Monday, June 30, 2008

Thing 14 Redux: added a Library Thing widget

So...I added my random list of Library Thing books as a widget on my sidebar. I hoped the list would refresh and show different ones periodically, but so far no. I added more books from my gardening books collection last night and may be up to a stunning 25 books! I could do it more quickly if I didn't fuss over the proper edition and the tags. But how could I end up with the glorious display of my beloved books if I do that?

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Delightful Thing 14: Library Thing

Creating an account was easy. Deciding what part of my book collections to begin entering was a toughie. I have always meant to catalog my collection of books and Library Thing makes it easy. Once I have typed in the title, it searches Amazon or LC for me and finds my book and the pertinent bibliographic information and zips it into my library list.

I tagged my books with categories that made sense to me. The small but easily silenced! voice of my former cataloger self protested I should use viable headings but I have just gotten so contrary in my old age that I gleefully squashed the cataloger voice and had fun making up my tags. Of course, I will now obsess if I don't use my own headings consistently, so tangled web city.

I started my project with my gardening books which were next to my computer. There was something so satisfying and relaxing about the whole process I knew I would switch up to lifetime member once I reach the magic 200 number.

I was surprised how much I liked seeing how many people own my books. I found I had to make sure I marked the correct edition of the book, even if my edition did not have a nice cover for display. This bothered me quite a bit. Those black plain covers that display when they don't have your image--icky, shroudlike. Could they arrange for you to scan in your own cover? Or make a set of mock up covers that look like old covers with colorful bindings. Something other than the plain one?

Good Reads and Shelfari

These might be useful for quick reader's advisory. Scanning the popular titles when your mind tragically goes blank and a bestseller title goes missing could help. Or, a person could compartmentalize, and put their gardening books on Library Thing, Their Mysteries on Good Reads and their Science Fiction/Fantasy on Shelfari. Nah...

My in progress Library Thing page:

Thing 14 complete (except for the adding of tomes to Library Thing).

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Thing 13 of 23 Online Productivity Tools and the Timewasters Who Use Them (joking)

igoogle, Pageflake and My Yahoo

I appreciated that both iGoogle and My Yahoo let me log in with my Yahoo email information. Creating the many accounts for these explorations is daunting, even with a dedicated notebook.

iGoogle was my favorite. It offered the same simplicity of page design that is the earmark of Google itself. Everyone is provided with YouTube videos, Weather for your area (you give them your zip at the start), date and time, CNN headlines, How to of the day (a curiosity) and Top stories.

You can add tabs for other interests. I chose Technology, Entertainment and Games. There were top stories from well known sites in the Technology and Entertainment categories. The Games page had the NYT Crossword, Hangman!, Flood It, Frogger, Pacman, Color Junction and Sudoku (get thee behind me, mathematical thing!) I was of course drawn immediately to Hangman. I had no idea I loved it so much, but I began swinging the little guy with my wild guesses almost immediately.

PageFlake knew my location without any information being provided by me, and put up the weather and time and date. I think because the site already knew soooo much I wasn't interested in signing up and personalizing. Also, the big boxy squares of information are unappealing and too much at once.

MyYahoo, when customized, looks very much like the usual Yahoo page with added date, time, weather, and what seemed to me to be limited categories of interest to choose from: Shopping, Fashion, Photography, Arts, Shoes and accessories, Home and garden.


MSN has a calendar within your Hotmail or MSN mail that is a simple version of regular Outlook. If you are comfortable with Outlook and just want a handy calendar, this might be for you.

Kiko I could not get Kiko's site to load. I don't know if it was just down or gone altogether or what.

Backpack This is a group calendar that might be nice for a group/subcommitee or club to use to dynamically share their progress on a project.

Spongecell promotes itself as an event marketing tool. The calendar itself hasn't much detail but when you click on an item on the calendar a nice box pops up with color and event information. Might be nice for storytimes or other programs so that you could include pictures of the performer?

Ta-Da Lists and Remember the Milk

The Ta-da list was a simple and easy to use interface. Simple to add, check off or edit items. There is the option to email a copy to yourself and also to Share so perhaps you might actually get your spouse to add things to the grocery list if it came right up in his email or on his Blackberry.

Remember the Milk has a sweet cow picture but it was not easy to use and I could not get it to add items to a list it just paused and paused and paused. So Ta-Da wins the day.

I did look at the additional calendars and sticky note organizers but they did not offer anything more than I had seen. The file conversion tools are something to keep in mind.

Thing 13 complete, ta da!.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Thing 12 of 23 Social Media: Mixx, Reddit and Newsvine


...has a little slicker looking site than Digg. Its subtitle is "your blend of the web". No registration is required, they say, but in order to comment or add recommendations you do need to create an account. The video tour froze my computer, alas, so I couldn't see the overview. The social aspect of this goes beyond the ordinary. You can have "Followers" and see who they are. You can apparently ban them if they don't suit you. (Bad, bad, follower). You gain "karma" by being a good Mixxer with good comments posted by you and your followers. You can become a "Super Mixer" with "Powers". I have to commend them for an unusual spin on being social and rewarding frequent use and popularity.


...has a very choppy looking site, but there is a handy sidebar that lets you check boxes to see only the most popular entries in categories you choose. I chose Funny and Entertainment categories and had these results:

...Sounds familiar: a man named Buttle is kidnapped at gunpoint by goons who literally burst into his home, put him into a sack and hauled him off to be tortured and never seen again.

I love how half of Reddit read an article then promply jumped off the Obama train today.

Mysterious Brain Cells Linked to Blood Flow ...nearly a century after the discovery of strange star-shaped cells in the brain, scientists say they have finally begun to unravel their function.

Calling someone an ****** is not an argument.

Baby Crying With Wrestlers in Contest at Tokyo

Let Sudo Insult You When You (mess) Up
submitted to programming

Bike Commuting for Newbies, Part Three— Some Things I Missed: Pulling Your Weight (And A Bit More)

Pensioner, 81, ordered to remove flat cap as he has a quiet pint - because it's a security risk
submitted to worldnews

Photographer Documents Secret Satellites — All 189 of Them submitted to offbeat.

None of these fit "fun" or "entertainment" in my mind. You can see other categories crept in as results. Politics and general insults popped up. I can't see this as a very useful tool.


..."an instant reflection of what the world is talking about at any given moment". I am not a "news junkie" but several people I know have recently described themselves as such. These are certainly interesting times, but for myself, TMI (too much information) leads to a sleepless librarian. Not recommended for those who need to use their heads in their employ. Most days. This site is certainly more professional looking than the others which look like mere text feeds in comparison.

A sampler:
Some Republicans Worry About Party's Chances
Newsweek (Seeded By Jim Dent)
( Has modern life killed the semicolon?
Slate (Seeded By Scott (Scoop) Butki)
Photographer Documents 189 Secret Satellites; the Terrorists Win
Wired News (Seeded By M. Remmers)
Torture began at the top
The L.A. Times (Seeded By Pamela Drew)
Hot Air: Obama to Clinton supporters: It would help if you'd just get over it
Newsweek (Seeded By gpnavonod)
Vitamin C Is About To Be Made Illegal In Canada! Nutritional Supplements Banned In Canada! Bill C-51

I'll forward this site on to my news junkie pals.

Thing 12 complete, on to 13.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Nineteen Thirties Beckon

While toiling away finding good mystery web sites, I found the Cozy Chicks site which had a great link to the 1930s Marital Scale. You can take a quick test to see how you would have rated as a wife (or husband) in the 1930s. Here is hoping the link works, because we should all know how we measure up to the standards of the Nineteen Thirties, a very rugged decade, yet genteel, as the questions show. (It doesn't so copy and paste).

I may be D.O.A., but I rated 59 "Superior". Time for some red nail polish, methinks.

My cohort, aka the Floating Lush (don't ask) scored very low on the wife test but very superior on the husband test. Hmmmm.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Twelfth Thing: Digging Social Media

Should I develop a vast army of spade wielding cohorts on the web, I'll use Digg to send them highly rated tidbits of interest. I know I've seen the Digg symbol on blogs and other sites, but I couldn't find any for my test. So, I gave a "Digg" rating to two technology articles on the Digg site, and with a bit of relish I "Buried" one I thought was giving out some bad advice. Muhahahaha!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Thing 11 in the 23 Things Extravaganza

Last time around, I got to Thing 11 and came to a dead stop, as it were. I did the tagging section, and could see that it was useful, but was not to my taste! Somebody had to say it!

I am forcing myself to methodically do each Thing and take notes and approach it as something like homework or a visit to the dentist for tooth extractions or something really fun like that.

I created my account. I read the directions and put buttons on my links bar, cringing all the while thinking our tech support people were going to shriek horribly when they found I had installed them. In fact I thought I would get that tech nasty gram that says I haven't the privileges to install. But no! I was so wracked by guilt that I took them off, relieved to see they were so easy to remove. Big sigh of relief. I'll work on at home.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Starting over in the Middle

I'm going to back up and cover a few things better than in my previous try.


I can't recall if the current wiki examples were there the first time around or not.
SJCPL: At first glance, the SJCPL Subject guide looked a bit bare bones, then I noticed the subject links off to the sides. This would make for a great way to treat almost any topic.

Book Lovers Wiki: I really found this wiki appealing. It was fun to see multiple reviews of the same title side by side. I also liked the ability to index the reviews into categories for quick reading.

Library Success: a best practices wiki: Seemed a bit daunting at first. I looked at the Adult programming link however, and liked their ideas, so good things from long text strings can grow. We use the same wiki here, I think, and I suspect anyone new to ours will also think it is daunting.

albystaff wiki: I like the pbwiki format. I think the collaboration on the wiki is what it should be, but, it seems too informal for public viewing so I'm hoping this one is private, and this is just a sampler. I think I feel this way because they are discussing so much behind the scenes stuff.

So...I think the best practices one is too formal but the albystaff one is too informal. Stuff them both out of the public eye and I think I'll be happy. :)

Library Bloggers Wiki: a list of public and other libraries that have public blogs. I don't see us there! I do think blogs are a good way to communicate and feature your library in an easily digestible way.

Educational Heritage Project: Informational and collaborative all in one. The long list of resources at the end is particularly useful. This is a good example of how people who might not have the technical expertise to do a website can use a wiki to have a web presence.

Minnewiki: I'm not sure why this is in place as a wiki. Is it supposed to be a public bulletin board for the Twin Cities area music scene? Are the people listed there in the same sort of way, to promote themselves or somebody they know? I know nothing!

Beekeeping wiki: With my fear of creeping crawly buzzing things I feared this might have blow ups of big bees but, luckily this page just has a link to the MN Hobby Beekeepers Association. A good non-buggy example of how wikis can interconnect.

MN150 wiki: A bit bare bones (its all about the skeleton references here at D.O.A.). All that can be said is it is a good example of how a wiki might serve for a particular event.

Wiki Sandbox I wrote Librarian D.O.A. was here in true Kilroy fashion. By the time I scrolled down to submit my entry, a note appeared saying the entry had been edited while I was working on it and well, it was just all gone.