Using RSS feeds

I’ve been using Google Reader for a couple of years now.  I think I started using it to keep up with sites like The Consumerist that have a lot of useful information, but that I probably wouldn’t think to return to regularly on my own.   I use it to follow a lot of food blogs as well.  It makes categorizing and organizing recipes easy.  Instead of copying and pasting recipes to a Word doc and then saving them to my hard drive, I can just tag the blog post and my reader automatically files it.  This feature could be very useful in an academic setting when researching a specific topic.  It would be very easy to keep sources organized.

Evaluation and Implementation of Library Tech

Um…what to say…I’m tired and I don’t feel like posting right now. What relevant comment can I make?

This week we learned about some of the basics or theory behind evaluating and implementing library technology. I have to say, I do think this week’s reading was a bit more meaty than last week’s “these are library technologies” topic. But we are only three weeks into the course. Maybe I have been too eager to jump in. Even though I’m glad this week seemed a little more relevant to the actual job, at the same time I’m wondering, as a library tech, how likely am I to get the opportunity to make technology evaluation and implementation decisions? I don’t think I’m going to stop at a two year degree though, so I’m sure this information will be useful as I further my studies and my career.

Oh, yeah. I was supposed to report on social bookmarking as well. Insert standard anti-corporate tirade here about the mass amount of marketing data that is being compiled by analyzing the user statistics from these “social” tools. You can be sure that as useful as libraries or the general public might find them, our benevolent corporate overloads find them all that much more useful.

But I digress….I set up my account. I’ve added the class to my network. I mildly amused myself with my username. I searched for bookmarks using tags. I bookmarked some stuff. It will be a helpful tool for organizing research bookmarks all in one place.

I have to go do my LIBR 202 homework now, then probably bed. ‘Night!

Did you know?

http://get.wp.com/#comparison

I didn’t know.  I’ve got a WordPress blog as part of the site I help administrate.  I knew there were all kinds of features I could plug into it through the dashboard, the module that gives you more info about your stats, for instance.  I’d like to see if I’m getting traffic from outside of class.  But on this blog, I couldn’t find where to get the plug-ins.  It was like they had just disappeared.

So I checked the help section, and couldn’t find anything through their faqs.  The next best place to look is the support forums, and that’s where I found the above link.  By hosting blogs on WordPress’ servers, you’re missing out on tons of FREE features.

While hosting elsewhere does cost the private individual, it’s only about $100 a year.  If you’re already running a website there’s no additional cost to put WordPress on it.  Hosted on the library’s own server, it’s definitely worth adding WordPress, rather than hosting the blog externally at wordpress.com, just for the sake of the added features.

Take a look what’s available http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/ Each plug-in is rated by users, so you can tell before you download which ones are going to require more than just clicking a button to install.  But for most, that is really all it takes.

I had no idea there were limitations on blogs hosted at WordPress.com.  I think private hosting is definitely the way to go.

Julian Assange Interviewed by the Brazilian People

Interview:

Julian Assange Interviewed by the Brazilian People.

Awesome reprint of Brazilian interview with Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks.  This is his most recent interview.  He gave this interview to an independent journalist, who culled the questions from submissions by the readers of her blog.  In it, he discusses the relationship between information control and power.

An excerpt:

It is the gap in knowledge which delineates who is inside the most powerful parts of the state and who is inside the powerful parts of a corporation. The free-flow of knowledge from powerful groups to less powerful groups or individuals is also a flow of power and hence an equalizing and democratizing force in society.

–Julian Assange

So, a question to my classmates: if you care to read the interview, I’m interested to know.  In light of a librarian’s role as gatekeeper of information, what do you think?

Wikileaks:

http://wikileaks.ch/

Self-Assessment and Goals

The area I seem to be lacking in is databases.  I’d really like to learn more about those, as it seems to be a back-door into programming.  The rest of those scores are pretty high.  I’ve been online since the mid-90s.  I’ve built websites using HTML and the site I administrate now runs PHP.  I can tweak the code enough to install new modules and keep them from conflicting with each other, but I don’t know enough to build modules of my own.

I transcribe audio from home for a living, so I’ve used all of those skills at some point, many of them every day, even Web development in that I FTP files back and forth.  I don’t use presentation skills though (I don’t know, maybe playing audio files counts) but I’ve taken two public speaking courses across 20 years, and one of my previous employers required all employees to lead group training meetings at some point.

Goals for the course.  Good question.  So far it seems like we’ve discussed the ways technology is used in the library.  We’ve started to learn how the technology is used by starting blogs and wikis, but I’m not convinced yet that these technologies have necessary or vital purposes in the library.  Maybe that’s something I’ll better be able to understand through working in a library, rather than taking a course.

So, I guess my goals for the course are to find out more about what forms of technology really are vital to its operation, the cataloging software, the ordering/purchasing software/process.  How are spreadsheets used in libraries, by the staff, not the patrons?  What is particular to building a website for a library that’s different from building a website for any other organization?  These are kinds of things I’d like to learn from this course.