Back in the spring, I remember hearing about the new tool bar that CML created. I was pretty excited and wanted to try it out. Unfortunately, I couldn’t figure out where to go to get it at home. I looked all over the website and even tried a few searches of the internet. After a while I gave up and forgot about it, maybe it wasn’t released to the public or there weren’t any links from the main page.
When I came to Whetstone, I was happy to see that some of the computers had the tool bar installed, so I got to try it a little. I wasn’t impressed, maybe because of lingering resentment about not being able to find it.
For this activity in Learn and Play I downloaded the catalog plug in for my internet browser. It is actually pretty cool, just so long as I remember when I have it selected and when I am searching google. I like to go from searching the internet for ideas for storytimes, to searching if we have that book in our catalog!
I could like twitter. It is possible that it could be a lot of fun, and even potentially useful. Sort of like High School. Some people loved high school, they played sports, had tons of friends, learned a whole heck of a lot: it was the time of their lives. But not me.
My high school graduating class had over 800 students in it, and the school had about 2000 students in 10, 11, and 12 grades. I had maybe five or ten friends. It wasn’t as bad as middle school (nothing can be that bad, honestly) but high school was not the best years of my life.
Twitter makes me feel like I am back in high school–hovering on the borders of all sorts of different social groups–overhearing what they say, but not being included. Sarah is one of the most common names for my age group, and in high school people would say “Hi Sarah!” when I responded they’d say “I wasn’t talking to YOU!” That is twitter to me–people talking to each other while I listen in and am not included.
I suppose to make High school/Twitter successful, one has to go out and find/make friends who will include you in their conversations and care about what you say. But now, as then, I find myself tuning out everyone who wants to say Hi Sarah, because so few are actually talking to me.
I’ll admit that I was wrong. There, I said it. I do think RSS is cool, and I maybe even am a little addicted. It seems particularly useful for those blogs that are irregularly updated, so I can see at a glance if any of my websites have new content.
As part of CML’s Learn and Play, I added a whole bunch more library blogs and library news feeds–primarily blogs I already checked and LJ news feeds. I did use the bloglines search feature to find the LJ feeds, but I prefer a more organic discover of blogs. The best blogs I find are those that are good enough to be linked on various other blogs. I find a blog I like and glom on all of the blogs they like, it works well enough for me!
So now I can just go check one site to see if any of my library peeps have written anything funny lately!
Over the next couple of weeks, I will be participating in Play and Learn @CML, an opportunity to increase my familarization with some of the technologies that make up Web 2.0. The first technology is the blog, which gives me a great incentive to start this blog back up. Maybe after participating here, I’ll have more commitment to posting. So here we go, hopefully we can have fun while we learn!
So over the next month CML will be launching an initiative to encourage library staff members to learn about the technologies that make up Web 2.0. This is ideally to help us become better able to help our customers, because we are largely not able to use these for our own promotion of the library. Since I would love to create a blog, flikr account, or use other technologies to promote and share information about my library, but since that is centralized, it is likely this is intended to help us answer technology questions for our customers. The question that runs through my mind, and that of some of my co-workers, is whether our customers are even ready for Web 1.0?
Case in point, over the past two days we helped a gentleman discover what the Internet is, sign up for a e-mail account (which he first needed to learn what it was), how to use e-mail, how to cut and paste, and basically how to use both the computer and Internet. This is not an unusual occurrence. The vast majority of technical questions I get have to do with the very basics of computer and Internet usage–the difference between the Internet and e-mail, the importance of placing all the periods and dashes in Internet addresses, and how to left and right click on a mouse. More savvy users ask about formatting on Microsoft word, or why our web page is down, or why the web page they want will not work.
All of this, and I work in an area where the majority of households own at least one computer with Internet access. They come to the library when theirs isn’t working, when they are bringing their children to the library, because there is something wrong with their Internet. So why spend the time and money to teach us all Web 2.0?
More thoughts later..