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.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A New Technology Rant

I have a couple new technologies in the house.

One is a new EMachines Computer, I had no trouble setting that one up. I'm excited about experimenting with it since I do not have Windows Vista on my ol' laptop. I'm looking forward to learning how to navigate the new OS, and learning to adapt to changes they have made that I might or might not like.

Another not so fun new technology is our new Kodak All-in-One Printer. We bought the new one with low cost ink cartridges, Black Cartridges cost about $10 and Color Cartridges cost around $15 and they boast more pages printed per cartridge then many other popular printers.

I was impressed enough to try it out.

If you want some more quick info about this printer below are some links :

Does Kodak's All-in-One Printer Really Save On Ink?

PC Mag Article

Mac World Article

However, I have yet to figure out how to install it, that is, get the wireless printing feature to work. I will work on this more over the weekend, I hope. I've never installed a wireless printer before, and haven't had much time to work on it. I will trouble shoot this weekend and with any luck get it working. I like getting new technologies, but sometimes if they are very new then you run into the disadvantage of having less support from online troubleshooters. I value sites, blogs, etc., that help me solve my tech problems.