Friday, October 26, 2007

Week 9 - Thing 23 - At Long Last!!!

I began this journey with much trepidation - i.e. - I honestly didn't think I could do it! you can see, I DID! There were, of course, many bumps in the road, and there are still things I am very "iffy" about, and honestly, some things which are still as clear as mud, but Jaye's SI post when I was about a third of the way through really helped. I began by thinking that upon completing 23 Things, I would be expected to be an "expert" in the things we explored, and was constantly in a state of nervousness because I didn't feel I would be anywhere near knowledgeable enough by the time I finished, but Jaye's saying that this was mostly about the "journey", and about exploring new frontiers (or at least they were new to a lot of us, anyway) helped me to settle down and start enjoying the ride! My favorite thing was making my "meez" during Play Week - it still makes me giggle, as well as feel very proud of myself for figuring out how to do it (including how to post it to my blog!) every time I look at it! The thing which will be most useful to me personally is Flickr - I can't wait to transfer my Paris and Canada trip pictures to it so I can share them with my friends and family! Workwise, I think I will use LibraryThing the most - it will be a great Reader's Advisory tool, both in Children's and Adult. I was very excited about Zoho Writer, which I will most likely be using in both my personal and work life.

A few things which would have made 23 Things easier:

...understanding ahead of time that nobody expected me to be an expert at the end of this program.

...having a better computer-knowledge base before I started - I have come a long way since I started working at HCL, but still have a long way to go! I will keep plugging away at it, though!

...knowing about and being able to use Library 2.0 in 15 Minutes a Day at the beginning of the program, rather than near the middle.

...being able to work in pairs or as a team on the exercises - I often had to seek out help either from co-workers or my son - it would have been a lot less frustrating and time-consuming if I had had a partner to work with on the program on an ongoing basis.

The only thing I have left to do is to complete my tracking log and send it to Jaye. Actually, the format of the Tracking Log is very puzzling to me - since this program is all about technology, would there not be some way to keep track of our progress online? It just seems really archaic to me to be copying URLs onto a sheet of paper when the whole focus of 23 Things is on what can be accomplished using the Internet!

At any rate, I can't say that I enjoyed every minute of 23 Things, but it certainly had its fun moments, and I do have to say that I am glad I did it, although, in all honesty, at this very moment I am happy to be typing this very LAST sentence to be added to my blog for a while!



Week 7 - Thing 17 - Wikis

Well, I am coming back to this Thing because I started working on it right after the "Sandbox Incident", before it became known that the site was not working properly, and became horribly frustrated trying to get it to work, as at the time I did not know it would NOT! I have not posted to the SI Sandbox Wiki, and so now am moving on!

Week 9 - Thing 22 - Overdrive/NetLibrary

Actually, I began looking at Overdrive (set up an account, etc.) at home when I was attempting to download some "tunes" and a book to my NEW MP3 player!!! before I left for my trip to Canada. My son and I managed to add five songs - it took the two of us quite a while to figure out how to do it using "emusic" because he was used to Itunes - but didn't have time to actually attempt to download the book from the library website. is still checked out to me!, and now that I am back from vacation and he has finished his HUGE outside reading project for his English class, we will have time to download the needed software to his computer (our family's newest), and try again!

I also looked at Project Gutenberg, which seems to have expanded greatly since I explored it several years ago during LATI. I did not actually download a book, though, as I did not have my MP3 player with me. I would have liked to have been able to seach specifically for children's books on this site, but could not figure out how to do so.

Week 9 - Thing 21 - Podcasts

The number of podcasts out there is astounding! I looked at all three suggested sites, and found that they varied greatly in ease of use - i.e. - how intuitive figuring them out/navigating them was! I listened to a book review podcast - very well-done and professional, although a bit too dull for my taste, a children's story - fun! - I could see how you could use something like this in conjunction with an EASY for which we have no audio, and, for fun, Hound TV - this one was terrible as far as reception went - very choppy and difficult to understand and follow. I did add Hound TV to my Bloglines account, though, simply because the path to creating a feed was very clearly marked on, whereas that was not the case at other sites. I could see pointing customers to certain podcasts, such as the children's storytelling/reading ones, to enrich their reading experience, but to really use this as a tool with customers, I would have to spend much more time exploring the sites before I would be comfortable recommending them.

As an aside, I found that some of the sites took considerably longer than others (or maybe it was the particular podcast I was trying to access) to make the podcast available to me - so much so that, in several cases, I lost patience and gave up without watching/listening to it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Just an aside...

For anyone who might be interested, I actually DID learn to use my digital camera on my trip to Canada, as referenced in an earlier post! It was a lot of fun - I took many pictures that I probably would not have taken with my regular camera, as I was not worried about running out of film, as I did in Paris! I haven't transferred them to my computer yet, so I am really looking forward to seeing them - I did not review them during the trip as I was trying to save my batteries!

I also intend to try to post them to Flickr at some point, but that may be WAY down the line - we will just have to see!

Week 9 - Thing 20 - YouTube

YouTube is an interesting concept. I looked at old TV commercials - Kool-aid, to be exact, which was fun. Library Dominoes was disappointing - I don't know what I expected, but that wasn't it! I also looked at the Categories section, and chose "How to Teach Your Dog to Shake Hands". It appeared to actually be some sort of commercial for doggie treats, but it did show you how to teach the trick, so even though what you may find on YouTube may or may not be accurate - much can be done with PhotoShop, etc. - it could be useful for some things.

All in all, though, I found it to be another one of those places where you could waste a LOT of time, which most people really don't need, as they have too much to do as it is!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Week 8 - Thing 19 Web 2.0 Awards

I chose to look at the Travel category, since I am leaving for Victoria, BC tomorrow! I was already familiar with Kayak, thanks to my Mom, and Farecaster sounded like mostly travel pricing and booking information, so I decided to try Real Travel. On the site, I searched for Victoria, and found what you would expect - hotel, restaurant, and attraction information. Thanks to 23 Things, I noticed a Blogs category, which I did look at --- this was significant because before we started this "journey", I would have dismissed them as something which had nothing to do with me! There were so many pages of them that I decided to try a link to, where I was able to request that a BC-escapes E-guide be sent to my email - nice, since I left it a bit too late to be able to receive a hard copy by mail! I also checked out some more blogs on that site, although there were so many that I barely scratched the surface. I tried searching for something specific within the Blogs on that site, but was not successful - maybe I was doing it wrong, or maybe it just wasn't there - who knows! Anyway, I am off to Victoria tomorrow morning (EARLY!) - hooray!

Oh, yes - I could possibly see using this site in the library as a place to point customers who wanted up-to-date information about a travel destination - particularly if it was near the end of the year and we did not have the newest editions of the travel guides yet.