Saturday, October 4, 2008

Am I Still Lost in Cyberspace ??

personalized greetings

(Click on Play - only takes 5 seconds)

Well the fog is starting to clear! And what a relief - it's so great to know that I have actually got to the end of these 23 Things and I feel so much more knowledgeable and confident with Web 2.0 technology.

I have enjoyed most of the exercises - even learning about tools and applications that I may never use again - it's good to know they are there and know what others are talking about. I would like to investigate Flickr further (and set up an account) and Wikis. I'm sure I'll make use of image generators, and the on line productivity tools. I'll also go back to Library Thing and some of the Geneology sites.

While I didn't particularly enjoy RSS Feeds and Podcasts so much, I was pleased I was able to do the exercise (with some help and reading the instructions). I did learn more about them and how to search and read the screen on the web - so the learning wasn't wasted!

This programme pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me do things I wouldn't have tried otherwise. I found out that if I tried and sometimes persisted I was able to do it - up until now anything to do with new technology I just asked my children - now I know that I can do it myself!!

Thanks to the Team for all their help and encouragement and to the other Participants for the inspiration and welcome distraction their blogs provided.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Social Networking and Libraries

Some interesting comments in the articles in this exercise. I looked at some of the Library My Space sites and while the medium doesn't appeal to me personally I appreciate that the young ones are using these sites and that they appeal to them.

Is there a place for social networking sites in libraries? I think the answer has to be Yes .... this is the communication tool young people are using today! It offers another way of reaching out to the community, taking the library to those who may never come in, and giving patrons a voice in their library.

But (and there is a big BUT) it has to be done well and be well maintained. It needs to be relevant to libraries - offering a one stop shop for book reviews (both library and patron reviews), author information, librarian's tips on study topics, information on library events, link to the library catalogue, forum for patrons to have their say on library matters, etc.

Bebo, My Space and Facebook

This exercise was good as it made me find out more about these social networking sites myself rather than relying on information gleaned from the media, contemporaries and my children.

I was interested to find out more about Facebook as, apart from my children, even some of my contemporaries have joined ! I joined using my pseudonym (I'm not ready myself yet) so I could have a better look around. For those who are into communicating through the web I can see that this site offers a place where people can catch up with one another, share photos, play games, etc. and it seems easy to use. People with particular interests can make up a group and communicate through Facebook as well.

I looked at Bebo through the ACL and Rotorua Library sites and the My Space home page (didn't want to sign up), I found the screens very busy with lots of scrolling and frivilous goings-on - not something I'd be interested in (but then I suppose it's not aimed at my age group anyway!).

So, what do I think about these social networking sites now that I have actually had a nosey around? They still don't appeal to me personally - although I can see that they do serve a purpose and, if used sensibly, are just another way of communicating and keeping up to date with what friends and family are up to. I do worry about people putting too much personal information up on the web and how it can "expose" you e.g. through inappropriate photos and comments left on your "wall".

Saturday, September 13, 2008


As someone who loves "real" books and the whole reading experience of curling up with a good book in a comfortable environment, the thought of downloading a novel and reading from a computer screen does not appeal in the slightest.

However, doing this exercise has broadened my outlook and I must concede that there is a place for ebooks, especially in the areas of research and study - being able to access and download out of print books, classics, rare poems, etc. at the touch of a mouse/keyboard (or whatever!) is great.

And, with the emergence of reading devices such as Kindle, which enables people to store books and information in one place as well as offering a light, hand held screen for display, I can see ebooks becoming a choice for some people (not me yet ... I'm still coming to terms with texting!)

I used the Gutenberg site to search for A. B. Paterson. It listed six of his titles. I selected "The Man from Snowy River" where I had the option to download the text or read online. I then did the same search on LibriVox with no results so I changed the search to a sure on - Pride and Prejudice and got 4 results with the option to download chapter by chapter. Wonder how long it takes to download? Both sites were easy to use.


This exercise has taken a while for the lightbulb to go on! I understand what podcasts are but it took me a while playing around in the directories to work out how to use them and to get feeds to add to Bloglines.

I liked PodNova and Podcastalley the best - they gave the best results and were displayed in a user-friendly format. I particularly liked the options for browsing in PodNova. I searched for "library news" in all the directories and the results were quite different. I couldn't find anything that was particularly appealing - maybe I wasn't digging deep enough or that podcasts just aren't my thing.

I added some podcasts - Library Geeks and Guitar lessons - to my Bloglines account which was pretty simple to do. I also managed to add a couple of podcasts to my son's ipod list on the computer - that happened when I selected download - I presume it found a compatable site on the computer. Anyway I'm sure he'll appreciate taking some guitar lessons instead of listening to his favourite music the next time he goes into the site and .... I'll just play dumb!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

You Tube

I wasn't overly impressed with the library videos in this exercise but can see that if produced to a high quality and with a pertinent message videos could be an effective way of marketing the library and upcoming events - especially for the teen market. Could the video be added to the Web page?

I had a look around the You Tube site and didn't know where to start to find something for this exercise. Watching videos on a computer doesn't really appeal although I do appreciate some of the funny / inspirational ones that we get via email. This reminded me of one that was emailed to us recently (had us in stitches) so I wondered if I'd be able to find it again. I did a search for "waterbeds funny" and lo and behold! - success. Up popped the very one that had been emailed to us. Not only was I able to find it but have also managed to embed it in my blog for you all to enjoy! Let me know what you think....

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Web 2.0 Awards

I had a look at quite a few of the sites that I was interested in from the Winners List. It was all very interesting, some easier to navigate than others.

Google Maps is a particular faviourite of mine - so easy to use and it gives results in an instant. From the home page (with a map of the whole world), I typed in my home address and within seconds my street is right there on the screen. You can have a street or satellite view, show the terrain, view photos and get directions. With a son overseas and hosting overseas homestays, it's wonderful to be able to get an idea of where they are or have come from.

I also looked at some geneaology sites (Genie and My Heritage) - both were extremely easy to use and I loved the idea of being able to build a family tree, record family history and photos that is only shared within the family.

Zoho Writer

Welcome to Howie-nz's Zoho Writer Exercise

I thought I'd do this exercise using Zoho Writer and try to upload it onto my Blog - so if you are reading this - I've been successful!!!

Well we've gone from pen and paper, typewriters, electric typewriters, word processors and now this .. the Zoho writer which has all the benefits of the word processor plus the Web 2.0 technologies. The mind boggles as to what is next!

I particularly like that it has all the familiar features of Word plus heaps more. I have noticed that when I've played around with some of the features, e.g. add a comment, smiley, line spacing, etc. it takes a wee while to work ... is it the time of day, or just so many people using this application - if it happens alot that could be a down side to sharing this application with so many other people in the world!

I've have a quick look at the other Zoho services and it is very impressive - so much you can do. Will have to go back at another time and explore further.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I've looked around Rollyo, created two search rolls and even managed to save the Searchroll to my Blog (thanks to the very clear instructions on the Exercises Blog - which the Rollyo site doesn't appear to have).

From what I can gather, Rollyo seems to offer a way to store all your favourite search engines in one place. As an alternative to using "Favourites? or is there something more it offers - I'm not quite sure on this one.

Here is a link to my search rolls:

Monday, September 1, 2008

Library Thing

What a wonderful tool for libraries and booklovers alike. Easy to use (must be - because I managed to catalogue some books, add tags, search for them in different ways, looked at the ratings, and read some conversations people in cyberspace were having about the books). I particularly liked the set up, the fact that you can have your very own on-line cataglogue, and your own tags. Whether I'd ever get around to catagloguing my own books remains to be seen but I am certainly inspired!!

Here's a link to my library catalogue .....

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Image Generators

Well, well, well ... aren't I just a clever clogs! I managed to create this flashing sign on the side of my blog here by using Imagechef. I couldn't believe how easy it was to get onto the blog - well, I actually had two for a while because I selected the option to add it to my blog but when I went to the blog it wasn't there. Of course, it was lost in cyberspace - so I went back and copied the URL instead and pasted it into this post. When I published the post I found I had two flashing images as the other image had eventually found its way to my blog. One had to go, so decided to keep the one in the sidebar.

These Image Generators are great to have a bit of fun with... jazz up greeting cards, customise photos, blogs or any online documents.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wiki Sandbox

Well I've been there and left my mark in the sandbox! I made some contributions to a few of the "favourites" pages and found it very easy to use - my problem was thinking of what to say. I can see how this application would be useful for groups of people wanting to share information etc. in their areas of interest.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wiki, Wiki, Wikis...

I'd heard about Wikis before but have never really looked into them so this has been a good opportunity to find out more. I can see how Wikis can be a very useful tool in getting people's knowledge and ideas out there and also the fact that information can be quickly updated. Of course, anyone reading the Wiki would need to appreciate that it is subjective and check other sources if necessary.

I loved the Book Lovers Wiki and think NSL could offer our patrons something similar. The Wiki was really well set out, easy to use and each title had a link to the catalogue so patrons could check availability. I can also see NSL using a Wiki for staff manuals and training documents - I found some other libraries have used and was impressed. I seem to think you can set editing restrictions which would be needed for this type of thing (?).

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Library 2.0

This exercise has certainly been interesting and thought provoking. The video was good - loved the way they got the message across... very much the way my written communication evolves these days (I could never go back to paper, pencil, or typewriter!)

I liked what Michael Stephens had to say in his article
Into a New World of Librarianship, which defines Librarian 2.0, as the “strategy guide” for helping users find information, gather knowledge and create content and then explores the important traits of Librarian 2.0.

The Librarian today needs to be constantly thinking about what and how Web 2.0 technologies can be best utilised to meet the ever changing needs of our users. I see this as something that can enhance the service we have always offered not replace it. Libraries need to meet the needs of all its users and the Web 2.0 technologies are part of that but not all - people will still want the personal contact, a community meeting place or even an old fashioned book.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


As a search tool, I found Technorati easy to use ... but the screen itself very busy with all those adverts and information to wade through.

When I searched for Learning 2.0 as asked, I got 7,661 posts; I changed the search to the blog directory and got 914 results. I could only find the option to search for tags in the Advanced search and got 1,263 results (not sure if there was another way but at least I found that). Even 914 results are way too many for me to wade through.

Noticed you could change the language and authority. When I changed the authority from the default of some authority to a lot of authority the results went up to 7,761!

It was interesting to see what people consider to be the popular blogs, searches and tags ... but really! who has the time to go through all of this. When Paris Hilton, Jennifer Garner and Jennifer Aniston make the top 9 you really have to wonder who is looking at all this stuff in cyberspace. But then I suppose that is why there are tools like Technorati - to help those that way inclined find out the latest on Paris and the two Jennifers.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I liked the look of and searched through the bookmarks and tags and found it easy to use.
Just a bit of trivia:
Under the useful tag - "online alarm clock" with 1724 bookmarks
There is a site for Confusing words with 1063 bookmarks
155 bookmarks were added in the last minute

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Searching for RSS Feeds ....

I liked the look of Topix and Technorati and I found Bloglines easy to use because I was familiar with it from the last exercise. Syndic8 was far too busy, I didn't even go there.

I had a play around the sites and picked up useful bits of information at the time (like the lastest with the Olympics, breaking news, etc) and also managed to add another feed to my blog (Sydney Morning Herald). I don't think seaching for RSS feeds will become a new passion of mine!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

RSS Feeds - A few Lightbulb moments!

Well it took quite a while of being lost in the world of RSS feeds before the lightbulb finally went on!! I had actually created a Bloglines account and subscribed to some feeds without even knowing I'd done it ... but hey - I'll take the credit!

Now that I think about it (another lightbulb!!), my computer at home must be using an RSS feed because every time I open it, it opens onto a home page with the current news on it. I obviously didn't set it up because I didn't really know how it got there in the first place (I do appreciate having it there though) ... but then I have teenagers and things like that happen around our house all the time!

Another lightbulb moment was when I uploaded a feed of the NSL Exercises blog (see left) which enables me to access the Exercises blog from my own blog. I can really see the sense in that and it made me think that you could these RSS feeds for all sorts of things.

If you want to try it - Just subscribe to the NSL Exercise blog in your bloglines account and copy the URL address from there. Then go to your blog, click on Customise, Click on Add a Gadget, Select Blog List, Click on Add to Blog, Click on Add a Blog to your list, copy and paste the URL address of Exercises blog, then click on ADD, Add to List, then Save.

Will I actually use RSS feeds or bloglines ??.... I'm not sure - I'm not one for playing around on the computer unless I have something specific to do and I much prefer getting my information in the printed format! but hey, never say never ... a few years ago I wouldn't have been texting or emailing either.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

It's Technology that keeps me lost in Cyberspace!

Living in a male dominated household has meant that I never get the chance to use a remote, a video camera, work out the settings for the digital camera, download photos, set up configurations for computer, TV, steroes, mobile phones, etc. OK, I'll admit I am partly to blame, as when something new comes along, it's so much easier if it is already set up so all I need to do is ...well, just use it!

I know this state of affairs will have to change and change fast ... if I am ever going to find my way in Cyberspace. With the technology today and particularly what's available with the internet and world wide web I won't be able to rely on my "boys" to put me right ... I have to be able to do it myself.

So tomorrow ... I'll start by sending a text!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Fun with Flickr and Flickr Mashups

You sure can spend (waste?) a lot of time playing around with Flickr! It's amazing what you can do and how it can encourage your creative side ... but I haven't got the time. Using Flickr to organise and save my photos and possibly make them accessible to family through the web is probably the most I'd use Flickr for. Although I did find Bubblr - using bubbles to put captions on photos - in Web Apps which is something I would use.

Anyway, I explored Montagr, used the search tag "Sydney" (keeping with my Sydney theme) and came up with a lovely mosaic. When you move the mouse over individual photos you will see a larger version - just a bit of fun and caught my attention because I like mosaics.

Thoughts on Flickr

I really like the idea of using a site like Flickr to organise my photos and know that they are safe and easily accessible. I'm not sure I would make them public though - not personal photos which are really the only ones I have. My husband is the one that downloads all the photos in this house - so I'll have to introduce him to Flickr!!

I would imagine Flickr would be wonderful for photography buffs - a medium for them to get their photos "out there", store them and to be easily found by using "tags".

I have had a look around the Flickr sight and found this photo which reminds me of home!
I have pasted the link for you to enjoy as well. You can also use the browse arrows on the Photostream (the the right of picture) to view more photos on Sydney. I used "tags" to find these images.

I opted not the get a Flickr account (so can't down load). I will leave that to my husband once I've told him about it and suggest he uses it for all our photos!!

Monday, June 30, 2008

First Post for NSL Web 2.0

This has been so much fun! The days of cutting and pasting are long gone ... now it's just select a colour ... select a font .... select a style .... don't like it?? ... don't worry ... just press cancel and start again.

Are there any more templates to select from?