Friday, August 29, 2008

The "Top Stop"

Wow...what an array of sites to choose from in the Web 2 Awards List!

Having always been interested in collating my family history online in some form or another, I firstly looked at a the top two genealogy sites that were listed in hope that they would inspire me to start my long anticipated quest. Winning the genealogy category was My Heritage and while this appeared to deliver all a novice genealogist such as myself could hope for to get started, it lost a little credibility in my eyes when discovering the "find your celebrity look-alike" section... I'm also still very nervous about putting family information and photos etc out into cyberspace as it makes me feel very vulnerable and exposed despite the sites claims of being safe and secure, so have still not yet signed up...

The winners list made for interesting reading and I noted that both Rollyo and Technorati placed second and third respectively in their individual categories. These were two sites that I had personally found un-appealing and of little use. Perhaps I am correct in my assumption that there may be more to those sites than I discovered if they have polled so well...

Delighted to see and Flickr win their respective categories as they are two of my favourite discoveries on the Web 2 journey so far...!

Monday, August 25, 2008


Zoho Writer Home was totally new to me and I guess there are many benefits to having such a versatile word processing program available at your fingertips on the internet.

Opening up a spreadsheet and starting to produce a document seems very straight forward. The tool bar looks to be full of features and is user friendly, however, nothing suggests to me that this particular program offers anything more (or better) than Microsoft Word.

I'm guessing that in some working environments this platform may well be a popular and successful way of sharing information, but cannot necessarily see it as something we would find particularly useful in "Libraryland". smile

A great resource for a group of people all being able to look at the same document and make comments on it as they go to share thoughts, information or suggestions etc.

This posting was written by Auntyof3 in Zoho Writer and exported into my blog site!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Rolling through Rollyo

Again, Rollyo, wasn't one of my personal favourites. I didn't find it particularly easy to work out how to get started and would have no idea why I would use this site again. It wasn't easy to navigate and wasn't eye-catching or attractive (which is what appeals to me!)

Professionally, with a stretch of my imagination, groups of similar sites may be useful for sourcing information but I would personally prefer to use although I realise the two sites are fundamentally different.

Despite my reservations, I made a searchroll of my own...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Doing my thing @ Library Thing

I was pleasantly surprised with this site, although admittedly the theory I had seen about the site had been enough to pique my curiousity and raise my interest.

Once exploring, I was amazed at just how simple this process has been made to allow a complete novice to easily navigate around this site and be able to 'catalog' their own bookshelf or indeed, their reading history.

Loved the way that it is really just a case of putting in a title or author...and the rest is done for you....usually complete with picture. In other words...maximum effect for minimum effort!

Undoubtedly this site could be well used as a readers advisory amongst members and I would be keen to see what people with similar interests to my own have on their individual lists and I will choose some books to persue accordingly.

A straight forward excercise on a straight forward site....very refreshing!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Great times @ Generator

This was my sort of stop! I loved playing with all these different sites and seeing what they had to offer.

I visited the letterJames site and made the 'bus stop poster' below. There were many creative resources to experiment with here and one could have spent an insane amount of time exploring with various ideas.

Finding your gangsta name had me in hysterics and I couldn't stop clicking the button to see the next one and the next one.... I found it hilarious, but maybe you had to be there at the time... The first name I generated was Jiggy Shizzle but I quite liked Foxxy Rascal and Hollywood Hoochie when going through the list!

I then moved on to the bar drink site where the names of cocktails were highly amusing. Amongst the better ones (and keeping this a 'family blog') were the following:-
Arrogant Dropkick
1 tsp Irish Cream
1 oz Beer
Shot of Dr. Pepper
Serve in a Soup Ladle. Add cinnamon stick

Holy Gutter Trash
Jigger of Blackberry Brandy
1 oz Apricot Brandy
1 oz Mello Yello Cherry
Serve in a Sherry glass. salt the rim.

Winking Priest
1 oz Brandy
1/2 oz Tequila Premium
4 oz Diet 7Up

It makes me wonder if the names are given to the drink before or after it is consumed...!!

Also enjoyed the Whats your problem? site. I put in my blogging name of 'auntyof3' and it came back with the following"-
"I'm an unconventional control-freak with a dependent personality disorder!"

For anyone aware of my true identity and by my own self admission (see 'about me' on my blog page) they will know that this is somewhat accurate....!
I tried out all sorts of other sites too as my curiosity got the better of me when I saw the extensive list of them.

I then found I could make my own number plate (American of course!) and this is the result...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sussing out the Sandbox!

The sandbox was an interesting experience. While I understand the concept, I have to wonder when I would ever partake in this...particularly when there is so much more being offered on the world wide web that appeals to me more.

However, having said that, I will be interested to see what information is collected with other participants adding their 'favourite things'. Being 'nosey by nature' I am intrigued by what other people find enjoyable and take an interest in.

I got a little mixed up at first when trying to add to a favourite group and ended up adding a thread instead. However, I eventually figured out what I was meant to be doing and posted a few answers accordingly. Then I noticed a spelling mistake on one of my threads and couldn't find out how to edit it. When will the world wide web and all its content learn that I need a spell check automatically done on absolutely everything I do! Is this too much to ask...?

I found the recommended videos were helpful and offered a good overview. I agree with their message that Wetpaint is far more versatile than Wiki and is a lot more user friendly and simplistic.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Whistling through Wiki

With Wiki's being 'level playing fields' thus allowing anyone to add content and edit, this brings about both positive and negative aspects. As discussed in the papers however, it is a great way for everyone to be able to contribute and feel as if they can have a say, and a 'share of the power'.

I'm fairly new to Wiki's and must admit, am not completely sold on them yet. However, it is interesting to see many of the overseas public libraries using Wiki as a tool for book reviews and encouraging their youth to take part and contribute.

Through the article
"Library Success: A best practices wiki" I browsed some of the teenage book reviews. Firstly I was amused by some of the names given to the sites...but taking first prize for me was "Booksnog". Then I noticed that many of the sites I looked at only consisted of reviews from the library staff and the youth had not participated as yet which was not very encouraging. However I was not disappointed when I found Homer Township Public Library and there were an array of book reviews to read that had been written by their teenage patrons. My personal favourite was this one:

Anonymous said...
Prom by Laurie Anderson.

I would not recommend this book. Laurie Anderson is usually a phenomenal writer. She was unable to capture emotion or feeling in this book.

I just love the candidacy of this review!!

Unfortunately the 'Using a wiki for information services: principles & practicalities' by Peter Blake was not working this morning, but I will go back to it for a quick squizz at a later date...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Full steam ahead to the future

Wow...the Web 2.0 phenomenon video is certainly thought provoking and something that you need to watch several times due to the impact. It is very clever and very true. Everything is changing. This is especially true with the web and all is contains.

It is also true for libraries. The way in which we do our jobs today is different in many ways from 10 years ago, different again from 15 years ago and so on. With the way technology is growing, changing and expanding, particularly on the world wide web, our industry has no choice but to go with it and adapt our roles within the community accordingly.

Two statements that stood out amongst the articles I read were: "In Web 2.0, the Web becomes the center of a new digital lifestyle that changes our culture and touches every aspect of our lives. The Web moves from simply being sites and search engines to a shared network space that drives work, research, education, entertainment and social activities—essentially everything people do". This was taken from Where will the next generation Web take libraries? By Tom Storey....and "In my library, we’ve seen a 55 percent drop in circulation rates over the past twelve years, making it harder and harder to justify the continued buildup of a large “just in case” print collection. As a Web 2.0 reality continues to emerge and develop, our patrons will expect access to everything – digital collections of journals, books, blogs, pod-casts, etc. You think they can’t have everything? Think again. This may be our great opportunity", taken from "Away from the 'Icebergs'" by Rick Anderson.

As mentioned, we are already seeing the impact within our libraries of the vast amount of information available on the world wide web and our customers requirements are increasingly more focused towards needing assistance with accessing databases and web-sites than with finding printed information. It has already transformed our lives in relatively short time it has been available...and we can only imagine how it will rapidly continue to do so...

Toilet stop at Technorati!

Technorati... First and foremost...not my type of site! Too boring in presentation and not particularly easy to navigate in my view. I like a site to 'speak to me' upon loading with eye catching headlines, great use of colour, interesting graphics, a good sized font and the impression that I can easily find what I am looking for...

Unfortunately the Technorati Tour video cast was not working all day today which I thought may have sparked some interest in me by telling me about all the amazing things I could discover if only I could get past the initial 'blah' feeling about the site....but it was not to be. Will check back another day to see if it has come right.

Using the search for "Learning 2.0" bought up a few hits, but nothing of significant interest. However, I did notice that our own "QuizzyLizzy" made an appearance here which eventually led back to the NSL blog they have created.

However, Technorati's use of tiny font did not inspire me to keep looking, or delve further, or 'experiment' with the site and it would not be a site I would bookmark for future use. Too much competition out there for that!

Using the Learning 2.0 search resulted in the same amount of hits in the block directory and blog posts but using the same keyword in tags almost doubled the result. This leaves me wondering about which search would prove to be more useful if one was really seeking some information. At the end of the day, any information we find depends to a large extent on how the contributor has set it up and how accessible they have made it with using relevant tags, titles, common buzzwords within their content etc.

In comparison, the same can be said for trying to sell an item on Trade Me. A seller who describes their item for example as being: "a pair of jeans" has little chance of selling them without the potential buyer having to ask for a lot more additional information. The seller who describes the same pair of jeans as "Ladies Levi jeans, size 12, light ice washed denim, dome fly, boot legged, triple stitched, great condition" will be perceived as more genuine and will probably sell the item without more information being required. Not rocket science is it!?

Overall, Technorati was a 'toilet stop' town for me and not one that I would
choose to stop at again...

Friday, August 1, 2008

Back on track and discovering bacon ice-cream!

Well, after a bit of a hiatus due to a number of factors, I am back on track! The site delivered more than I had anticipated and I spent quite some time exploring it. It was with much reluctance and the constant repitition of the catch phrase 'stick to the program', that I managed to tear myself away to write the required blog! As with many others sites we discover in our travels, I felt that one could just sit and 'discover' for the rest of the day without consciously being aware of where the time was going. Definitely a case of 'the more you look...the more you want to keep on looking'...

Found a wicked link to "Wordle" which allows you to make word cloud art with words of your choosing. To demonstrate...I made one as an example with words associated with the web. View it at:

I am particularly impressed with the idea of having a site that will save all your bookmarks/favourites to a place where you can access from any PC, anywhere, as opposed to only being accessible from the computer to which you have originally saved them. There is nothing more frustrating than being on the front desk and knowing you have a web-site bookmarked on your PC out the back that would be perfect for an enquiry, but being unable to remember the specific site address off the top of your head. With, your answer would only be a click or two away... This idea is simply brilliant and I can certainly understand it's popularity!!

Thinking from a professional point of view...I'd like to see this site replace the "Fitch" which I have never personally warmed to and believe could be a lot more user friendly and useful... By introducing the concept of could open up our saved links to the general public as our resources hardly need to be kept confidential and then the link would become more like a living document.

I can definitely see myself using this site in my own life and discovering all sorts of sites that will be useful both personally and professionally.

I 'tagged' several sites for further exploration later and noted, (but did not tag!), a recipe for 'bacon ice-cream' and 'chocolate coated bacon'. Interesting...but not something that I'll personally be choosing to experience...! What will I discover next?