12 December 2007

Learning 2.1

I'm back after a deserved break.

I found with great curiosity that there's a website to continue with this program and learn another 23 things.

Learning 2.1

This site has been created to support on-going discovery and learning of web 2.0 technologies as an extension of the Learning 2.0 program. Thanks Zoya for letting us know about it!

So I guess I'll embark myself in this new adventure. There are interesting tools, from learning languages to file convertion, online storage, photo editing, etc etc... Let's have fun!

04 November 2007

Final thoughts: "Print is Dead: Books in Our Digital Age"

Final line there you are!!!!! I can't believe I'm finished
I only have grateful words for this Web 2.0 Learning program. It was a fascinating experience.
My work at the Library is helping patrons to use computers, specially the Internet, so this training has been so relevant to my daily tasks that I only can be grateful for it. I learned heaps, and realised how well behind I was and how much there's to explore ahead.

I loved the image and photo exercises. I really enjoyed playing with these creative tools and had fun like a child with new crayons.
Also I got fascinated with my exploration of the sites from the Web 2.0 awards. Gee! There are so many tools out there to discover!

One of the best thing of the program was it opened myself up to reflect about many issues I hadn't payed much attention before like How is technology changing us? Where are we heading up to? What are the pro and cons of having so many tech tools in front of us? and the most intriguing of all.... Where will the next generation of the web take libraries??

So, for my final thoughts I leave some ideas of the book I recently found "Print is Dead: Books in Our Digital Age" by Jeff Gomez.
His ideas may sound cruel or blasphemous to librarians or book lovers, but he gives facts hard to deny.

This book explores the fate of book in this digital era. He offers very radical and controversial opinions: like saying books are still on our shelves but not on our hearts anymore, they are destined to fade away not because of the Internet, e-books, mobile phones or ipods but for our lack of interest on them.
He says consumers are not ready for replacing books, they feel uncomfortable with digital books but it is a matter of time (...) the truth is, most of the people do their reading digitally and the Internet is currently the first source of information dissemination.
He makes a parallel between this time and Gutenberg times when the first books appeared, there was the same skepticism as today towards digital books, he says.
(...) While print is not yet dead, it is undoubtedly sickening. Newspaper readership has been in decline for years, magazines are also in trouble, and trade publishing (the selling of novels and non-fiction books to adults primarily for entertainment), has not seen any substantial growth for years. More and more people are turning away from traditional methods of reading, turning instead to their computers and the Internet for information and entertainment. Whether this comes in the form of getting news online, reading a blog, or contributing to a wiki, the general population is shifting away from print consumption, heading instead to increasingly digital lives.
(...)
................ Listen it for yourself: free podcasts of excerpts on his website or my bloglines)

Thank you Lynette and all the team behind this program!

Final thoughts: Our Library and the future

We already explored some interesting perspectives on Exercise 15 :Where will the next generation of the web it take libraries?

I see, or would like to see, a real concrete application of Web 2.0 tools within our library environment. At an internal level, for staff, at first. It would be fascinating to see how they work, how we engage, how useful can they become...
Think for a minute...staff Queries Box sitting empty on office desks, whiteboard with news, suggestions and other scribblings, photos or newspaper cutouts on pinboards, IT howto's sheets all over the place... I wonder... just wonder... is it somebody else out there willing to try to digitalise these.... create a wiki... a photo sharing site... a blog... Is this idea still too cold? More baking time?

At a different level, I guess the time has yet to come to apply these tools to help servicing our community... It is too premature now. It wouldn't be much engaged people right away, and that could be discouraging, but it is a matter of trying.
A virtual library is a new concept that some people may like: Patrons could post their comments on books, contribute to booklists, access wikis to get homework help, download podcasts we create, watch videos...

After this Web 2.0 learning experience we know the options are there to be implemented!

03 November 2007

Podcasts

I've never explored podcasts before Web 2.0 Learning. I even have an ipod but never bothered to download anything other than mp3s.
Probably my life is too hectic at the moment to sit down quietly to listen to a podcast.

Recently I discovered podcasts for toddlers as I mention on one of my post below "Techno Toddlers". I'm registered to it using ITunes. I also found very attractive podcasts about "Tales about immigration" or "Yoga classes".

Podcasts could be useful in our Library if we can find a way to organise all the topics in a clean way. It would be worthless having a blogpodcast and you spend precious time in front of the patron trying to find (while listening) relevant information for him. I guess this would only work if patrons access this service from home. Again, as I mentioned in relation to YouTube, wikis, and the whole web 2.0 we have to start talking about a virtual library where the face to face service is secondary.

But one that really interested me and is highly relevant to all of us working in a Library is a podcast of Excerpts from the book "Print is Dead: Books in Our Digital Age " by Jeff Gomez. I guess I'll leave the description for a new post... tune in!

Hear the author reading experts from this book, find the podcast on his website or from my Bloglines Feeds.

YouTube

YouTube is a fascinating tool. I guess it brought a new whole dimention to the web, almost like television did to the radio era. And I think this is just the beginning, we will see more and more development of these tools. As people become more familiar with the web 2.0 world and count with faster connections at home and companies understand the profit sourse this represent, video sharing will keep on inmensely growing .

Of course, there are downsides. YouTube is a Pandora's box, anything can pop out: from a hidden gem to an unuseful piece of rubbish. This is exactly what the folowing ad from the beauty company "Dove" explores.
Are we creating beauty or Frankenstains?

Probably we are not ready at our library to fully embrace this video sharing wave.
I'm trying to imagine how could we use YouTube in our library... Let's assume we had fast connections and a breeze downloads... How would we splash into this Pandora's Box to get some useful information for a patron? Time consuming and not an effective quick service. Could we set up a database or a video blogging with video content of popular issues (eg Natural Disasters)? Would be this a source accepted by school teachers? Could people, specially children, find it useful and friendly to extract the information from?

Audiobooks

I am one of the people Jeff Gomez describes on his book (see previous post) .
I am not ready for digital books. I like to read, not to be read. I like to set my own pace, let my imagination flow at the speed it wants, free my butterfly attention, discuss with myself what this word means, re-read beatiful paragraphs...

So, this e-book thing doesn't work for me... but... It could be interesting for my children listening good reading from other source than mum!.
Yes, good idea... but where can I find them? Worldbookfair site is not very friendly, brings up lot of information not relevant to your search. Probably I'll have to explore paid options...I'll keep you post.

23 October 2007

Web 2.0 awards

One of the sites that caught my attention (and no registration needed, thank you)

http://www.picnik.com/
An online photo editor very simple and practical to use. How many times you receive a picture which is too big or too dark or you want to add a text to it but, you don't have the software on the computer to quickly edit it. Here is the solution! Easy as 1,2,3!

http://www.pipl.com
They claim to be "The most comprehensive people search on the web"
Here you can search for people details. It brings data from lots of website where information may be stored.
I've made a search of "myself" and it brought info from my Yahoo Profile, white pages, Linkedin, flickr etc... luckily there was nothing that I wasn't aware of... pheeeuuu.. ;-)

18 October 2007

quotes (via Zoho)

The document below was created and posted stright from Zoho. A quite useful tool, a bit slow though.

I've been using Yahoo Briefcase for years (somebody else still uses it?) to store all my files online. Zoho provides the same service with the advantage of creating docs or spreadsheet without the need of any software. Clean and easy..!

-----------------

Let's reflect about technology...

The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.
Bill Gates

For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.
Richard P. Feynman

Technology is the knack of so arranging the world that we don't have to experience it.
Max Frisch

11 October 2007

Wikis - Wikipedia

I must confess I'm almost addicted to wikis... wikipedia specifically. I'm not saying it is the best thing in the world, nah. Actually it is more of the same: technology make us lazy. I disscussed this in my previous posts. We love "junk" food, all digested information so our poor brains are not pushed to think, read, analise, discover, infer, etc etc... Sad... yes... but we see it everyday, kids love to prepare projects by "copying-pasting" from the web.
So pitfully for the older generations "Wikis" are the big predators of books.

Said that, I don't even realise how much I use wikipedia on my daily life... oops!

I remember during the job interview for my current position I was asked:

-Tell me a website that really impresses you.

It's funny, I went blank... didn't know what to answer. Surfing the net is like second nature to me, like the air I breath, now I can name numerous websites I love for its design, usability, content... but nothing came to my mind then... The silence was getting too long, I needed to give an answer not to seem that ignorant....until it pop out without much analysis: WIKIPEDIA!.

Although it was an automatic response of mine, I guess I really was (still I am) impressed by this site. The amount of content is infinite. Regardles the credibility of the sources, you can find here almost anything with one click.

Doing the exercise on plcmclearning it was cool, actually I wasn't aware that the information on wikis could be inserted and edited by anyone so easily. In the case of Wikipedia I though it had a more strict review of its content, although they have new email authorization level to avoid spam. I guess I'll double check the information with a more credible, formal source from now on.

At one point at our Library we discussed the idea of creating a wiki for internal use of the staff. Here we could place policies, instructions, ideas, news.. anything... Actually, it would be a -very- good idea instead of feeling inundated by emails not relevant to our tasks. Hope it sees the light one day!

04 October 2007

Web 2.0: the future

There are many opinions about the fenomenon Web 2.0, some people have made it a cult and they believe this is a new revolution as it happened during the .com era.

Others are more reluctant to see the positive effect of this new wave. To mention one, Andrew Keen, the author of a new book that is making everybody talk (or post) on the blogsphere: "The cult of the amateur : how today's internet is killing our culture and assaulting our economy".

I hope to get the book soon, his view catches my attention. It's quite controversial and hits us where it hurts, our narcisism as he states this "wisdom of crowds" on the web is purely "popular delusion""just 15 minutes of fame". He says so much of the collaborative content this phenomena brings is mediocre, and coupled with its anonymity and anarchy leads to big companies abuse (ex. YouTube) and worse of all, is destroying culture. He simply states leave it to the individual, professional mind.

My opinion is not that radical, I believe this new era we are navigating right now is opening the door to new opportunities on how we learn, relate to each other and how we view the world. But, leaves me wondering: ... at what cost?
There were times in history when the order of things changed mercilessly. Let's think about the birth of the radio in the mid 20th century ... later on the TV... the internet in the 90's... the creation of the CDs and DVDs.. Napster and the mp3s revolution .... All of them made a conmotion and change our lives enormeously. Certainly there was a high price: the cult of the radio, LP records, cassettes, VHS video tapes and cameras... all dead and buried so far... and others on death row: floppy disks, music CDs, non digital cameras ...

What about BOOKS...??
Not dead, obviously, but fiercely competing for they survival... don't you think?
Will they still be alive and kicking for long? Will they be replaced one day by any other form of.... Digital gadget? Online books? Blogs? Big discussion. But a new era is coming and I believe we are in a stage of TRANSITION.

Video stores... music stores.... photo labs... they all had to adapt or die... what about LIBRARIES ? Is it our turn to walk the green mile?

How we adapt to this a new world Web 2.0 is opening? What will be the price? What can libriarians do to minimise the cost until we settle into a new structure?
In the article "A new world of librarianship" specific solutions are discussed. Libraries' future will be guided by how users access, consume and create content. So what will "librarian"mean then? Michael Stephens describe him as a person (still highly trained???) to help users become their own programming director for all of the content available to them.
Not sure what this mean... Techno-facilitators? e-librarians? Blog-masters? IT mentors? online info specialist?
We don't know yet, but in this article To a temporary place in time we have a good imaginary trip to a time she calls it: "Library 4.0, the neo-library/knowledge spa".
I'm not that optimistic. Technology is making us colder, unattached, information is there ready-digested, wysiswyg, and to be "copy-pasted".
So I believe few people will use a Library as a mind-gym or "(...) a spa or retreat from technohustle". This world is becoming ultra fast paced and the more refined and advanced it becomes, the deeper we need to dig beneath the surface to find our true values.

My view: The future library, once the temple of books, will be sort of a refuge camp for the older generations, as for the newer generations, well, this is my wish, I would like to see the whole Internet itself, as a big universal digital library, a new form of organization of this source of knowledge, as it was envisioned back in the early 90s. Would dollar-hungry corporations let it happen? ...

03 October 2007

Technorati

I've started to explore Technorati different types of searches, it's taking me quite a lot of experimenting though. At a first sight numbers tell it all:

Keyword: learning 2.0
-POSTS: 24,926 posts (*)
-BLOGS : 674 blogs (*)
-BLOGS ABOUT: 674 blogs (*)
-Keyword search only
within BLOGS ABOUT L2.0: 329 posts (*)
-EXACT PHRASE: 3,834 posts (*)
-TAG: 674 blogs (*)
-DIRECTORY: 674 (*)
-VIDEOS: many (*)
-PHOTOS: none (*)

(*) Keyword search on the home page. This search brings up a huge number of blogs, keep in mind this result is for learning AND 2.0 no matter where they appear in the post, which makes it too broad and unspecific. You could get "learning all about you 2.0 litre car" So if you want a more effective search try:
(*) advanced search


Hmm, I'm not sure if I'm helping someone here, can be a bit confusing. ...Not sure how it works, I imagined a tag search would give me fewer results than a general keyword search, as not all people take the time to tag their post. Am I right?

The best option is to use your advanced tools and narrow down your results by using related tags or keywords.

I also added this blog below as my favorite. Now I can see their daily post on technorati main page, handy. It's a good practice to tag your blogs.
http://davidwarlick.com/2cents/ This blog explores the changing nature of information and ways that it changes our notions of what it means to be literate in the 21st century.



Online Bookmars: Del.icio.us & furl

I love this tool. For people who often uses the net this is a must have. Why?

How many of you found yourself asking... "What was that brilliant online article I read once?" or "I remember a great website, now where is it?" At this point making a Google search may help, but that's not always the case.
Well, this is the beauty of the net, you jump from one link to the other, and you ending up "travelling with no maps". Along the way you find precious treasures but for many reasons they get lost in the cyberspace.

Wouldn't be great to come back to them anytime with a click of your mouse? I bet it would!
It is possible with Del.icio.us.

If you haven't tried it yet, give it a go, I promise it will save you time and headaches one day.

Tip of the day:

If you have already been experimenting with this tool, and want to try another good one, try Delicious competence called Furl (I'm still wondering how you pronounce it f-u-r-l?) The address is a .net don't forget: http://www.furl.net/
I've been using furl for a while now. It works the same as delicious. You install the buttons on your computer and voila!
Both are pretty similar. Apparenlty the +++ of furl is that allows you to save a complete copy of any web page, so it lets you make a search not only by tags but also a full text search in case you forgot how you categorised an item.

At the library, this tool would be of great interest to staff attending patron's queries.
"By default" we tend to go straight to Google, which is an unbeatable resource, but sometimes we should make the most of other options like these online bookmarks.

29 September 2007

Techno slug

This blog has become very slow... is it beacuse all these midgety, fidgity gadgets.. widgets.. I've been lately added on??? . it takes quite a while to download.. so be patient pls... :(

Rollyo

It took me a while to get this around, but I got it! yeepy....!. With this tool you narrow your search.
It's like your pocket address book. For example (in the real offline life) If you are looking for, let say, a particular business, instead of going to the yellow pages an ramdomly start contacting people, you keep a little notebook with the stores you already know and trust. Your neighbor (other rollyo members) recommends you a store, then you build up your list (you own "rollyo") The different categories of businesses here are call "Searchrolls".

Obviously this is quite specific as my interests might not be the same as yours. At the bottom right of this page you'll find my rollyo, with the serachrolls I'm specifically interested in.

If you want ton add someone else's rollyo into your own. You have to first, make any search, and then you'll see a link on the right to "add to my rollyo"
I added "free photo" from the link provided on the Learning page .


Well, it's complicated to explain this in written... it is better you see how it works.

Library E-thing

This "thing" they put together online is really powerfull, works so quickly and it is very friendly to use. They say they care about books, not selling them... excelent! well, they give a good hand to Amazon to sell books though.
I like the fact you can read others review, and what other good books you are still missing on your shelf.
The social aspect of this site is massive, there are so many groups and different topics! as What You're Reading, Books being turned into movies (very useful when a patron comes to you asking for the book of "that"movie, Share a line or short passage from your current book, etc, etc, etc, and not only books, but also art in general, culture, and many more.
Enjoyable.