Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Thing 23. The End of the Beginning

Wow. It has been so cool ( if confusing at times) learning about all of the technology out there. And I know that what I experienced was A. just a drop in the bucket, and b. will soon be obsolete as they have already invented nano bots who will take my job :) ( hyperbole!!! I hope...)

But it has been a great and awesome journey. I can't wrap my head around anything too groundbreaking so I will answer the questions so kindly provided on the list of things.

What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?

It's so hard to pick one. But I think it would have to be thing 15. The ideas about the future and the YouTube video about the present completely blew my mind. We are living in the future. The future is now. that's a terrifying and liberating thought.

How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?

It really opened my eyes to what was out there. And not just that but that I was capable of learning it! I've never been a hugely technologically adept person. I have to call my friend in order to set up my DVD player. I discovered that I COULD do it, and that it was fun to boot!

Were there any take-aways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?

Hmmm. I guess the previous point I made. Just how much fun it was. Also, that things that seem hard and scary ( words like RSS, feed, pod cast, blogs) aren't so difficult when you learn how they work. Hopefully that will stick with me.

What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?

I think the entire set up is awesome, but like everything there can be improvement. While there is a lot of instructional information included with every weeks tasks I think some way of communicating between the participants would be really great. people could share their progress, help out people who need it, and just network. Possibly a message board and/or chat room?

And last but not

If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you again chose to participate?

Absolutely! The entire thing was just fantastic. If I've learned anything it's how much there is I have to learn. I'd love to take another trip . :)

How would you describe your learning experience in a few words or a few sentences, so we can share our successes and promote this program?

I learned that technology can be fun! And that things aren't as hard to learn as they appear at the beginning.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

We are way out of order now! Thing #12

Hello! This is your friendly neighborhood procrastinator! I have gotten an account with Rollyo .

I have also made my own search engine! Voila! Nepalman's Videogame search engine! I am no t truly a video game Friend but I do have certain games I am truly obsessed with. Using this search engine I can search my favorite sites for information on my obsession. I must admit that Rollyo had me somewhat intimidated which is why, I left it to this late date. But really I should not have been intimidated. Getting an account was easy and so was "rolling up" a search engine.

The problem is I don't like it. :(

I am a terrible speller. Google has saved me, time and time, again with it's handy spellchecking feature. Rollyo does not have that. I can see the uses that Rollyo could have. For one thing, it also has social networking features of a sort. You can look at other peoples search engines (if they are public.) I just don't think it's my cup of tea. But I 'm glad I did it!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

week 9, thing 22. Audiobooks

Here we are... At the penultimate thing. I'm trembling. We've come so far, so soon. ... "we've always just begun"...

Ahem. My apologies.

I went ahead and signed up for both NetLibrary and Overdrive and I looked around at what they had available. I don't have a device to download an audiobook into so I would be listening to it from my computer but its still a cool service. I took a look at "The Golden Compass" by Phillip Pullman. the cool thing is Phillip Pullman narrates it! I really like that book, I recommend it.

Week 9. thing 21. Podcast A-go-go!

Wow. It is amazing to me that we are all nearing the end of the 23 things. it has been an awesome journey. I know how to embed YouTube videos now! I never had that knowledge before. Well, this week my assignment was to check out a few podcast finding tools and subscribe to a podcast.

I chose to check out, and While they were both useful, I preferred It just seemed easier to navigate and more user friendly. I signed up for a few podcasts that looked interesting. I Play Dungeons & Dragons ( among other games) so I subscribed to "The Tome" which seems like a cool podcast about role playing.

I don't have a microphone, so I couldn't do the optional make your own podcast assignment, but I think podcasts are quite spiffy. I think I might actually listen to them on a regular basis now. And the great thing is, now I know how to do it I can help a patron who has questions about finding podcasts.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Week 9, thing 20. You tube. I tube. We all tube...

As part of this Thing's discovery exercises I've been exploring YouTube. It isn't my first time I must say. I mostly look for music videos ( the originals and fan ones). I was rocking out to "Major Tom" just the other day. Oh, and "glory of Love". But there is also things of a more educational nature too!

This is a cool video I found about Banned Book Week at a particular school. I've always wanted to celebrate Banned Book Week and I think my system should! Also, we should have cool buttons like that...

I like the Way YouTube is organised. You can either search for something specific or browse by categories. If there is a particular source of videos you think are interesting you can subscribe to them. Videos have "tags" like I discovered before. I love tags. :) And you can rate videos. The site displays recent favorites on the front page. I will say... That caution is indicated for YouTube. There is a reason many videos have not Not Safe For Work on them...

I think that library catalogs should also have different ways to search for materials. We should have the traditional search functions, but we could also have categories. If people could rate books on our catalog we could have a page of favorites! Our system is going to get AquaBrowser soon which should be interesting. it features a "word cloud" kind of a model which can be very useful to provoke new trains of thought. Here is the Baltimore County Public Library catalog. Is not that cool?! And if you prefer the old view, it still has that. I think it's going to be awesome having that in my system.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Week 8, thing 19. Yelp!!!

Hello! This time my assignment ( which I chose to accept) was to pick one of the Web 2.0 Awards nominees and explore it. Then I am to write a post and describe this site.

I chose Yelp . Yelp is an online community city guide that lets people review businesses such as restaurants, bookstores, dance clubs and pretty much everything else. It contains As soon as I clicked on it it knew where I was, which was both convenient and a little scary. ( remember a few weeks ago , where my mind was blown? There is no such thing as privacy anymore!) Fortunately, it's a review site, so instead of hunter killer droids being sent to my location it just assumed I was interested in the closest big city. There are plenty of locations! I think Maryland has about 7 locations listed.

The premise of yelp is that everyone trusts their friends ( and sometimes random strangers) opinions over advertising. So yelp lets real people give reviews. Now I am not so naive that I do not think that some "shills" aren't out there trying to steer people their way but Yelp apparently makes an effort to keep that kind of thing to a minimum. They even have a guide to business owners to tell them the DOs and DON'Ts of using the site such as don't review your own business anonymously but do review your own place openly, be sure to thank people who review even negative ones, things like that. Apparently Yelp users have been known to punish stores that use "viral advertising" by circling the horses so to speak so this seems like good advice.

There is a strong social networking element to the site. You can message members, talk on a forum, and have friends, as well as invite people to join and be your friend.

I've been checking the site out for about 30 minutes but they took it down for maintenance. :(

I liked it! I found it pleasant to look at, easy to use, and the whole concept appeals to me. I can see a lot of use to this in a library at least as a place on our recommended sites list. I've noticed people often ask my personal opinion a lot. Not because they think I'm especially knowledgeable perhaps, but just because I am a real live human being. Taking the whole notion with a small grain of salt, I thought that Yelp was extremely appealing.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Week 8, thing 18. Witness my Zoho Mojo!

I am now writing using Zoho Writer. It feels just like Word. In fact, it looks like it has more option readily available . ( Oddly enough, the spell check did not recognize Zoho as a word. And I'm IN Zoho!)

I can see why this is nifty . You can access ( and save!) information, on the web, without ever putting it on a disk, or hardrive. I'm sure there is a downside somewhere but it looks pretty nifty to me! cool

I then exported this to my blog from Mojo. That was nifty. If I didn't have a disk to save something I could write it up in Zoho writer and then save it there! That's really cool. I wonder how much space you get?