Wednesday, August 12, 2009

#23 Reflection

I am pleased that as of August 12 I've come to the end of "North Texas 23: A roundup of Web 2.0 technology" I wasn't sure I would finish. I started, took a long gap, then bounced around out of order (not a thing I like to do) finishing the various Things.

I have been reading over my blog posts to refresh my memory. My favorite (ala the Sound of Music) Things were raindrops on roses...Oops. I mean my favorite 23Things included Library Thing and Image Generators (for personal use). For potential Library use and promotion, Podcasts (even though the quality was horrible in many) and YouTube (again, quality was sketchy) but still a huge potential there. The things I really didn't like (bordering on hatred) were Twitter and Instant Messaging. Flickr mashups caused the most teeth grinding. I'm not sure what I was doing wrong but I had trouble with this.

Overall, learning the lingo for the 23 Things was the most helpful. I had heard of many of the 23 Things just in passing (and used a few prior to starting) But several were a mystery. Now I at least have a germ of an idea of what they actually mean and their purpose and I am pleased with that aspect.

Thanks to the NT 23 Thing leadership team who put this together. It was a superb idea and I appreciate the time, thought and effort that was expended on expanding our collective knowledge.

#22 Developing your own 23 Things for your Library

I believe a handful of people from my Library participated (or at least started) the Library 23 Things. However, we didn't really discuss it. I am not sure how many people completed all the Things. I do know our "techie" guru at the Library did complete the program.

I know I finally had to start skipping around due to my reluctance to join Facebook. I went to all of the other Things and finally did Thing 8, 9, 10 and 11 just in the last three days. And I will complete all 23 Things today. Just one more to go!!

I felt constrained having to do it all at home because my Library locks down a majority of the tasks in the 23 Things list. It was difficult to find time to devote to it.

I absolutely agree that it is important to learn new technologies in order to understand what our patrons are using and what is important in their online world. Perhaps our Library staff as a group could pick a handful of the most important (as decided as a group) 23 Things and work on learning those more in-depth.

#11 Instant Messaging

I do not do instant messaging. I do not know anyone who does instant messaging. I don't have the contact to even send anyone an instant message. I did follow the link to my browser-based yahoo messenger, logged in and then realized who would I IM? And, after reading a co-workers blog about IM I am really wary of using it due to virus concerns.

My Library does not allow any form of IM by staffers or from our public access Internet computers.

I did find the list of IM abbreviations extremely amusing and interesting.

I think if I were instant messaging I would have to be constantly consulting a list like this just to see what they could possibly mean. Instead of saving time I would have to consult the IM to English Dictionary (kind of like a Spanish-English Dictionary) to even start to get a handle on this new language.

I despair for all those English teachers out there. Do kids even know how to spell anymore after living in the world of IM so long? How lazy can you get?

Merry Christmas is even reduced to MC. Well, it is imaginative. But disheartening at the same time. I do see these same IM abbreviations in a lot of blogs and in email so the site will actually help me translate these and will be of use in the future.

#10 Ning

Did I just watch 12 minutes of video of yorkshire terriers "sweeping" a floor and various other small dog antics on the "I Love My Yorkie" social network on Ning?? Yes. I. Did. Why? It's a mystery. But totally worth my time.

Some of my other various searches of a less frivolous nature seemed to only yield advertisement-type results of people wanting to sell me things -- houses, etc.

I did find a puzzle swap network that might help me give away some jigsaw puzzles I want to donate -- except that I don't want any in return! I didn't want to trash them so now I have hopefully found a group of people who have a real interest in them. So, that has been helpful. I wouldn't have thought to try something like ning to locate a source to donate these puzzles.

I stumbled upon a review while viewing the ALA ning-related site. I somehow missed this title in Booklist: Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America by Barbara Ehrenreich. Well, I'm intrigued.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

#9 More Facebook

I have spent way too much time searching for names from high school etc. who I may or may not remember.

As an aside, I am surprised that so many ads appear on the side of the page. It is distracting. But I digress which is easy to do on Facebook.

I joined some groups including Save Ohio Libraries (why not? every library needs saving) It is forward thinking on the SOL part to be getting the message out through so many media outlets including the all important social networking sites. I also joined TLA and Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

I became a fan of several Facebook pages. What is the difference between joining groups and becoming a fan of something on Facebook? I still don't really know.

I'm curious about the stories of HR professionals who search for applicants Facebook pages, see "incriminating photos" or tasteless posts etc. and thus doom the applicants' chances of ever getting hired. How does this happen? From my very limited understanding, the hiring professional would need to get permission (by the applicant "accepting" them as a friend) before they could even view the profile. So, how do they even see it?

Photos are so vital to Facebook and I am NOT a "take my picture" kind of person so Facebook visuals do not hold that kind of appeal for me. I generally put dots over my face in all photos (When I am not gently ripping the camera out of the hands of the photographer, of course). So, the Facebook obsession with photos just makes it that much more unappealing.

And the potential rejection factor is high. If you ask to be someone's friend and never hear back? Why would anyone find that fun?

Finally, where do the "suggestions for friends" come from? They are suggestions of people I have never heard of in my life.

I do think libraries should have a Facebook page, however. Just to be in the arena, get in the game etc. If that is where people are -- libraries should be there too.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

#8 Facebook

This is the one that I have delayed, put off, procrastinated over. Wait while I go get a thesaurus to add more adjectives. I just did not want to do this.

I did create a facebook account. I am very ambivalent about this. I skipped over it originally and went on to other things for a reason. I don't think I understand how to make your profile more private. And how do you restrict who can, or cannot see items on your facebook account? I did go in and make sure my birthday was not public knowledge. I mean, identity theft is an epidemic these days. Does anyone think about that? My library's IT department does block facebook for employees. And no arguments or gentle persuasion will change their minds on this. And that actually doesn't matter because I am doing all of the 23 Things from my home computer.

I do think a facebook page for my Library would be a grand idea. Of course, we couldn't ever see what was on it due to the aforementioned blocking for employees. It is not blocked on our patron computers.

#7 RSS Feeds

Well this was easy since I already had my google reader set up. I added unshelved for my daily dose of levity. I already had a Star-Telegram RSS feed and a few others set up. Hopefully, this will save time. As the little Common Craft video advises: watch out, they can be addictive. I mean you can't add everything. When will I find time to sleep? I also liked the analogy of Netflix vs. the video store. With Netflix the video store comes to you. Same thing with the RSS feeds. Netflix way wins every time.