Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thing #23 - Summarize Your Thoughts

Wow. I'm done already? I want to keep exploring. And exploring is oh-so-much easier if someone gives you a map. ;)

I am surprised to discover that I do like RSS feeds. I have set one up through Google Reader. I'm still trying to figure it out.

It was rather cool to be able to more fully investigate some of these sites that I've heard about but never really gone to. I'm very interested in continuing to explore the Web 2.0 awards page to find new exciting things. I definitely am the most excited about discovering Pandora.

I couldn't help but feel frustrated about the dead links that I encountered. Also, my experience with Thing #17 - playing in the sandbox was just upsetting. I'll keep a look out for a response to my request for authorization to join the sandbox, but I'm not too optimistic at this time. It's too bad that one whole Thing just doesn't work. Perhaps a new Thing could be substituted.

What would be great would be if this training opportunity would change every few years. Web 2.0 is mercurial and by definition will change constantly. So, if you took the course 2 or 3 years ago, you could take it again and have an entirely different experience. The static-ness of the blog page that hosts this training doesn't really go with the medium it's trying to teach.

Or, if changing 23 Things itself isn't doable, than perhaps 23 More Things (or some other number, say...10 or 15) would be interesting. We didn't delve much into social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. I'm sure there will be even more popping up.

Not only that, but we didn't look at dating websites - which are a part of Web 2.0. Now, don't get me wrong...I'm not suggesting we all go out there and pretend to be daters on these sites. However, in the library we do have quite a few customers who come in specifically to do online dating. I see Librarians looking down their nose at this all the time, but I believe that if it were one of the Things, it would help to educate Librarians about what goes on and how people meet, and what information a dater will put out there. Also, when someone comes to us with a problem, we might be able to help them instead of send them away upset and disappointed.

I would completely and totally participate in another venture such as this. I enjoyed my time with the 23 Things, and I enjoyed learning new things on the computer! What would be even more fun would be to include a little HTML (there are simple websites for that).

A description of my learning experience: What a fun way to learn about the emerging electronic world around us!

Thing #22 - Downloadable Audiobooks

I've been working with books on Project Gutenburg since I was an undergrad. I had a really cool class that was designed to be advanced math for english majors and we got to use some really awesome software to analyze texts. And I got my texts from Project Gutenburg because they were, full, complete and already typed into the computer.

That isn't to say that I read any of those texts. I just copied them and pasted them into the program.

I have a NetLibrary account because MCPL subscribes to them and I thought it would be a good idea. After spending one extremely frustrating afternoon trying to download (and then find and play) an audiobook on NetLibrary about 2 and a half years ago, I haven't been back.

For the sake of my CEUs, I returned to NetLibrary.

It seems that the only ebooks available are Cliffsnotes. Eh. I'm not a huge fan.

Oh, but wait! Here is an ebook of Robin Hood! I guess you can't just browse through the ebooks, but search for specific books. (Funnily enough, if you look closely, you'll see that this comes to NetLibrary from Project Gutenburg.)

Okay, so I got a little carried away with talking about the books you can read online. Since this is about audio books, I suppose I should talk about the audio side.

This time my experience was a lot better. I especially liked the box at the bottom of the page:

I guess they heard that people were getting frustrated.

Anyway, I did get to download a Robin Hood audio book, too. (I am so on a Robin Hood kick ever since watching the BBC's series.) I'm looking forward to running it on my little netbook as I walk on my treadmill.

Thing #21 - Locating Podcasts

Argh! I have discovered another place where the links are dead or incorrect on the 23 Things website. Podcast.net didn't work. Neither did Yahoo! Podcasts.

Luckily, Podcastalley is still working.

I'm kind of wanting to smack my head on surfaces at this point. Even in Podcast alley, I was bumping into old and out of date links. Rrrrrr.... I suppose these are just more examples of how Web 2.0 works. It's mostly user driven, and so somethings are not going to be kept up.

I was able to find something interesting to add to my bloglines feed. Open Stacks was very interesting and enjoyable. The podcasts were on the side of his blog and opened in different windows.

I'm not sure this is what we're supposed to be looking for. Perhaps I should try again...

Okay, once I started looking outside the "Library" arena, I found many podcasts to subscribe to.

The one thing that I noticed is that the humor podcasts are all...crass. I find that in my "old age" I want things that are funny by being witty, not by making fun of others or referencing anatomy or using vulgar language. I'm sure that this isn't something the library itself could break into, but it seems to be a void in the world of humor - especially in podcasting.

Thing #20 - YouTube

I love the muppets. Luckily for me, so do a lot of people in the YouTube universe. :) And it seems that the muppets have been creating new skits just for internet viewing. I never would have known that if I hadn't been working on Thing #20!

I hope this makes you laugh as much as it made me laugh.

If you really like Muppets, I would highly suggest the Muppets Studio on YouTube. I'm so excited to find this.

The only thing I don't like is that it's hard to find things if you don't know the right tag. Or if you can't quite remember where it was you saw it. The site is just so huge and user driven that somethings aren't labeled correctly. However, I notice that this is one more place where Google is taking over the world.

It would be great if we could put successful library programs - or trainings - on things like YouTube. That way, we could post them on our website or in our Check Us Out program as a "Missed It?" section. I know that personally, I have missed a few library programs I would have loved to go to because of work or health problems.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thing #19 - Web 2.0 Winners

After 5 minutes I am completely hooked on Pandora. OMG, this is the best thing ever! An internet radio station that I can choose the music for...how cool is that? No wonder it won an award - okay, it was second place, but still...

I loved that I could type in an artist and make a radio station with just that artist. Not only that, but no one was there to judge my choices. I could add more artists to my radio station and create other radio stations. Since I'm a bit of an eclectic listener, and a bit of a cheapskate, too, I think this is the best thing. Not only that, but I can share my radio station with others through email.

Sadly, I cannot figure out how to share my radio station on blogger. (If this were on Facebook, I could share it.) But, I can email my radio station to people. So, if you're interested, comment on this post and be sure to include your email. I'll send you an email from my Pandora account with a link to my radio station and you can listen, too!

I'm going to have to peruse some more of these winners. Pandora really fills a hole in my life that I never knew exisited!

Thing #18 - Online Productivity Tools

You're probably sick of hearing me say things like this... I love Google Docs! I live on Google Docs.

I recently got a netbook that has a trial version of Microsoft Office installed. I have 60 uses, but then I have to pay for it. And paying for it is pretty expensive. So, I use Google Docs.

Then again, I've been using Google Docs for years. My parents live in Denver, Colorado and I'm here in Maryland. A few years ago, I was planning my wedding and needed to be able to work on the guest list with my parents easily. We created a Google Docs spreadsheet and I have been using it (Google Docs...and the spreadsheet, too) ever since. It's now my address book.

I also use Google Calendar to coordinate with my husband (who lives on the computer). I love it because I can't lose it and I can have access to it wherever there's a computer. If I'm going somewhere where there won't be access and I will need a calendar - I print it out and take it. That way, I can see my schedule. Plus, it keeps track of my changing Library schedule for me and I don't have to wonder if I'm working this Friday or next Friday.

Because of all the different places I have accounts, I chose not to create a Zoho account. I would like to explore it more at a different time.

a quick aside

(check out my fish gadget at the top of my blog. cool, huh?)