Saturday, October 31, 2009

That's wiki-tastic

I've got to say I'm a huge fan of the wiki. Aside from Wikipedia, the first time I was really introduced to using them was last fall with Google Docs. I thought it was incredible that I could work on what looked like a Word document and others could at the same time, as well. I think they are such a helpful tool for students -- especially when it comes to group work. As for the library world, the library I work at uses them for trouble-shooting computer issues and FAQs at the reference desk. And I really think they're taking off when it comes to teen book reviews. Sooo helpful and fun.

I was not so convinced about the effectiveness of the PBwiki. Maybe it was because I found the layout to be pretty boring, or maybe it's just because there are so many specialized web sites out there that cater to people's individualized taste, but I don't think I would use this site very often. I was just browsing through some of the various favorite sites, and the interests are just all across the board, but maybe it could be more useful when helping out people with very different tastes. I suppose in that way, it could work similarly to the tools offered through Amazon, but I'm pretty sure I would just go with Amazon. I may play around with it a little more to see if I can find some of the site's greater strengths. The idea is good, but I'm just not sure if I would turn to this site for anything.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Working with Rollyo, delicious, and tagging

I decided to create a search tool using some of my favorite news sites. Not being very creative, I even called it "Favorite News Sites." Awesome, I know. But I think this will be a pretty useful tool. Especially after I finally land a job. That way, I can plug in what will be local news sites, as well. A lot of the sites I chose will have very similar stories, but I think I'm more interested in the difference in the coverage. I've included many national sites, along with a Canadian and a British site.

Delicious (please don't mind the deleted punctuation) is one of those sites that looks like a portal to the rest of the world and it's endless possibilities. You may go to the site with one thing in mind but then get completely side-tracked and forget what you had originally intended to do. I am easily distracted, so this looks like trouble. On the other hand, I think that by creating an account, users could greatly benefit by their own methods of organization. I would personally also want to keep some kind of print record for later use, but it looks very helpful. I've already looked at about 30 Web sites that I didn't really need to. But it reminds me that I really want to figure out Zotero because I've heard nothing but amazing things. The fact that users can use this tool from any computer makes it a very valuable source.

On Technorati: I am probably less likely to use Technorati on a daily basis than I am for most of the other sites. I do feel that it has its merits. For example, if I want a first-hand account of a travel experience, or if I want to search for a blogger with similar music tastes, Technorati has a great directory. But as for where things stand for me right now, I can't really imagine using it too much -- unless there comes a time when I'm trying to get my name out there (in which case I would have my blog listed officially). These few tools have continued to open my eyes to the opportunities made available through Web 2.0.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Image generators

I've never really messed around with image generators, but this was a lot of fun. There is so much potential to do fun/crazy things with your photos. I decided to "Mad Men" myself by going to this site. I absolutely love the show, so I had a blast putting this together. I now want to go back and create my relatives. Sad, I know. But here is the image I came up with.

I am the one with the newspaper and coffee. Joan and I are wearing the same dress just in a different color, so I bet she'll ignore me today. Man, I love that show.

Also, I just created a LibraryThing account. I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to keep all of these usernames and passwords straight. (Have I said this before?) But it's pretty amazing what you can do with the site. LibraryThing is so well linked to information that is sought by aspiring librarians like me. I also love that when you start building your library, the LC classification is right there.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Real Simple Syndication

I've managed to compile a list of my favorite news services (BBC, CNN, and NYTimes), local weather, and some library blogs to check out on my Bloglines account. I can see how this is going to be a useful tool, and I'm actually looking forward to helping my parents out with this stuff.

But I'm also worried about getting lost in the land of forgotten usernames and passwords. I have so many now. I know they have managers for this sort of thing, but it makes things like just remembering your ZIP code or phone number so much more confusing. All that information seems to be lost in my head at times. It used to be that we memorized phone numbers, but now that we don't have to do that, we have to remember to stay on top of so many more accounts. And now that it's all online, it can be so much easier to forget. I love you, bookmarks.

But ANYWAY, I've decided to try out a few different library blogs, including the Annoyed Librarian, an ALA update on articles for new librarians, and a blog called In the Library with the Lead Pipe, which focuses on the importance of collaboration in libraries. This should be cool. Now if I can only remember which e-mail address I chose...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Trying to stay on top of new technologies

This summer, I went from feeling like my technological gadgets were completely outdated, to owning some that I still don't even know how to use. In one month, I got a new phone, a new computer, and as a perk for buying that new computer, I also got an iPod Touch. My phone is supposed to double as a Walk-Man, but I still don't have the piece that is supposed to act as an antenna. And I also have to watch it so that I don't accidentally go online because of the huge fees that would accrue. I'm a new Mac owner, so I'm starting to understand why so many of their users are such devoted followers, even though they are expensive. And I'm loving the programs that seem to do things like magic -- such as iPhoto and iMovie. But I'm going to be honest and say that the Touch, the gadget I was probably most excited about, has gathered dust because of lack of use -- and that's mainly because I've struggled to even get it to connect to the Internet -- even on campus. So why am I letting this one hang-up get in the way of my enjoying hours of fun from a complex handheld device? To be honest, I don't know. I know it can't be that tough, and I've overcome much more difficult technological issues than this. But I also know that I've got a lot of technologies I can't seem to live without: my phone, my iPod shuffle, and my computer. I'm just going to enjoy this short amount of time before I really become aware of this tiny gadget's capabilities -- and can't imagine my day without it.