Monday, November 26, 2007

Week Nine, Thing 23: Final Thoughts

Well, here I am at the end of 23 Things.

It's been fun, and I definitely learned more than I expected to at the start. I really liked Flickr, and will definitely explore it for pictures in the future. Library Thing is fun and addictive. I also love the idea of doing more with wikis in the workplace--the library could really benefit from these, I think. And, the site I explored for Web 2.0, is one I will definitely revisit.

While doing my 23 Things, I also learned how to create hyperlinks and embed video into my blog, two things I've always been curious about. While 23 Things didn't teach me these "things" directly, the program gave me the motivation to set up a blog and begin my own learning process, which is perhaps most valuable of all. Thanks to 23 Things, I'm seriously considering setting up a blog or livejournal account in the future--something I'd never thought I'd say (err, type.)

Thanks 23 Things! It's been fun!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Week Nine, Thing 22: Audiobooks

I have used NetLibrary before to help customers, so I'm already a little familiar with it. I think it's easy to search for titles; however, I've found most audiobook downloading sites have extremely complicated instructions for downloading the software--and this is all before you can even get the book. I know this is for copyright protection, but it does make the process off-putting to many users. I think Project Gutenberg is less intimidating to new users, even though it has less material.

Downloading books is certainly a neat idea though, especially in this new ipod generation. I've never been a big fan of listening to books in general, but these days it's easier than ever thanks to equipment that can travel with you anywhere.

I am a big fan of ebooks, and that's one thing I did look at on the Project Gutenberg site. I've already read a few books this way (as an English major in college I often had to read books with expired copyright) and I've found it very useful. I also like the ad-free format of Project Gutenberg; it's very refreshing.

Week Nine, Thing 21: Podcasts

I can't believe the creators of 23 Things were cool enough to have Ask A Ninja explain podcasts. They win like, a billion awesome points for that.

So of course my first thought was to find Ask A Ninja podcasts to add to my RSS feeds, but alas, he is only available via itunes. Oh well.

I found another podcast, Film Talk, where a couple of movie reviewers argue about different titles. It's fairly interesting, but like RSS feeds in general, isn't really what I'm looking for. I can definitely see the appeal of podcasts, but again, I'd rather go to the source myself than have it thrust upon me via a subscription.

Week Nine, Thing 20: YouTube

Yay! Finally something on the list that I'm already more than familiar with. I've already gushed about youtube in many of my other posts, so I probably don't need to say much here. But really, where else can you go to see crazy, foreign language versions of your favorite children's tv shows? Or an old music video you once loved but nearly forgot about? Or what about that funny, viral video everyone has been talking about? Don't get left out--get YouTube!

All that's left is my video, so here's my current obsession:

Everyone who's ever owned a cat NEEDS to watch this.

Week Eight, Thing 19: Web 2.0

For my Web 2.0 exploration, I decided to look at It's a site I've known about for a while, mostly because people mentioned "digging" articles I'd found and liked. When I saw it listed on the Web 2.0 awards, I decided it was time to have a look.

I can honestly say that is the first new site I've found so far that I might incorporate into my daily reading. It's a collection of articles and videos submitted by users. These items go into the "upcoming" category where people can look at them and choose to "digg" them. If they get enough digs, they become "popular" and go to the main page. The site even has the items broken up into categories like "news," "entertainment," and my personal favorite "comedy videos."

This site is great. It's almost like youtube, only it's guaranteed to be only videos that people have liked, bypassing all the junk you often have to sift through on that site. Searching by category also guarantees that you only find what's relevant to you.

I also like the idea that I could have the chance to "vote" for articles I enjoy from my favorite websites. This aspect of sharing and promoting what I enjoy is, to me, the best part of Web 2.0.

Week Eight, Thing 18: Google Docs

Since I already have a google account, it made sense to take a look at Google Docs. This is something we're already using at work, so I was interested to learn more about it.

I think it's a great idea, and it seems so obvious it's hard to believe it hasn't already been done. My normal method for transferring documents between computers is to send them to myself as an email attachment. Google dos just cuts a step out of this process and makes everything more convenient. I love it!

The only potential downside I see is the loss of an internet connection destroying your work when you try to save. However, the fact that Google will autosave it every few minutes helps with that as well.

Week Seven, Thing 17: Sandbox Wiki

The Sandbox wiki seems like a great idea as a wiki training ground. It's a nice, informal environment where people can learn to post without worrying about too many people seeing it. That being said, I wish it were formatted so that people could group their posts by topic instead of in a big list. I guess that's stuff for the advanced course, though.