Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Task #4 The Reader

Catch the Movie reference?

Seriously, I logged into Google Reader and subscribed to three different blogs: Dojo Rat (A blog posted by a Martial Artist in Seattle), Next Big Future (A blog about cutting-edge science and new developments in technology) and Instapundit (a general/political blog). All three are pretty interesting and you should check them out.

In examination of the RSS feature, I, personally, don't see what the big deal is. Yes, it is nice to have everything in one spot (Brought to you on one plate as it were), but I really didn't see how the old way was such a travailing experience.

When you go to a blog or newssite, all you have to do is go to Google, type in the name of the site and you are there. It's a process that takes only a few seconds. 99.9% of the time you spend on a blog is taken up with reading content, which you do with a reader anyway.

Secondly, a blog is often more than just the posts. A lot of times, I've found new and interesting blogs because I've followed the links posted in a sidebar and the reader didn't have that.

Admittedly, I've only tried the Google Reader. Others may have that option.

I won't be using a RSS on a regular basis, but this was good to learn so that I'll know enough to talk about it to patrons that ask.


I skipped #2, because I already have a blog set up.

#3: Cloud Computing

Task #3 is one of those things where you have a moment of recognition and say, "That's what they call it. I've been doing that for years."

To me, the biggest advantage of Cloud Computing is the proliferation of small computers. Notebooks are really starting to take off and a lot of cell-phones are beefed up to include features that you used to only see on desktop computers. Add in the fact that Wi-Fi is constantly becoming cheaper and more accessable.

In order to save memory and computing power, instead of having software installed, you just use the online options whenever possible. This way, instead of having a dozen computers rooted to one spot, you could have two dozen notebooks for the same price that a patron can use anywhere in the library.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Texas Two Step #1

It was interesting to see and hear of all the various interactive possibilities for library patrons af the present and the future.

One particular thing that blew me away was the mention of Second Life within this context. I've been reading articles about how online Avatars are becoming more interactive and even learning to adapt to a user's own needs and wants. But, I've never considered such a thing in connection to a library.

Think about it. An online program that, after years of seeing what you check out at the library, understands your preferences well enough to suggest books and authors that you might like. Some people might think that's cool. Others will consider it to be a little too "Frankenstein' for thier tastes.

Me, I'm in the "cool" category.