Too Much Chaos

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The 23rd Thing -- Summary

I've reached the end -- in the nick of time. I went back to re-read my blog to help me recall what were my favorite discoveries or excercises. I was impressed that I could do a blog, amateurish and uninspired as it may be. Flickr was impressive. How amazing it is that there are all these beautiful photographs by people around the world right there at my fingertips! I won't go looking for RSS feeds, but I am pleased that I now have New York Times Movie Reviews also at my fingertips. The generating of images and my avatar was fun, although I needed help with the avatar. I was pleased to learn about and to have 23 Things so easily accessible from there and to later tag a blog and a website that I would use again thanks to Technorati. Wikis are well worth exploring more so that I can put them to use or at least participate in using them. The Web 2.0 Awards list provides a wealth of information that I can use again, and I enjoyed my exploration on I liked the podcasts too.
The program assists me in lifelong learning goals by making me more knowledgeable about what resources are out there. It also gives me a little more confidence that I will be aware of Web 2.0 resources when they are mentioned by others. I hope I will be able to utilize them to help people in the library.
A take-away that surprised me is that so many people spend so much time engaged in Web 2.0 activities. I don't understand how people have so much time for it, but I suppose some make it a priority in their lives.
I would definitely participate in another discovery program like this one. I think it would be improved by being realistic about the amount of time it takes. I spent an average of two hours on each lesson, more on some. If I hadn't taken three months off right in the middle because of other things going on in my life I would have spent much more time on each lesson. However, if I hadn't had some help from a co-worker, I would have been hopelessly stymied at some points. That was what took the most time, trying to find my way when I didn't know what I was doing. I know that the leaders of the program at HCPL would have helped me too, but since I was under the gun, there was no way to call on them.

Thank you for introducing me to many fascinating Web 2.0 resources. I know I've barely scratched the surface.


Since HCPL has Overdrive downloadable books, I focused on them. I established an account on our website. I looked at the titles we have available. I saw that there are quite a few reading list titles available in the Classics section. I also looked through the biography/autobiography titles. I am amazed at how many there are. We also have a large number of Mystery/Suspense titles. I was impressed by the large number of Laura Lippman titles we have, but disappointed that there were only three by Robert B. Parker. I like the way we have highlighted new titles and those recently returned on the "front page" of the service. I took the Overdrive Digital Media Guided Tour. It was very easy to understand and very thorough. Once I have an MP3 player, I will look forward to downloading something. One title I was interested in - Bad Business by Parker - has 5 holds on it, and we only own 1 copy, so that's disappointing.

I went to Project Gutenberg and was amazed by the quantity of titles that are available. Many are quite academic in nature. It's helpful to be aware of this resource.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


I watched the podcast on podcasting and went to the Yahoo site to read the answers to questions about podcasting. I was all set to use Yahoo to explore podcasting, but at the top of the page Yahoo says that it is closing down the podcasting page at the end of the month. ("Yahoo apologizes deeply, but we will be closing down the Podcasts site on October 31, 2007.") So why start with Yahoo? I then decided to go to The Learning 2.0 says that the three listed don't require a software download, but does require a software download. I am trying to download Juice, but I don't know if that's wise on the library PC, and I don't know if it's feasible as the minutes pass and the downloading continues.

Well I went back to and saw that you don't have to download the software, but they think it helps. I tried listening & watching podcasts without the software, and they were fine. I went under Learning and Instruction and then put in Spanish. I listened to a podcast called Doors to a World of Adventures from ISA (Iowa State University). It was interesting and gave a lot of information, including several professors talking about the value of taking Spanish or other languages, but ultimately it turned out to be a promo for ISA's foreign language programs. I tried another podcast. This one was a videocast lesson -- Spanish Arriba -- on adjectives. The teacher used cards and pictures to demonstrate as she talked about various vehicles. It was a good beginning lesson. Another podcast on Spanish was the first of a series of audio podcasts on verbs using a combination of Spanish & English. It was good also. I tried to add the RSS feed for Spanish Arriba to my Bloglines account. I didn't succeed in doing that, but I was able to add it to my Favorites. (Meanwhile when I went back to Bloglines I was reminded that I had a feed for New York Times Movie Reviews and read the review of The Jane Austen Book Club and was sent to a video preview of the movie as well. What fun!)
I also used library and libraries for keyword searches for podcasts. I did get a group from the Sunnyvale Public Library, but they were so low in volume that I had to turn it way up just to hear. I'm not sure the public would get a lot out of the ones I attempted to listen to. Another one I tried called Rock & Roll Librarian turned out to be aimed at the grandparents of the little girl babbling as her father talks about the book she is experiencing "Touch & Feel Puppy." It's funny, especially for the baby's family. The Rock & Roll Librarian has other podcasts too. One is an interview with Dave Roman from Nickelodeon Magazine, where he edits comics. The Rock & Roll Librarian himself is a young adult librarian. There is potential for libraries and librarians to produce some valuable work using podcasts.

I heard and saw Nini Beegan's podcast and vodcast on Merlin and think she did a good job of making it seem like a very accessible process. That was the feeling I came away with from the podcast lesson. Podcasts are accessible, and you can learn a lot from them or just enjoy them.


I managed to see one video on YouTube, Rock 'n' Roll Library, a project done by some University of Pittsburgh Library School students. It was pretty cute, about a nerd who becomes a cool guitarist thanks to books he reads at the library. I tried to post it to my blog. I signed myself up to be able to do that, but then I couldn't get any videos to come up at all. They just kept loading. It's a peak time right now, after school time, so maybe I can have better luck later. I tried to view a lot of different videos with library themes. Some sounded cute, but I couldn't see any of them. I'll try again later. (I have seen quite a few YouTube videos broadcast on the Today Show. They seem to put them on the air when they are big hits around the world.)

I should have more to add later, but I want to keep moving for now.

Now it's the next day, October 3, and I still can't see any YouTube videos. They just won't come up. Also I tried the search for Library again, and it said: "Searching for videos is temporarily unavailable."

Web 2.0 Awards &

I went to and read all about the web2.0 awards and about what web 2.0 is. It is a very interesting site with a lot to offer. There are so many categories for awards. I decided to take the selfish, non-professional route and go to the winner under City Guides & Reviews, The first thing that happened was that as soon as I went there, the site knew I was interested in Baltimore. How does it know that? Anyway, it asked if that's where I wanted to go, and I said yes. There are many categories of interest in the site, but I chose to look at restaurants. Under restaurants, there are again many categories. I chose seafood and read about the fantastic crabcakes to be had at Faidley Seafood and G & M Restaurant. They sound good to me. I also wanted to see how Charleston was rated, since I thought it was a wonderful restaurant for a special occasion. There were only two reviews, and they weren't very good. One was by a real sourpuss, Natasha R, so I discounted what she had to say, especially when I later saw her being just as negative in reviewing two other restaurants, Petit Louis Bistro (which I also like) and G & M. Obviously that is one aspect of Web 2.0 to be aware of, people can be extremely subjective and can say just about anything they want to, because there is little editorial control. (I think there may be some, because where people used curse words, either they bleeped them themselves or someone else did. Things are abbreviated or a letter is changed. You know what the person is saying, but it isn't spelled out.)
Could this site be useful in the library? Absolutely. If someone asks about places to go, it has recommendations and a map with the place marked on the map. You can zero in or out, just like on Mapquest. I checked on Pizza, and sure enough Matthews was at the top of the list. I've seen it on "Best Pizza" lists before. It's a place I've got to try as well as the crabcake places. Natasha R didn't review this place, so the reviews were all good.
I went on to desserts & bakeries. Everything sounds so good. I want to try them all.
Is the site totally comprehensive? No. I looked in some other areas by keyword -- rug cleaners (they listed three), ceramic tiles (listed several, but not the really great one I've been to recently in Parkville). They do list places they have no reviews for, such as the rug cleaners. And they do ask for you to contribute if they are missing something. To offer a more comprehensive review of the site, I wanted to move away from the Restaurants and Food categories, but then I saw that those really are the emphasis. They're the areas with the most reviews by far. So now I don't feel so guilty.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Zoho Writer - Online Productivity Tools

I signed up on Zoho Writer and wrote a little article about my mother's cat. I think I published it, and I think I posted it on my blog, but I'm not sure. Anyway Zoho Writer was easy to use, especially if you're already familiar with word processing. I didn't do anything wildly experimental, because the deadline to finish 23 Things is fast approaching. Well when I published this I see the article on Mr. Kitty did publish to my blog. How cool!

Mr. Kitty

In Memory of Mr. Kitty


I just want to say a few words about Mr. Kitty.  He was a stray gray tabby cat with a lot of white trim.  My mother started feeding him in her yard in Lexington, South Carolina, several years ago.  When my mother had surgeries and had to be in rehab for months, a friend (and I, when I was there) continued to feed him.  When my mother had to come to Maryland to live in an assisted living, I brought Mr. Kitty too.  I had taken him to the vet in South Carolina and learned that he was FELV positive.  So he had to stay indoors, but he couldn't mix with my indoor cats.  He stayed with my mother in her room at Catered Living of Bel Air.  He grew fat, but he was happy.  He stayed by my mother and purred loudly when I or staff came to visit and petted him.  I had been afraid that he would long to be outdoors again, having started life that way, but he became quite a bed potato.  When my mother had a fall and had to be hospitalized, Mr. Kitty continued to stay in her $3000 plus room for two months, and I would go visit him every day.  But my mother had to move to another assisted living, one which wouldn't let her have a pet, so I took Mr. Kitty to live with me in my guest room.  I went in to sit with him in the morning when I had my breakfast and in the evening after I got home.  He would get very close to me and purr and purr.  (He couldn't go out in the rest of my condo because I had three other cats of my own.)  He remained there with me since February, but just last week, he suddenly seemed to go downhill.  When he wouldn't come out on Friday and had stopped eating, I knew it was bad.  The vet said that the feline leukemia had taken its toll and that he would have to be euthanized.  I know she was right, because when we were in the examination room waiting for her, I petted him and petted him and he didn't purr and he no longer gazed into my eyes with adoration, but just looked straight ahead.  It's hard to lose such a sweet pet, and I miss him in the morning and in the evening when I would normally go visit with him.