Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Week 6, Thing #14, Technorati

I spent some time taking a look at Technorati tonight. This site helps you organize, tag and keep track of blogs that are talking about things that interest you. There are really two different uses for this kind of site. One would be to help you keep up with your own interests, such as new developments in the library world. The other would be to see what is drawing the attention of other people. This is yet another example of how people are now using the internet to keep up with popular culture rather than older media forms like the newspaper and the television.

It is striking to me how ubiquitous youTube is becoming, even on sites like this one. Almost any search I did came up with youTube results in them. I also thought it was interesting that at one point while on Technorati's home page, a family member came into the room and I put the laptop aside for a moment. I noticed, though, that the screen kept changing as new blog entries were posted. There are so many! No wonder you need a tool like this to organize them.

Tagging is just an extension of what librarians have been doing forever--organizing. The advantage: tags make it easy to put same subjects together. The disadvantage: without a standard format, some things that should be together may not be due to variation in tags. It is not hard to be consistent with your own labeling system. It can be challenging to be consistent with other people's unless you study the norms of others and conform to them. Overall, I'd say tagging is worth the effort. It makes finding your information easier.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Week 6, Thing #13, Del.icio.us

I've had a bit of a detour here due to family illness and the holiday but now I am determined to finish this tutorial by Christmas. This week, I'll be looking at Del.icio.us. It seems like a lot of people are sold on it, so I am looking forward to it.

I had some trouble find the tutorial because the link didn't work for me, but finally listened to it. I used the Library 2.0 account to explore the site and follow some of the links. I see how the tagging works and think that knowing how many people have linked to a particular site would be helpful. I find that if I use my own tags that make sense to me, it isn't to hard to keep track of what gets categorized. It probably makes a difference how often you intend to use the site. If your use is frequent, the use would become nearly intuitive. If not, you would have to keep track of how you kept track of things in the past.

I decided not to create my own account at this point for two reasons. One is that I don't feel the need to access my bookmarks on multiple computers at this time. I have my work system set up for work and my home system set up for home use and interests. I don't tend to overlap them all that much. The second is the same old problem of deciding how much time to put into a new tool. There are so many possibilities! I feel like I will end up picking the one or two most useful ones at the end of this course and investing time in them. At this point, I don't see my teachers using a resource page I create with this tool. I'm still trying to get them to use the resources on my web page for classes! So....good tool for future use, but not yet.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Week 5, thing #12, Rollyo

I used Rollyo to create a list of websites called Saturday Adventures. I included the sites I usually use to come up with outdoor activities to do on weekends. At first, I was confused because I expected the tool to just make a list of my websites, much like I do on my library website. But his tool is actually about creating a search engine to look through those sites for specific information. What I learned is that you want to be very speicific about the sites you include on your list. Sites like "National Park Service" will yield way too many results if you are only interested in things to do in the Bay Area.

I can see this tool being useful for teachers who want kids to only use specific sites to search for information. Again, you would have to test it out once you have created a list to make sure the results are not too narrow or too broad.

The link to my search engine "My Saturday Adventures" is http://rollyo.com/christobel04/my_saturday_adventures/

Week 5, Thing #11, Award Winners & Nings

I decided to explore Library Thing since it is a site that I have heard about but haven't used yet. I like the idea of being able to catalog my home book collection. We have been talking about it because we do have quite a few books (occupational hazard, right?)! I guess the information from Amazon is accurate enough. I would have to play with it more to be sure.

As far as work applications go, I can see using this site to help generate displays in the library. I see some people have figured out how to get images of book covers onto their blogs. Do they use the pictures from this site? The site seems easy to navigate and contains lots of useful information.

I am less convinced about the social networking part of the site. I can see the appeal for some people, but I am not much of one for sharing my thoughts on books. I know that sounds funny, coming from someone who is always talking books and trying to convince kids to read. I can see how this site facilitates those kinds of activities. Speaking on a purely personal level, though, I have to admit that I don't really even like book clubs. I guess I just like processing what I've read privately. There are people, including kids, who draw meaning from these kinds of exchanges. This site allows both personal exchanges and the chance to network with others who have common interests, so I can see using something like this in the library to reach those users.

I looked at Nings, but didn't join one. I guess I feel like I am already on information overload and don't need another forum to deal with right now. It is good to know it is there for later, though.

Week 5, Thing #10, Image Generators

The application that came to mind for this one was to create a friendlier reminder sign for my students. During the school day, we restrict our library computer use to schoolwork only. By using a cartoon reminder, I thought that the sign would get noticed more without it seeming to be too heavy handed. See what you think.