Tuesday, March 31, 2009

23 Things Have Come & Gone

Well, I'm officially finished with the 23 Things program. I've revisited a lot of my favorite sites and been introduced to a number of new technologies but this is just the beginning. I love to find new and interesting technologies to sign up for so if you ever see the user BookOkie out there any where in the World Wide Web don't forget to say hi!

Audio Books

While I've heard all the details about our new audio books I've failed to talk with anyone who has actually been through the process. So, I set down at my laptop last night to try it out. It was a very easy to download the player and locate the titles for my cart or my wishlist. It must be pretty popular seeing how almost everything was checked out. Well, at least the fiction I look at. My only difficulty was that I needed to download a newer version of Windows Media Player. I got that out of the way quickly and set to downloading The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The five parts took about 2 minutes to download and I was ready to go. I listened to it while I was drifting off the sleep and awoke at 3am to it still playing. While I'm not a big audio book fan (still need the tangible form of a book) I do see the appeal of this technology. Now to tackle transferring it to my iPod. Eek!

Monday, March 30, 2009


Well, you learn something new every day. I never knew what the pod stood for in podcasting. In fact, I didn't know exactly what a podcast was. But after the instructional video and exploring PodcastAlley I now have a better understanding. There are so many feeds to subscribe to. It's a bit overwhelming. After perusing several podcasts I finally decided to visit NPR to see if they had any podcasts online. They have over 643 podcasts posted. I signed up to receive feeds for Nancy Pearls book reviews and NPR's In Character series that examines fictional characters in pop culture. While NPR only showed subscription links to iTunes and Yahoo readers, it did have a link to copy and paste into your personal reader if it wasn't posted. It was very easy to add to Bloglines. Just like adding any other RSS feed. As for great uses for podcasting in libraries are author interviews for book clubs, instructional podcasts for computers, investing, etc. and demonstrations for programming (ex. knitting).

YouTube Explored

I really enjoy YouTube. It's a great place to find tv shows, music videos, movie trailers or just a laugh-out loud snippet. It is very easy to use whether you are simply browsing videos or uploading your own. I personally use it both ways and often post concert videos when I get a chance.

My only complaint about YouTube is that there is just so much out there. Everyone names there videos so similarly and often times inappropriately that you don't always get the best results. For example, try looking for an official movie trailer and you'll find all kinds of videos not just the studio's version.

As far as applying YouTube to library services, it would be great to have video of some of our fantastic festivals. It's a lot more interactive and attractive to customers, I think. Also, there is a new trend of book trailers (similar to movie trailers) and I've always wanted to create a teen program in which the teens write and act out a trailer for their favorite book. I've just never come up with a good arrangement for this. It's also a great place to find author interviews to use with book clubs.

Check out this video about my favorite character...Babymouse!

My YouTube

Yes, that's right...I post my own videos on YouTube for all to enjoy. I've embedded one particularly fascinating video of the NKOTB concert below for your enjoyment! Don't you wish you had been there?


As part of #19 Discovering Web 2.0 Tools, I explored the 2nd place Start Page, Pageflakes. It's a one-stop shop for all your online activities. Basically, it's a way to create a personalized home page with all the information you need at hand daily. For example, once you create an account you will have a page of basic Pageflake info. This includes local news, weather, calendars, RSS feeds, etc. You can then customize your page with different themes, layouts and widgets. I created a page with a funkadelic background/color scheme then added widgets for Facebook, Wikipedia, my email, comic strips, games, bookmarks (like Delicious) and more. A widget is simply an embedded piece of code that allows you to, for example, check your Facebook account on Pageflakes. The more widgets you add to Pageflakes the fewer additional sites you have to visit. It can all be done on Pageflakes. I love the ability of tools like Pageflakes to customize your profile or account because I need to express the true me at all times!!!

Google Docs

I have used Google Docs in the past just as the Plain English video described as a place for several students to work on a term paper together.  It's also helpful just to have it online for someone to proofread for you.  I've very big on proofreading.  I never trust myself when it comes to commas.  Ha! 

Google Docs does have some cool features beyond simply word processing.  You can save as RTF, PDF, see a revision history and much more.  It really is better than attaching documents to emails.  That being said, I've spent the last 40 minutes playing around with Google Docs and it's not very easy to figure out how to publish your document as a blog post.  Turns out the spreadsheet won't post.  So I tried creating a plain Word-like document with a table and it posted but it looked funky with lots of extra spaces.  I not only tried to fix it in Google Docs but also tried to fix the HTML on Blogger.  I consider myself pretty knowledge but just couldn't figure it out.  So here I am with a basic document as a post to my blog.  I was trying to be all fancy but to no avail!