7/23/2007

H-A-R-R-Y!!

IT'S HERE! The final installment of the harry potter saga. I read about 200 some pages on saturday, then read most of the afternoon/evening sunday, and stayed up until 3am finishing it. IT WAS SO GOOD! There were a couple things that weren't totally resolved for me.. [SPOILER] Where did neville get gryffindor's sword from (to kill nagini) if griphook took it in the lestrange's gringotts vault?[/SPOILER] But I loved it and could barely put it down. I've found some very cool harry potter-related entertainment on the web. 20q.net has a HP version of the game here. Think of anything in the harry potter books or movies. Select what category it falls under (person, place thing), and the game will try and guess what you're thinking of in 20 questions or less. It's CRAZY how smart thing thing is. I once chose harry's sock (the one he gave to free dobby from the malfoys), and the 20q game got it! I've also fallen in love with the potter puppet pals:



[EDIT SPOILER MUSING]I figured out how neville got the sword after talking it over with my fiancé! Neville pulled it out of the sorting hat (like harry did in COS) after voldemort put it on his head. I can sleep now![/EDIT SPOILER MUSING]

7/15/2007

The Finish Line

Thing #23 Summarize your thoughts about this program and learn more about where to go from here.

Okay, it's that time! I'm ending my journey through the 23 Things! My first post was on june 7th. Since then, I've advanced my knowledge of technology, and learned a few new tidbits that the world of web 2.0 has to offer. I've also discovered the existence of library 2.0. It was very interesting to explore how knowing about these new technologies can help librarians serve the community better. Looking back, there were a few things that this program brought to my attention that I may never have learned about before. For example, I had no idea there were such things as "online productivity web-based applications". Rollyo and LibraryThing were also brand new concepts to me. My favorite Thing was #5 (explore flickr) because I got to show off my dog. hehe! I enjoyed looking through the list of web 2.0 award winning sites too. I'm happy I signed up for the program and was able to broaden my "world wide web horizons" further than I thought possible. Hopefully I can help others do the same!

7/10/2007

Downloading Audiobooks

Here is Thing #22 Learn about audio books. As I said before, talking books and I don't really mix! I don't think I would ever download ebooks, but it was pretty neat learning about them. I watched some of the tutorials in Overdrive's digital media guided tour. This service allows you to browse or search their collection of audio books, and then download them to listen to on your pc, transfer to a portable media device, or burn to a cd (depending on the book's copyrights). The audio files automatically expire after the 21 day loan period. One thing I didn't understand about this service is why aren't the number of copies available of an audio book unlimited? It seems that if it's just a file that is being copied from another computer, that the file could be copied over and over again with no limitations.
I also explored project gutenberg. This site allows you to keep your downloaded books. They have computer-generated audio books, and also human-read audio books. The project also allows you to download text versions to read on your computer. The content seems to be partly user driven. You can help add content following a few rules. The gutenberg project advertises an rss feed so you can keep on top of new books added, or books that were recently updated. Since all the books here are free to keep forever, the selection is somewhat limited. I didn't really find anything on these sites that I, personally, would go through the trouble of downloading, but I thought it was pretty cool that the gutenberg project had sheet music!. These sites seem like another great resource developing from web 2.0.

7/09/2007

Only two more to go!

I'm coming down the stretch here with Thing #21 Discover some useful tools for locating podcasts. For a while, I thought that podcasts were only for uploading to an iPod, but you can listen to them on any type of portable media device, including your computer. I explored podcast.net for a while, and found that there are tens of thousands of podcasts available for listening. I found an interesting podcast feed that focuses on photography. It's called LensWork Podcasts. I added it to my bloglines account (which now has a total of 19 feeds). I don't think I'd really take advantage of this podcasting technology. I think I need something to stimulate me visually while listening, just like how I can't listen to books on tape. My mind wanders too easily, and I'm constantly getting lost! I am impressed with how widespread this is, though. There were podcasts in a ton of different languages. And it I like how flexible the format is. You can download the podcast, and put it on your mp3 player or on a CD.

7/07/2007

YOUtube

Thing number 20 is Discover YouTube and a few sites that allow you to upload video. I discovered the magic of youtube about a year ago. It's an amazing tool. If there was a video made about something, you can bet it's on here. There are also social aspects to youtube - commenting on other member's videos or sending them an email message through youtube. One feature I've enjoyed is the "share video" function. You can email any video to anyone you'd like. If you sign up for an account with youtube, you can customize your own youtube page with a list of your favorite videos, blogs, and of course your own videos. Here is a video I uploaded to youtube. I filmed it at the baltimore aquarium.




I definitely love the "goofy" side of youtube, but there are a lot of educational videos to watch as well. I've watched some knitting instructions that I could never understand by just reading the text instructions! another neat thing I like about youtube is on the main page, there is a section which refreshes every few seconds with a list of videos being watched at that moment. One way they keep you hooked on the site is by showing you a list of related videos to the one you're watching now. So you're just constantly being sucked into video, after video, after video! hehe.

7/06/2007

And the award goes to..

Wow I've finished out week 8! This post is on Thing #19 - Discover any site from the Web 2.0 awards list. I definitely liked the sound of that, and I wasn't disappointed! the Web 2.0 awards list was brimming with awesome cutting edge technology. There were many categories to explore. Of course, I immediately went for the "games" award category. I really enjoyed playing around with Guess-the-Google, "the image guessing game". They show you 20 pictures returned in a google image search all found with the same keyword. You need to guess what the common keyword is for all the pictures in 20 seconds. I would say this game uses the same technological ideas as tagging. My highscore was 222! This game reminds me of one I discovered while searching for mashups. Google has a game that helps them improve the quality of their image search. It's called Google Image Labeler. You're partnered randomly with another player, and over a 2 minute period, you're shown different pictures and you need to match the other player's tag suggestions. The more specific the tag match, the more points you get. It's highly addicting! Well there really is nothing useful about the site I discovered on the web 2.0 awards list.. except maybe as a stress reliever! Which is something we probably all need from time to time! haha.

7/03/2007

zoho, zoho, it's off to work we go!

Thing number 18 already! The following was composed with zoho writer. I published it directly from zoho's site, and it was easy as pie.


Zoho writer is a cool tool!

All the little buttons here are intriguing!
They even have some emoticons here to use! laughing

Here is a table that was easily added
You just select the table button and tell it how many cells you'd like!

There is a chart for inserting "special characters" so that I can type "my fiancé" correctly!

Zoho writer is similar to any "word" program. It's conviently housed on the web, so there are no problems with OS compatibility, and you can save the file in any format. Zoho has several other services that I found interesting, such as zoho show, to make things like power points. (they even have a wiki!)

Playing in the Sandbox!

Thing #17 was "Add an entry into the Sandbox Wiki created with PB Wiki". I visited the Maryland Libraries sandbox wiki. It was pretty fun, I must say. I added my blog to the "favorite blogs" page, and I when I viewed the "currently reading" section, I decided to add my current book! You can see my edit here. This was really easy. You don't even need to know html. I also discovered that any one can create a wiki. pbwiki.com lets you make a free one. This sounds useful for someone running a club, fan site, or the like.

7/02/2007

Wikis!

I'm on to Thing #16. We were asked to learn about wikis and discover some innovative ways that libraries are using them. wikis are huge networks of information on anything under the sun provided by anyone who wants to contribute. That fact has always discouraged me from using these types of websites as resources for something I need the absolute truth on. Any average joe can edit the page on rocket science, plus the navigation on wiki sites has always been a little confusing for me. I can see, however, how it would be beneficial to librarians to use wikis for researching topics for patrons (while using more trusted sites as supplements), or sharing information with other libraries. I actually didn't find anything that really interested me on any of the suggested wikis. I think I prefer the infamous wikipedia. This site has millions of articles on anything you can possibly imagine. I like how these articles have a place that editors list the external resources they used. I also think the random page link is pretty fun to play around with. I've been from an article about an australian high school to an article all about britney spears's baby one more time tour (haha). There are links to entries that pertain to what you searched for, so you could be lead on a seemingly endless trail of information. Here is information on fallston, MD. I learned that Melvin Mora from the Orioles lives or lived in the area. I had a lot of fun looking at the demographics of various cities in maryland. While Being circumspect, wikis make learning fun!

7/01/2007

The Future is Here!

Thing number 15. Read a few perspectives on Web 2.0, Library 2.0 & the future of libraries. With the evolution of web 2.0, the library has had to morph into it's own 2.0 version, adopting new ideas for creating and supplying new services to the public. I read the OCLC article Away From Icebergs. It presented a few challenges (or "icebergs") that libraries will potentially face in the future if we don't all shift over to serving in 2.0 form. Another article that rang true for me was Into a New World of Librarianship. Librarians themselves need to become 2.0 as well. They need to be trained in and study the new technologies that will allow them to help patrons navigate new channels of research. Because before you know it, 3.0 will be here!