Sunday, April 26, 2009

further consideration

Last Thursday, we all went to hear Peter Bromberg. Good food. Good information. And good times! What stood out to me as being most related to this project was his discussion of the increase in the pace of change. He stated that changes in information and information retrieval happen upon the invention of "disruptive technologies". Currently, these "disruptive technologies" are introduced more and more frequently which has caused our pace of change to increase rapidly. (Are we sprinting yet?) As a result, he feels we are in a state of "Permanent Beta" which means that programs, particularly those on the internet, rarely make it past the Beta release stage before a new "disruptive technology" comes along to change the flow. Because of this, Bromberg feels:

"We have to be in a continual state of learning."

Lifelong Learning! Of course! We, as information professionals need to keep current and know and understand these Beta programs. We must remain in a perpetual state of learning.

Because, as Bromberg went on to say, people are living with an over-abundance of information. They are drowning in it. And now our role is changing to that of a filter so that we can help people decipher between the different information. And what better way to help than to introduce tools. And what better tool may there be than the latest Beta?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

taking a step back

Well, I'm at the end of my Learning 2.0 journey. I'd say this is a good time to take a step back and look at what I've learned, discovered and what new skills and tools I've picked up along the way.

1. I can now say that I have been (or possibly become?) a blogger. I found that it's a medium I don't necessarily need to resist. Instead, it's a tool I can use to match my projects. For example, I am using blogger to keep my final term project journal in my search class.

2. I'm not sure if I can live without my RSS reader. This is a tool I had known about but never really explored. Now, I read my feeds religiously - or, to be honest, semi religiously. Sometimes there just isn't enough time in the day. But, how great is it that, when there is, I can just go to one spot and tune in.

3-ish. I'd created a Delicious account before and had never used it. But after going back to it again, I did find a use or two for it. In fact, now that I'm in school again and not always on the same computer, I find that I use it to store urls from research I've done. That being said, as soon as I'm always on the same computer again, odds are I won't return to Delicious again. Sorry Delicious.

So there we are. Two and a half new tools. Not too shabby. But here's the thing. The web grows at an alarming rate. New web applications are popping up constantly. New technology hits the streets every second, or so it seems. That being said, this program, while recently established, already seems dated - or more importantly, not UPdated. Links aren't live or maintained. New applications aren't being explored. So, while the concept is still very pertinant, the packaging is a In the interest of lifelong learning, perhaps the 23 things should be a little less static?

I know that I'm interested to see what my classmates think.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

you say whotube, i say...

Despite my love of Boxee, Hulu and tv/movies on the web, I'm not really an avid YouTube user. Well, there was that one time I got sucked in watching clips of Steve Martin doing stand up. But, really, who wouldn't? He's hilarious! What I really use YouTube for is how-to guides. Like a lot of people, I am a visual learner. Sometimes reading instructions from a book is enough. Other times, it really just helps to watch someone else.

For instance, if I ever lose my way in a knitting project, YouTube is a terrific resource for me. Hmmm, an example. Over spring break I went to visit a friend of mine and she getting started knittng a pair of socks. So, I asked her, how do you work the heel, since this is by far the hardest part in knitting socks. She tried to tell me in the abstract, but I wasn't really getting it. Then I looked at these YouTube videos about:

making the heel:

and then turning it:

And voila! Like magic I got it. Thanks YouTube! Oh, and thanks to the nice British lady, too.

Podcasts are another great web tool that, for whatever reason, I don't really use as much as one would think. In fact, I don't really listen to them at all. I often daydream about downloading a lot of episodes of This American Life and listening to them on the train or while I'm putzing around the house or something, but somehow I always go for the tv remote first. (Video really did kill the radio star for me I guess.) I got really excited about the This American Life tv series but really, it was built for radio and is much better in audio-only format. So really, I have no excuse. I just need to get down to it and download the podcasts! To get started, here's this week's episode which is still free.

At any rate, I really like YouTube and podcasts as a way to help maintain my lifestyle as a lifelong learner. As for audiobooks...well, I'd rather read. They do come in awfully handy on a long drive. Then I'll gladly download a couple from my local library, upload them to my mp3 player and hit the road.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

google docs rocks (and other things i love)

I am a big fan of the Google family of online productivity tools. I've used most of them. I've used Google calendar to schedule groups for meetings and deliverable due dates which was lovely in that I could send out reminders via email or text. I've used Google documents to share and seamlessly co-author papers (just like we did for our class assignment). I've also used Google spreadsheets not just for their intended Excel-like qualities, but also to keep track of copy items needed for a website I wrote for. It was really wonderful. With one person in California, another in Ohio and me in New York, we were all able to work together. Nothing fell through the cracks and we all knew what the latest and greatest version was. So I say: Say no to a million attachments and paper shuffling. Say yes to the Google (or really whatever other brand works for you) family of online productivity tools.

So, I was checking out the Web 2.0 Awards list and stumbled upon my old friend craigslist. I'm not really sure why, but for whatever reason, I never mentally lumped it in with all of the other 2.0 applications. But there it was, in its rightful place of #1 Classified/Directory. I was beginning to plan my move to the Bay Area when craigslist first came on the scene. It was only available in the SF Bay Area and it had a limited number of listing categories. I looked for apartments there; I looked for jobs there; I found my awesome formica table set there. And then it began to grow, expanding to most major and semi-major cities in the U.S. as well as other countries. And it did all of this rather quietly. Word just spread organically and now it has become a well known go-to resource. It filled a need and grew, Grew, GREW but without losing its focus: free, easy access to classifieds online. (Well, everything isn't free to the poster anymore, but the prices aren't exhorbitant either.) It became a quiet giant with a simple design and concept, but great stretch and ability. It really just integrated itself into my web library without my thinking about it as opposed to the other 2.0 apps with cutesy logos and grand aspirations. This may be why I was surprised to find it posted in the award list. But, if we were all to vote for the grand web 2.0 application to beat them all, my vote would go to craigslist, hands down.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

why wiki

In the early days of 2.0, I was working for an internet start-up company. We used a wiki for company communications. It stored a wide range of information from collaborative ideas to contact information to company policies. I loved it because, as the office manager, I was able to store a fair amount of information for new employees all in one place. And, since the company grew from about 10 employees to about 50 within a matter of months, that was really key. It really received a mixed review from the employees though. For one, a lot of people don't like having another password and another thing to check so they wouldn't log on. Another concern was security. Even though the wiki was password protected, they were worried that too many company ideas and too much information would leak out. So, for company information sharing, the wiki fell out of favor rather quickly.

Personally though I do really like the community sharing aspect of wikis. Conference wikis are a great idea. I'm sure it is a huge comfort to have this resource. Not to mention the pleasure of being able to add to it and help others.

I actually do have a favorite wiki -- concept anyways. I can't say as I've ever used it. It is a open wiki dedicated to solving The Secret. Essentially, The Secret is a fantasy/treasure hunt book. And it does lead to actual treasure. The book provides clues in its text and images to aid readers in finding boxes which they can exchange for gemstones. Some have been found. I think the diamond's already been snatched up. But others are still out there waiting to be found. Essentially, people who are actually on the hunt log their notes and progress in this wiki and the community helps with the search. Check it out! Pretty cool, huh. Well, maybe cool's not the right word, but I love it!

Thursday, March 5, 2009


I had used delicious in the past, but found that I didn't really have a need for it. I honestly found it easier to store my links on my browser. I've really only used one computer at a time so it's all I've needed. That's not to say that I don't think there is a need for delicious. I can see how it could be a very useful tool for reference librarians to share common links. Or even for reference librarians nation (or even world) wide to share common links of vetted information.

Which leads to Librarian 2.0. Of the 5 topics, I was most drawn in by John Riemer's "To better bibliographic services." I think we'd all agree that librarianship is a collaborative effort. Together we can provide more information, keep each other up to date and in the loop. Point and case being standardized cataloging practices. Without them, where would be stand? Libraries would be difficult to navigate simply because they'd all be vastly different. WorldCat would have been nearly impossible to set up. But with them, libraries co-exist harmoniously and have been able to find a way to share information (fairly) seamlessly. So then, why is meta data a crap shoot? Why not increase the relevancy of search results by streamlining our terms? Helping to internet searchability really seems to be the next logical step to incorporate the 2.0 in Library 2.0.

Monday, February 23, 2009

tom foolery

Last I checked, playing around is haphazard, so off we go!

According to the fluffy kitty name directory,

My Kitten is Gregory Merryweather.
Take The fluffy kitten name generator today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Name Generator Generator.

I could have sworn I'd asked for a girl kitty, but maybe the generator classifies Gregory as a unisex name like Leslie or Lee or Ashley.

I rocked out with the Jackson 5 on the Alphabet Soup Word Generator.

There are definitely a lot of fun generators to play with but alas, it is time to move on.


OK, so, about 4 years ago, my brother-in-law and his brother pulled me into the computer room and were super excited. They said "Jenny, check this out! You're going to love it!" Pretty much, it was the beginning stages of a library cataloging application wherein you used a camera to scan in the bar code on all of your media and it would keep it all in one place. There were even tools that helped you check movies or books or cd's or whatever out to friends. This wonderous application was Delicious Library.
Then about a year ago, my boyfriend got that same excited look in his eye. Turns out Delicous Library had revamped and released Delicous Library 2. The interface is much richer and it really is fun looking now. I, um, just never scanned everything in.
This all being said, I checked out LibraryThing and liked a lot about it. I really like that it's built for networking and book clubs. I can see being excited about it. But, I still think that I'd prefer to use a system that is built to record all of my media. I'm not just a book geek after all.


I don't really know what to say here. Remember last week when I said that I'm a google girl. Well, I pretty much just search on google...
I think I may need to find some more search engines to rollyo on in before we can really bond.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

down with rss

So, being a google girl living in a google world, I chose to use google reader for my rss feeds. Really, the only reason I have is that I think I'll be much more likely to read them if I don't need to sign into another program just to access them. It's all about convenience. And boy has it been convenient. This week I set up quite a few rss feeds. I chose to go for a wide variety of topics. Some are library related, some are current event/entertainment related (I still need to be able to talk to my non-library friends), and, as this is a tech class after all, some are technology related.

Now, I say that I set them up, but what good is an rss feed reader if you don't actually READ what comes in? Well, I'm proud to say that, as of this week at least, I have actually been keeping up with them. I think it all feeds into that convenience thing again. It's there, everything comes in, I check my email, and I check my rss feeds. Sweet! Right? Here's hoping it doesn't go the way of my stack of unread Entertainment Weekly's. Boy was I great about reading those at first. But, I remain optimistic. Because, from the tech site (Gizmodo) alone, I have gained some real nuggets of information. I mean, how cool is it that I was able to beat my techie boyfriend to the punch and tell him about the new robot theme park being built in Korea: Robot Land! And, check this out - you can get internet security built into your router.

How cool and tech-knowing am I?

Speaking of...This Pecha Kucha thing. I'll be honest, I've sat through some intensely long Power Point (and OmniGaffle) presentation. They seemed to last days, but to be fair, it was really only hours. So I appreciate the brevity Pecha Kucha affords. And still, I think there is a major flaw in this plan. When can people ask questions? How do you learn more from the presenter? Isn't that a big part of any presentation? Not to be a hater - but I just thought I'd throw that out there. What does everyone else think?

Monday, February 9, 2009

boxee is my hero!

I feel like almost every cool 2.0 web application I've learned about has been introduced to me by my brother-in-law, Jonas. You could say he has his finger on the pulse. So, when flickr first started up, he was there. Being trigger happy with the camera, there were almost constant update emails about new photos he had uploaded. And it was sweet. Suddenly from, no matter what distance I was, and am still able to, keep up to date on what my sister and her family were up to. And, to break it down to its simplest form, it really is great to be able to keep that closely in touch and be able to see each other even though we may not be able to travel the distance to visit face to face. To be honest, I think that's part what I appreciate most about the 2.0 advancements.

Of course, to keep up my end of things, I keep a photo stream as well. Only, I use picasa. While I typically don't keep my photos open to the public, I have opened one of my links for all to see. Just click
Mermaid Parade
and view my outing to the Mermaid Parade at Coney Island last year before its great demise. There is some serious eye candy.

Anyways, as my title suggests, neither Flickr nor picasa are the hero of this story. Allow me to introduce you to my newest online buddypal: Boxee. Check out the awesome video about all that Boxee can do. And don't be fooled by the super cute logo. Boxee is some serious business. With a little fiddling, Boxee has been able to pull all of my online and local media into one location. Now I don't have to open 15 websites to catch up on my TV shows. Now I don't have to search my entire computer to find where I saved that song I want to listen to. Now I have Boxee. Boxee is my ever faithful computer puppy. I love you Boxee.

p.s. Thank you, Peter, for introducing me to my newest hero. :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

getting started

I must admit that I am reticent to begin. I have been resisting the advances of blogosphere for quite a while. I do remember a time when blogs (nee online journals) were something technophobes couldn't even approach. It was a day before 2.0. when you actually HAD to know code to post anything online. Before fancy forms made it easier, the every man's virtual microphone. my sister kept one. My friend kept one. And some random guy in town "The Gus" kept one. Of the three, the only one I felt comfortable reading was the Gus'. Why? Because they more closely resembled their parent the journal. They were semi-personal diaries boldly posted to the public. They were more rooted in local phenomena than global. They didn't make you famous - or maybe infamous? I mean, who would Perez Hilton be without his blog, right?

And now the time has come. I am casting off my doubts and leaving behind my nay-sayer self. The time has come to blog!

What has turned me around? Learning 2.0 and the the Lifelong Learning program. How? Well, it stands for all I believe in: never stop learning. Let me explain. In the past two months I learned new knit patters because why would I stick with just the old ones when there's so much more out there? I have learned to bake bread. My loaves turned out flat and weird at first but now they are consistently correct. And the biggest of all, I have gone back to school to learn about Library and Information Science. To ultimately have a career that holds Lifelong Learning at its core. So, why not blog and participate in the Learning 2.0 project? There's so much out there to discover and learn.

Here I go - and hold on tight because I'm hitting the web running!