Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Summary of 23 Things

Now I have come to the end of my journey of the 23 things. I have had both successes and setbacks, but it was overall not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I have gotten the help I needed to complete the tasks from co-workers, and I have learned a lot about technology in the process. I enjoyed most of what I did, but my favorite things were creating word documents, blogging, and using Librarything. My least favorite was looking for the podcast and listening to it. I am sure I will some of these things in my job, some I use frequently. As for some of the others, probably not very much.

The program has assisted my lifelong learning goals by helping to develop some better time management and self discipline to complete large tasks in the future. I was surprised by how much information was on some of the websites I looked at. I didn't realize how much data can be on one website. Another surprise was getting through some of the tasks with ease that I expected to have more problem with. It was thrilling to accomplish a difficult task whether I did it on my own or got assistance from a co-worker. Once the skill was mastered, I could not wait to practice it again. I will take away a new knowledge of technology and the tools that are available to anyone for use.

One change I would like to see in future programs of this type is to have more time to complete the tasks. I realized from the beginning that it would be difficult to fit this into my work schedule since my hours are limited and my job requires a lot of time to be spent on a public service desk. It was a little overwhelming toward the end to have to learn a new thing every week. I would like to see future training broken down into smaller components and geered more toward different skill levels. I would like to see more time allotted in the future during work hours for programs like this. I would participate again in this type of program if it were broken down into smaller components and time was considered more. It was self paced, but there was not really enough time to go into detail on every task.

To sum up my learning experience, I feel I have benefitted from mastering new skills. It was also a process of discovering which tasks I liked and which I did not. At the recent Technology Fair presented by the library system I work for, all of us were given an overview of a lot of the technology that has been used in this program. This was helpful to have at least seen some of these things before having to work with them. I have definitely learned something about myself and acquired some new skills. Further, I was extremely grateful for the help so willingly given to me by my co-workers. I believe I will be able to look back at this time in a few years and realize how far I have come and how much I have learned.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Downloading Audio Books

In taking the tour of Overdrive, I found the short tutorials very straightforward and helpful. I clicked on several of them to find out the steps for searching and downloading books. The actual downloading is optional, but if time permits I am going to try it. Overdrive has a lot of choices as well as a lot of variety.

I decided to also explore Project Gutenberg and saw that their offerings are classic literature. When I was a child I read and enjoyed several of Jack London's books, but especially liked "White Fang." I downloaded this book and enjoyed some of that this afternoon. I will get back to my listening later on.

These sites are a tremendous resource for those who are sight impaired but can still operate either a hand held device or a computer. I would think that even if they require some assistance they would still be able to enjoy this type of service. This has been a very enjoyable task that has brought back memories for me.

Locating Podcasts

This was the most challenging task of the entire 23 things for me. I encountered some difficulties with software and viewing the podcasts. While I was able to locate some podcasts I was interested in, some of them opened up and some did not. I followed the prompts and attempted to download the software that was indicated to get the podcast started, however the software would not load on my computer even after several attempts. I then went to Yahoo Podcasts and was able to listen to several of them, but never saw any video with them.

After locating an RSS feed for a news podcast, I was able to add it to the feeds on my bloglines account. This was not difficult at all for me at all so I was rather pleased with myself that I was able to accomplish this part of the task. Podcasts seem like they would work better for hand held devices and not quite as well being downloaded to a computer. It was a learning experience to try everything I could to accomplish the task at hand. Having the success of adding the RSS feed was a small victory, but one I was glad to get. I always like a good challenge.

More Thoughts on Technorati

As I was reviewing all the tasks for Libraries 2.0, I realized I had not blogged in very much detail about using Technorati. I did find the website easy to use and was both surprised and not surprised by some of my discoveries. I noticed the Homepage of Technorati had both tags and videos and when I used the search box to find something instead of directly clicking on a tag, more results did come up.

The first week I looked at Technorati I was surprised to find a couple of videos of Dick Cheney as some of the most popular. I did not look at the videos in detail, but I would have thought there would be videos of entertainment figures as the most popular, not politicians. I was unable to watch the videos due to time constraints to see whether or not the people who watched them were in agreement I continued exploring by looking at some of the tags on Technorati.

What did not surprise me was that I did find tags for both Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. I am not sure if people like watching them for the headlines they generate or because of their looks. I was pleasantly surprised by user friendly way the tags are arranged on the website.

It appears the tags are kept up to date and in a very timely manner. There was a tag just today for Owen Wilson who was in the news yesterday. Something else that was very disappointing to me was that more than 1 tag had links to videos of an adult nature. It is a part of internet content, but the potential for information and entertainment in this site is enormous. It was an interesting exercise to explore this website.

Friday, August 17, 2007

You Tube Video Experience

This week the task of thing #20 is to explore You Tube and find a video worth adding to my blog. I was able to choose one without much difficulty because I enjoyed looking at all the old 1970's TV commercials I found there. They both entertained and brought back memories of bygone days for me.

I chose this one in particular (a Wisk Detergent Commercial) because it was nostalgic and I think it is a statement on the changing times. There was a time when most women stayed home and took care of the house and did not work outside the home.

In addition, this commercial was an indicator of just how much things have changed since the 1970's . Most women you see in commercials today do not have big puffy hairdos and a lot of makeup. They also do not wear pearls and crisply pressed clothing. They look more like women really look when they are at home. Their hair and clothes are not always so perfect looking.

Finding this commercial really provoked a lot of thought in my mind about women and the way things have changed in appearance and in women's roles. More women work outside the home now than in the 1970's and there are more choices for them in occupation, education, etc. I believe completing this program will give us as women even more choices in our future.

When it came time to add this video to my blog, I ran into a few snags, but after some searching around in You Tube that my co-worker Nancy and I did together, we finally got my video into my blog. It was a great feeling to be successful in this task. I am sure it would not have been possible for me without help from Nancy. She is a very kind and patient tutor.

What I liked about the site was the variety of videos to choose from, but what I would like to have seen was a step by step tutorial for placing my video into a blog. There have been a lot of tutorials in this program for the tasks that have been assigned and these made the tasks easier. So, it would have been great to see a tutorial on Youtube for those less skilled in this technology.

Library websites could use Youtube videos to display humorous things to the staff or other types of humorous things to patrons. A funny video could be used to promote entertainment and enjoyment in the library on a library website. It could be something that the age group that is the target of the video would enjoy. Videos can also be used to entertain the staff. A skit that was done by our staff at a recent training session (for a light moment in between training sessions) was posted on Youtube for the enjoyment of the staff.

Overall, I am encouraged by my successes in this program and learning from my failures. I am looking forward to completing the last task. I will definitely be able to say I learned a lot from this program.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Google Docs, Zoho Writer and Web 2.0 Awards List Winners

The first task for week 8 of this project was to use a word processing program. I have used Microsoft Word many times in the past, so using Google Docs did not present any problems for me. I liked this one better than Zoho Writer. I thought Google Docs was more user friendly and I enjoyed creating a folder for my documents. I added some form letters I frequently use in my work. It will be helpful to me to have them stored in another place besides a disc and my hard drive when I need to access them. I enjoyed working with the features of this program.

The other task for this week involved exploring any site from the Web 2.0 Awards List. As a part of the 23 things I have already visited a number of these sites, so I decided to explore several new ones. I was intrigued by the promise of This website boasts a radio station that plays only music the user likes.

I also looked at One can find the answers, to many questions including the age old debate, hot dogs vs. hamburgers. This site seems to be used by a lot of people with time on their hands.

The next site I went to was the one I liked best, Craig's List. The website address is: Even though this is for the San Francisco bay area, it is easy to type in your own location to find things such as job and apartment listings for your local area. I decided to plan my next vacation. I had reading the ads and looking at the beautiful photos of various vacation spots. I especially enjoyed the oceanfront views. For now, I must be content merely to plan my next vacation. Not because I did not find a spot I liked, but because my wallet is a little thin right now. Oh well, maybe next year.

Friday, August 3, 2007


The tasks for this week involved wikis and how libraries can use them. I found several different applications for wikis on the websites I visited. Some were in the form of articles as well as information on certain subjects, others started with subject headings, still others gave information about library conferences. Of all the sites I have seen I found Wikipedia the most interesting because you can look up words, subjects, etc. and find articles about them. I have had practical experience with Wikipedia in the past and have found it very easy to use.

In addition, I discovered some Wikis are used for people to put in their own opinions on subjects of interest to them. Still others add their favorite things to their Wiki. One in particular I looked at listed fantasy vacations the author wanted to take. I added my two cents in (so to speak) about my fantasy vacation I was able to take last year to Mackinac Island, Michigan.

The specific event of an ALA Conference in Chicago was the subject of another Wiki. This wiki is very well organized and has a lot of information on it. The information was so easy to access which is helpful for people like me who are technology challenged. Besides the pertinent facts about the conference, there was also a guide to the best places to go to get Chicago's famous deep dish pizza. Even though the conference took place several years ago, this wiki could be helpful to anyone who wanted to know about this conference or how to set up their own wiki about an upcoming conference. It also is helpful for anyone who is planning to travel to Chicago because besides the restaurant information, there was also a guide to getting around in the city and even which airport is the best one to use. The multi-purpose aspect of the wiki is another good thing for libraries because one never knows what one will be asked to find.

Overall, I have enjoyed this brief journey through the world of the wiki. I look forward to making use of this technology in the future.