Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Seattle Public Library Flash Mob

I have to admit that YouTube is not my favorite.  In fact, my kids are not allowed to peruse the site unaccompanied by a parent.  The possibility of inappropriate content popping up during an innocent search is too great.  I would define YouTube as another stop on the Information Overload train that comes rumbling through my inbox more often than welcome.  I guess if I try hard I can imagine a scenario where a library could upload a video of an instructional tutorial on how to use the OPAC or something similar and then place that information somewhere near the OPAC or on it's website or Facebook page.  However, that might subtract a potential  face-to-face encounter with a live librarian from an equation that might ultimately encourage a user to use such services.

At any rate, I found a wealth of information on YouTube where Vimeo produced nothing of what I was looking for.  Enjoy the flash mob in Rem Koolhaas' incredible Seattle Public library.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Easy Button

Podcasts!  I never tried them even though they have been lurking on my iTunes sidebar for years.  I love listening to the radio, especially NPR so I was thrilled to see the NPR podcast directory.  The best part is that accessing a podcast is so simple even a neophyte like myself can do it right the first time.  I also enjoy being able to hop around if I don't necessarily like what I've gotten myself into.  Its browsing with a search option, I"m hooked!

I found a few news podcasts in Hebrew  on PodcastDirectory.com which made my husband very happy and kept him busy for awhile.  As for library related podcasts, check out the following on NPR:

All About Books Podcast


A weekly NET Radio book review and discussion program hosted by Charles Stephen.

Raw Bytes Podcast[KPBX]    

Frank Delaney's comments on technology today and the information revolution, as read on Spokane Public Radio.

PRI's The World - The World's Books Podcast[PRI]

The World Books is a spotlight on international literary news, trends, and authors. The podcast features interviews with authors, critics, publishers, and translators from around the globe. Hosted by The World's Bill Marx.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Time Lost in Flickr

I ran into some problems setting up my Flickr account due to some mysterious email address confusion detected by Flickr that resulted in my adding a Yahoo account to my arsenal of weapons.  Sounds shady to me but the real downside was that after I'd spent a sizable chunk of time organizing photos into sets with titles and tags and privacy controls etc, I had to start from scratch.  However, I do like the app and can see the tremendous appeal it offers to a broad spectrum of users.

One aspect of the app that especially intrigued me was that of "The Commons".  The objectives of The Commons are stated as follows:
  1. To increase access to publicly-held photography collections, and
  2. To provide a way for the general public to contribute information and knowledge. (Then watch what happens when they do!)
I lost a LOT of time in this section, mesmerized by the historical photos in these collections.  I'm still unsure however, what "happens" when the general public contributes information to the individual photos.  I mean, I saw that it was possible to leave a comment, add a tag, or identify a person but what is the result of anybody defining these identifiers?  If anybody has more information on how this section works in the "big picture", please leave me a comment.

I started a photo library of some interesting art and architecture I've photographed.  Labels, tags, and descriptions will be added as time permits but the photos are there!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Blogging and Browsing

Lately I've been thinking about the concept of browsing.  Whether it's done in a library, bookstore, yard sale, or online, browsing offers us the luxury of a leisurely examination of information.  I remember when I used the internet for little more than browsing, it felt like shopping and voyeurism rolled into one.  However, somewhere along the way I stopped browsing and started searching.  Search engines and search features within sites have all but done away with our need to browse for information, delivering instant results to match our criteria.  I realize now that there was an element of pleasure that was lost when I began treating my computer as an encyclopedia.

Blogging, or at least browsing through others' blogs is one way to bring that element of leisure back to the examination of information we do online.  I can look all I want without obligation to reply.  I might even learn something.  Other web technologies, like Flickr, offer the same browsing pleasure I've been missing without even knowing I was missing it!  Maybe that's what prevented me from keeping up with technology this long, it had lost its' appeal.  I'm definitely interested now and am working at trying to piece together exactly how the bricks-and-mortar library fits into the puzzle.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Technology Tether

I am not the type of person who spends hours tethered to a computer, at least not of my own free will.  Nor do I carry around a device that "allows" me to stay "connected" to the world at large.  I like to get my information when I want it but I don't want that information to follow me around all day like a 5 year old that's poking and prodding me every few minutes with "Hey, guess what?".  I have witnessed the transformation of individuals from engaging and interesting conversationalists to distracted and vacant warm bodies in the room.  I miss some of these people.

So, the challenge I face in learning about and using Web2.0 technologies will be determining how I can lasso these apps into working for me and not against me.  I aim to discuss each of the technologies we explore in Learning2.0 in the context of how it worked for me as a student of LIS, business owner, and mother.  So far, setting up the blog was pretty painless.  Now, lets see if I can figure out how to find my fellow bloggers....