Learn and Play has pretty much all been about discovering Web 2.0 tools, so when I saw that number 17 involved discovering 2.0 tools I wondered what new angle they had found on the subject. Well, it turns out there are groups that aggregate all sorts of tools into one place and allow users to vote for which are the best and most popular. For this week, we are encouraged to explore some and see if they are useful/interesting.
Now, many of the tools we have already used are on this list, as well as less popular versions of the same type of tool. So I can’t say I’ve never heard of them, or that all the tools were useless. What I can say, is that I had no desire whatsoever to sign up for another web 2.0 tool. I may just be jaded about the whole 2.0 thing, or irritated at making yet another user profile/password/yadda yadda. But for thing #17 I’ve discovered that sometimes it is better to enjoy what you have and not go looking for more.
After all, I’m still discovering new ways to use the tools I have signed up for–so that is where I am focusing my attention. And, many of the tools I use are on that list, even if I didn’t discover them from the list.
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..