Friday, June 29, 2007

Thing 9 - more Twitter

I'm obsessed with Twitter, not quite sure why. I still don't see a business case for it but am enjoying the learning, evaluating and discussing.

The July 2007 issue of Wired Magazine has a commentary by Clive Thompson on the social aspects and benefits of Twitter. Interesting reading. He makes some valid points. "How Twitter Creates a Social Sixth Sense."

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Thing 2 and 18 together

I just noticed that Blogger says you can post to Blogger from Google Documents and Spreadsheets. This is merging thing 2 with thing 18, very convenient.

I'm just guessing here that all I have to do is click the Publish button and it will ask which of my blogs I want to publish it to. If that fails there is always Help.

I had been writing drafts of my blog posts in Google Docs and Spreadsheets, so this will be very convenient. Course, I've finished 22 of the 23 things so may not be posting more to the blog.

Time to hit that Publish button and see what happens.

Thing 22 - teach someone else

Today I hosted a session on blogs and in our computer lab.

After demonstrating how blogs are laid out and how to navigate within one I asked for a volunteer from the audience. I can’t quite recollect if I warned them that the volunteer would be creating their first blog for everyone else to see on the big screen. I probably left out that part during my request as our state librarian quickly raised her hand to be the guinea pig. I had her up and blogging in a matter of minutes and everyone else was able to see how easy it all was.

I will be conducting a repeat session tomorrow morning but doubt I will have such a willing volunteer. Thank you Susan for being such a good sport.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Thing 21 - Podcasts

So much content, so little time.

I subscribe to a couple of NPR podcasts but haven't had the time to download or listen to them. In the past I've downloaded podcasts coming out of areas I'll be traveling to so have used Podcast directories and search engines.

Before a vacation to Hawaii I caught a few episodes of 808Talk coming from Honolulu. Heard some great music and interesting discussions of local issues.

If I had the time I'd subscribe and listen to author tours and how to programs and music and commentary. There is so much great content out there.

Twitter only sales

Businesses seem to have embraced Twitter. The Dell Outlet has a Twitter presence. Become Dells' friend and you'll get limited time offers on refurbished equipment.

Is the concept applicable to libraries? I'm not sure. We don't want to restrict "this offer only to those that can see it" but maybe it could be a way to promote new books. "Just in - -- Bestseller, reserve it now" I'd probably friend my library if they did something like that, but is it worth their time and resources?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Thing 20 - YouTube

After lunch I watched Karen Schneider's YouTube video on LOCKSS and it got me thinking, I have a video file on my PC. I had just received my digital camera as a birthday gift the day before a trip to Hayward to see the Kirtas book scanner. The camera has a movie mode. I took a little video of the book scanner in action. It wasn't until I got back that I realized that the camera also records sound, else I would have narrated the workings of the scanner.

I searched YouTube to see if anyone else had posted a video of a working Kirtas scanner. There was one video taken at SLA this year.

I just joined YouTube, went to the upload page, browsed to where the file was, filled in a title, description and tags and let it upload. Once uploaded YouTube provides the code which can be used to embed the video on blogs or websites.

On Blogger I started typing in "Compose" mode, then clicked on the Edit Html tab and pasted in the code provided by YouTube. Here is the result (not appearing yet, seems to take a lot of time for YouTube to process, or maybe there was a problem with the file, but regardless, it was easy to do) :

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Thing 19 - My Google map

I started to do this exercise, signed into Google maps, went to My Maps and darn if I hadn't already created a map for my library. I don't remember doing it and it was only a month ago. Oh well, it's really easy. I guess I might as well add a picture of the building and add some more content. I do notice that now the outline of the building appears, pretty cool. I believe when I created the map all you could see were the streets, no buildings.

The map of where I work can be found HERE

This Thing was very easy. I just followed the step-by-step directions on Google Maps

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Thing 17 - add to Infopeople Wiki

OK, I decided just correcting a typo was cheating so I added information about Flickr on the Infopeople Our 23 Things Wiki.

Thing 16 - Wikis and libraries

See my earlier post from the online workshop: Library Wikis.

That posting received comments from one of the library wiki creators.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Thing 15 - web 2.0 perspectives

Thing 15 is to read a few perspectives on web 2.0, library 2.0 and the future of libraries. The first link goes to a wikipedia article. I wish it didn't. It's quite an active article, with over 43 edits in the last week. Who's to know what authoritative and what's not.

The other link leads to a Walt Crawford Cites & Insights article. I've enjoyed reading Walt Crawford's Cites and Insights for many years and also enjoy reading his blog, Walt at Random.

I find myself agreeing with almost everything he says in this article. Library service is evolutionary, not revolutionary. The battle cry of "Library 2.0" is too divisive, but many Web 2.0 technologies can be incorporated into library services if it enhances services yet still provides for the basics without pulling resources away from where they are needed.

I particularly agreed with this paragraph "For example, although I'm not a toolbar person, I'm certainly not opposed to libraries producing such toolbars. I'd love to see measures as to how many people (other than librarians!) download them and what effect they have on use of library services. In general, I'm hoping there will be measurement of these services, particularly in those cases where there's friction between providing new services and maintaining old ones."

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Commentary on MySpace, Second Life and Twitter

PC Magazine just posted a commentary by their editor, Lance Ulanoff, about the life expectancy of MySpace, Second Life, and Twitter. His thoughts mirror mine.

Read it at:,1895,2145408,00.asp

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

More on Twitter

I just received a notification in my email that someone added me as their friend in Twitter. I checked out their Twitter page to see if they might be a librarian or someone else I'd be interested in following. Nope, just some guy who seems to be collecting friends and followers. I guess he's adding anyone he comes across as a friend, having over 8,000 as of right now. He's got over 1,000 followers (I'm not going to be among them)

His website boasts of the productivity drain that Twitter has caused.

What's the point of collecting friends, especially those that have not even a remote relationship to one? I'm kind of sick of this racking up the friends thing.

I'm still getting invitations to "friend" novelists on the Library2.0 Ning. I ignore those. I haven't found a value for friending on Ning.

Thing 9 again - Twitter - great intro online

David Free, Public Services Librarian at the Decatur Campus Library of Georgia Perimeter College, has posted a wonderful video explaining how to sign up and use Twitter. He also offers suggestions on how libraries can make use of Twitter.

View it here:

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Thing 17 - Infopeople Wiki

I made a typographical correction on someone else's addition. Does that count?

Thing 14 - Technorati

Glad to get this one checked off my things list. I really didn't like Technorati. It used to be cleaner and simpler. Here are the results of my quick side-by-side comparison of Technorati vs. a few Google searches. For all I searched the term "Twitter"

Technorati: Quick view results in Technorati were:

  • under blog posts, #1 Irish eateries, #2 something in Japanese but with a DE host, so probably spam, #3 Free XXX Movies.
  • Under Videos #1 Twitter on CBS news, #2 Twitter wins at sxsw, #3 Twitter over iggy, #4 Twitter on Fring
  • Under Photos: #1chickens pecking the weeds between the boxes, #2 a twitter screen print #3 those chickens again, #4 Twitter screen print
  • Under music, didn't bother to open
  • Google blog search #1 Evolution of blogging, including twitter, #2 The future of Twitter, #3 Why I spam on Twitter, #4 Twitcash, earn money via your Twitter
  • Google image search: #1 picture of flutist, #2 twitter screenshot, #3 twitter screen shot, #4 picture of a Twitter friend
  • Google video search: #1 Twitter on CBS news, #2 a commentary on current trends including twitter, #3 Blaine Cook on Scaling Twitter, #4 Datta now has a Twitter account
Observations, if I want relevant content I'll use Google. Searching Technorati using others' self tagged terms produces unsavory results. As Technorati says front and center of their home page "Zillions of photos, videos, blogs and more (some of them have to be good)" But when most aren't I'd prefer to spend my time on sites that give useful content.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Things 16 and 20 wiki and videocast

Heard about this great video explaining the concept of a wiki in plain English. Just had to link to it here. Click on the play arrow within the picture to play it.

How cool is this? today I learned how to embed a Youtube video into my blog post. On the video page there was a friendly pointer to the code to "embed." I copied the text within that field and then went to my blog post. I clicked on the "Edit Html" tab and then pasted it in. I then went back to the Compose tab to continue writing the post.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Thing 14 - Technorati

All ready to explore thing 14, Technorati and what do I get?

"Doh! The Technorati Monster escaped again.
We're scouring the blogosphere attempting to find it. Back in a flash!"

cute error message but frustrating none the less

Just like my first Twitter experience. I'm ready to try it out and the service is down.

How much can we depend on these free sites? Can we base patron services on something that we have no control over and may or may not be reliable (or even here the next day)?

I'll try again tomorrow.

More on Twitter and also on Google Alerts

I just signed up for Google alerts on a couple of topics, one being Twitter. It was very easy to set up the alert service. I get an email each day on each topic with links to articles on the web about the topic. I'm really liking Google alerts. It's turning out to be a great way to keep current on topics I'm interested in. Most of the links are very relevant.

Today's alert about Twitter included an interesting review of the service done by abc News. Twitter: Social Netoworking? or Cyber Stalking? Check it out.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Thing 13 - Social Bookmarking and

I went to the wikipedia article linked in the 23things list and just for kicks looked at the history. Just that day there were three edits, one undoing an earlier one from that same day. I compared the undone one with the current one. What was undone? A lengthy wandering diatribe against assorted topics. I really don't like nor trust Wikipedia, but that's not part of the Thing 13 discussion.

Anyway, this whole social bookmarking thing raises the issue of user created tags versus a controlled vocabulary (such as LCSH). Being a cataloger by training I see the need and benefit of a controlled vocabulary. Playing with one of the Flickr mashup games over the weekend my s.o. and I were frustrated in trying to guess the common tag. What seemed to be an appropriate tag to us ended up being a synonym to the tag used. As terminology changes (is the USB thing in my purse a jump drive, a thumb drive, a flash drive?) tags will no longer match what people are searching for.

On to (how does one easily remember where to put the periods?) A couple of years ago I attended a workshop on blogs, wikis, RSS, etc. I was introduced to and began using it for saving and tagging some of my bookmarks. I like it because is a lot easier to remember and type than I don't make use of all it's features because I haven't found a need for them.

Many websites seem to now have links to "Save to" That makes it very convenient if you do not want to install the delicious toolbar and don't want to take the extra step of going to the delicious website. I've not seen a Furl link. It was also very easy to upload all my Internet Explorer bookmarks into and then update the tags. I was able to figure out what old bookmarks may no longer work based on the number (or absence) of people sharing the bookmark. That was useful.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Thing 12 - Rollyo

I tried out Rollyo. Interesting service.

I created a search roll to search just I was looking for a listing of the official state symbols so I typed in the term "symbols". The first result was a direct hit to the symbol listing. I then searched the built-in search feature on Got a lot of extra garbage and the page I was looking for was result #7. Just to round out my test I searched Google with the terms "California" and "symbols" There were a number of relevant hits, both governmental and commercial. The page I was looking for was the fifth hit. Also nice in Google were image results at the top of the hit list.

Back when I did online reference one common question was "how do I get a copy of my birth certificate?" I tried searching "birth certificate" in my Rollyo search roll for and also the built-in search at the site. Rollyo's eleventh hit gave me the information I was looking for whereas the built-in search got me to the information in the first hit. The Rollyo search results also included sponsored links (ads) at the top and within the search results. I didn't like that.

I don't have sophisticated nor extensive searching needs. Google seems to meet most of my needs quite well, or I go directly to subject specific informational sites.