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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Thing 42 Music 2.0

I set up both a Pandora account and a Last.fm account as well as using blip.fm and Grooveshark. I left an embedded Grooveshark widget from this winter's cold spell in my sidebar for fun..Baby, It's Cold Outside..and it was!

My Last.FM widget is in the sidebar. I've received some suggestions from people, but mostly listen as the spirit moves me.

I do listen to a variety of Internet radio stations. The one I enjoyed most this winter was listening to friends from Ontonagon play Trivia as teams on the local station there. It was nice to hear friendly voices playing, even when you couldn't be there to participate.










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Thing 41 Mashup Your Life

I tried out a number of different aggregators. The one I use the most and find helpful is Friendfeed. I added my Friendfeed badge to the sidebar. You can see most of my web2.0 affiliations are added to it.

What I like about it is that you can be as active or inactive as you like on Friendfeed. It's like Twitter expanded. You can chose to be part of the conversation, or just be solitary when you want to. Like Twitter, what gives it value is the people you follow. I've learned a lot of things just by seeing what those I follow are interested in. It's sometimes led me in unexpected directions. It's definitely expanded my interests and my world. I use it more for professional interests. Facebook is for my closer contacts.

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Thing 39 Digital Storytelling





This thing could eat up lots of my time and was lots of fun. It was amazing to see what you could do free so easily. For more options, you could pay for additional capabilities.

I created one project in Smilebox and another in Scrapblog. The pages from Scrapblog are posted above.

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Picture Book Fun for Thing 37

Thing 37 Photo Tales

I skipped way ahead to do some fun stuff. I love photographs or pictures and words put together. Animoto is a very fun application to use and easy as well. And they keep making it more versatile. You can see a number of things I did with Animoto by looking at some of my blog posts from late 2008.

I recently upgraded to a Flickr Pro account as Flickr is so convenient to use for sharing photos and integrates well with other social media applications. I added Flickr to my Facebook application, but find that even so it sometimes takes as much as two weeks for my uploads to Flickr to post to my Facebook account. But they do eventually get there. If you want to share in real time, though, it's best to load directly to your Facebook photo albums.

I added Picasa to my computer to manage photos and find it very useful and easy to use. Did you know that all the images you post to your Blogger blog can be found in your online Picasa album? I didn't, but found out in the course of using Blogger that this is true. How cool is that?

I've used Photobucket and Picnik as well since they integrate with some of the Web2.0 apps that Flickr or Picasa don't. There's room for all of them, but they all are user friendly.

I'll share one of my Animoto creations as a separate post, but I intend to do a lot more things with this thing.


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Thing 31 More Twitter

Believe it or not, I have actually read all of these things and tried all of them..but before I wrote the "Thing". In doing so, I discovered how useful Tweetdeck can be for viewing and organizing how you view tweets.

The thing I use the least is mobile tweeting. I don't want to be tied to a cell phone and consequently only carry one when traveling for work. I do understand the convenience of mobile tweeting for some people. It's been especially interesting to see it used as events continue to unfold in Iran. In fact, the use of Twitter to circumvent the shutdown of the normal news media channels and other communication avenues is making Twitter itself newsworthy again. Despite the best efforts of the Iranian government, Twitter is allowing news there to leak out to the rest of the world in addition to within Iran itself. I did notice that most reputable US news agencies are careful to note that the information spread via Twitter cannot be authenticated and should be taken with a grain of caution.

Two Twitter tools I enjoy using are Twitpic for sharing photos and using Tinysong with Grooveshark to share a live link to tunes I'm listening to. I don't tweet songs a lot, but sometimes it's fun to share the current tune. One person I follow tweets entirely too many tunes, especially when it's music I don't really enjoy, but I haven't unfollowed yet because of that. I just ignore it.

There are so many Twitter tools that keep popping up that it's hard to keep up. Mashable has a nice organized list of them that's a good place to check. I like some of the ones that let you save a copy of the Tweet for use as a blog illustration.

I like the convenience of Tweetdeck for replying, retweeting and direct messaging. I also use Twhirl, Betwittered, and the web interface depending on where I am and how I'm tweeting. When using a computer that isn't my own, the web interface is most convenient. My current background is courtesy of PrincesstimeToys, some spring tulips. I really like the ability to change the background, but Twitter has had some difficulties with this off and on. I was stuck with a Christmas background for longer than I wanted to be because of their technical difficulties.

I've integrated Twitter into my Facebook and Friendfeed applications as well as some other social media aggregators I use. I also have my latest tweets in my blog sidebar, and have a twitter badge there too.

Scheduling tweets worked well when I knew I would be away to my internet connection to deliver expected information when I had promised to provide it. This feature would work well for a library who tweets.

I think Twitter is what you make of it. If you give it a chance, you'll soon become a believer. And if you don't give it a chance, you'll never even know what you're missing. And those of us who do use Twitter and LIKE it will have less noise because you don't use it. To those who do enjoy the flexibility of Twitter, I salute your astuteness. I've had great unexpected information supplied via Twitter and fun things as well. I might be labeled a Twitaholic; I love it that much. And as I use it, I become more convinced of its value as a communication tool.



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Friday, June 19, 2009

Thing 30 More Ways to Use RSS & Delicious

It was interesting to investigate the options for filtering RSS feeds. I tried a quick test of FeedRinse. Feed Sifter which filtered in by keyword was also intriguing. I used it to find something I knew was there and saved a bit of time.RSSFWD announced their shutdown via Twitter in mid-January.The idea behind Feed My Inbox is good and I can see some use for it, but I'm trying to cut down on mail, not create more. I do regularly add and subtract feeds from my Google Reader application.

I did like the reminder applications and can see that they would occasionally be useful when you are busy. I also liked the usefulness of RSSWeather.com especially in the spring/summer severe weather season. It's nice to have the warning.

I added a widget to my blog from a Govt. RSS feed (Federal Legislative tracker) relating ta bill introduced to eliminate the need to keep track of calls on work supplied cell phones made for personal use. It's a GOOD THING! I hope it passes.

I used Delicious search features regularly, even before this thing. I like being able to take advantage of the accumulated knowledge of others. And I mourned the disappearance of Favthumb as I really liked their visual display of thumbnails of pages. I guess I am a more visual person than I realized. I like the display of my delicious tags in the sidebar of my blog. It's a BIG cloud. And there's a link to my delicous account there too.

I found some new tools for special purposes here that I'm sure I will come back to use when needed.


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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Thing 29 Google Tools

It's almost scary to contemplate all the Google tools I use on a daily basis. What would I do without them? I have a iGoogle home page, use Google Reader, am overwhelmed daily by Google News (I've learned to hit delete without guilt), and frequent Google web search and Google Scholar and Book Search with hourly regularity. Google is a librarian's best friend, if you know how and when to use the tools they offer.

For this thing, I set up a number of Google Alerts: one for mention of my hometown, one each for mention of my favorite jazz artists, and one for my own name. It didn't create too many additional e-mail notices, but I did find the results interesting. It works much the same way Twilert worked when I used it to score a hard to come by Nintendo WiiFit at Christmas time. I was notified of the release date of both favored artists new albums and used that information to pre-order their music so I actually got it on the day it was released (not that I needed to, but it was nice to have.)The hometown alert brought up news stories from sources other than those I normally read in an RSS feed, and despite all my Web2.0 activities, my name didn't show up anywhere I didn't expect it to, easing fears of identity theft and privacy concerns.

For productivity, Gmail is a boon while traveling since it is so easily accessible. Recentl changes to gmail have made it even easier to find archived mail. I had set up an account for the original 23 Things program use, and have found it so handy, that it has become my default for mail I want to be sure I see. It's also easy to have that same mail sent to my main work account for my convenience as well. The best thing about it is their ability to identify spam as spam and not accidentally eliminate real messages that I would want to receive. I only wish my work ISP mail service could do as well. There legitimate messages are regularly flagged as spam when they are NOT.

I am very excited by Google Sites. It looks like it would be great for those of us who are HTML challenged with no time to study up on it, and would allow us to have a vital, easy to update website. I intend to investigate it further and keep an eye on this as a possible venue for our NCLC web page.I'd have made the change already, except for the fact that when I checked it did not support the use of forms which I use as part of our interlibrary loan service. If and when forms are supported, it would be perfect for us.

And the Google apps and features just keep on coming. While editing a post today, I learned that my Blogger blog's photos have their own album in Picasa Web Albums. I signed in, went and looked, and there they were. What a cool tool that is as well.



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Monday, June 15, 2009

How I Spent My Summer Vacation Week

 

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It was rainy and cold much of the week so the knitting bag came out again.