Sunday, May 18, 2008

Networking and all that...

I love Facebook - it's really a wonderful way to waste time - I've settled down a bit since joining Facebook about a year ago - I've just incorporated it into my morning routine - breakfast, email, Facebook. I have gotten back in touch with many old friends and have learnt a lot more about my current friends and work colleagues. I can see how some people could find it useful as a professional networking tool, but I prefer to keep it at the social level.

MySpace is also good, thought I don't use it often. I'm hoping to set up a YA page in MySpace by the end of this year - I run a YA film club through my library and I think MySpace would be a good way to reach out to a wider audience.

I'm intrigued by the idea of Second Life, but it also scares me. I've witnessed first-hand what can happen when people withdraw from the real world into the virtual - the results can be messy, as people can lose a lot of real-world social skills. But I still think it's pretty cool. I guess it's important for libraries to have a presence in Second Life, but I don't see any great shifts in service delivery coming from it.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Collaboration made easy

I knew about, but have never looked at, all the online document creation & sharing tools. I think these tools are so valuable for those who can't afford or don't wish to support Mr Gates' expanding empire. Unfortunately in my day-to-day work I will continue to use Microsoft & Adobe products, but I can really see the potential. I like Jott, I sent that one onto my boss - he's always extremely busy and travels a lot, so I think it will be a great way for him to communicate with me on the fly.

Applications like GoogleDocs will make collaboration so much easier - I can picture school & university students getting a lot of value out of it. It could also make communication across library systems (rather than within) more efficient - I'm thinking particularly in terms of new policy development etc. What I think is really cool is you can convert the documents back into Microsoft formats anyway - so if you need to share it with someone who can't access GoogleDocs (maybe no Internet?), you still can!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I love the Web 2.0 trend of coming up with a new buzzword for absolutely everything that happens...

The best mashup I have seen was demonstrated by Chris Sherman at a Power Searching with the Pros workshop (highly recommend it!). Its the Google Maplets feature. Chris used the Geo-Biography of JMW Turner as an example, but there are many many more. Just have a look at Google Maps Directory to see them all!

Here's my first attempt, using Big Huge Labs.

It's a pod world

There are some great podcast initiatives out there. It's an obvious mechanism for libraries to deliver training to staff and customers. My library service runs multiple public workshops/lectures every month, it would be great if we could caputre these and make them available to a wider audience.

I have just attended a Web Search Pacific 2 day workshop - Power Searching with the Pros. I think this course is essential for all library staff - it was really amazing! We were presented with other exciting ways podcasts are being used. The first is MIT offering 1800 FREE courses to anyone online using a variety of media, including podcasts. Also, check out EveryZing, a multimedia search engine - great for podcasts, and you can get full transcripts of casts, created on the fly. There are bugs of course - in particular there are some issues with accent identification, but overall, what a great initiative and exciting glimpse into the future!