The end…

February 20, 2009 at 12:48 pm (Uncategorized)

…Or is it? I’ve really enjoyed doing 25 Things 🙂 Aside from being something different to the usual day in lending, I’ve learnt some things, and I’ve loved reading what everyone else has been up to! Ok, so I’m a bit of a nosy parker and blog reading addict anyway, but, you know 🙂

So what have I learnt? While I’ve seen or used a lot of the Things, they change and advance so quickly that there is always more to learn about them anyway. My particular faves have been playing with mashups and Flickr extras – mainly because they are things that in general I wouldn’t use very much if at all, so I hadn’t really found or played with them before. Being pushed to mess about and try them out means that I’ve found some fun things that I might actually use now 🙂 And as I’ve already said, I’ve loved reading everyone else’s blogs. Seeing what other people have played with, discovered and thought of what we’ve been looking at has been interesting, and quite frankly, fun!

I confess I’m still a little disappointed that LibraryThing didn’t capture my interest. It was something I really wanted to like, but just couldn’t bring myself to get involved in it. I don’t know if that’s because I’m old school paper/book non-book group type girl or because there just wasn’t as much as I expected there to be on it, or maybe even just that I’m just too lazy to spend time putting my many books online, or dare I say afraid of someone badmouthing my faves? But whatever it was that put me off, I still feel like I’m swearing very very badly by saying I’m not keen on it 😦 I felt the same way about Second Life too – I should like it, so why don’t I?

Which brings me on to something else. I’m surprised Second Life wasn’t mentioned in the Things. I’m sure there is a good reason for that, apart from it you like it, it ends up sucking time out of the first life…

It’s kind of strange. I was just thinking about what my chances of using the Things in my lending work would be – probably minimal. Then I realised – I already set up most of the posts on the front line wiki, I read library blogs in my Bloglines, in the absence of Sarah Munks I help look after Grapevine (which pulls in using YouTube), Google Maps is useful for when we are going somewhere for work and need help finding it, and when working with Amy for the Green Group we use Flickr CC photos for our blog posts… I could probably go on, but I won’t. I will say though that Web 2.0 things are appearing more and more in what we do at work, and at home, not necessarily with us even realising that they are, and that we probably all know more than we thought we did 🙂

I’ve really enjoyed 25 Things. Please think of 25 more things for me to play with 😛

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YouTube and Podcasts

January 27, 2009 at 3:46 pm (Uncategorized)

YouTube

I rather like YouTube. And given that I had something in particular that I’d looked up recently on there, I thought I’d share it with you guys too 🙂 Sadly, this version doesn’t allow embedding, but there are many interpretations of video responses to the song. And it is about zombies and brains 😀 Hoorah!

Podcasts

I love podcasts! Well, the right ones anyway 🙂 I download knitting and music ones through iTunes, and subscribed to their updates via Bloglines, so I don’t have to log into iTunes everytime I want to check if there is a new one out. For those who might be interested (and I know some might be), I subscribe to Cast On by Brenda Dayne, Lime N Violet, Sock Tart, Stephen Fry’s Podgrams and Blessays and the Guardian Music Weekly podcast (amongst many others). I tend to listen to them on the way into work, which is a bit bad as I end up a couple of episodes behind all the time. Some of the podcasts are quite fun in the way they introduce you to indie artists too – many of them use music from the podsafe network, and I’ve found a few tracks that have caught my eye (or ears :D) including the one in the YouTube link above. I certainly wouldn’t be tempted to make my own though – sounds like far too much work 😉

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Things 19-21

January 26, 2009 at 7:32 pm (Uncategorized)

Image Generators
I was really excited about being able to do a manga one, but it won’t work on my PC so I’ll have to try at home. Hated the Image Chef one, but can at least see why it appeals to the yoof of today. Clearly I’m too old for Image Chef… In the end I went with the South Park generator, and here I am:

southpark

🙂 In short I tried to make me as a South Park character, and ended up with something a bit more flattering than expected even by me! You pick skin tone, eyes hair etc, which was easy enough, but the hard bit was selecting what clothes I’d be wearing. I chose not to dress myself as an American teenager and went the route of the silly instead, hence I’m in a dirndl. Clearly I do not dress that way in day-to-day life. Or at home. Or anywhere. Except if I was in South Park 🙂 Not sure whether this is tasteful enough for 25Things though ;D

Google Docs

This is rather funky 😀 Again one I had probs getting to work on my PC, but once I was in there and could share my documents, it was dead easy and quite a nice way to create something with someone else (and also to find out what Jane’s fave veggies are). I can see this would be useful for collaborative work between people who can’t meet up that easily in person, and might have probs with email inbox size etc, plus it is just a really funky tool 🙂

LibraryThing

I’m a bad 25 Thinger. I’ve been following LibraryThing for quite a while on their blog, but have never mustered up the energy to join them. I did at one point join Shelfari (booo! Hissss!), but I just could never be bothered with it. I would much rather just be able to go and look on my bookshelves and find something by happy coincidence. I’m not really a book group person either. Maybe that comes from my degree background (English Studies), but I really have no desire to discuss what happens in a book to potentially the point where it loses all joy – after studying, most discussions seem to miss the point, or trivialise or over-interpret what goes on in the text, and certainly after meeting some authors, they’ve agreed that it happens rather frequently… I do think though that LT are doing some excellent work for the book world, and have really created a buzz in the way they view texts. I love the way they are striving for free information too 🙂

Having said all that bad stuff about online lists and book groups, I’ve set up my LibraryThing account 🙂 and my library is here. I’ve added some of my fave books on there so have a nosy and see whether you have the same taste or not. I quite like that some of my faves aren’t that popular – is that terrible? I don’t feel elitist or anything, I just like the idea that I’ve found an author whose work is still to be discovered by others and can promote a bit to others. That probably doesn’t sound how I mean it to sound still, but I’m a librarian – I like bringing information to those who haven’t found it yet!

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Social Networking

January 26, 2009 at 1:29 pm (Uncategorized)

I confess, I’m a social networker. Primarily because I’m quite lazy when it comes to keeping in touch with friends – email takes a looong time, and texting is nice but not quite enough space and costs money. Facebook is an option that means I can be extremely nosy at what my mates are up to, and send little messages so that they can see what I’m up to too 🙂 There is a particular aspect of Facebook that I both love and loath… Applications. At first I just added them as people requested them, partly because I was curious, and partly because I was worried people would be offended if I didn’t. Then I got really fed up of them! There are so many, most of them suggesting you log in every 5 mins in order to make the most of them, and with the old fascia of Facebook they ate the screen up everywhere. Now I’m a bit more picky. But if you are new or haven’t found it yet there is a particular app with a rude word in it which I will change accordingly – ‘Rubbish’ Gifts for Academics 🙂 Lynn, Graham and I have already had quite a bit of fun with it… 😀 Sadly I haven’t yet wished anyone Happy New Year or Merry Christmas. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think it 😉 although I might sent you yarn… Mmmmmmmm free yarn…

I know Facebook can be a very useful commercial tool for companies and institutions to keep in touch with their clients, and that we have a presence on Facebook for the various sites, but frankly I think the student led ones are more popular because they don’t worry about posting any old stuff on their own groups, whereas if we start one, we are probably just old fogies or something and will be watching their every move… However, for some reason, Barnsley’s group is pretty popular while CLS is a bit, well, less popular. Personally I think it is down to BA being a smaller site, so they end up getting to know the students better. But still, not really sure what we could do to encourage people to sign up for the CLS one, other than maybe adding a popup to the desktop or email in student notices.

Ok, now I’ve spent some time on Facebook for work purposes (and anyone viewing my status will discover!), it is time to look at microblogging. I’m a Plurker rather than a Tweeter (although at the mo I’m tempted to swap). I like microblogging, to a certain extent. Strangely I feel more pressure to be interesting in microblogging than I do in normal blogging. I can’t see myself posting about some of the stuff mentioned in the video, but I do like being able to follow other people. They seem to be more personal posts than in blogging (e.g X feels that something is quite good/someone is a pain in the backside), which is nice. But at the same time, getting requests to follow or friend you is like Facebook – freaky if you don’t know the person.

Having read a bit more about Twitter, I’d be tempted to migrate there if only to read Stephen Fry’s updates. Twittervision is kind of hypnotic too – you could easily lose yourself in reading about other people’s exploits. And when Courtney Cox confesses that she wants to know about other celebs the way people want to be nosy about her, then what hope do I have for avoiding being nosy about other people? 😀

Edited to add: interesting article on BBC News website on Tweeting 😀

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Google Maps and Earth

January 11, 2009 at 7:07 pm (Uncategorized)

Google Maps is fun 🙂 I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this before (it has probably been in Grapevine), but quite often, someone with a sense of humour has suggested swimming between continents in the directions to get abroad… 😀 Apparently, if I want to walk to Madrid, it is a bit nearer than driving (good thing too!) – 1,145 miles as opposed to 1,200 and something if driving. I’m surprised at the level of detail too, but then who knows if it is accurate without trying it out. And I’m not going to do that I’m afraid. Sorry!

I decided to look up where my favourite, most expensive yarn shop is. I know how to get to it, but I just thought I’d look it up to check it was still there and hadn’t had anything terrible happen to it ;D

Up Country in Holmfirth

Well worth a trip to the town, plus Your Nuts nearby is good, as is the pub next door to it… Just if you were wondering 😉

I’ve also been nosying on Google Sightseeing. Sadly, the only thing of note on search of West Yorkshire is the Emley Moor Mast – I’m sure there must be more to us than that!

As for Google Earth, it is VERY funky… But privacy can definitely be a possible issue. Presumably, Google wouldn’t publish an image if it was really obvious someone was sunbathing in their garden in the nuddie or something, but I’ll always remember (whether it was faked or not) a photo of a street from one of the maps in the US with a guy pointing a gun at a young boy. Regardless of how real or not it was, that does raise questions of responsibility and vetting of photos, and it goes back to similar arguements with regards to Wikipedia – whether it is real or not, should it stay on there? I’m not really sure – you could say it is important to show real life as long as people agree to their images being on there, but there is a level of appropriateness and responsibility as to whether it will have an impact on other people on viewing it… Hmmmm

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Wikis

December 11, 2008 at 4:27 pm (Uncategorized)

I learnt something new today – never knew wiki came from there 🙂

I (amongst many others) have spent some time trying to persuade students that they shouldn’t cite wikis as law, especially considering that anyone can make a page on a wiki and make it say what they want. A couple of weeks ago I felt obliged to change a page on Wikipedia that referred to someone who kidnapped children in the 1930s as ‘someone even Michael Jackson would envy’. Really hope our students have enough brains to avoid quoting things like that even if they do quote Wikipedia! But regardless of the dangers of Wikis, I love them. They are a quick (see! It fits!), and easy to search to find basic info and definitions, which you can then use (if needs be) to do research proper. And if there is something you are interested and the wiki is established, there will already be an entry. And if there isn’t, I can make one 🙂

Wikipedia thing.
The article that interested me the most was this… There isn’t really any discussion of it (although it is part of the WikiProject Books), but it intrigued me enough to make me want to read the story. The write up gives you just enough information for you to not have a clue what happens in it, if that makes sense! The ending write up is extremely mysterious… The entry is only a stub (i.e. a page created for a reference in another page), but there isn’t any need for it to be in depth as it is, even if the English student in me wants to break it down and analyse it 😀

Current events, as several people have already had the joy to discover, is mainly bad news, like Irish pork going down the drain, although there is something about Sark’s first democratic elections 🙂

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Technorati

December 8, 2008 at 1:46 pm (Uncategorized)

I think I’ve used Technorati to check my own blog’s stats and who is linking to it, but I haven’t done that recently. I’ve not really looked at the other side of it, so it was quite fun to find out there is a knitting advent calendar on Lime and Violet’s website 😀

But, going back to the actual tasks rather than ones I made up 😉 Searching for Huddersfield brought up all kinds of goodies, including several references to ‘the inimitable’ Dave and his presentation at the Mashed Libraries thingy last week 🙂 and, probably unsurprisingly, references to pubs in the locale… 😀 Think that was just coincidence that Dave and pubs come up in the same result? But everyone else has probably had the same kind of results – a general search brings up lots of interesting posts across a wide range of blogs, but the blog results just brings up a load of people trying to flog stuff.

Finally I should add that in no way did I use Technorati to look up Strictly Come Dancing, although I might have hunted for some Mighty Boosh stuff, and also to see if anyone else had had any peppermint nightmares…

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Tagging

December 1, 2008 at 1:06 pm (Uncategorized) ()

I confess. I’m a sporadic tagger. I don’t tag my blog posts, but do tag my photos. I blog to share knowledge and experiences, but don’t share that knowledge very well beyond my faithful regular readers. I upload pics to Flickr mainly because I’m a Ravelry obsessive (if you are a fibre crafter, you should damn well know what Ravelry is (if you are but you don’t, Google it. It is ACE), and if you aren’t you really don’t want to know what it is ;D), which means that Flickr all too often gets used as a hosting tool and the sharing gets done in Ravelry. And I only tag things in Ravelry when I remember…

But I really need to fix this. Tagging is really really useful. What’s the point in sharing stuff online if people can’t find it without trawling through blog posts and their web browser growning under the weight of a million plus hits in their searches? I do kind of wonder whether there is a fine line between helpful tagging and not-at-all useful tagging. The searcher is only as good as the tags PLUS their own search technique, and the tagger only as good as their own knowledge and language. So, if you start tagging photos with ‘Techmology’ like my friend does, the likelihood of anyone you don’t know finding your photo on this basis is low. But, on the other hand, it can be quite funny 🙂

[wonders how many people will go and search Flickr for the tag Techmology and bump Heather’s photo views up through the roof. If you do go, highlights are the mangroomer, and the pasta sauce ‘with meat’]

That kind of went a bit random. And also a little bit philosophical. I hope you are suitably impressed at that considering it is Monday (although I had major issues typing the word philosophical).

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RSS Rocks

November 24, 2008 at 1:25 pm (Uncategorized)

I’ve been playing with the feed search tools listed in the post for Thing 9, and have concluded that I hate Topix.net. 😦 It’s mainly because of the screen layout – I hate how much information they are trying to cram in on one page. I’ve never been a fan of 3 column pages, and this site is a prime example as to why. It is really really messy. I won’t say what terminology I’d use to describe it…

BUT Syndic8 is much nicer and more user friendly, cleaner, easy to search. I’ve already found a ton of feeds to add to my bloglines 😀

I’ve already mentioned that I have a LOT of feeds in my Bloglines collection, and that’s precisely why I like readers. I used to have all the same websites listed in my favourites, which was really an accident waiting to happen. If you upgrade or crash, you can lose them all. I could easily spend all night going through them checking for updates individually, but Bloglines tells me when each one is updated and I can save the pieces that interest me for future reference. I can set it up so that I just have short intros to the updates rather than picture heavy posts taking up loads of time downloading. I love my Bloglines. 🙂 The only problem I’ve had with Bloglines in the past is searching for specific blogs or people as a keyword – they haven’t always come up, but I’ve jumped off, searched Google and gone back with the direct link before.

In other words. RSS = good. Feeds = good. Bloglines = good. Topix.net = yucky.

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Mashups and Flickry goodness

November 17, 2008 at 4:04 pm (Uncategorized)

Just as an aside, I have discovered I love tilt shift photography 😀 If you haven’t seen any, go and do a tag search for it – fab fab FAB effect.

Anyway, I never realises there were so many mashups and apps made with Flickr as a base! But being silly, I rather like the speller 😀 I should point out that I like the idea of the Trip Planner one, so might have a play with that next time I go somewhere, or even next time my mates come to the Hudd to see if I find somewhere new.

But to be silly here is my name in lights (ish). There is something really cool about seeing my name spelled out in random letters, and being able to play with them and swap them. Plus the crafter in me is drawn to playing with typography and I can see all kinds of crafty ways of using this for inspiration…

B R card disc with push out letter y McElman_071026_2445_O Dismantled Neon Letter Pewter Ransom Font y

Unfortunately, my blog theme breaks it on my screen. Someone teach me how to fix it please?

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