Monday, January 28, 2008

Week 8, Thing #19, Library Thing

Note Number One--I notice I mistakenly titled my last post as week 6 instead of week 8, but I can't find a way of going back and editing it. So I guess the lesson is "once published, it stays"?

Now, for Library Thing. Of course, I love this program. Maybe it is because this kind of work is familiar, but this site makes cataloging and organizing a collection SO easy. I like that you can display the list in different ways, add tags and that it displays the covers. I found the site easy to use and the explanations of what you could do and how to do it good. I'll definitely be a frequent user of this site.

As test cases, I did 2 of my historical fiction books and 3 of my textbooks from a favorite college class. I'd have to say that using the Library of Congress records instead of Amazon worked better for the textbooks. The information is more complete. Of course, my fiction books were more popular and had more reviews. There were a few people who had my textbooks, though. I would assume that those people have a similar interest in this field to mine. Why else would you keep the textbooks? Using the social part of this site could link me with them so I could pursue learning more about the subject.

In the library, I can see using this tool to create and feature collections such as new books. I will have to check out how I can use it in conjunction with my library web page. I hope the district controls allow it through! At home, I can see using it to organize my personal library. I especially like the idea of comparing with others who have similar books. That is what I need--ideas for more books to get! You know what I mean!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Week 8, Thing #18, Zoho Writer

I was excited to experiment with this site which is a site for web based use of common applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations. I've had experiences in the past with the frustration of trying to share documents or working on editing documents with people in other locations. This seemed like the perfect tool for dealing with some of those situations.

I created a document in the Zoho Writer area and experimented to see what I could do with the program. I did like the toolbar and many of the things it was able to do. There were plenty of tools there to use. However, the program was not as intuitive as I would have liked. I had trouble figuring out how to do some things, like returning to the document after viewing it in "preview" and trying to rename the document. I couldn't get the photo import to work at all despite an hour of trying. I never could get the spell check application to work either, which is essential.

I would be interested to try creating a document and sending it to someone for editing to see how well the sharing part works. I can see how using the web to do this would be an advantage. That way, you are not tied to one computer or a particular program. That is a very attractive idea. I also notice that they have a wiki application. Since I am interested in learning more about creating one, I will probably experiment with this to see how well it works.

I also added the picture here that I tried to put in my Zoho document. It helped me dissipate my frustration at not being able to do it before (and also let me know that the photo was not creating the problem). It also reminds me that although it is winter outside, summer--and
my opportunity to be outdoors--is not far off!