Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thing 23. Final Thoughts

I can't believe I'm done. It's been a great adventure learning about Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 technologies. There some tools like Online Image Generators, Flickr, LibraryThing and others, that I will definitely use again in the very near future.

I thank the Regional Systems and my Library for giving me the opportunity to participate. I will gladly participate if similar program is launched in the future.


Monday, April 7, 2008

Thing 15. Online Games and Libraries

I have heard a lot about Second Life. I recently read an article about how a woman is making over $300,000 a year (yes, US dollars and not Linden dollars) by designing clothing specifically for Second Life (am I in the wrong field here?). I also read about how people can participate in their favorite virtual MTV reality shows.

My initial reaction was "Where do people get the time to live in an alternative universe?" I'm having a hard time as is juggling work and family life and the occasional cleaning (yes, my house is messy and it drives me crazy at times but I have managed to just let it slide for the sake of my sanity) let alone buy a plot, build a house, conduct business and play games on Second Life!

I tried downloading Second Life at my home computer but it kept crashing my laptop. My husband thinks it might be due to insufficient memory as he has a lot of work applications loaded that are hoggers of memory and that Second Life needs a lot of memory as well. I wasn't comfortable downloading Second Life at work so I basically just looked around their site.

As a numbers person, I found the statistics very interesting. According to its Economics Statistics, there are currently 13,203,599 residents in Second Life and this is a pretty big number to ignore. Over 16,000 residents spent $10-$50 during the month of March 2008! Second Life has its own economy and it is thriving.

It makes sense why some libraries have a presence in Second Life. If this is where your patrons are "living" then you need to be there in order to reach them.

I can also see the appeal of Second Life. You can be who you want to be, look how you want to look and do what you want to. You can own your own island, visit exotic places and even fly! And who doesn't want to be able to fly....

Thing 22. What Did I Learn Today?

I really enjoyed this experience! I had the opportunity to try many new and emerging technologies and as a result know a lot more about Library 2.0 and Web 2.0 tools. I thank Minnesota’s seven multicounty multitype library systems for putting on this program and my library for letting me embark on this "journey."

  • I will try my best to carve out time out of my busy schedule to maintain my blog

  • I will try to continue using the tools I have learned in the past few months

  • I will try not to ignore my blog

  • I will try to take more classes on new and emerging technologies to stay current

Wish me luck!

Thing 21. Beyond MySpace: Other Social Networks

The link to the article "MySpace for Books" did not work even after several attempts. After reading a suggestion by Nan Hoekstra on the 23 Things Blog, I pasted the URL she provided and was able to access the article. Luckily, the link for the WebJunction article was working.

View my page on 23 Things on a Stick

Visit 23 Things on a Stick

I do like Ning. I did however have a difficult time trying to post my avatar picture to my Ning profile. In the end, I used a real photo of myself. I also left a comment for a colleague who was one of the first in our library to finish all 23 Things.

I'm not sure if I will frequent social networks as much. Part of the reason is time. As a full time working mother, it is very difficult to make time for anything else besides work and family. My job responsibilities are more mundane such as finance so I wouldn't be using these tools to complete my work tasks either.

I have enjoyed learning all these new tools and appreciate being given the opportunity to do so.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Thing 20. Libraries and Social Networks

I have had an account on Facebook for almost 9 months. I use it to communicate and share photos/information with my family and friends, many of whom live all over the world. It's free and easy.

I prefer Facebook to other social networking sites as I can choose who I want to be friends with. I like that people who are not in my Friends list cannot see my full profile and posted photos. I'm more of a private person and don't like to have too much personal information on cyberspace for everyone to see. I also don't like the idea of strangers looking at photos of my daughter.

Since the 9 months that I have been on Facebook, I have been contacted by friends from high school whom I haven't seen or talked to in ages. It's been very fun reconnecting with them! I currently belong to 3 groups but don't want to add additional groups to my account at this stage. I have a hard time as is with work and raising a family to find time to constantly check my account.

I can definitely see the appeal of social networking sites. I am also not surprised that teenagers make up a bulk of the groups. There is a certain freedom on the web where you can be who you want to be. I heard a very interesting piece on MPR about how parents are warning their kids not to put too much personal or inappropriate information on these sites as it can come back to haunt them in the future e.g. when you are looking for a job after you graduate.

I, for one, am happy that my daughter is only 2 and does not visit these sites yet.

Thing 19. Podcasts

I went to the Minnesota Public Radio site and downloaded a podcast of one of the Midmorning with Kerri Miller episodes. The one I chose was titled "The Dumbing of America." I personally don't think I will create my own podcast but I do intend to subscribe to a number of them.

As for the podcast directories, I liked the best. It was simple and easy to use. was down so I couldn't get to it and the other directories were pretty good.

My library is working on creating podcasts of general staff meetings so that employees who are unable to attend these meetings will still be able to listen to the information at a later date.

Thing 18. YouTube & Other Online Video

I normally go to YouTube so that my two year old daughter can watch the Wiggles, an Australian children's musical group. She simply loves the songs and dance! What I find a little alarming is that even at a tender age of two it is very hard to get my daughter to stop watching these clips. If she had her way, she would continue watching all day. This can be addictive and there are a lot of very inappropriate videos on YouTube as well. But then there are also very good ones on it as well.

The video that I am posting from YouTube to my blog is a very interesting piece about how global warming is affecting every part of the world, including a Sherpa village in the mountainous regions of Khumbu, Nepal. What is interesting to me is that it is a piece done by Al Jazeera English, which is a news channel that is not available in the US.

YouTube is easy to navigate but consumes a lot of bandwidth so it's imperative that videos are viewed during "non-rush" hour Internet traffic. I had to pause the streaming first and wait for the whole video to download so I could view it without stops.

A Library can use YouTube to advertise its services and programs to a wide audience. And it is probably one of the few ways to reach the younger generation!