Saturday, August 2, 2008

Hoping to continue in 2009

Friday, August 1, 2008

Thing 10. Wikis

"Ask for help when you need it," is another way to build community, and wikis certainly make it easy to answer requests for help. Wikipedia asks for help this way: "This article may require cleanup... Please improve this article if you can." Wikis make it easy to answer questions, add new text, and clarify the message. Of course, they also make it easy to ask more questions, delete new text, and muddy the message. Writing by consensus can get messy.
(Photo from Flickr's Creative Commons, by roland).
I like the white background of many of the wikis. This similarity to Wikipedia makes them instantly recognizable and I doubt it's done by accident. I see also that vandalism problems have forced many wikis to require accounts and e-mail confirmation before they can be edited, which makes sense.

I enjoyed searching Minnewiki, the Minnesota Public Radio wiki, for the Fabulous Minnesota Barking Ducks. I did not find this blues group. Signed up and started creating a page about the Ducks, but realized it would take too long to do justice to an article on them. Gave up and instead asked someone write an article about them. I appreciate now the responsibility to do the proper research and put your thoughts together clearly. Like several others, I added a paragraph to the front page of the 23 Things on a Stick wiki, just for fun.

Thing 9. Online collaboration: sing together

Once I receive the required code from the 23 Things staff, I will do this exercise. I look forward to editing the Declaration of Independence, as I see others have done so before me fearlessly.
gif animation

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thing 8. Share your creations: another way to build community

My office poster How to Build Community has two suggestions that mirror the sharing aspects of Web 2.0 tools: "Garden together" and "Have potlucks." At this time of the year, if we garden together we grow vegetables that go into those Minnesota hot dishes. Certainly, the slideshow services are a good way to start the gardening. I enjoyed Thumbstacks and Slideshare and was less impressed with Zoho Show. Its wide screen forced me to scroll from side to side to read each line. I know I can change the resolution, but then the type size gets too small. (Yes, I will take some cheese with my whine, thank you.)

Libraries and businesses should find Thumbstacks remote meeting feature useful: The presentation is on the Web and anyone with a browser can see it. Browsing in Slideshare's huge presentations bank I encountered one called The 25 Basic Styles of Blogging and When to Use Each One. The very popular blogs often have top-ten or best-of lists. I see why lists are popular with bloggers, as they draw readers to sites.

The photo sharing site Picture Trail Moving Thumbs demo in 23 Things blog is great. I liked the way you just point and click a thumbnail at left and see it emerge large from the confetti at right. I also liked the examples of educators' electronic portfolios made with eFolio Minnesota. They are beautifully done, a great way for educators and students to highlight their achievements. Less interesting was Lazybase which by this time looked boring to my dazzled eyes.

Boy, I surely got jaded quickly, looking at the good ones. It's a bit the way the colorful garden and delectable church-basement hot dish outshines all the others.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I got sidetracked playing Alice

It took me a week to get through Thing 7 because I got bogged down trying to decide between two options. I felt like Alice in Wonderland: From which bottle should I drink? I can explain. Another 23 Things Library 2.0 learning program crossed my monitor by way of another library association. The second program and its directions were certainly professional looking... Hm... What to do? Quit this program and start the other? I finally decided to stick with this one because it's more fun. It's that simple. There, I admit it. One of my goals with this program is to have fun and it mostly does this.

Sometimes I feel like a voice in the wilderness, though, as I see few comments on my blog and on the blogs of others in this program. How do you get others to read your blog and comment on it?

Alice illustration from Antelope Publishers.

Thing 7. Communications tools

Instant messaging (IM), email, text messaging (SMS), and Web conferencing are crucial to building community. My poster How to Build Community says, "Know that no one is silent though many are not heard. Work to change this." Libraries that use these communications tools wisely allow all stakeholders to have their voices heard. When well designed and easy to use, these tools are great levelers. They encourage discussion by everyone, no matter what their standing in the community.

Email has definitely improved my business productivity. To minimize interruptions, though, this week I changed my Outlook settings to check for new mail every hour not every five minutes. I am glad I did. Maybe this change would work for you, too?

Text messaging intrigues me and I would like to try it. I am not yet part of the text messaging revolution.

Web conferencing is a tool I have found valuable as an independent information professional. I watched the Minitex Webinar Library 2.0 today. I like archived Webinars because they are free of charge, I can watch them on my own time, and the format matches my favorite learning mode: listening.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Thing 6. Online image generators

I am nearly 25% done with 23 Things on a Stick and still having fun with social networking tools. It's great to have enough direction to get started, plus the time to explore. Today I "played" with Big Huge Labs' trading card feature to make the Nancy Drew, Grrrl Detective trading card at left and Image Chef to make the matching coffee cup at right.

I wish a credit line automatically accompanied every photo in Flickr's Creative Commons. It would make it much easier to give credit where credit was due. Regarding copyright, in this post, I used two images that were free with attribution. I placed a credit line under the Nancy Drew photo from Flickr's Creative Commons, but I could not for the coffee cup image from Image Chef because there was no artist's name. Image Chef conveniently included its own credit line.

Finally, The Generator Blog offers tools to create computer havoc. Before I got myself under control I created a silly error message. Reminder to self: I must use this power only for good.