Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Yelp and Mango

I visited Yelp and immediately searched the restaurant my husband and I own, Falafel Bar.  The search function is great for searching restaurants because you can search by food type, restaurant name, or any other descriptive word for food (think "spicy").  Then you add a zip code or city and Yelp returns a list of possible matches complete with user reviews.  The browse feature is also great with subject specific headings and a "Best Of" list for  each category.  I've lived in this area my whole life and I'm a small business owner but I still find myself wondering where the best place is for this or that service from time to time.  I can't wait to use this site more, having the user reviews is so helpful.  I can imagine this site would be more than useful in a public library setting where I'm sure the librarians and staff are regularly quizzed on where the best place is for  (fill in the blank).

Mango Languages is an amazing tool!  I went to their site, viewed the demo and then remembered seeing something about Mango on the public library's website.  Sure enough, Buffalo & Erie County Public Libraries offer Mango Languages to card holders!  I spent a ridiculous amount of time with this tool and plan to spend more as soon as I can.  My daughter also spent about an hour with the first 2 lessons in Hebrew and loved it!  This is a powerful tool, engaging, interactive, and super easy to use.  I can see why the Buffalo libraries subscribe to it and I think it's a wonderful alternative to some of the outrageously expensive language software packages on the market today.  As we become a more global society, tools for sharing languages will rise to the top of new technologies.  That reminds me of Google translate, another great tool for language sharing!  That was just one of the more interesting gadgets I put on my iGoogle homepage.  Which reminds me, I'd better go feed that little hamster.

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