Thursday, October 18, 2007

23- Finish Line, Reflection

All in all a good experience- interesting, helpful, enhanced, quicker, deeper ways to use web technology to do what one wants to do and see and think about and to share with others. My personal social software favorites are rss feeds (no more e-mail newsletters or trying to remember to look at a blog or website on a regular basis,) (easy access to my bookmarks from any tagged in a way that makes sense to me,) and LibraryThing for the fun of it (and to remember what I've read, and what's tagged "future.")
I need to continue to figure out what applies to my library and how we can configure it to help serve our patrons.

22- Teach someone

So I taught a loved one how to set up and use a account, rather than rss feeds which I had suggested. He really didn't need much instruction as a lot is self-explanatory, and understood the concept of tags placing a url in to different categories, so it was accessible from more than one "folder." I think he will probably import his bookmarks from work and home in to it. I also showed him the private/public aspect of it, and had forgotten the default was public public, unless you set it up to give the private choice. I did actually quickly show him rss feeds with bloglines and LibraryThing which he also seemed quite taken with. We also looked at the Los Gatos Library which has a LibraryThing account.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

21- Podcasts

Looks like Yahoo will no longer have a Podcast search, so must move on to other specialized search engines. Looks like the Podcast directory is still up and running as well as of course the itunes store, where one can download free podcasts of NPR material- the key is to get each episode within the week after it's up on the site, after that it's .99/cast of This American Life and the like. Look on wikipedia under podcast and you get a listing of many podcast directories.
I see that the ALA has a podcast of library news, and you can get an rss feed, when the new p-cast comes out. I don't see an easy way to download , but you could listen to it streaming directly from your computer.

Monday, October 15, 2007

20- YouTube and

Looked at youtube....again and some other video-sharing websites. For some reason, I just can't get that absorbed in it. Maybe because i don't do videos (nor do i take photos for the most part) myself, and although I watch tv and see films, i don't get that absorbed in television much of the time. I've used you tube for videos to add to presentations (just a clip of course), and can see the point of video and podcasting on a library's website, but don't exactly see where video-sharing would be used by public libraries. Putting a tour of the library on youtube, rather than the library's website, so that ....? I'm not sure. Maybe the question is, would patrons like to share their videos and add their user-generated content to the library's website? More questions then answers.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

19- Google Maps

As much as I like Google Maps, and I do, the whole "My Maps" thing is pretty non-intuitive. It was not obvious to me, how to dredge them back up after you had created and signed out and back in again, it was not obvious how to load a picture that could be accessed by your map. I also initially had trouble with the drawing tools, but that could just be me. After making a crudely drawn shape on top of a satellite map that included our library, I finally figured out how to upload a picture to Picasa and have it correctly link (just the picture not the album) to the shape on the match, I thought it was somehow saved. It seemed difficult to find again, and the map did not dispay at the level I though I had saved it at. Later when I went in again, it seemed to have totally disappeared, and when I attempted to create a new one, I couldn't get the picture (library layout) to appear.
So I gave up..... for now. I can see that it would be possibly handy to do quick maps with added features to add to direction pages, do maps of restaurants within walking distance of a library, etc.
The one thing this did remind me is that even for someone who likes new things, and generally embraces change if not wholeheartedly, at least without major resistance, if new and change can be a little frustrating for me, it could be worse for others.

Monday, October 8, 2007

18- On-Line Productivity

I could make lots of jokes here about the title, but I won't.
The deadline for finishing the challenge is looming!

I've used Google docs, as a crude way to do a webpage, before I found Google Pagecreator. No one ever worked with me, or edited it, so I can't attest to it's shared nature. I have looked at Google's spreadsheet tool, and like the idea of different people going into a workbook, and adding data. It would be an easier way to do A-V orders here; Excel (as far as I can tell, I am far from expert) doesn't really allow for collaboration, just additions. Both of these tools are useful if you don't have or don't care for Microsoft and other expensive software.

17- InfoPeople wiki

Very easy to edit, I added just a small comment on one of the pages. Being a-r, I would like to see it more structured, and less blog-like.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

16- Wikis

One of the librarians at MY library has created an often-asked questions reference wiki, as well as one for homework assignment. These have been for staff use only as the url was posted only on a staff intranet. However, when our "Useful Links" page dies, and our account takes its place, the wikis will be more accessible, although I am not sure how they are tagged.

Wikis seem anywhere from very easy to mildly complicated to create and edit. and of course each one you have to look at the sometimes unspoken protocol, when you are going to edit. Are things in alphabetical order, do you delete and then post updated content, or do you post underneath or?

In some ways wikis are/can be like the stenographer's book at the reference desk, where people use to write important things that they wanted all to see. Of course they can be much more, and some brave libraries probably allow their patrons/customers/clients/stakeholders to edit.