Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Method #12

Overall, I enjoyed the Texas Two-Step program. Some of the tasks were things that I had never seen before (Tagging), while others were things that I had seen and had never thought about (Cloud Computing, IM). And finally, there were things that had been covered previously (Flickr, Youtube), but that I found out new things about.

I would definitely take a follow-up course, but I honestly couldn't say what the follow-up course would cover. For one thing, software and applications change so rapidly that who knows what's going to be popular and necessary in a few years from now. After all, think about how many things that were on the list that didn't exist until a few years ago. And, think about what might possibly pop up in the next few years to come.

One follow up program possibility is the same list that we've already reviewed (Podcasts, wiki, youtube, etc.), but geared specifically towards libraries, their applications of these services (Podcasts towards learning ESL, Youtube "Round-Robin" broadcasts reviewing books, etc.) and their success, failures and improvements.

Podcasting #11

This, possibly more than anything else presented so far, is something that will truly change the world as we know it.

Podcasting allows anybody to live the old Mickey Rooney and Julie Garland fantasy and "Put on a show". Aspiring playwrights and other writers, wannabe actors and actresses, teachers and amateur enthusiasts of all stripes can put on a production and potentially reach an audience as big as any of the major networks. And, thanks to moviemaking, music composition and CGI software, the at-home productions can reach suprisingly good quality. Education and entertainment where ever you go and whenever you want it.

Of course, that same ease of access can work against the people producing the podcast as well. When I looked under the comedy section of Podcastalley, there were nearly four thousand podcasts. I hardly knew where to start.

For libraries, I see the most direct applications being with the special interest groups such as the writer's club. But, this can be used by any group with creativity and an urge to share it with the world.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Task #10

The wiki task was the easiest (so far) of them all. Logging in was a piece of cake and the editing process is very straightforward. For my favorite blog, I posted a link to "Next Big Future", a science blog that looks at new technology and ground-breaking experiments. And, as a bonus, I contributed another entry, this time to the favorite movie section. I chose Casablanca, Drunken Master II and Blues Brothers and did a small blurb about each of them. These are not my favorites so much as being some of my favorites. But, If I posted my entire list of favorites, it wouldn't be a top three, it would be a top twenty. Or more.

Finally, I realize that I've mentioned the possibility of "Cyber-Vandalism" before, but with the Wiki format, it becomes a tangible possibility. While entering my entry in the movie section, I accidentally deleted the first two words of the next entry. I retyped it and fixed it, but that demonstrated how easy it is to mess with or remove something you don't agree with. Even Wikipedia has been having some problems along these lines. If we do use this at the libraries, we will have to be very carefull about who gets access and how much they get.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Task #9

To me, IM's represent what I like to call "One-Sided Apps". I read them quite frequently, but I rarely post to them.

For example, the author of one of my favorite webcomics posts his new ones pretty late at night. His IM, which is right next to his comic, shows his progress. So, I can know whether or not I can wait an hour and get a chuckle before bed or to wait until the next day to look.

That's probably the best application, the "Broad Audience" appeal. Since Jeph (The guy who makes the webcomic) is "talking" to thousands of people, posting an IM makes the best sense.

It also explains why I never use it. If I ever have to talk to people, it's always one at a time and I'll just call or text them. I've never had the "I need to talk to a whole bunch of people right now" scenario happen to me.

For the library, the best use for IM would be for programs. Again, that's the need to talk to a broad audience.

Skype, with the webcam and all, sounds a little too advanced for me.

I did the second option for the exercise, but tslacdl isn't currently online. So, I left a message and she should post a response soon. Then, I'll post an update.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Method #8 Social Networking

Right off the bat, I can tell you that one of the strongest advantages of social networks like Facebook or MySpace is that the patrons (Especially the kids) are already knowledgable about it. Or, for that matter, more experienced than we are. (Again, especially the kids) So, any library program involving Facebook or MySpace would simply be a "Plug in and play" situation.

When I looked up "PCL Library at UT Austin" on Myspace, It said that it was "Invalid, user has either cancelled or has been deleted". Odd.

It's hard to picture the Library of Congress having Twitter. When you hear "Library of Congress", the first thing that leaps to mind is historical documents written on centuries old parchment. But, it is very usefull. Lots of "Bulletin Board" style notifications, which I could also see the Little Elm Library doing.

Part #8 of the assignment was pretty easy, since I'm already signed up for MySpace.

I really don't see too much of a problem with privacy online for myself personally, since I honestly don't go online that much. However, if we choose to do this as a library program, a warning about posting should be included.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tags #7

I found Tagging to be an interesting concept and I think it could be useful in a library setting. But, only with a few caveats.

First and foremost, there needs to be a decision about how "Social" our tagging network should be. Opening it to everybody, especially the younger crowd, invites the risk of "Tagger Vandalism". One way of combating this would be to resrict tagging to staff only. However, in a small library like ours, it would severely limit the input.

Two other alternatives that exist are that we could co-opt other bookmark lists. For example, a bookmark list done by Stephen Hawking would be a great place to start for physics assignments. Since delicious is a social site, you can search for specialized networks to "piggyback" upon. Second, we could do temporary tagging or specialized tagging. A mystery book club or anime club would set a bookmark list.

After exploring the delicious site, I have to say that I really like the search engine. You can search by typing the tag and then refine the search by typing in another tag. Visually, it acts as a straight line, one word leading to the next and, if you want to slightly alter the search, you can "X" out the words that you don't want. For example, if you want a recipe for turkey stuffing with cranberries, you type in thankgiving-turkey-stuffing-cranberries. But then you decide that you want to do the stuffing differently and have the craberries by themselves. So, you just "X" out "turkey" and "stuffing" and leave thanksgiving-cranberries.

Simple, but effective.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Task #6 P.S.

I tried to post the Hsing I video and failed. Definitely trickier than I thought. I'll keep trying in future posts.