photos and videos to my blog.

It has been interesing reading about the debate over use of some of these technologies. We have a disclaimer to send to customers when we send something from Wikipedia in a chat session. Yet wikis can be an excellent method for conveying and updating information within a professional organization, for example. Blogs can also be a valuable collaborative tooI or a method of keeping a chronological record of a process. However, they can easily be misused by those who want to force their opinions on others. I think the important thing is to pick the correct tool for the correct purpose.

Although some of these new technologies are fascinating and enable anyone to easily have a wealth of information available in blogs, RSS feeds, etc., I wonder how many people actually have time to read all of the information they acquire. I have enough trouble keeping up with my email. There are some tools that I will definitely use, such as, and others that may be useful for helping AskUsNow customers needing information that might be contained in blogs or best found with tags. I don't foresee any use for avatars or Rollyo, however.

It has been enjoyable to read about the variety of ways that libraries are adapting the Web 2.0 technologies. Now that I am more aware of the available tools, I will be considering how they might be applied to improve our library services. I am glad that I was able to complete this program and would like to participate in any future discovery programs like this. My only recommendation would be that a realistic time estimate be associated with each item. If I had realized how long each thing would take, I might have made a greater effort to start sooner and pace myself better.

Week 9, Thing 22: Downloadable audiobooks

I explored Project Gutenberg and was surprised to find so many audiobooks available for download. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to download anything to my Mac, nor could I find any help or explanation of whether it is even possible. This site should be a valuable source for students who have required reading for school assignments if they can download audiobooks from home.

Week 9, Thing 21: Podcasts

I looked at Podcast Alley. It seemed useful for browsing by genre or by keyword but not for searching for a specific podcast. I found it very confusing at first, although I was able to add it to my Bloglines account. I did a keyword search on "library" in Podcast Alley and got 126 podcasts. I added the RSS feed for "The Library Survival Guide" to my Bloglines Account. I also have iTunes and have already subscribed to many podcasts in the past. I did a search for one that I had found in Podcast Alley, and it was very simple to subscribe from within iTunes. It is now listed with my other podcasts. I find this easier than using Podcast Alley and copying to Bloglines.

Week 9, Thing 20: YouTube

I found this interesting video on YouTube, and after some searching, I figured out how to add the video to this blog.
It is a great example of morphing, and it must have been very complicated and time consuming to produce. The music accompaniment is a nice touch.

Week 8, Thing 19: Web 2.0 awards list

For this exercise, I explored Farecast, the 1st place winner in the Travel category. While similar to sites like Expedia and Priceline, which show you what flights are available for specific times and destinations and the associated prices, Farecast has additional features to help interpret these results. It allows you to compare results with Expedia, Hotwire, and Priceline. It shows the price range of all available flights and has a graph showing the recent history of price changes. It also includes a prediction of what will happen with the fares and advises whether to buy now or wait. It seems like a handy site which I intend to use for personal trip planning. I don't know how this site would be useful to libraries specifically except for finding the best prices for employee trips to library conferences.

Week8, Thing 18: Online productivity tools

The text below is a document I created with Zoho Writer. I wasn't impressed, but maybe I'll like it better when I learn more about it. I might also try Google Docs. I tried using the Publish feature to add the document to this blog, but nothing happened after I clicked on the Publish button, so I used Export instead and saved it as a text file on my desktop. Then I cut and pasted here -- not to elegant but it worked.

This is my first time using a web-based word processor. It seems that the font choices are somewhat limited, but myfavorite, Comic Sans, is here. I am going to try to publish this document to my blog as my blog post. I will try out some of the features first, like changing the font color. Well, that didn't work, and I don't see any Help to figure out how to do it . I was able to paste an emoticon though. However, I lost the font in the process and can't get it back. I was also able to add a tag. That's a nice feature. I will reserve judgment until I can find out more about how this word processor is supposed to function. For now I will just try posting to my blog.

Week 7, Thing 17: Add an entry to Learning 2.0 SandBox wiki

I logged into the Learning 2.0 SandBox wiki. Unfortunately the "point and click" method for adding my blog to the Favorite Blogs does not work with my browser (Safari), so I just added my blog by editing the page source code, enclosing the URL and name in brackets like the other entries.