Archive for September, 2008

Dinner with librarian bloggers

September 17, 2008

Had a lovely dinner tonight with flexnib and her M, sirexkat, and exploded library who was visiting Perth for a conference.

Exploded library with iPhone. We were comparing notes.

Sirexkat and Flexnib

Sirexkat was taking a movie of us discussing three questions about librarianship today

We talked librarys and gadgets and blogging of course.

The great news is that I get to do it all again in November with free range librarian. I hope that I will not be a TOTAL fan girl and will talk sensibly.

This is not just about my social life. Its also by way of a part 2 review of my iPhone blogging experience.  I have discovered that, although handy, the WordPress application that I used to do my earlier post is pretty basic. It is fine to do a quick post with a photo or start a draft. It is not immediately obvious to this noob how to add a link especially since the IPhone does not support cut and paste. Apparently they are working on adding comment moderation. And the application is open source so I will expect many further enhancements.

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Facebook v MSM.

September 16, 2008

We all know that local mainstream media (MSM) filters the news. There is that old adage that a fire down the street is worth more airtime than the 1000s killed yesterday in the Sudan. But if you try and keep up with all the news everywhere then you can feel overwhelmed. You can set up alerts in Google news but they will be restricted to whatever your interests happen to be at the time.

If there are events happening in the world that we ought to be aware of how do you find out?

I have presented before about the value of online social networks in keeping me aware of the latest news in my web, library and online interests.

Today Facebook came to the rescue in keeping me a bit more aware of a human tradegy happening. My cousin worked for the UN and is connected to me on Facebook. Yesterday my cousin commented on this photo and that comment was on my Facebook newsfeed. It has not been made private so I hope very much that the poster does not mind if I post the link here. I then had to go a seek out the news of what was happening in that part of the world.

I am not sure a what I can do but I am using my meager part of hyperconnectivity to respread this bit of news just to remind us that there are others things happening in the world besides the US election and the release of a new browser. 

Facebook won this round.

Iphone blogging

September 14, 2008

This is a test but it is mind blowing if it works. I am posting this from my phone. Imagine if you will the consequenses when (not if) this becomes mainstream.

The photo is my hubby practising.

[EDIT] There was no edit option so I have hopped back on the lappy to expand. The photo was also taken with my phone. The whole post took a matter of a few minutes to write, take the picture and load. The consequences that immediately come to mind are for journalism. When a good proportion of the populace have a blog and a web and camera enabled phone any event can be immediatley recorded and published. Actually I wouldn’t need a blog. I could just have easily posted something with a photo to Facebook or Twitter with better effect as more people read my streams there.

Slideshare embed test

September 13, 2008

I just found the link on Slideshare which gives the code for embedding Slidehare media into WordPress.com posts. (Click on the options link under the embed box on the right hand side of the page.) So of course I had to try it.

The selection du jour is a presentation from Kathryn Greenhill (Librarians Matter) to a Collections Australia Network seminar on 9th September. It has lots of relevance to our 23 things program and to things I ought to be considering when proposing the use of new tech at work.

[Edit] The embed didnt show in Google reader. I should have included the link as well- its “…but I don’t have time and THEY don’t get it”: Finding time and reasons for emerging technologies

23 Things – Images #2

September 12, 2008

This is a fun one.

It has two parts.

a. Avatars.

On blogs and online social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Friendfeed and Flickr we can not only represent ourselves with a name or handle but also an image. We can use a photo of ourselves but we might have privacy concerns about this or worry about being prejudged by our age, race or gender

But there are also online image generators which we can use to generate fun custom cartoon images of ourselves which we can use.

Here are just some:

Look for more by searching delicious for “avatars”.

The task is to make a new avatar for yourself and use it somewhere online. Facebook or a blog post or Flickr. Somewhere that you can link to. Oh- and tell me where it is.

b. Image generators.

Similarly there are a whole heap of other online image generators that you can use for that perfect image to accompany a blog post or for a powerpoint.

For inspiration check out the powerpoint that Kathryn Greenhill made for an Unconference in 2007. Also the slide set of the images made by the PLCMC 23 things program.

There are lists on the other 23 things sites at Murdoch University Library and PLCMC. A good resource for this one is the Generator Blog. And of course a search of delicious.

(By the way- have you noticed that delicious searches have feeds??)

Obviously the next task is to choose an image generator and generate an image.

Theme peril

September 10, 2008
by IndiepoprockJesse

by IndiepoprockJesse

After looking at page after page of wonderful WordPress themes today, trying to find a “temporary, close enough” one for our work WordPress implementation, I decided that the theme on this blog was far too boring. So I picked something more colourful. I like that the links are very easy to see.

Unfortunately, though the theme was listed as having widgets, that function seems not to be working. Those boxes that you can see on the sidebar are not optional. So I can’t add back my “recently clipped or saved feed”. If you miss it let me know. Maybe I will change the theme again. Or I could just send you the feed URL itself.

23 things – Images #1

September 10, 2008

Last year I went to a talk by the inspiring Stephen Abram. One of the things that he covered that resonated with me was that librarians need to know about, and cater to, the different adult learning styles. According to him Engineers are predominantly visual (image) learners whereas Librarians tend to be text based learners.

I would like to find the citation that backs this. However I only need to compare the heavy text based library web site at MPOW to our client’s presentations (lots of visualizations- graphs and diagrams) to think that it is probably true. It shouldn’t have to be spelled out that our web sites should actually be catering for our clients learning styles not our own.

So we need to learn more about images in a Web 2.0 environment – finding them, sharing them, using them and manipulating them for our uses. As with the original 23things from Helene Blowers we will break these three aspects into 3 tasks.

1. Finding and sharing photos with Flickr

by Gloel (Flickr)

by Gloel (Flickr)

As usual have a look at the resources put together by our 23things predecessors:

http://plcmclearning.blogspot.com/2006/08/5-discover-flickr.html

http://hcplclib20.blogspot.com/2006/05/6-photo-sharing-mashups.html

http://mullet23.blogspot.com/2007/10/october-29-november-4-week-8-images-and.html

Our exercise is the same. Explore Flickr. Join up. Compare its features with any other photo site that you already be experienced with. Find images using tags.

One feature of Flickr that is very helpful, is the ability to search for images according to their creative commons license. You can find this feature under search/everyone/advanced. When people upload photos to Flickr they have the choice to allow others to reuse their photos under certain conditions by choosing a creative commons license rather than complete copyright.

As usual I am suelibrarian on Flickr. You can find and friend me if you like. But the task will be to find a suitable image or use one of your own images from Flickr and workout how to embed the image into a blog post on your blog. By suitable I mean suitable to the text of the post and not subject to copyright. For extra credit 🙂 find an RSS feed for a person, pool, group or tag and add it to your reader.

My task will be to include a suitable image into every post on this blog from now on. I need to follow my own advice. My posts are far too text heavy.

On the size of the biblioblogosphere

September 10, 2008

I was looking at this list. it is the list of librarian blogs that Walt Crawford has compiled for a survey/study on librarian blogs. I say librarian blogs rather than library blogs as Walt excludes official library blogs in his criteria.

The thing that struck me was despite the criteria being quite high (a Technorati authority of seven or higher) there are still 587 blogs on the list (thanks to LIS news– I wasn’t going to count them). I have 50 odd librarian blogs in my reader and usually feel overwhelmed by my unread feeds.

If everyone of these blogs are posting original content what hope have we to keep up with it all? I wonder what the number of similar blogs in other professions would be? Is this a high number? I have nothing to relate this to at the moment. But someone is sure to have done a study.

Thanks to online social networks, such as Twitter, Friendfeed, we don’t actually have to read every post of every blog to keep up. “Friend” a few gurus with similar interests and all that content gets filtered and feed to you automagically. The amount of content that you are keeping in touch with greatly enlarges with every connection that you make. It helps that our profession naturally shares information. That is what we are trained to do.

Easy blogrolls

September 4, 2008

One of my 23 things colleagues has just started her own blog (Yay Anne). She was talking about how difficult it was to add her blogroll by typing them in one at a time. I remembered that I didn’t do it that way but had to then remember just how I did do it.

This is how.

How to import links

In the add link section in the WordPress.com dashboard is an “Import Links” link. If you click on it you will see an option to import an OPML file either from a web address or locally.

To get your OPML file from Google reader go to “manage subscriptions” at the bottom of your feeds list. Then you will see an “Import/Export” tab. If you click the “Export your subscriptions as an OPML file” you can save all your feeds which you can then import to your blogroll. Unfortunately at neither end of the process to you get to choose a subset of your links to display. The only way would be to categorize your links or delete the ones that you do not want to show. A painfull process when I have 110 subscriptions.

I did mine from Feeddemon which allows you to select a particular folder to export. A very useful feature.

There is another way which Google Reader provides that you may see used. In the “Settings” under “Folders and tags” there is an option to make a folder public. If you do you will get a link “add blogroll to your site”. This gives a handy script for a widget which you could paste into a text widget to display a dynamic blogroll from just one folder. Except if you are using WordPress.com who do not allow javascript to be used for security reasons. 😦