Thursday, March 27, 2008

The end of the road........

So, I have completed Discover 2.0-at least the first time around. I've learned a tremendous amount about how to use many technologies that I had read about but never tried. Some I will never try again-like Meebo, which I still cannot make work and which seems like a total waste of time (to me anyway). But many I will use and re-use and I will also now go back and re-explore some of the ones that I tried and couldn't make sense of earlier-like mashups, for example. I also have an appreciation of the uses of blogging which I did not have when I started the program. In the midst of this experience, I attended the Online Northwest Conference, which affirmed the value of the Discover 2.0 program and also gave me new perspectives on several of the new tools I have begun to use.

FAVORITE #1: Use of social networks-I signed up for Eons first, since I wasn't really sure about My Space or Face Book and I know my daughter can set me up on those if I want to do them. Plus I looked at MS and FB and they both looked overwhelming. I stayed on Eons for about a week--it was pretty blah and not engaging for me. But then, as part of joining another librarian's blog for the Jane Austen Knit Along- I was introduced to Ravelry-an online knitting and crochet community. It's still in Beta testing so not yet open to the public-you need an invitation to join. But this is my online community, and I have been able to apply and extend most of the skills learned in Discover 2.0 by being part of this community. In addition, being part of the community has shown me how other people use these tools and given me someone to contact when I have questions about doing something. I think I would have found the learning process much more boring and tedious without Ravelry. Other people may have the same feelings about MS or FB, but if so they were probably already using them. Plus, I have an international community that shares my passions for knitting, crochet, crafts, reading and anything else you can think of. I already have friends and pen pals in several countries and states and we exchange ideas and packages. It's fun.

FAVORITE #2: RSS Feeds- I had attended training on these but never actually used the technique myself. Now I have my favorite feeds on Bloglines, and I've also tagged lots of blogs on in case I want to go back later and add them. I have some staff blogs on my RSS feed as well as other knitter's blogs. Plus the word of the day and the Jane Austen fan site from Bath, England.

FAVORITE #3: LIBRARYTHING: I had been thinking about trying to track my reading (confirming that I do indeed read more than 100 books a year), but wasn't sure how to do it. I know some people keep notebooks, and others have elaborate spreadsheets. I first tried to just list them down the side of my blog-but it was time consuming and not very functional. Then I tried Good Reads, and did not like it at all- it's very cumbersome to add books. And then I tried LibraryThing-I love it--especially since I can scan in the ISBNs to add books. It's fun and easy-and I'll learn the functionality as I go.

OTHER FAVORITES: I like wikis and, but I was already using both of those before I started Discover 2.0. Now, though, I can compare the functionality of wikis and blogs. I am also exploring the use of Google docs (just started that one).

LESSON #1: As we already know from adult learning principles, adults learn best when their interest is engaged. So, while I didn't see much value to Flickr at the beginning, and I certainly didn't understand mashups--once I realized that I needed to use Flickr to publish pictures of my work on Ravelry, I learned how to use it. AND, there was always someone available to answer questions when I couldn't figure out how to do it. I have still not explored all the capabilities of Flickr, but I have many examples of how others use it and they are there to help me when I want to learn more.

LESSON #2: Having practical examples that apply to my interests and life helps me understand how the tools can work for me. Once I figure out how something can help me, I am willing to take the time to learn how to do it. Just another take on lesson #1, really.

LESSON #3: I like to just plunge into something-without reading all the background and lessons. Then , when I am using it and see a value to me-I might go back and re-read the instructions. Usually, I am more likely to ask someone else who seems to be using the tool in a way I want to emulate.

IMPACT ON MY LIFELONG LEARNING: Tremendous and positive. The program gives enough info to get started, but still requires a lot of effort (and time spent messing around) on the learner's part. I expect to go back over the lessons several times as I get more proficient, to pick up other skills that I missed the first time. I have also been able to work with other staff who did not believe that they could do this program, and several of them will finish it. So I got to be mentor/trainer, which is a role I enjoy. (And how else could I get loyal followers on Twitter??) Having the technical assistance from friends on the Ravelry site was invaluable.

UNEXPECTED OUTCOME #1: The first is that I am blogging and that I have actually found some blogs that I enjoy reading on a regular basis: my friends' Joy's blog from India (she works with a lot of Tibetan refugees so it's not always an easy read) and Melanie's blog from New York. While I still find a lot of blogs to be an utter waste of time (for me), I can understand how they fill a need for other people.

UNEXPECTED OUTCOME #2: Finding in Ravelry an online community that is productive and engaging for me, and that I am willing (and eager) to spend time on.

CHANGING THE STRUCTURE OF DISCOVER 2.0: The main issue that has come up, especially in working through the Discover 2.0 lessons with other staff, is that the proposed time allotment is not long enough for the majority of staff. In order to understand and apply the tools, people need to be able to play around with them. I also believe that people need to be willing and able to do some of that playing on their own time. I would also like to see some structured follow-up--some libraries were able to post comments on all staff blogs once or twice, whihc I think would be really encouraging. I'd also like to see 1-2 sessions where people can ask questions and get more technical help if they need it. The other thing I hope is that the lessons remain available--not only for new staff but also for staff like me who want to go back and review them.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I used the map maship to link to twitterers in Vancouver. Haven't found anyone I recognize yet! Including myself, since I clearly didn't put in enough info to find myself on the map:

I set up my account and I tried it for a day and a half- borring! I can't imagine anyone wanting to do it or to read it. I did talk one person into following me but I am pretty sure she is not reading my snippets! This might work if we were doing an into knitting class and had people twitter their ideas, problems, and questions between the classes. I've also read that it's a good tool to use to share learning when several people are at a conference. But since it's not interactive, I don't get the appeal.

A potential use for libraries from one of the articles: Another bright side is the incredible attention the library is receiving by developing the twitter feed. Really, it's not much different from many news organizations dumping their news stories into twitter. I think the discussion on how useless it was led to the attention since I found a simple practical use.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


You Tube- I have seen some good things on this media, but without a direct link to lead me to somethng of interest, I find it mostly a waste of time for me. Except for looking at my wonderful one minute book reviews on one minute critic:

BlipTV is even worse as far as I can tell.

MetaCafe has ads on the clips-easier to just watch TV

In fact, it's just easier to watch TV period-since any really cool or popular You Tube or other video clips will be on TV anyway!

I personally like Jib Jab-you can put your face on dancing bodies or in a movie.


I am most interested in podcasts of college lectures- there are a whole bunch of universities that are now offering podcasts of many of their courses

MIT has 1800 open courses available for free downlaod to the public
Many of them have audio and video available for download or to listen to on your computer. 100 free foreign language courses are included in the university's program. Offerings range from undergraduate to graduate level and include everything from Japanese and Chinese to German and Spanish. This is so great; libraries should publicize this info even if we aren't actually producing the podcasts ourselves. Part of lifelong learning is the sharing of resources-we don't need to create them all ourselves--especially when we may have neither the equipment or the training to do a decent job on them


I already have Pandora account for Bob Marley music--it's okay but I don't get to choose my songs-they come up with a mix of songs that is "like" Bob Marley--and some are NOT really like Bob Marley at all. Then I have to tell them never to play that song again. And hope that the mix includes songs I like. (This one is free but you have to log in).

So I decided to try to see the differences. I like it much better-not only can I choose the songs I want to listen to, I also get to watch videos. I even recognize many of the scenes from Kingston and the Jamaican countryside, which is great. It's also amazing to see shots of a very young Bob Marley singing- even if the tape quality is not very good. Then there are some vidoes by wannabees that are horrible! After Bob Marley I moved on to Jimmy Cliff! (You can create an accoutn but you don't have to to hear full tracks). THE WINNER BY FAR

IMEEM- won't let me hear more than 2 bars unless I am logged in- I don't like the way it's set up.


I have written something in Google documents and tried to publish it to my blog; without any success so far. I think I have published it at least twice and it hasn't shown up yet--so either there is some problem or I'll have 2 new posts tomorrow. I am also doing a shared document for the shower which I published and sent the link to my team--that worked fine.


I've been tagged by,(Melanie) who read about it on the blog of The Little Professor. (NPR has a slideshow of some good ones, and a book of these mini-memoirs, Not Quite What I Was Planning, has been published.) Here are the directions:
  • 1. Write your own six word memoir.
  • 2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like.
  • 3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to this original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere.
  • 4. Tag five more blogs with links.
Here's mine:

Read, write, knit. Smell the flowers.

Now I am off to find OTHER people to tag.
I am tagging: Gillian (; Jackie (; Sarah (; Michele ( ; Sue (

Monday, March 24, 2008

I love delicious!

It's so much easier and so much more enviornmentally friendly to tag resources for a subject area (like knitting patterns or polishing up excel techniques) than it is to either print out the info or write it down somewhere where it gets lost immediately! This way I can review sites that I link and even re-tag the best ones so I can find them quickly when I need them. Plus there is always the fun of uncovering even better resources by seeing what's in the delicious accounts of other people who tagged the same things as me. Check out my account:

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Cool tools- I am a genius but we already knew that!

For the blog readability test (, my blog is rated at Genius as shown by the new button on my site. So far everyone else who's done it has also gotten a genius rating which makes me a little doubtful about the validity of the tool.

On Wordshoot (supposed to improve my typing skills)- I can type really quickly with hunt and peck so I kept going until there were words coming from all 4 directions and then I stopped. Still I got a score of 13000 and 94% accuracy. Didn't improve my keying at all though.

Yahoo Answers ( ) I am appalled at kinds of questions being asked--if your mobile phone is not working shouldn't you contact your phone provider instead of posting a question on an open site. And I am appalled at the fact that I got lots of points for typing answers that I made up to random questions. At least Wikipedia has some controls just because of the way it's structured. I can't imagine having the time to post a questions and then wait for random answers. I did think about trying to answer 50 or 100 questions with a link to FVRL or ask your local library! It would be more useful than what's on there now!


Well I have claimed my blog on Technorati and added a link to my blog for people to choose it as a fave. Beyond that I am not sure what other purpose Technorati serves. But I find that I am more comfortable with things as I go back to them, so that will probably be the case with this as well. The picture shows pollen bots (from TreeHugger- but it seems like a good picture to convey Technorati.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Library thing and Good reads

I decided to track all of the books I am reading in 2008-and I don't think either one of these is going to do what I want. I set up a Good Reads account last week but I found the searching and adding one title at a time way too cumbersome for my purposes. Why can't I add all the Harry Potter books in a group?

So today I tried Library thing and it's MUCH better. I can scan in the ISBNs and get the book immediately-it's so much faster than Good reads. So I added 7 books off my reading shelf at work and I will rate them as I finish reading them. This is also quicker than typing them by hand on the side of my blog, AND I also have much more information about each book at hand. So I actually like this one: also has a way to keep book lists and their database is probably the most comprehensive. Plus I use that database frequently. But I am good with Library Thing for now. first.

Wikis- I like pbwiki!

I've been using a wiki for Technical Services procedures with my staff for the last 8 months. It runs on pbwiki and was so easy to set up and modify. I haven't used any bells or whistles, and the formatting can be problemmatic-especially when you cut and paste word documents. But it is a great place to store lists, problems, and current procedures, instead of trying to remember which version of the document includes the latest work flows updates. And staff who like to work from written documents can print out the information.

I just looked at very quick wiki but it looks like it might take some time to figure out. So I am going back to pbwiki to do a shower planning wiki for a group of friends from India to England to several US states. The wiki will allow us to plan the event (we are doing a virtual shower) and then track gifts so that there isn't too much duplication.


This one wants me to put it on a hosted/linked site which seems like way too much trouble. So I just copied it to my hard drive and will see if it will copy here.

Play- Image generators review

I started out to make a billboard but then saw the tools to make a mosaic and my friend had just sent me a lovely one. So I decided to try that on Big Huge Labs. I don't have a lot of photos on my flick account so I uploaded some into the new account I had to set up for Big Huge Labs and then made a simple mosaic. It clearly needs more time since it's nowhere as lovely as the one my friend sent me. Mine is on the right and hers is on the left.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tracking my reading for 2008

I have decided to use the list function on the side of my blog to track everything I read this year- and to sort it out so books will be easier to find. The rating scale is 1-5 with 5 being very very good. I'm also listing the books I start to read and stop--because at least at the time I decide they will probably be a 1 or 2 and not worth the time!

I am pretty sure I'll get more than 100 books- especially since i still have to remember all the titles I have already read this year!