Archive for August, 2008

Talent in Libraryland

August 24, 2008

Today I bring you evidence of the ways that social networking and blogging can bring together amazing projects.

I saw David Lee King and Michael Porter’s call for contributions for a project go out on Twitter, Friendfeed, Facebook and their blogs. They wrote a song and asked for everyone else to contribute clips of themselves singing the chorus. The final video including the clips was posted yesterday.

My friend and organiser of unconferences, Kathryn, had the idea to get our unconference participants to sing but we never got around to doing it on the day (probably because the not so able MC forgot to include it in the program).

She not only filmed herself singing, but piped it into Second Life and danced to it as her avatar. Very meta Kathryn.

See the video and Kathryn’s full clip on her post. Also the video, back story and the lyrics and credits on Michael Porter’s blog. Be warned – the song will give you an ear worm for a  while.

23 Things part 3- a blog

August 18, 2008

First of all a little refresher. Use your delicious account to search for resources tagged “23things”. Read a couple. Bookmark them if you want- using delicious of course. When you tag them try adding the “for:suethelibrarian” so I will see them too.

Now – time to bite the bullet.

The original “23 things” starts of with some reading then creating a blog. So far we haven’t done that. Mostly because I knew that you wouldn’t be comfortable with it but also because I knew that RSS feeds and social bookmarking were really useful to you right now and it was best to get them done in case you dropped out. 🙂

I need to be able to show you later how to incorporate the things that we will be using later into the blog so you will need to have one. So we will each create a blog with the express purpose of using it to record your progress through the 23 things and reflecting on the implications of what you are learning for libraries and our services.

First of all have a look at the three 23 things links below which are specifically about setting up a blog

http://hcplclib20.blogspot.com/2006/05/3-blogs-blogging.html

http://plcmclearning.blogspot.com/2006/08/3-grab-yourself-blog-in-3-steps.html

http://mullet23.blogspot.com/2007/09/thing-4-set-up-blog-using-blogger.html

The programs above use Blogger as it is very easy to set up and links to your Google account. However WordPress.com has added functionality and it will be good to get familiar with the interface. It’s just a hosted version of WordPress. We will use WordPress.com.

The basic steps are to:

1. Sign up for an account. Choose your email that you want to link to your account very carefully as they say. All comments moderation notifications etc are sent to that account. You may not want to use your work email. (Your blog may get very popular and get lots of comments and comment spam.)

2. Think about your privacy options. Choose your username carefully. It will appear on your posts. Also now is the time to think about the title of you blog as that will be in the URL.

3. Take a look at these clues from WordPress.com “Where do I start” also their features page.

4. Once you are signed up you will be presented with the administration dashboard. Explore all the tabs here. Especially check the options under “settings” and “users” which hide over to the right hand side of the dashboard.

5. You will see that you have 1 post “hello world” and 1 page. You will probably want to change these. Leaving a “Hello world” post on a blog unaltered is not a good thing.

6. Have a look at your site. It will be very sparse and the design will be the default “theme”. Have a look at the other themes available under the design tab. Pick one. Play with the available widgets.

6. When you are signed in and on your site you will see a top bar with ‘My Account” and “My Dashboards” on it. These will not show to visitors.

7. Write a post.

8. Find the RSS feed. Subscribe to your own blog.

9. Put the URL for your blog in the comments of this post.

If you need help there is a help link from your dashboard or contact me.

Have fun.

23 Things for colleagues

August 15, 2008

I have been “trailing” a 23 Things program with a few colleagues . I wanted to limit it to just those who were really keen and asked me so it has had a small audience. We are all doing it in our “spare” time. A very limited commodity lately. Its running about 4 weeks behind.

So far I have been using email to set them tasks but that is not even Web 1.0 let alone Web 2.0. I didn’t want to use the corporate wiki to do this because it has a very large audience and my selected colleagues are helping me with feedback so that we may roll out a better version to the larger community once the trial is done.

So this morning, running late for work (because I was playing with the new manga me avatar creator), I thought of using this blog as the communication vehicle. I will send out the URL to just the colleagues that are involved in the last email that they will get on the subject.

I have set up a separate category with a separate feed. Those that only want the 23 things updates and not the rest of my ramblings can just subscribe to that feed and get the updates.

The “thing” that we are up to is thing 3 of our modified version and will be to create a blog. The instructions will be in the next post. So you will need to put the first two lessons into effect to get the next thing.

[For the benefit of those others reading this they were RSS feeds and Google reader, then social bookmarking using Delicious]

So colleagues- subscribe to one of the feeds from this blog and look out for the next 23 things post. Please use the comments for each post to give me feedback, critique my instructions etc- just as you have been- but this way you will all get to see each others comments. Be aware that I have comment moderation turned on for this blog to deter spam, so your comments will not appear right away. If you don’t want others to read your comments just say so and I will read it but not approve it for publication. But online conversation is a big part of what we will be discovering so I hope you wont be put off.

Other dear readers- so sorry this may not be interesting for you but I know that a couple of you have run programmes of your own. If you chose to stay around I would welcome your feedback also.

[UPDATE]: Guys – I forgot – probably not a good idea to clearly identify our workplace- this is a public blog. And you might want to use a different email than your work one to post comments. I dont think that they show up but you never are too sure.

Its hard to explain

August 15, 2008

It's hard to explain

Loved this.