Sunday, August 16, 2009

Comics Creator

Using Bubblr gave me the giggles. I could take ordinary photos and give them any caption I wanted. I uploaded photos of myself but this time I had speech bubbles containing words I had wished I had said! This is a great way of making some fun birthday cards with photos that I already have. Watch the post, you may get a greeting card from me soon.

Wicked Wikis

Remembering HTML tags was such a pain! If you were a subject librarian, lots of time was spent making sure that your subject guides content had up-to-date information, and even more time was spent making sure that your formatting was correct. I was glad when wiki's were introduced as it meant that anyone could create and edit web content.

A wiki can be very useful if you have a good brainstorming team. If you are unlucky and have a not so good team, then more time will be spent micro-editing every word and sentence and then you will get frustrated with the lack of proper progress.

I like the fact that you can now invite people to contribute to a wiki. In that way there is some degree of control and authority over the project that you will be working on. You can also track recent changes that were made. This can lead to interesting discussions as to why certain changes came about.

While doing this exercise, I stumbled across a powerpoint on "How to create your own online survey". I think Im going to try this one on some family members. I just want to see how this tool actually works.

Picasa's Pictures

Today I spent some time exploring Picasa Web Albums and Smugmug. The layout in Smugmug is pretty neat. I spent a few minutes looking at all the photos that appear as if they are in a slideshow. In the end I decided to stick with Picasa...I wanted something familiar to play with for now. I think I sighed with relief when I realised I could just use my google account to sign in. Good ol'Google! Perhaps when I have more time I will try Smugmug again.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Librarian 2.0

I started this exercise looking at the video clip first. The last 30 seconds of the video really hit home when I realised how many things we have to have a rethink about - copyright, governance etc. An MLIS student looking for a research topic should have a look at this video.

I think that we have already started to move away from the iceberg mentality described in the prescribed article. After all we are moving towards using downloadable books. This is addition to the fact that for years our e-resources have been made available off-site for years.

Our Any Questions Operators use these technologies often. Our librarians expertise is available to those that cannot physically come into the library for homework help. If you look at the Any Questions and Many Answers sites you will notice the use of tag clouds etc. Did you know that all our operators have Avatars?

After all that reading, all I can say is : if you complete this programme you will be in a better position to help our patrons who may have problems embracing new technologies in the future. I wonder how many of our librarians would like a title like "Librarian 2.0"?

Now its time for some action. I think must get back to SecondLife now. For more than three years I have been an Engineering librarian there too. I have had a fantastic time! You should try it. Its fun!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Technorati and Twittorati

Clicking on the links on the navigation bar exposed me to blogs I would never have come across while just surfing the net. I will use this site occasionally to find out who is blogging about an interest that I may have. Then I would follow their blogs for a while.

I tried a few keyword searches on both the search box on the homepage and then moved onto the advanced search facility. As expected phrase searching and searching by authority got fewer results than just keyword searching which used the AND connector.

I had to laugh when I looked at the popular searches. From the time I started using the internet, I have noticed that Jennifer Aniston and Paris Hilton always make the list!

I looked at Technorati a long long time ago. I dont remember a link for Twittorati then....maybe its old age, or maybe that link was not there at all. In the end I decided that I will look at Twittorati again this weekend. I really dont want to be overwhelmed with information.

I have also decided that I will open an account at Technorati so that I can claim another blog that I have. Its a great facility, so why not make use of it?

Recap Roundup

Last night, I spent some time going over exercises that I had already finished. I can already see the advantage of some of our library staff doing the programme again. There is always the possibility that you will learn something new.

This time I went and looked at the RSS feeds on our own library website. I’m sure the avid reader will be happy to see the feed for the new titles. I also added the urls for all the sites I use often onto Delicious. So when I go on holiday, I won’t have to curse in the internet cafes when I can’t remember the urls.

When I was experimenting with my two computers at home, I noticed that the Delicious logo now appears just under the internet address bar. Really cool. I have also decided not to create a public profile for now. And I will also not be using the network badge for now. Perhaps I will try again when I feel more confident about a possible online profile

On a slightly different note, I have just read an article in the New Scientist on how the quality of information on Wikipedia is expected to degrade over time. Although I still use Wikipedia, I will keep this article in mind and follow the usual evaluation tips when using information from this source.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I wish I had this tool in some of my previous jobs! I was part of an academic librarians team and we used to work on subject guides together. I think we could have got even more resources to use in our guides if we had only used this tool. Ah well, lesson learnt - I will keep this in mind for future projects that I work on.

I have also opened up my own account so that I don't have to wrack my brains for the correct urls for my favourite websites. I am no longer concerned about hot desking at work anymore because with my favourites can always be found. My next task is to play around with network badges and see if this new tool works to my advantage.

Now that Ive finished this task, Im going to go back to looking at Flickr Color.......I just can't stop revisiting this site....

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Better with Bloglines

Sometimes its best to step out of your comfort zone! Although I used Googles familiar looking search facility, I realised that I actually learnt more from this exercise by trying to subscribe to newsfeeds using my Bloglines account.

I didnt like the cluttered look of the results that I got after using Google News. I dont think I want to use this facility at the moment. I will give it a try again in a few days time, just to see if I change my mind.

While using my Bloglines account, I tried a few feeds and if I didnt like what I was receiving, I quickly unsubscribed as I didnt want to get too much information that I would not even bother reading.

Now all thats left for me is to add some of my colleagues blogs to my account. Maybe Im following your blog.......

RSS Readers

The first thing that struck me about this exercise, was that there was going to be lots of little things to do, for example: open up an account and then watch some videos etc. I decided to put the family to bed early so that I could concentrate on this exercise properly. I found that opening each link as a separate tab rather than in a separate window worked better for me as I could easily move between tabs to keep up with all the new information I was learning.

The short videos were great. It made me realise how much time I can save in the future just by using RSS feeds.

Subscribing to the newsfeeds was relatively easy. However, I didnt like all the additional features on the left hand side of my Bloglines account and so I hide those from view for now. This will ensure that I will just concentrate on the new information that is generated by the feeds. Once I use my Bloglines account more often, I will revisit the additional features.

I have decided to use RSS feeds in my personal life as I sometimes search for information that is not always published. Instead of me checking every single day for new information, the newsfeed will alert me to the information. What a timesaver!

Now Im going to subcribe to my friends travelog....

Navman Navigator

At the moment the most useful device that I have ever used is the Navman Navigator. Although I can use maps quite easily, the Navman Navigator is most useful if you are in an area where you can’t stop to check on your map, or the directions that you had written down. I used it when I first visited tourist spots in Auckland.

I was fascinated to learn how the GPS (Global Positioning System) actually works with the aid of satellites, ensuring that information given to you via the Navman is correct and it makes sure that you (almost) never get lost…..provided you download the updates on a regular basis that is!

Display Designs

I spent some time looking at some of the Flickr mashups available.

I used to love watching people putting displays together - the way they mixed colour and objects together to produce something that would catch someone's attention always fascinated me.

I guess my interest in colour makes me a perfect guinea pig for playing around with Flickr Color Pickr. This is the one mashup that has actually inspired me to take more photos. I have looked at some images and thought: why didn't I think of taking a photo like that?

With regard to my progess with using Flickr: I have decided to make very few photos public on Flickr. There are too many identifiable people in my photos and they would just cringe at
the thought of appearing somewhere on the internet. Its best to keep them private for now.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Yell 4 Yahoo!

Ive decided to take the plunge and create a Yahoo address before I proceed with the rest of of the Flickr fun stuff. Pity I couldnt just access Flickr using my newly created gmail address. I have so many online identities. I must remember to delete them all after this programme ends.

Flickr File Formats

Im still playing around with Flickr. While I still like looking at real photographs, it is comforting to know that if the house burns down while Im away, I will still have my precious memories stored somwhere.

Did you know that Flickr officially supports JPEGs, non-animated GIFs, and PNGs? TIFFs and some other file types can also be uploaded, but they will automatically be converted to and stored in JPEG format.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Krishna Consciousness

I found searching for images in Flickr to be very easy as the site recognised basic keyword searches.
I decided to search for one of Aucklands religious tourist spots. So I searched for the Hare Krishna temple in Auckland. The link for this photo taken by a Flickr user calling himeself Tushal is found at the end of this post.
This photo brought back memories of a day, when I was approached by a Hare Krishna devotee who was handing out pamphlets inviting people to visit the Hare Krishna Temple in Auckland.
I took up the offer and was pleasantly surprised. I met some very friendly people and listened to some of the lectures being presented. At no stage did I feel pressurised to join this group. I really appreciated the fact that I could linger in the background as an observer.
Have a look at this lovely photo:

Irritating In-laws

I love Flickr and Picnik. I can edit my in-laws out of all my holiday pictures. Ha ha ha...

Password Problems

I must be getting old. Before I start doing anything that involves technology, I have to take a few minutes to remember which username and password to use. It gets more complicated when certain passwords (including our work ones) have to be changed on a regular basis. Imagine if I go on leave for an extended period of time....

Technical Tips from Teenagers

Thank God for my friends children! The teenagers are so thrilled that they can show off about the fact that they know more about technology than we do. I know I will have to return the favour by taking them for driving lessons in the future.....

Time-saving tips

So many blogs, so little time! I have learnt to be selective about the blogs that I will follow in the future. I think I must re-read the article on on to find time to do the 23 Things programme. I have found the links for further reading to be most useful so far. You just have to remain focused so that you come back to the original page you were reading.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Censorship Concerns

Today I experimented with uploading photos. I think I am going to use Blogger on my next holiday. In that way my family and friends can follow my journey if they want to. This will also avoid me having to tell the same tale over and over again. By that time I would have learnt how to control who gets to view my holiday blog - this will come in handy if I dont want too much personal information out there for just anyone to see.

I think censorship of personal information is very important in todays world. We often read of children (and sometimes adults) landing themselves in hot water because they divulged too much.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Art Addictions

Easy Peasy! And I thought setting up a blog was going to take ages.....I think its best if I start looking at this whole Web 2.0 programme in a more positive light.

So far I have learnt that a blog is basically an online journal that is used to share thoughts on any subject or to keep in touch with people that have the same interest. Ive heard lots of talk show hosts mention that their guests enjoy blogging, which basically means that they enjoy adding content to their blogs on a frequent basis.

I've also noticed that the blog entries are in reverse chronological order. This takes a little getting used to in the beginning. Of all the blogs I've visited, I like artlogs the best. Artlogs are blogs which focus on art. My favourite so far is