Monday, February 2, 2009

Thing 24

I am SO glad that the Things are back!

I've changed the look of my blog and updated my profile. There's more about me now!

It's pretty obvious that I didn't continue making entries on this blog after I finished the first 23 Things. But--I did create another one. After I was diagnosed with breast cancer last spring, I decided the use the knowledge and skills I had developed through participation in the 23 Things program to produce a personal blog for my family. I bought one of the "Grandma remembers" kind of books, and I used those topics to guide my entries.

I've also used photo sharing sites, and I'm loving the mash-ups! Great fun, and useful too.

So--here I am again--Ready To Go!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Thing 23: One Last Thing!

Well, I did it! All 23 things completed. I really enjoyed this program, and I've recommended it to several other people. It is a sort of security blanket, too, to know this site will be around for a while, so I can go back for a refresher course if I need to.

I did have a few experiences where links didn't work. I think it might be helpful to include citations to articles so in those rare cases we can get the information via another route.

I really hope the multi-types sponsor another program like this. I would be an eager participant.

I also want to offer a heart-felt thank you to everyone responsible for bringing us 23 Things. I know it was a lot of work, but library users everywhere will benefit from your efforts.

Thing 22: What Did I Learn Today?

I think the most helpful tool for me will be using RSS feeds. Like everything else in life, it's nice to have the information I need come to me rather than always having to go looking for it! The 15 minutes a day approach will work well, too. I have lots of sites in the Thing descriptions that warrant return visits. I also want to inform the people I work with about these sites and encourage them to spend at least 15 minutes each day exploring and learning.

I have found the Things to be fun (at least most of them :-) ). And I was encouraged to discover than I could do them. I was fortunate to have helpful people of whom I could--and did--ask questions. Thank you, everybody!

Thing 21: Beyond MySpace

This Thing has been interesting. I've looked at Gather and Web Junction, and I've created a Ning account. These networks are much less frenetic than are Facebook or MySpace. I joined the 23 Thing on a Stick Group on Ning, added a comment to a couple of people's pages, and uploaded a picture of me and Bill Durbin taken when he spoke on campus this spring.

I'm not sure if I read the right article Publisher's Weekly or not, since the link didn't work. (Suggestion: It would be helpful to include the citation as well as the link, so we could be sure we get to the recommended article.) I found the Web Junction article interesting and thought-provoking. The were lots of fairly doable ideas here that could be applied to marketing a number of library events.

I spent a little time looking at What's on My Bookshelf and goodreads. What's on My Bookshelf appears to be a book trading site rather than a place to share recommendations. Goodreads looks like it could be an interesting place to spend a little time--it includes author contributions as well as member ratings. I see Susan Wittig Albert has a page, and I just picked up her newest, Nightshade, at the public library yesterday. I plan to come back here and read her comments and see if any other of my favorite authors have pages. I also use the BooksIread application on Facebook to keep track of titles I'd like to read and to see what my friends are reading.

I looked at 43 Things, too, because I need all the help I can get in getting things done! I think this would be fun, but the time I'd spend here is time I would NOT be getting things done!

Of all the Things, this is probably one of them where I've encountered the most unknown territory. Although I am embarrassed to admit it, I really did not know all of these social networks existed. I can only imagine how many new ones are being created all the time. There seems to be an online community to meet every interest a person might have.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thing 20: Social Networks

Facebook has been a major part of my day for almost a year now. (Okay, I know I got to it late!) I've gradually added friends and joined some groups. My library school has a group, but so far I haven't found any of my classmates. I've also joined some of our local groups, and I admit to monitoring some of the public groups that I haven't joined yet. One of my advisees created a group last summer for first-year students who were coming to Concordia. It was really interesting to see how these people from all over the country found each other on Facebook and how it provided a venue for them to ask each other questions and share information with other group members. These kids had formed a community before they arrived on campus!

I'm fairly cautious about what I post on Facebook--not that I really do anything I couldn't share! It just seems like so public a space, and I'm not by nature a public person. But at the same time I enjoy seeing videos and photos my friends post. But sometimes I see some pretty inappropriate things people have posted. I'm waiting for the first political scandal that focuses on information media folks pull out of a social network site!

There are lots of library uses for social networks. Our Circulation People are using their Facebook group as a student training measure. (Check out Soma on a Stick if you'd like to learn more!) The students used Facebook as a way to gather information about our Pay it Forward purchases. Both of these are good ideas, and I know there are lots of others.

While I know many college age people were appalled when the network opened up to everyone, many people of my generation are also interested. I held a small workshop for friends last fall, and we explored Facebook and became familiar with some of its features. Just as people of all ages embraced email and the web, people of all ages are embracing social networks. Everybody--not just young people--like to belong to a group.

By the way--did I mention Scrabulous? This application alone makes Facebook worthwhile!

Thing 19: Podcasts

I listen to podcasts quite often, but I've never subscribed to a feed before, so it was good to figure out how to do that. Most of the ones I've listened to have been news-based, and I've checked out MINITEX podcasts as well. One of the sites I explored were the MPR offerings. I love Grammar Grater--this one I'm sure I'll never miss!

I didn't have very good luck with other podcasts, though. The first thing I looked for was a Minnesota Twins podcast. I found one, listened to it, and found out it was this guy's final offering--sigh... Then I checked out and searched for "library." I located University of Oklahome podcasts, and I was excited to "see" what they had posted. Again--no luck. Nothing loaded or connected. Might there be security issues??

Then I looked at Podcast Alley. I liked the way the site looked, but I didn't find anything right off the bat that was work-related. also presented well. Although I didn't find any work-related files quickly, this sight also looked like I could spend a lot of time here checking out lots of interesting things. The final site, Educational Podcast Directory, was also a little disappointing at first glance, but I'll admit I didn't spend much time trying it out.

I probably won't do any podcasting myself, but I'm glad I figured out how to subscribe to them so I can listen to them at my convenience. And who knows--maybe there will be another Minnesota Twins podcast sometime this summer! GO TWINS!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Thing 18: YouTube and other Online Video Sites

I love YouTube! And I can wile away a great many minutes just searching for interesting videos--on any number of topics. Lately I've been missing having pets around, so I looked at some kittens. They are sooo cute! I could just take this one home with me!

Erika choose a YouTube video to use with our First Year Students last year. Most of them knew YouTube and were comfortable with it, so it was a great way to introduce some of the concepts of Web 2.0 and information literacy. It would be fun to produce a video of our own to focus on things in our library, but it would take a lot of time and require acquiring some skills I do NOT now possess! It might be kind of fun to sponsor a "promote the library with video" contest just to see what our users would come up with.

As for exploring other sites, that is a new Thing. I tried a search for "library" in YouTube, Google video, and Yahoo Video. I got about the same thing in YouTube and Google, but I was really disappointed in what floated to the top in Yahoo. Yuck! I'm always amazed, when I find articles like the Top Ten Sites for [whatever], how many sites there are already devoted to things other than the big ones everybody knows about.