Friday, May 15, 2009

GraduaciĆ³n de Tapas

Sweet! I'm graduating today. For me the best part of the Tapas program was learning about RSS feeds and I really liked that list of web 2.0 winners, I bookmarked that page and I will surely make use of it. Flckr and YouTube may be foreign to some, but for me it was old hat because I'm 26 and use the internet every day. Those websites are so popular and many people refer to them in social situations like "Hey did you see that video on YouTube of the dude walking on his elbows??". I'd say about half of the information in the program was new to me. RSS feeds I already knew about but I didn't know the extent to which they could make your life easier. Also applications like Zoho were completely alien to me and I only recently learned of OfficeLive. I will probably make use of most of the tools I learned but not all. I would definitely participate in another program again and I think the format that was used is appropriate, however, if I recall we were allowed to spend an hour on this a week I think- not enough time! The program should either be scaled down, or we should be allowed more time to do this. Sometimes the exercises were fun, other times kind of boring but that all depends on the user's interest and what would benefit them the most. Other than that it's good! It's ironic that atleast 4 Universities in NJ (Rowan, Rider, TCNJ, Ramapo) are graduating today...I wonder if that's a coincidence.


Ok so I wasn't very impressed with the two sites we were given to look for podcasts but when I did a search of my own, I ended with nothing better. There were some local libraries who used podcasting, but not many, and many links to their podcasts were dead. I think libraries could make podcasts as a way of making announcements to patrons about new books, library events and hours, or any other kind of announcement. The Library of Congress could have reviewers like Ebert and Roper, only for books and in podcast form, then patrons could decide which reviewer they want to rely on and make book selections based on those reviews. I think more needs to be done in podcasting with regards to libraries. Libraries like LBH could use podcasts to narrate short major or breaking news stories, similar to audiovision, but on a more time-sensitive basis. I subscribed to Association Technology Update which basically keeps you informed about the latest technology.


Like many people out there, I'm pretty familiar with YouTube as I use it almost on a daily basis. You can find so much on there such as clips from your favorite TV shows, news broadcasts, science experiments, pranks, music, instructional videos etc.. When I go to YouTube, I pretty much know what I want to search for although sometimes I just surf the site by checking out the most recently updated videos, top rated, or videos that YouTube selects for me based on videos I've watched in the past. I chose a guitar instructional video because I like to see peoples' different techniques to playing just to better my technique or because they are insanely good and I just want to watch. Sometimes, they are very helpful but it depends on how well the instructor teaches and the quality of the video. The nice thing about YouTube is that you can upload your own videos and have your own online instructional class about any topic; I referred to one about snowboarding back in winter. I find that Google Video can be better to use sometimes, especially if you want to watch a full length feature because YouTube has a 10 minute maximum so instead of watching the movie straight through, you have to watch in parts.

Flckr Pctr

Looking back at Earth from Saturn
Originally uploaded by Ikarus Kuwait

I chose this photo because I think this is one of the most amazing pictures ever taken. Who else can say they've taken a picture of Earth from Saturn (granted, this is a composite image), not me! This shot cannot be replicated anytime soon by anyone not working for NASA. We've all seen pictures of Earth from the Moon, a distance of I think around 230,000 miles. This shot just blows that out of the water because it is taken from BEHIND Saturn from the space craft Cassini which was launched in 1997. It really puts things in perspective - now we know what WE look like from far away. Another cool thing about this photo is that you can see the Moon, which is that fuzzy dot to the upper left of the enlarged earth shot. Can you image you were aboard that spacecraft knowing you are a few years away and over 800 million miles apart?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wikified Web

Having already used Wikipedia about 1,000 times so far, I am already familiar with wikis. One thing I didn't realize is that you can basically make an entire web site with a wiki. The Bull Run Library for example, does not really look much like Wikipedia or other "editable article"(although you can edit with a login ID) wikis such as Library Success: Best Practices.... This is useful though because anyone working at the library with sufficient privileges to make changes to the wiki can without any web design knowledge at all. So that is one benefit of using wikis. I think being able to read patrons' (patrons from the same library as the wiki) reviews of books would be really cool, although I only found reviews of readers from other sites. Also, librarians from different libraries can collaborate by using a wiki as a means of communication to plan events for example.

Don't Mess With the Zoho

I thought this tool was pretty cool and superior to the OfficeLive Beta because it has more features, you don't have to download and install any plugins or updates, and you can upload any document in any format. At first I thought that Zoho had nothing comparable to Excel or PowerPoint like OfficeLive does. But then I did a little more clicking and found that it has basically has everything Live does and a lot more such as an online database, Zoho Wiki, net meetings, and being able to post your document directly to your Blog. Navigating through my documents was a little annoying as several times when I wanted to scroll down or click on a cell or button, there was significant latency, but it is a Beta and OfficeLive has it's problems, if not more actually. One feature I really liked is that you can revert to prior versions of your document of the same file name - to the best of my knowledge you cannot do that in Microsoft Office; you have to rename the document and Save As. Yes you have to pay a monthly subscription to use Zoho as a serious office solution (i.e. more storage space, no limit to the number of records, more emails allowed) BUT I think it is well worth it: I mean you can actually hold a meeting and directly connect to another user's computer and control their desktop. I don't know if it's better than WebEx but still, the fact that you can do that is awesome and makes sharing documents so much easier! You can't mess with the Zoho, it's a powerhouse of document processing and sharing.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Are Ess Ess

Lately I have noticed that orange box in programs and websites, and I just kind of ignored them. Namely when you set up your email in Microsoft Outlook you are asked if you want to subscribe to RSS feeds, so I hit "yes", never reading them and not seeing the point behind them because all the feeds were basically Microsoft telling me how awesome their products are-"yay". So this exercise opened my eyes to the power of RSS feeds. If you're someone who checks the news, sports, blogs or any other perpetually upated website or feed, then RSS is a very useful tool. It will save you a lot of time by downloading the most recent posts made to a website. The top 1000 in Bloglines is a great way to start setting up your RSS feeds, as you will probably be subscribing to at least one of the first 10 feeds. So if you want to keep track of scores during a tournament, that information will be downloaded live to your RSS feeder and you dont' even have to bother checking any websites. My friend uses RSS feeds to get the latest NBA scores on his phone's web browser when he is in a Wi-Fi area - technology is getting better all the time.