Thursday, March 22, 2007

Ok.. one last post.

Week 9, Ex 23

I can't believe I actually made it all the way through. yes!

My favorite "discoveries" had to have been all of the photo-related sites (flickr, fd toys, and of course the trading card maker). I also really liked bloglines and I use it often now to catch up on all kinds of news. Overall, it was good to become familiar with all of the Web 2.0 sites because now when a customer comes up to me asking about it, I won't answer with a, "huh?" I definitely feel much more knowledgeable about what Web 2.0 means to me and to the community we serve. I hope to use many of the tools I was exposed to when working with the young audience that comes into the library every day.

During many of the exercises, I would think to myself, "This is cool, but am I really going to use it often?" Perhaps this isn't the way I should be thinking about such things. I should probably be saying to myself, "How am I going to incorporate this into my every day life" OR "How is my profession, personal interests, etc. going to be enhanced now that I know how to use (insert Web 2.0 technology here)?" I think when I am inundated with all of these new website to check out, in can be a bit overwhelming to look at everything at the same time. But when I really take a look at what I'm already using and what I would like to use more, I'm finding that I'm already knee-deep in Web 2.0!

I thought that this "discovery exercise" was a cool thing to do. Outside of the content itself, it was awesome to do something where all staff of all different levels can participate in the same exact thing. It's cool to have staff who would never think of themselves as teachers, showing other staff how to browse YouTube, or do a mashup, or make a trading card. I would definitely be interested in other projects like this.

Thanks! :)

Week 9, Ex 22

What are Ebooks? JUST KIDDING! Ebooks are growing in popularity among our patrons. Usage has increased in the past year, and it helps that the selection is getting better. Within the audiobooks, there are a lot of the Pimsleur learn a language items in the collection. I think this is great because they are usually checked out or the CDs are in bad shape. And of course, having electronic books saves paper AND shelf space. I also love how our OverDrive account now has music; again, it reflects how much our digital collection is growing.

I haven't fully explored our ebook collection for my own use, but I have referred customers to them. Many of them get frustrated if their Mp3 player isn't compatable, which I can understand. But many of the people I know who use it, really like them.

For my own use, I haven't really found the need for it (yet). I have a hard time reading for long amounts of time on any kind of monitor (computer, laptop, PDA, etc.) so the electronic books are not my thing. And I'm never in a situation where I can sit and listen to an audiobook. I either have a hard time concentrating on the book, or I'm in a situation where I shouldn't be focusing on the book alone (for example, driving to work).

One way that I have used ebooks is with classes I took in library school. One teacher required a textbook that was only available through netlibrary. It was great because we didn't have to pay for an expensive textbook! :)

Week 9, Ex. 21 - Podcasts

I'm familiar with what podcasts are, but I haven't used them very often. Perhaps it's because I was scarred for life during library school when I would have to listen to a 25 minute podcast about cataloging. *shrug*

But I took a look at Podcastalley and Yahoo! Podcasts and I sure have been out of the loop. There are many more podcasts than I thought were out. I did a couple of searches on my own interests and found some interesting podcasts. When I did a search for "wine" I found podcasts from large organizations like the SF Chronicle, and I also found one called "Napa Valley Wine Radio." This podcast had some really cool episodes about chemical balances, sulfites in wine, barrel building, and interviews with various winemakers in Napa valley. I liked it because it wasn't just about what wines we should drink. And I liked it so much, I added it to my bloglines account! :)

I did another search on "weight loss" and again, found a huge range of podcasts. My favorite ones were individual's podcasts that journaled their weight loss... kind of like an audio diary.

Another podcast I found that I may start using soon are the language ones!

Week 9, Ex 20 -YouTube!

Do I sound like a 14 year old when I say, "YouTube is awesome!"?

Oh well.

I'm a big fan of nostalgia, especially when it comes to tv-nostalgia. Before NBC caught on and had YouTube remove all of their Saturday Night Live clips, I would sit at my old job for hours, showing high school kids funny sketches from past episodes. ha.

A couple nights ago, my husband screamed, "REMEMBER THIS?!" and showed me the following video:

Unfortunately, I did not remember seeing this PSA way back when, but it was still making me cry in laughter.

The only issue I have with YouTube is that there is so much junk on there, it can get frustrating to find the real "gems." So I usually use Videosift, a pretty good video aggregator. Then I just get the cream of the crop (i guess).

Week 8, Ex 19 - Library Thing

Library Thing was cool, but not really my cup of tea. I don't really have a desire to share with others what my favorite books are (unless they ask). I also don't care about getting book suggestions. I usually have a pretty huge list that never seems to get shorter even if I read books faster and faster.

I understand why people like this site: it's really user friendly, and it is fun to add book to your "catalog." I guess I just don't see myself using it very often.

Oh yeah: here's my link! Most of the books I chose were pretty popular among other users, but there were a some authors I was surprised didn't get too many hits (Steve Martin and Thomas Friedman).

One of my books, The Devil in the White City, has a review that described the book as, "a mezmerizing read." First of all, it's spelled: mesmerizing. Second of all... the definition of mesmerize is: "attracting and holding interest as if by a spell." Was the book really that amazing? I just thought Larson has a good way of keeping the reader interested in the story. Well, perhaps that reviewer is in awe over serial killers during the world's fair.

Week 8, Ex 18

I've been using Google docs for a while now. It's been a good alternative to working on documents at home or at work... especially when I forget to bring a flash drive with me. My favorite way to use Google docs is my "what to read" booklist document. Usually I find books to read at the library (duh) so it's nice to be able to log in and just add the book to my list. Then I can access the document at home and look through the list in my spare time.

I've never used Zoho Writer until now. I really like all of the different features it has besides making documents and spreadsheets (especially the to-do lists and presentation functions). Overall, I still find it pretty amazing that services like these (especially the web conferencing) are now being offered for free. Less than 10 years ago, it was something I would never think of using because I was just a student or not working for some huge company. But now I can web conference with other librarians, friends, family.. anyone! :)

Probably because I have access to a computer at work and at home, I wouldn't use this site very much. But I can see a student or someone who is just always on the go, but doesn't have a laptop, using Zoho a lot. I've tried to talk to customers about using Google docs, or another web word processing site, but there is still this disbelief that the document will still be there when they log off. There has also been issues that the customers may not have Internet access when they are at home.