Thursday, August 30, 2007

Week 11

I really enjoyed this class and being able to explore the different Library 2.0 tools available on the Internet. There are so many tools that I did not know that exist, and many ways of searching for valid data in blogs, rss feeds, and other great web 2.0 products. This has also served me well for helping out patrons with some of their questions about YouTube, MySpace, and other social tools. I would like to learn about different online communities and creating avatars in those communities. I have heard about libraries that have an avatar living in an online community and providing services to that public. I would also like to learn about alternatives to MySpace. Because I have heard there are other types of social networking tools that college students prefer. I thought it would be nice to see what that web 2.0 product is like.

Podcasts, videos & downloadable audio - Week 10

I found YouTube to be too large to find what I was really looking for. However it was fun to see what everyone has put out there on the web to do with pugs and libraries. I saw a great ad put out for a library that highlighted the services being provided by the library. The related topics brought up videos that I did not see in the original search results, yet they were just as valid as the results that I first saw. This is the one I decided to embed, but for some reason when the whole embed script would not copy correctly from YouTube or paste into this blog. I can see libraries promoting their services through this site.

I liked being able to find book reviews online with and yahoo's podcasts. These sites were easy to search. I found one more search result with Yahoo on the search for "children book review". Subscribing was equally easy on both sites.

NetLibrary's site is easy to search for the materials that we have purchased for our library. I have noticed that Netlibrary highlights a book for the month and you are allowed to read the book online. The searching bar is easy to use, and the results are user freindly. I know from using the login with Daniel Boone we could see how many of the results were for ebooks and how many were for eaudiobooks.

Google docs and spreadsheets assignment - Week 9, pt 1

The Zoho spreadsheets look and work just like the MS Excel spreadsheets that I am used to. I think it is great that I can import and export the spreadsheets with MS Excel. It may have been my connection, but it was not as fast as the Excel program I have loaded onto my computer, so the thing that makes this cool is that you can access it anywhere online and not have to carry a memory stick. Think Free is another great software alternative to MS, and I used the power point equivalent. You can share and collaborate the documents you create. This would be great for using if you were working on a presentation with another person and there was limited time to get together on the project. Some of these products did not involve signup to take a test run, but others gave a blurb and asked for sign in information early on in the process.

Online applications and tools - Week 9, pt. 2

I went into Google labs and looked at the Google Music Trends and Google Trends just to see what people are searching for in music and in general. There were many bands from today that I had no clue about that were on the top 20 hit list, but when I started to play around with the filtering tools at the top of the page I found that there were bands I knew in my favorite music genres. The searching trends were not quit what I expected either for the first page. Although the terms must mean something to the person using them, they had little relevance to me in the context of this page. I also looked breifly at Google Mars and found that to be a worthwhile view. Although, this is not the whole planet, but a strip of a picture from the planets surface for us to look at with the different filters available. I don't think that any of these tools as they are today will do very well on the regular "graduated" Google search site. There will need to be more searching criteria for those using it to gleem enough valuable information from these tools. It was fun to see what others are searching for even if it was not useful to me.

I chose to look at for the award winning site. This site has many handmade crafts for sale. I found the bar to the left interesting because they had categories to narrow down your search by: color, treasury, showcase, geolocator, time machine, connections, and last but not least traditional categories for handmade crafts (art, accessories, etc.). The unusaul search techniques were interesting but not very helpful to me. The time machine took a little getting used to so I could figure out how it provided information about things being sold. There was a swirl of images from items being sold. The only way I could see using this in a library setting is to try to figure out the value of handmade crafts for people doing research on an art object they own.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Search Engines Web 2.0, Library 2.0- Week 8

In the perspective of "away from icebergs" I was interested in the fact that the author seems to think that having a "just in case" collection is outmoded. While I agree that there are many great tools out on the Web that libraries need to utilize, I think that there are still many users that are not Internet savvy enough to understand using Google let alone a blog. Having said this, I know that there are many great tools that we can all use to make searching and finding information better for our patrons. Just to name a few that we are using, flikr and myspace.

"Into a new world of librarianship" made a great point that the libraries are about making their services user-friendly. I like the idea that by using Library 2.0 products this can be made possible by allowing users to access information from home, work, and just about anywhere else.

Library 2.0 technology is great for sharing information with patrons. I recently went to a workshop for WorldCat technologies that are changing the way we think about library catalogs. They have improved upon the catalog making it a more social tool that searches and retrieves hits much like a web search engine. Their are also tools available to allow patrons to see what libraries close by their home own a copy of a book and give the patron a choice to purchase the book from Amazon and donate a portion of the sale to their local library. I think that the library world is catching on that these advances in technology are to our benefit.

For searching on the Web I choose to look for "pug rescues" and found the following hits from the search engines I chose. Exalead- first three hits were irrelevant (ebay, breeders website, and, the next two hits were more related to my search (pugpalace with proceeds going to pug rescues, and a pug rescue adoption listing site). Clusty- all the hits were relevant and had information about pug rescues, along with hits there was a left hand side bar that broke down the hits by category with the number of links. Mooter- visual chart with topical choices to further the search, adoption & rescue being two of the buttons, and after clicking on these links I saw that all the first five hits were precise.

I thought the Clusty and Mooter were better search engines. I found that Clusty was easier for me to look over and retrieve the better search results from and maneuver around the sites.

Play week - Week 7

This was fun looking at the different tools that can be used to generate different images. I personally liked the sketch generator. It was interesting using different types of photos in this software to see how the end picture came out.

I was intrigued by the variety of cartoon type generators there were available. It was fun making an avatar myself, but I was bummed by how few choices there were in customizing the character.

Letter James seems to have some interesting products that you can make. Although not everything is free on this site. I am amazed with all of the creative software that is available for free on the Internet today.

The mapping sites were interesting because they provide the percentage of the world or U.S. states one has seen.

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

RSS & Newsreaders - Week 6

The RSS feed is something that I used for a while with OCLC to see what was new with their products and services. I found it to be a great resource for keeping up to date with the new trends at OCLC. I have also used it for the updates to Dewey Decimal Classification. The OCLC RSS feeds were coming to my computer and a pop up box would appear as new feeds were received. This seems much better for me since the feeds are all on one website and I am able to keep up with them on my time without the interuptions of pop ups.

All of the mentioned sites were easy to use. Some of the hits I retrieved on Syndic8 for "dog training" were great and some left me wondering if they were actually dog training sites from their titles. Topix had an easy to use tab system for the common searches for news, forums, wires, and classified. There was so much information to take in at each site, that it would take some time to find the most valid hits for my search. I do think this is a great way to find out the information that is out on the web, because the web is even more vast and time consuming in of itself.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Photos and Images - Week 5

From reading the tour about Flikr I found it interesting how much people are doing with pictures online today. I think about the photography classes that I took in college, and think that things are moving so fast now with technology. The ability to share photos with friends and family, and make photo books or calendars with pictures from your own or other friends' images is a great idea. Mediazine has a great tutorial online about this product. The only set back to this account is that one needs to create yet another account, this time with yahoo, in order to create the Flikr account. When looking at the tags used on Flikr, I noted that the tags used in the last 24 hours are terms that may not be included in the “most popular tags” area. I think it is a great way to see what others are adding recently that may be of interest but not popular across the board. It seems that Flikr is not just a passing fad with all of the extra 3rd party services being created for use with Flikr.

Exercise 1:
I looked through several photos from the “interesting – last 7 days” link. I found that most photos listed were of portraits or nature. I liked the photo of sunlight glinting through a tree’s branches. It reminds me of walking through the forest and taking time to notice the beauty of one’s surroundings. The same person took some similar photos that I saw in the “set”, and they were all just as beautiful.

Image Link:

More Flikr – Mash-ups and 3rd party sites

I liked the tool called “Trip Planner”. I explored the trips that have already been planned on the site. There is a map with image bundle links that tell you where the images are from when you hover over the icon. Below the map are images of the places listed on the map, making it a handy way to pick a trip by the images you enjoyed. You can open the link from the above icon pop up box and view the rest of the images associated with the trip.

API’s listed on class page:
Mappr is a cool tool allowing people to map images. I clicked on the map in the general vicinity of Missouri and images for Route 66 appeared. Mappr bases the location validity from the tags used by the person adding the images to the map.

Flikr Color Pickr was another tool that gave me some interesting results in searching the color chart. This is just what Mike W. ordered for cataloging the collection. Maybe the creator of this product has dreamed of a catalog run by colors too. I digress…. I did find a wonderful picture of a dragon fly wing that was taken very close up, and it was beautiful. As another writer so aptly put “like a stained glass window”.

Montager was not as fruitful as I thought it would be when I started using the search bar. I found that the searches retrieved 500 images, but only gave me an image at a time on the screen. It was more cumbersome to use then the benefits of finding images.