Wednesday, October 8, 2008

# 23. The end...

...of this blog for the sake of 'having to' but not the end of it all. Like life in general, a journey never ends. We get to the place we are going, we relax and say "ahhh, isn't it nice to finish?" but we never actually stop. We never actually sit down where we landed, cross our legs and our arms and cease to move. Even beyond death there's a part of us that lives, stuff for the worms to munch on, thoughts we've left behind carried on by others...

..Anyway, I digress...

This Web 2.0 training has been an interesting, intriguing, sometimes frustrating, sometimes annoying, fascinating, enjoyable, social learning experience. When I look back to the beginning and see how much I didn't know I didn't know (that sentence DOES make sense!) I am amazed and impressed with myself and all the others who undertook this journey with me. Well done us!

Here's what I think about the last "23 things" we've learnt about since July 20th 2008:
- I've grown to enjoy blogging. Just like writing a letter but much quicker and more self-satisfying.
- Christchurch City Libraries are doing incredible Web2.0 things, congratulations guys and gals, you are many a libraries' mentor.
- I'm still not comfortable with Tags and RSS but will keep using them to help make my 'journey' more meaningful.
- Geriatric1927 is an adorable old man from Leceister who should shine like a beacon for all us Web2.0 newbies, if he can then we can.
- I love podcasts and can get stuck for hours wandering aimlessly in podcastland.
- Dr.House plays the piano wonderfully. Really, actually, plays the piano.
- You can get whole books on the internet, free of copyright and fully downloadable. This was an amazing discovery.
- I'm not a Bebo fan. Maybe it's age. Facebook is best.

And finally, that Libraries all over the world are trying their damndest to break successfully into the Web2.0 market. I welcome them wholeheartedly. Web 2.0 is happening. Now. I'll meet you there.

Signing out,
Miss Diggy.

# 22. Libraries in YourSpace

Ok. So after my last - slightly venting - blog about privacy issues and the scariness of "other" online content that potential users of facebook, myspace and bebo might get sucked into while browsing a library profile, I then embarked on Exercise # 22 and what the library world has been saying about it all.

And was I enlightened!

I think I had a touch of the problem that Beth Evans explains about in the Library Journal... "librarians are suffering from “paralysis by analysis,” refusing to move forward into new ventures because they are overthinking"... yuck, that doesn't sound hopeful does it. I hope to never, EVER, overthink again.

Well, maybe I'm not all that bad. But what I did learn in this process is how effective a library presence could be in the world of mostly 16-25 yr olds as they brand themselves with social tattoos and broadcast on their online billboards.

Yes definitely, there's a place for public libraries in the social networking scene. Yes definitely, there's a way to stuff it up dismally. But yes, there's also a way to do it right. We need to ask ourselves as a corporate body - have we got the dedication of staff, management, time? Have we got the intellect to carry our profile beyond just 'being there and looking good'? Have we got the smarts to move with the online ocean? Let's find the VALUE that Meredith Farkas blogs at length about. Let's know all the W's first: Why are doing it; Who for; What value will our profile bring (to profile users and us); and then all the Which's and What's.

Yes, I say, let's do a Facebook or MySpace library profile.
And yes please, let's do it right.
Here's Hennepin County Library on MySpace reaping the rewards of authors and illustrators all becoming their MySpace "friend" and sending through comments that include a little spiel about their own new books... I found this so interesting I actually hunted down one of the books commented on by its author and have requested it from my local library! Yay. Go Hennepin. Watch out, NSL is on its way.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

# 21. Bebo vs. MySpace vs. Facebook...

Now THIS was interesting... Being a Facebook fan already, I went confidently into the land of Bebo and MySpace only to find myself bombarded with tacky photos and eyebrow-raising profiles and videos and pictures and slagging off of anyone who's anyone! I was dismayed that the majority of profiles in both Bebo and MySpace are public and either the users don't know or don't care who finds out where they attend high school, which cafe they frequent, who their enemies are and what their sister's name is. I'm gonna hazard a guess that all new Bebo and MySpace profiles are, by default, "public" unless you have the common sense and personal security to make them private. Perhaps I'm a privacy freak, but for me Facebook is the winner today.

So having said all that, the following shouldn't come as any surprise... I don't, for a minute, want library customers who visit MY library's Bebo page to happily click away into random profiles that include sexual offers of "luv up 2 5 times a day"!!!! I'm sorry, but there HAS to be another way of connecting with our library customers!!!

Ok, that was my gripe. On a more positive note, I think MySpace Music has done an awesome thing for the music industry by promoting all and any up and coming bands and musos. A totally cool advantage of Social Networking.

Monday, October 6, 2008

# 20. eBooks and LibriVox

WOWIO - really liked the simple and effective search, layout and colours but found the single-page view tedious compared to GoogleBooks and their 742 pages of Oliver Twist right there on the screen.
Then I discovered LibriVox and now I'm suitably impressed. Gotta download me some stories for my MP3 - walking in the evenings will never be the same! Liked the way LibriVox includes other relevant links from your chosen audio-ebook to wikipedia info about the author, and full-text ebooks so you can read and listen at the same time. Shame about site inaccessibility at different times of the day but with a great selection of books this is still a definite winner for any lover of literature.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

#19. Podcasts - wow, an unbelievable amount of podcasts that range from two kids in their backyard telling us all about weird and interesting facts from around the world - Sparklecast - to the R18 sites that o-p-e-n your e-y-e-s and e-a-r-s... Anyway, what I DID find really interesting was the podcast To the best of our knowledge - intelligent interviews with worldwide guests "whose passion for new ideas will challenge and engage". I've added this feed to my blog...

# 18. You Tube

Mmmmm, YouuuTuuube...
There's not much else to say. If you wanna waste hours looking at videos that are: awesome; mindless; degrading; stupid; downright funny; informative; personal; rambling; useless; incredible; musical; comical; enlightening, then become a YouTube addict - it's pathetically easy!
Yes, I too enjoy passing the hours by wandering aimlessly in the land of YouTube videos, wasting time and getting the odd bit of enlightenment and usually a few laughs. While searching today I found Hugh Laurie in "House, M.D." tapping out a few tunes from Boomtown Rats' I don't like Mondays. Ah, I love that show, love that tune.
Libraries could go far with a little bit of YouTube banter!

# 17. Web 2.0 Awards

Check out Netvibes, the winner of Web2.0 tools in the Start pages category. Clear and concise layout for setting up your own Homepage/Startpage and accessible from wherever you are. Make your Start page private, or with a click of a button, let the world see it.
As a private page I liked the idea of having all my email addresses and Facebook account instantly opened as soon as I logged into my Netvibes page. Liked: the initial widgets were all from MY country - Disliked: I had to guess other widgets from other countries, there was no easy index. Also a huge contingent were not accessible outside the U.S. Liked: how quick YouTube downloads occurred on the widget I chose for my page - Disliked: how slow other widgets were to download.
Found an awesome radio station widget broadcasting out of the UK - Nanny Tango Radio. Gorgeous easy blues.