Sunday, April 13, 2008

Thing 23: Final Evaluation

Overall, I'm extremely pleased to be finishing this project and grateful for the chance to learn about Web and Library 2.0 via 23 Things on a Stick. Having to complete the things forced me to check out some applications that I may have avoided on my own which turned out to be worthwhile experiments - facebook, PuzzlePirates, and online image generators. I'm still not a very skilled gamer and have very few online friends but I now understand a bit of the appeal of these apps. I've totally incorporated at least two of the things - RSS feeds and instant messaging- into my daily routine. I think the habits of independent learning and life long learning are important habits for me to incorporate into my personal and professional life. I can't wait to check out more of the Minitex webinars, to subscribe to the RSS feed of Midmorning podcasts, and to explore some of the blogs mentioned in thing 22. On the down side, I've been disappointed at the lack of real connection I've felt with other Thing participants, despite Ning and the instructions to check out and comment on others' blogs. I found it hard to keep up with my own learning without having to check in with others I didn't know. Although when I did so I learned from their discoveries and mistakes. I would definitely participate in a similar online, independent learning experience in future and would endeavor to be more extroverted and participatory.

Thing 22: Keeping Up

As I reach the end of the 23 Things on a Stick learning project I feel that I've been fairly negative in some of my posts about the Library 2.0 applications(especially social media and social networks). However, some of the tools have been fantastic and have really helped me at work, specifically, the Minitex webinars. I watched an older one on using Business Source Premier and learned about the country reports (which I wouldn't have intuited were there from the name of the database). That awareness allowed me to help a student find information on Eritrea. I can't wait to work my way through some of the other Minitex webinars on Academic Search Premier, podcasting, WorldCat; and to dig deeper into the Elm productivity tools. I'm now starting most days by checking my Google Reader for RSS feeds from the Shifted Librarian and among others, thanks to this project. And I absolutely love and learning about organizing websites with tagging rather than bookmarking on a single computer. I also intend to keep giving the social networks a chance and checking out more online games, despite my initial hesitation. I expect that work, like school, will require that I use the collaborative tools like wikis, document creators and slidesharing. I feel like I've just scratched the surface of learning about Web and Library 2.0 and look forward to returning to work on some of the challenges. I'm really intrigued by the idea of posting the new thing that I learn each day, or maybe each week. Who knows, maybe I'll even get a cell and starting texting and uploading photos to Flickr.

Thing 21: Other social networks

I joined the 23 things on a stick Ning network, uploaded some photos, and pasted the Ning badge to my blog. I didn't post a comment to another member because I didn't recognize anyone. The jury's still out on what I think of these networks. I am wondering about their usefulness for me long term. Right now I still feel more like a voyeur than a member. However, I know folks who've established great friendships with like-minded others on online networks. And I really like what the second article said integrating the social networking tools with existing programs in the library. Such as combining promotion of an author event with a preliminary podcast interview with the author and book reviews on the library's book blog. This sounds really exciting and would help make the experience more robust. However, I feel overwhelmed by the plethora of options and like I'm just dipping my toes into a lot of them rather than sticking around and becoming an active member of one. I guess that's part of my learning curve and I'll eventually find a home in a social network.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Thing 20: facebook

After months of stalling, I've finally gotten an account on facebook. I added personal information and friends and wrote on Dawn Moder's wall. I joined the St. Kate's MLIS and the Minnesota Library Association groups. I'm not really sure yet what being on facebook means but I'm giving it a try. As an X-er I just didn't get very excited about facebook because it seems that none of my friends are on it. But many of my fellow MLIS students are there so facebook provides a way to stay connected. I browsed some pages and was amazed at how much stuff people have added to their profiles. Transparency seems a little scary to me but I also explored the privacy settings and relieved my fears a little. The fact that facebook is the fastest growing social network must mean that people crave companionship more than they fear stalkers.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Thing 19: Podcasting

I listened to the interview with Tom Shaughnessy from On the Road with Minitex and have also listened to podcasts of MPR's Midmorning show in the past. The podcast allows me to listen when it's convenient rather than being tied to the broadcast time. Thanks to this project, I learned that I can subscribe to the RSS feed and have added Minitex to my Google Reader. In my brief browse of the directories, I found to be the easiest to use because the genres (with little folder icons) were listed right on the initial page. It took me a while to find the genre search box on I know, it should have been obvious but I had to search for it. I wasn't necessarily interested in the most recent or most popular podcasts which were on the home page. I couldn't get to open. I tend to be a browser so Yahoo's search box wasn't appealing to me; if I don't know what's in a collection, I'm not going to know how to search for what I want. Will I create a podcast? Possibly. It would be a neat way to share book talks on particular subjects or to highlight new materials. I wish that St. Kate's would podcast their Monday night events those not able to attend could listen at home and attendees could refresh their memories of past events.