Things #15 & 16 - Wikis!

As you may or may not have noticed, I've skipped Thing #14. I feel like I have a lot to say about Library 2.0, but for some reason a post is just not coming to me right now. All I can think about are wikis - so that's what I'm going to talk about now. I'll get back to Library 2.0 stuff later.

I really enjoyed the wiki common craft video, and looked at some of the library wikis that are already out there. Overall, I liked what I saw, but I have to say that I'm a firm believer that wikis are not the way to go for everyone. For some reason, when people learn about them, they are like OMG BEST THING EVER and decide that they *have* to start one. In general, I think you should use what works for you - know about the rest, but don't feel like you have to use a certain tool just because it is there.

That being said, I think iwannaprize has a great idea for using wikis as subject resource pages for the public. I also think we could utilize a wiki internally to help us keep better track of resources to use for different kinds of questions, and it would be easy and quick to access when we need it. I'm remembering a question I got not long ago about bonds - we don't get these questions very often, and they are very difficult to answer. If we had a wiki set up, I could add a page about bonds and list the resources I used to find the answer. And other librarians could update it with other resources I didn't know about and/or couldn't find!

I played in the Learn & Play wiki sandbox, and had fun adding my favorite restaurants and movie. However, I found myself wanting to fix everyone's mistakes. I really must learn to control my anal-retentive perfectionist side. :)

Thing #13 -

As with many of the "things" we've been doing, I've already had a account for a while now. And yeah, I know that I don't need to put the dots in it anymore... but I like it better that way. :)

I don't put all of my bookmarks in delicious though - I just put stuff on there that I think is cool, or funny, or worth sharing with other people. For example, I wouldn't put big sites like Flickr or Gmail on delicious. But maybe I would share a really awesome picture on Flickr or a certain YouTube video that I liked. It's stuff that I might go back sometime and look at again, but not stuff that I go to everyday. I try to make sure that the things I bookmark on delicious are different than the things I share on Google Reader. (An example: Recently, a blog post I read on Google Reader pointed me toward a fun quiz on another site. Instead of sharing the blog post, I bookmarked the quiz in delicious. Had the blog post itself been particularly noteworthy, I would have just shared it in Google Reader. Does that make sense?)

If you're interested, here's my delicious page. Enjoy!

*edit* I forgot to mention how I think delicious can be used in the library! Doh! Actually, what I wanted to say is how great it is that my division is using delicious! See our page here. I would love to see us add to this page and include other websites that we use frequently with our customers.

Just for fun

Disclaimer: I have no desire to start up any political conversations here - but this was too funny not to post, especially after playing around with image and word generators last week.

We all know by now that Sarah Palin has named her kids some very unique names. Well, now you can find out what she would have named you! My name would have been Krinkle Bearcat Palin. I have to say, having the middle name "Bearcat" would be pretty frickin' sweet. If you try it out, let me know what your new name is!

Things #11 & 12 - LibraryThing and Twitter

So I found out after my last post that the stats feature on Flickr has not only been around a while (aka, not new at all), but is only available to people with pro accounts. So... yeah. Sorry about that. But if you have a pro account and haven't seen your stats, you should really get on that.

Anyhow, THIS post is all about LibraryThing and Twitter! I'm combining them into one since I already have accounts with both services. I joined Twitter earlier this year after I finally caught up with the rest of the world and got a texting plan, but I've been on LibraryThing since 2006! In fact, I even got to meet Tim Spalding, creator of LibraryThing, at the 2007 OLC Convention & Expo. Here's my catalog on LibraryThing, and my Twitter page. Feel free to friend me/follow me on either service!

One of the features on LibraryThing that I haven't explored much (but really should!) is LibraryThing Local. What a great opportunity for libraries to advertise our events to the kinds of people that would want to come to them! Also, I just wanted to mention how I love the fact that the largest group on the site is "Librarians Who LibraryThing," with just over 5000 members! Although really, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that the kinds of people who want to catalog their own books would also be the kinds of people who become librarians.

Twitter is pretty new to me still but I'm really enjoying it. I like being able to record the random thoughts I have during the day, and read all about what my friends and colleagues are doing. However, when I try to explain how it works to people that don't know anything about it, I usually get blank stares. Maybe it isn't for everyone. But I can definitely see where libraries could use this to easily post quick updates on their website, or maybe just to connect to our customers and let them know what's going on that day at the library.

Flickr stats

Has everyone tried out the new Flickr homepage yet? I love it. If you haven't, login to Flickr and look at the bottom of the page. You should find a link to try out the new homepage. Click on it, enjoy the music (totally serious), and explore the new page.

One of the best new things I found was an option to turn on statistics about my photos. I'm such a numbers geek, so I had to do this. It told me it might take a while to compile all of the numbers, but I checked back in a few minutes and it was ready. What I found was shocking!

I should give some back story here. When Jared and I were first looking for a place here in Columbus, I took this picture of my foot on the dashboard of my car (I like taking pictures of my feet, apparently). It's really not that exciting of a picture, but somehow it was getting way more views than my other pictures. So about a year ago, I decided to try to take a picture that would surely get more views than any of my other pictures. The result was this picture (safe for work, I promise), which I strategically named "Foot Fetish." Sure enough, it has gathered just over 2,000 views to date, and 7 people call it a favorite. But to my surprise, that is not my highest viewed picture. What picture could possibly get more views than that?

This one, apparently:

Yes, somehow a cart full of Wii gear is way more exciting than a bunch of feet - this picture has gotten over 7,000 views to date! That's a whole hell of a lot more than the foot fetish one. Nobody calls this photo a favorite though, and that doesn't really surprise me. My guess is that the majority of the views came right after this photo was taken, when a lot of people couldn't find a Wii in the stores and were looking around online for photos of one - although the stats don't seem to go back far enough for me to confirm that.

The foot fetish photo is still racking up views, but it will be a long time before it ever surpasses the cart o' Wii goodness. If you want, check out the rest of my stats here.

I'm a star!

Check out this video on Gerald 2.0 - my coworker Jim and I got to talk to Gerald about the fun we've been having with Learn & Play @CML. Surprisingly, we did the whole thing in just one take! I feel kinda famous now. And no, the glasses aren't permanent - they're the ones I wore for my Professor Trelawney costume. I also wore my now infamous green shoes (Jim's request) but we didn't get them in the video. Oh well. If you are reading this from my site and not in a feed reader, you can enjoy the picture of my shoes in the upper left of the page. :)

In other news, I had a fantastic dinner tonight at Tip Top Kitchen with Jennifer. We love our Tuesday night outings! Now it's time for some work, and as of tomorrow I'm off until next Tuesday. What will I do with all my free time, you ask? As little as possible, of course! Haha. Actually, I'm looking forward to catching up on some crafting, movie watching, and a video game I've been neglecting. Should be fun!

Thing #10 - Image Generators!

Oh man, I love these things. Here is one of my arch nemesis, Clippy:

Almost everything else I thought of him saying was completely inappropriate - be glad I spared you, haha. Seriously though... I hate Clippy so very, very much.

Next I decided to do one of something I really, really love - so check out my very own personalized My Little Pony:

Isn't she adorable?! The winged unicorns were always my favorite.

There are lots of really fun image & text generators out there. The other ones I liked were the Motivational Poster and the Alanis Morissette Random Lyric generators. I could probably play around with these all day!

Thing #9 - Finding blogs and feeds

I have to say, I don't really use any blog search websites on a regular basis. Most of the blogs I read I found because another blog that I like linked to them, so I checked them out. I'm trying to think back to when I started reading blogs, and I really can't remember how I found the first ones.

Anyhow - here are my thoughts on the search tools I looked at:

Bloglines Search Tool: If I had a Bloglines account, I might actually use this. But since I don't... well, probably not so much. It works pretty well, although I wish the blog results were right on top instead of the post results.

Topix: Looks like a decent enough news site, and I like the local content. Not sure that I would use this to find feeds though. I would just see what the top stories are, and move on. "Hi - 1998 called, and it wants its HTML code back." Fine if you're into the stripped down IRC look - although this is probably the easiest for newbies to use.

Technorati: Other than the occasional crazy flashing ads, this is a pretty good website. It's the only one where I really get a feel for what is "happening" in the blogosphere (I kinda hate that term though).

Although this wasn't in the list, I noticed that Google Reader has a "discover" feature where it recommends feeds based on the ones you are already subscribed to. Not surprisingly, mine was filled with more library blogs... go figure! This probably wouldn't be very helpful if you are just starting out, but if you are already subscribed to a few blogs you like, this would be a great way to discover more.

Thing #8 - RSS feeds

I am a huge fan of RSS feeds - I have a Google Reader account (because, well, Google owns my life... haha) and I am currently subscribed to 100+ feeds! Some are library blogs (LibraryBytes, Tame The Web, Librarian In Black, Ohio Library News - just to name a few), some are craft/baking related (Sprite Stitch, Cake Wrecks, The Domestic Scientist, Made in a Treehouse), and some are just plain geeky and fun (BoingBoing, Bad Astronomy, TechCrunch, Neatorama). I also have plenty of friends and CML coworkers blogs on there, as well as some podcasts (This American Life, WebbAlert, Thinking Out Loud). Although Google Reader doesn't allow you to publicly share your entire reading list, I do have a link to my publicly shared items. When I find a post that I like, I can share it so others can read it too. My friends that also have a Google Reader account get these shared items sent to them automatically, and I get theirs as well. It's a great way to share interesting posts with other people and discover blogs that you didn't know about!

I have also added a widget to this blog that shows my most recently shared items from Google Reader. How fun is that? I also forgot to mention that I also subscribe to a few web comics as well, and of course Unshelved is on the list. No librarian can resist Dewey and his antics!

Thing #7 - Technology

Every time I hear the word "technology," I think of the song from the end of Napoleon Dynamite:

"I love technology, but not as much as you, you see... but I still love technology, always and forever."

Ah, technology. I almost feel like writing a totally cliche post about how technology moves so fast, and how hard it is to catch up, and how I can't believe kids these days are doing this thing instead of that thing, and how they have NO IDEA how hard it was for me when I was their age, blah blah blah. But (thankfully, for you) I'm not going to do that. Instead, I'm going to list some cool things I'm excited about:

Google Chrome. I haven't downloaded it yet, but I will soon. I read the comic that they put out to promote it, and it sounds really awesome. I don't know that this will replace Firefox for me, but it should be fun to play around with.

The iPhone. I think I've decided that I'm going to get one, but I'm not sure when. I just think it is so cool that there is a phone that does practically anything you could want it to do. I don't really need it, but who cares? Nobody NEEDS an iPhone. I just want one! :)

Picnik. This is a site where you can edit images for free, and it's super easy to use. I don't have Photoshop or any other photo editing software, but I wanted to take a picture I had and make it into a logo for my blog. I found Picnik (which I had heard of before, but never used), and within minutes I was able to do exactly what I wanted with my photo. Sure, it's not as sophisticated as Photoshop - but it was fast, easy, and did just what I needed it to do. Sometimes I'm amazed at how much you can do online for free!

What cool things are you excited about?