Friday, October 9, 2009

I want to their name is

A few days ago I went to an optional colloquia for several reasons.

1. I don't trust the weather and life and find its better safe then sorry when it comes to having to make x number of y meetings required. I'm not messing with that.
2. With my own school changing its name, I wanted to learn more about why all this hub-bub about name changes? Why was this organization was finally considering changing its own name?
3. I wanted to go to a meeting, see what it was like.
4. Despite the fact I am painfully shy, I wanted to try a little networking.
5. I was curious, and what better reason is there then that?

Well, after getting led through what felt like a labyrinth of halls, doorways, stairs in a variety of twists and turns I finally got there! (seriously, was this place built by a contractor with add? Quick, someone get me a ball of golden twine so I can get out!)

The talk focused on the fact that while people like to hold on to what's familiar, the most successful individuals, organizations and companies are the ones who change. Special Libraries Association was only meant to be a placeholder name until an appropriate one could be decided upon. Perhaps it is better to have waited, with the development of so many new technologies, libraries are not just books anymore. I feel strongly that Librarian does not do justice to describing what it is these people really do for the communities, companies, and organizations they work for.

The point that really drove home with me was that by closely defining ourselves as 'librarians' we have boxed ourselves in and are actually driving away potential jobs. Those working in the corporate environment see that employers don't realize our worth because we do not speak up enough, we aren't speaking the same language as employers and are missing out on a lot of great job opportunity's!

{ { { There is a corporate language that we need to be aware of, learn, and use! } } }

Librarian and Library are words that have not a negative stigma necessarily, but a stale and stagnant one. I prefer to tell people I am going to school to become an Information Specialist, or Information Professional. You would be amazed at the change in how I am received by people when I do this. Their perception of me changes immediately.

Information is a commodity to companies. Everyone wants the best information, the fastest, most secure, most reliable way they can get it. And most importantly, they want it in a form they can understand.

Isn't this the basic service that librarians have always provided?

~~~ It is stupid to fight the waves of change, you are just going to beaten to death by them. ~~~

To learn more about their mission for redefining themselves from librarians to ... something else ... but still holding true to what it is a librarian does at heart, please go to the SLA Blog "Align in O9"

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Did you know?

I didn't,
and I'm still not sure I do.

This is about a rash of videos being shared around the world from YouTube entitled Did You Know?

The videos spout a bunch of facts technology related.
But where are these facts coming from I ask?

I just don't know and will be looking into this further, when I find something I'll update this blog, until then, you could check them out for yourself...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Because we're bored...

we invent these sites, sites with no apparent purpose...yet.

Two of which I have recently come across are Cleverbot and Omegle, not entirely new ideas at all, just improved on with new technology.

I must admit that Cleverbot is by far one of the more interesting ai I've come across on the net as of late. It almost always makes sense, well, in some way. And when it can't it tries to joke, though humor is individual and can't always be inferred from its responses. Conversations are also often circular, you really have to take the initiative to steer the conversation although sometimes the bot will try, though randomly.

Omegle reminds me of old AIM Chats, before they became overly categorized, monitored, and difficult to access, ie., not fun anymore. On this site you are randomly paired with someone to chat with, and as expected it is already plagued with spam and xxx trollers. However, abuse Omegle too much, and they WILL ban your ip address, still, if you search the web for "funniest Omegle conversations" you will find some new/old chat humor with a twist that sometimes seem so well done you wonder if the two chatting are really strangers, or is it a clever screen shot edit?

So I suppose you could call them old ideas with an upgrade.

Every now and then sites like these pop up, and as they improve perhaps one day they will serve a greater purpose, until then, they are fun to play with.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

OMG Captin Crawl Saved My Life!


Because it saved me a ton of green, that's why! is a blog search engine specifically designed to search blogs for music files!
Often the blogs will be in another language like Spanish or Russian but after a little practice you can distinguish the download links and passwords. If you want to use this you will also need a copy of winrar which you can get here.

Its a free and safe download, tested true.

The free downloads often take a few minutes, or up to 15 min depending on your computers age, speed, etc. And so far none of the music files have be corrupted since they are being downloaded using the free -slow- version of legit sites in whos best interest it is to screen the files in the first place for malicious additives.


So don't complain, just go do some laundry or something while that brand new cd is downloaded for free to your computer.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Rant about someone else's Rant

So we all went to see this fellow speak about leadership, or value, or something...

There's a picture of Peter Bromberg, looking all happy :-D Click it and you'll go to his website which links to his blog - Library Garden - which is located somewhere here on blogger, and which he so shamelessly plugged at the dinner (the food wasn't half bad, that said, it wasn't half good either... oh well, on to the talk)

His talk was about what librarians can do to keep their libraries needed by their communities.
He started out by giving a brief history about information and how some people failed at it because they thought they were only publishing it, disseminating it, or hording it.

I really enjoyed the part about the "Exponential Pace Of Change", and how the internet has made so much information available to so many that often, they really don't know what to do with it, much less how to make good use of it, or most importantly, find what they need.

I agree that libraries are less vessels from which knowledge is poured and more filters for those that don't have the skills, time, or want to put the effort into sorting it all themselves. Not that librarians sort through everything, though all information is sorted at least once by someone.(I think.)

He also used the metaphor of "Permanent Whitewater" to describe the changes we are all always going through with technology advancing so much faster every day. So hording knowledge doesn't work because before you know it, it may be irrelivant or divulged by someone else and made freely available on the web. In this kind of world, the role of librarians is to help direct people the right way by looking ahead at what kinds of information they will need, acting like guides as well .

He also talked about how important it is that libraries make sure they are important members of their community. That they are pleasant, useful places for patrons to come to. It is not enough to just make our services available, we must make an effort to draw patrons in, and keep them there not out of frustration but because they want to be there. He said that this is a tactic used by most peoples favorite businesses and that a library is like a business in that it is providing information management, filtering, educational and etc. services. We do not want to make the same mistakes as other businesses have by not changing. We can not be afraid of change.

This is why gaming is becoming more popular in libraries, because people want it and have responded to it. To all those libraries that say gaming has nothing to do with libraries, then please, remove all the computers, billboards, personal touches, maps, artifacts, and local lore from your facilities, and we will see how long you remain. A library is nothing without a community to serve. Remember, we are here to help them with their needs, and if you don't agree with them all the time, hey, fake it.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wow, a new post! Isn't that dipity?

So I know I haven't posted in a while and I wanted to, so I'm posting about a fun site I found while looking for a collection of past internet memes...

meme = "cultural element or behavioural trait whose transmission and consequent persistence in a population, although occurring by non-genetic means (esp. imitation), is considered as analogous to the inheritance of a gene." - from the Oxford English Dictionary, take that you wikipedia bitches, lol, just kidding you know your great cuz your free, I will miss having access to the online version of the OED. :- ( *pout pout*

Or you could just go with, "an idea, behavior, style or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture." - from the Merriam Webster Dictionary

So I found a site called Dippity that lets you make interactive widgits, including a really cool sliding timeline, list, flipbook, map etc. that members can add to if the maker allows it. This tool is now one of the first links to come up when you do a search for internet memes on Google. Check out the MEMES!

Dippity is interesting to me because like it lets you put all of your bookmarks in one place, in addition to letting you link to all your pictures, videos, social networking sites, etc. in a graphical format that I like. However, while viewing some timelines on Dippity is free, premium accounts cost $$$.

I have not joined Dippity yet, but I am thinking about getting the basic free account. I wonder what my information would look like, as friends update blogs, as news feeds come in, and as I upload images... I'm sure it would be interesting to see ...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Some Rant Related Thoughts

I think I want to keep this blog active, somehow.

I want to continue to make a notes here of new technology, trends, or just stuff I find online. Once I started this project, I really got into it. I like checking it to see what the other librarians have posted in their blogs. I liked learning about new technologies, however brief. That said, there are definitely some things I would like to go back to and look at(and perhaps post about) in even more detail.

It was a relatively painless process (apart from the repeated creation of new accounts) and while some of the technologies aren't for me, it was useful to do more then just dismiss them and to take a look at what they can do so I could make a more educated decision.

I'd say that flicker was my least favorite, I'm just not that into photography. And while I may like YouTube, I would not like posting videos of myself there either. I use YouTube like I use hulu, for entertainment and educational purposes, not for viewing me. My classmates would like hulu, they should check it out. Tv for free :) I really hope that site grows.

A couple of my favorites were the image generators and Bookmarking! I really love because it was the most useful tool for me that we explored. I love being able to have access to any of my favorite/useful web sites and not having to write them down (too many to memorize now). It's so easy to add to and search. And for me, the image generators were a fun and creative part of the project. And usually I embrace creativity.

As far as if there were another program like this one, would I do it? Yes, I believe so, I suspect I am addicted to learning : D ... must learn ... new ... things!

"We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people to learn"
- Peter Drucker
(1909 - 2005)

Like learning, it's good for you, similar to carrots. ; - )

Below is yet another video from Mike :)

And check out the Web 2.0 Search Engine !

YouTube Rant + a little about podcasting and audiobooks

"Television is called the new medium. Its called a medium because nothing is well-done"
- Fred Allen (1894 - 1956), on the radio program The Big Show, Dec. 17, 1950
I wonder what he would have thought of YouTube?

I really don't know any other video hosting site as well as I know YouTube. By far it is the king of free video hoasting today. Other popular sites are trying to catch up, or get some 'market share' of their own. I see that GoogleVideos and YahooVideos exist now but they don't seem to have as polished an interface or appearance. Originally what attracted me to YouTube was the ammount of original content, and lack of excessive advertisments complemented by the white background color(although now there are adds on every video site, even them.) In fact, GoogleVideos is actuley pulling most of its content from YouTube and allowing Google users to organise them. Only a few videos on the feature page were from And, of course, in an act of shameless self promotion, all of the recommended videos were from The YahooVideos seemed to have more variety as far as where the videos were coming from(their original hoasting sites). It seems as if YouTube is the only site where the bulk o the videos hoasted are its own.

My brother and I have even used it for school(heck I'm doing just that right now aren't I?). He is in a film class right now and has to rent all different videos all the time, and they are often out of them by the time he gets to the store or library(he's not exactly prompt about doing homework...some boys) So in terms of providing homework help in libraries YouTube could be a valuable resource. If librarians can post videos on how to use services provided by the library, perhaps more people would use them if they knew how? YouTube can also be used to promote libraries as useful facilities that serve a purpose in communities. They could post video testomonies from patrons about how the library helps them, or videos of fun activities. However, librarians would have to get premission from individuals in videos, and locations as well(not all library activites have to happen at the library).
We can find almost any of the videos he needs to see in 10-15 minute clips online for free. We just preload all the clips and go to the next one when the first one is done. The quality may not always be the best, but it serves his purposes and does so for free and at his convience.
I'm sure this violates some kind of laws somewhere, but the problem is YouTube can change its terms of service and contracts in weeks or days if they want to while laws can take years to be passed. Clearly YouTube has the upper hand here.

For one of my classes we learned about an anthropologest Mike Wesch at Kansas State University. He says on his YouTube account,

"My videos explore mediated culture, seeking to merge the ideas of Media Ecology and Cultural Anthropology. Currently we are analyzing anonymity and pseudonymity on YouTube, throughout the web, and in the "real world" throughout all times and all places. You can check our progress at"

It was his video I posted way back in the beginning of this blog, and I'll be posting another one. The video below is about an hour long, you don't have to watch all of it if you don't want to. 5-10 minutes is plenty to get the general idea, but if you like it i recommend watching the whole thing.

Also Podcasts.

I don't use podcasts personally, I haven't had a use for them. I just got an mp3 player last year, before that I listened heavily to radio and still enjoy it time to time, but the mp3 player lets me listen to what I want when I want to without interruptions, and to replay things, skip things, etc. However, I still like radio.

It seems I've been doing something similar to podcasting for years. I'm doing it right now. I'm listening to some video on my computer instead of watching it, and I switch to that when it sounds interesting to see. I do the same thing with my computer or with radio. This is nothing new to me, I do a lot of multytasking. It's not the same as podcasting, but the idea is the same, to make use of that time on the bus in transit, or while waiting for something else to begin. I don't like it for use as a primary tool, such as listening to podcasts in place of regular addendance to meetings or classes. I don't think they serve well for that, well, not for me anyway.

And eAudiobooks

I am not really a fan of audio books either.

I really, really love reading.

I'm a good listener too, but I like reading because I can use my imagination, even if it is just an audio book on, say, something Library Science related. Maybe I don't want to hear the inferences in the readers voice, maybe their voice irritates the heck out of me. Well, I can always read it myself.
Unless I'm blind that is, in which case, this is a great service. It is easer to share audiobooks now then before, and they can be shared by more people then brail books can be. Even if I were blind I'm sure I would be irritated by the way the books are read...I just know it.
I looked at eAudiobooks but was not impressed. I would not use it just to listen to a book being read. Perhaps for conference speeches or somthing like that, but never for fiction, or even some kinds of nonfiction.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Rant on Web-Based Apps and Web Tools

I took a look at a web-based app site called ZOHO, similar to Google Docs (which happens to be my preferred wbap [wbap = pronounced wE-bap - stands for web-based applicatons, yea i just made that up now, deal with it] but no reason not to explore another one, after all we are supposeto be life long learners here!)

Like Google Docs anything created on ZOHO can be saved there and edited by others that are allowed to make changes to a document, spreadsheet, etc. (they also offer e-mail hosting) You can download your work to a computer and save it there as a backup copy, or to edit in another program but like Google Docs there are still some bugs to be worked out as far as being able to convert work from ZOHO format to another program.

After creating yet another account (((...yarg, is that getting old fast...))) I began to explore the virtual world of ZOHO

It offers, among other things a ...
word processor
presentation tool (think powerpoint)
web aplication creator
web conferencing
note taker
...and so much more!

Much like Google Docs, ZOHO is easy to use, most applications contain only the basics in terms of styling and editing tools. In the future, I can see these being expanded on as people find being able to collaborate simultaniously more useful and much easyer then constantly swapping e-mails and being sure to have the most up-to-date document.

With tools like web conferencing and online invoicing it seems to me that the original intent of the site was to be a place that offered for free services that small businesses previously had to pay for.
Yet the site can be used by big businesses, organizations, groups, communiteies, individuals, and of course librarians too.

One thing I could do without is the tendency to reiterate identity of the site by throwing ZOHO this or Google that in front of every aplication. I get it, I'm using your application, now quit trying to brainwash your name into my head and let me work, sheesh.

Then I took a look at one of the top web tools from the Web 2.0 Awards List.

I chose to take a look at music because I have only recently found! So for once I didn't have to make another account since I already have one. I must say I love this site, it lets me find new music that I might like, or learn more about artists I'm already interested in.

For instance, I did a search on Meatloaf* (I <3 MEATLOAF!) and up comes a breif bio on the artist, some pictures, some artists that I might like in terms of sound, music videos, and the option to play the Meatloaf radio station and add it to my favorites.

This site is great since it lets you listen to almost anything for free, and you can switch stations just like the ol'fashon radio, when you want to hear something with a differnt style or beat. There are differences, such as the radio does allow you to skip to the next song in the que and there aren't any commercials. And the stations are usually themed, a lot are themed to your favorite artists, but they can also be themed to the style of music, era, etc.

*a little side note: he is also very interested in acting, most people know him as Bob from Fight Club :)

First the SPAM! thing and now Meatloaf,
what is it with me and processed meat products?

Wiki Rant

This week I looked at some ways libraries have been using Wikis. Wikis are very attractive to me because they encourage collaborative work, creativity, and a sense of community to those that edit the page.

From a source other then wikipedia, I found a definition on Webopedia that compared Wikis to some other technology we have been learning about, it said :

"A collaborative Web site comprises the perpetual collective work of many authors. Similar to a blog in structure and logic, a wiki allows anyone to edit, delete or modify content that has been placed on the Web site using a browser interface, including the work of previous authors. In contrast, a blog, typically authored by an individual, does not allow visitors to change the original posted material, only add comments to the original content.

The term wiki refers to either the Web site or the software used to create the site.

Wiki wiki means “quick” in Hawaiian. The first wiki was created by Ward Cunnigham in 1995."

I found that last part about the origins of the word 'wiki' pretty cool.

Then I looked at the BookLoversWiki from Princeton Public Library and the Bull Run Library Wiki. I looked at a few others but these two in particular detail. I noticecd that Wikis can vary in appearance and I belive they devlope according to the user populations tastes, after all, they wouldn't use them if they didn't like them.

I liked that the Bull Run Library had a button at the top that let you view the page history, that could be useful to see whats been going on on the wiki. Both wikis have added a search option to their site, which can be useful for a quick search. However, sadly I noticed that the Prinction Wiki needed to update to the new 2.0 version, which leads me to believe it would be a good idea to put a select group of individuals in charge of maintaining the wiki and making sure it is up to data and preform tasks like monitoring, tho I know one option is to only let the wiki update or add things after an administrator has reviewed the changes.

In a library setting, however, where some people may not be able to work on a wiki everyday, the benifit is that everyone can edit it and make changes, the question is how often should someone updates the site/web page? Both sites required users to log in so that their activites could be monitored and no changes that were detrimental to the site are made. For libraries this is very important, we are not meant to monitor users, but the wiki is designed to allow for collaboration and it is a good idea to know who is making what changes and are they good for the purpose of the wiki?

In lieu of being able to continue my blog on the wiki this week I'll post my thoughts on the potential use of Wikis for Libraries here ...

How can wikis be useful for libraries?

In lots of ways.

They can provide a safe and free place for patrons to organize related information on a variety of subjects, while also keeping it all organized and easily accessible. That can be great for patrons who can't always make it to the library for a variety of reasons, but want to stay in touch with reading groups or library programs/activities and in short, still be a part of the library community.

For faculty they can be a way to send updates, since everyone knows no one checks e-mail as often as they might like. It can be a way for faculty to stay in touch when they are away from the library, at conferences or etc. And users can choose to have messages sent to them whenever a change is made to the page, I bet there are PDA and iPhone aplications out there already that make these updates availabe to those mobile devices. A wiki can also have a calender of events, a chat log, urgent messages, link to related sites, a tag cloud and so much more that I don't have the space for it all.....

.....which can be a downfall too, a wiki can take up a lot of time and energy.

I did manage to create an account with pbwiki and learn a little about templates, using styles and sharing the page with others. It is very user friendly, you don't have to have a programming background in xhtml to use it, but that would probably be good for some fancy and advanced stuff.

I also learned users need a password or invite to get into the Learning 2.0 SandBox Wiki :( and will see what happens with that...updates to come later.

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Techno Rant

I <3!

Really, I do.

I heard about it a long time ago, and was like "what a lot of effort, to redo bookmarking all my links, to have a tag cloud blah blah blah"

Boy was I wrong.

I started getting more active in it when I started adding links to school and class related sites. The advantage to having access to all of my bookmarks at any computer was great. It is just super super convenient. Once you add links you can search them multiple ways, like the tag cloud or by specific tags.

Tags are important, these are like descriptors you add to a site link that are relevant to that site for you. For instance, I linked the Rutgers site with tags like: school, class, education, information.

I like the tag cloud, it is very aesthetically pleasing to me, but I am not sure how functional it can be. It provides users with at a glance information such as which tags are the most popular and the extent to which many or few words are tagged.

I like that you can search your tags. For instance you can search for education, and all the links to tagged with the word education pop up, then you can add another tag and search just that group of links for school as well. In other words, you can search for multiple tags at a time, and also choose to exclude certain tags as well.

I joined so that I could 'claim' my blog as part of this exercise. I searched for my blog as soon as I entered the registration information, and it had been added to the mix almost immediately. Then I explored the site.

While I'm not yet an avid blogger, I can see how Technorati is useful for searching blogs for information. While I chose not to add the 'add this blog to you favorites' link/button, many do and with a click you can track any blog you find interesting from any blogging service through Technorati.

And it's not just blogs that Technorati tracks for people. Also, pictures, videos, posts, and tags. Blogs are suggested in the form of popular lists, suggested content, and related content.

As far as Library 2.0 goes, I agree that "Library 2.0 is more than just a term used to describe concepts that merely revolve around the use of technology; it also a term that can be used to describe both physical and mindset changes that are occurring within libraries to make our spaces and services more user-centric and inviting" - from the learning 2.0 site
And that while this has always been a part of the services libraries provide, I feel that Library 2.0 is more about being able to accept changes, to learn and grow with their community, to know the needs of their patrons and be able to help them.
A lot of this has focused on technology, but I can see where being sure to communicate with the library community in terms of employees and users, (also employees as users) and how their needs change, the library must change with it or be forgotten and left behind :(

"Everything passes. Everything changes. Just do what you think you should do."
- Bob Dylan

Monday, February 16, 2009

Ranting about Rollyo and LibraryThing + some fun with online image generators.


Rollyo is an interesting idea, but I am not sure if I have any real need for it (or if there is any real need for it at all today since search engines like Google have become so adapt at searching common language phrases, and they will only get better over time) I can see how this kind of custom search application would have been very helpful and useful a few years ago (the ‘pre-Google’ years I suppose) but today search engines are becoming better at dissecting individuals search requests and through carefully guarded algorithms retrieve results that answer most individuals questions adequately (for now searches give users large recall, and are working on their precision.) However, I have noticed that recall is often preferred by everyday users initially, the old idea that ‘getting results’ is good and more results are better. As more generations are exposed to searching online though, people are beginning to desire both large recall and precision, and the search engine that satisfies both the best (or to the general population’s satisfaction) wins.

You can take a look at my Rollyo if you’re bored.


I must say that I enjoy LibraryThing a lot. I don't have the benefit of a library catalog just for my books or books I’m interested in, to search at home. This would let me develop one at home and have it live online, if I wanted to(i.e. had the time). I can rate the books, pull up citation information, see a cover image, or add some information of my own (such as where I got the book from, if I own the book, where I borrowed it from, etc.) I can look at the books in ‘my library’ in list or covers format and search the collection as well.

I could spend hours entering books into LibraryThing, but then I would have no life : (

If you want you can view My Library on LibraryThing .

Lastly, I played with an Online Image Generator, which are fun for sending funny, joke, fake images to friends or even for use in work. I could play with this for hours as well. It has Loads of Fun Potential. I made this little gem below, enjoy:

Monday, February 9, 2009

Blogglines Rant with a Pecha Kucha side note

Bloglines was an interesting experience. It describes itself as an online news aggregator.

It is a website that lets you manage all of your RSS feeds, news, site and blog updates and more. It’s nice because it lets you funnel information you are interested in right to you at one site. You can see right when you go there which of you feeds has new information to read/look at. You can organize the information using folders, and can search for posts, feeds, citations, the web or URL. When you find something you like or are interested in subscribing to it is easy, just a click of the mouse and you’re done.

I chose some technology feeds, librarian blogs, and some hobby things I’m interested in as well as a few little distractions like comic strips. I will definitely add more later, I like this for several reasons:

1.) Convenience – the ability to access all your feeds in one place

2.) Easy – after a little practice it’s an easy to use site

3.) Exposure – using the lists like top 1000, you can find or be exposed to information that interests you, it’s yet another way to find information, and maybe for some, it’s easier.

You can also share your bloglines account with others publicly, that is, you can let others see what you're looking for and maybe they will find something they are looking for or are interested in as well.

If you want to you can check out my Bloglines

I also took a look at Pecha Kucha which is like a convention where young designers meet to share ideas, network and be inspired. I found their use of PowerPoint very interesting, and refreshing. As a student who has sat through long PowerPoint presentations for years I know exactly what they mean by “death by PowerPoint syndrome”. To avoid this they follow a 20x20 format that means each presenter can show 20 slides for 20 secconds each, giving them 6min 40sec presentations.

I think its a great to share ideas like this. It can be very beneficial and lead to inventions that could help a lot of people.