Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Slide shower

It used to be a blackboard and chalk (sometimes of various colours) or an overhead projector if one was lucky to have it. And today? So many slide shows have been produced, and they are all available, in a flash, via few clicks on a keyboard! You just sit back, watch one after another, have a bit of laugh at some (e.g. the one posted below), learn from some, and use some to teach others.

I watched quite a number of slide shows on www.slideshare today (I wonder how many more tomorrow, day after tomorrow ...?). My first impression was: GREAT! Of course it is something to use during all sorts of presentations, library inductions etc. The second thought was much less enthusiastic. Many of the slide shows were just a number of pictures/sentences which may mean nothing to a viewer unless used as an ilustration af a live presentation. However some were fully "self sufficient". I liked, among others, Phil Bradley's "Twitter 101 for Librarians" and "The Plagiarism Code" by Andy Priestner. I suppose every slide show prepared for a particular presentation would also be published/posted somewhere else together with the whole text of the presentation, most likely on the official website of an institution, a conference or an author. It seems they are not really in the right place among humorous, entertaining or geographic slide "showers".
Seeing all sorts of slide shows may also be an inspiration to produce something that would be more appropriate for a particular library or reflecting one's interest etc. But unless it has any universal values it should stay where it "was born". Not necessarily the whole world has to know about and share it.

Never mind all the doubts. Once again - thank you 23 Things Cambridge Team for bringing the Things to those of us who had never heard, or heard but not seen or used all these, before (I am not refering at anybody but myself, of course). Are they not just great revelations?

Sunday, 27 June 2010

iFree subject headings

Re-labelling (re-tagging) of my first seven blogs was definitely much more fun than re-labelling books in the library where I work. Not that I do not like what I do.
Changing tags into labels took some thinking to begin with. Encouraged by the Thing 8 welcoming blog:

"...(tags) are generated on the fly by users, not imposed by library taxonomies", and later "... try enhancing this by adding tags that describe your content. This can be as formal or as fun, ... as you like..."

I thought I should be somehow creative and not too serious, however still each label should remind me which Thing a blog is about. I also assumed that not many people would read my blog and those who would, might like a bit of a riddle. The first Thing out of 23 to blog about was iGoogle. So I named the first blog " iStart" and then the other i-tags had come to me quickly (iContinue, iTravel, iLabel). I will probably label the Thing 23 blog - "iFinish"!
Not all labels begin with an "i" but each new label for the Things means something to me.
Clay Shirky's article, a recommended reading, confirmed that my labels are indeed selfish. But iLike them.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Flick(e)ring through the Flickr

What a great gadget or rather another window to the world! I have gone for the sentimental journey and have visited the most beautiful place on Earth I have ever seen - the Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island. One of the pictures on Flickr is named "Beyond beautiful" and how true this name is. The gardens were created in the early 1900's on the site of an exhausted limestone quarry which gave this place its unique features (rocks, ridges, etc.), wonderfully and skillfully used to create the beautiful display of all possible miracles of nature. My attempt to re-create it in my own garden failed totally. There is a little taste here of this paradise (photographs from Flickr). If you ever are somewhere near Vancouver it is a MUST to visit. Unfortunately the best pictures of it are not available for blogger publishing under Commons licencing, but they are available online on Flickr. Highly recommended for garden lovers.

From Vancouver I travelled (or flickerred) through half of the globe to come to the second place I would like to share with other bloggers. This time it is going to be something calmer in colours and more interesting for librarians, I hope. Most probably not very many people fro
m Cambridge have seen this before - a new(ish) garden library (something like a garden city) of Warsaw University. It is a living (!) proof that libraries don't have to be dusty, they can be green, in- and outside. This particular one in the centre of the city, built mostly of glass and copper, is covered (yes, covered - on the sides and top of it) by a huge garden. For the readers it's not just a library (spacy, full of light) but also quite a big commercial and recreational complex. For tourists - a wonderful place to visit, to rest, to have a bird's eye view of the town (and a glimpse of the library inside through the glass roof), and then perhaps to twitter about it.

Finding pictures on the site was a great pleasure (I am afraid I have and still do spend lots of time looking at all sorts of beautiful things there, more than I bargained for; addiction?). Not being able to download some of them - disappointment, but trying to sign them (title, photographer's id) - a nightmare. Finally I used the TEXT tool in the Photoscape and/or in Adobe Photoshop and somehow managed to get the right position of the text under the photo before adding it to my blog text. Trying to sign the pictures in blog text itself and to keep these signatures in the correct positions was not possible. At least not for me. What am I doing wrong? Or is it the only way to do it - by saving the picture together with its description on the added canvas?

No matter how frustrating photoshop was, flickr and flick(e)ring was a great pleasure and fun. I will be going back there a.o.a.p. (as often as possible).

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Numbers, letters, numbers ... tweet!

Here I am - a new member of twittulation (or - twittering population). I was not sure what to twitter about to start this new way of communicating with other tweeple (is Oxford dictionary happy with all these twitteologisms?). The only thing that came to my mind was reciting: 185.1 CAT, 185.2 BAT, 185.2 MAT ... . No reward for guessing what that was about and that was just a beginning of the annual stock check!

Setting up my Twitter account was not difficult, but to remember all the nuances of it, I am sure, will not be easy. Also it took quite a while before I was allowed to enter that tweeple paradise. For a couple of days, every time I tried to open the site, I was presented with a polite refusal. Finally a more inviting window was opened and I could fly into the twittering world. Almost straight away I gained a couple of followers completely unknown to me. Also I packed my home page with lots of sites, which I thought at that time I would follow. I deleted some of them, added some others, filled my Profile with a picture and with few words of Bio and that was the end of my twittering activities for a while.
I do not thing it is going to be my favourite way of using the internet. I wish I come up with something really important to say to the world like Eureka! or Panta rei! but at the moment it is a simplified Library of Congress classification system which occupies my mind. And the strawberries. Here you are, help yourselves :)

P.S. For the duration of the World Cup 2010, Twitter should be renamed VUVUZELA!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Stock check on Monday, manicure on Tuesday ...

Google Calendar - another great thing among the 23. And another permanent gadget on my iGoogle page. Like the Thing 5 - very simple to create and maintain. Possibility of sharing it with colleagues, friends and all the advertised flexibility and applications of calendar definitely make this Thing very useful (I haven't explored it all yet, but if I only had more time...). Reminders sent via email? Yes, but I would rather have them sent by SMS, but then the calendar would not be free, would it?

So far all the "THINGS great and small" prove to be rather great, especially those small ones, the gadgets. I am not sure about blogging (maybe? later? in future?), and I am a bit scared thinking about twittering. Are we all going to turn into nightingales?

PS. To Girl in the Moon - thank you for the "23 Things Cambridge" bundle :)


DOODLE! Inevitably one associates it and rhymes with "NOODLE". But doodle has nothing to do with noodle of course, unless a meeting in a noodle bar is to be organised. It is rather googling (or iGoogling) which feels not just like a noodle but like a bowl of spaghetti! You start at some point and you are sent to a link, then to another, and another, and so on with no end! I am not saying that it's not enjoyable!
Doodle is definitely a gadget worthy knowing about and having among 23Things. It has been easy to use (great step-by-step instruction; thank you the 23Things Contributors team) and the link to doodle.com will definitely stay on my iGoogle homepage. Not that I am scheduling lots of meetings at the moment but who knows, perhaps in future...

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Found my PrintScreen

At last!
I have found the picture on the PREVIEW view. The "COMPOSE" screen was showing a mixture of letters, numbers and punctuation symbols. Was it supposed to be obvious that it would worked that way? I hope the published post will show the picture of my iGoogle home page.
Let's see this Revelation No.4! (clicking the button PUBLISH POST)

RSS adventure

Done it!Thing 2 was more troublesome than Thing 1. First I discovered, by pure excident, that RSS feed can be installed on the favourites toolbar in the Internet Explorer, and then, with a little help of the friend, I found the button "Add feed". From then on iGoogling and editing my page has become a real pleasure. However, time consuming beast! What's disappointing is that some websites do not provide RSS option. Perhaps not yet.

Too easy

Thing 1 was rather easy and quick to install. To be honest, I was surprised that I didn't know about iGoogle before - my daughter told me she had the account! Perhaps I haven't googled (I believe it's a regular verb) enough. Usually there is not enough time during the day and night to do other things (more than 23 of them) and to google. With iGoogle however I will have all I need on one page - what a time saver! Love it!

Screen or scream

I have registered MY BLOG. Hard to believe. I am blogging! Or at least I think I do.
It took a while before I managed to download the PhotoScope (first on the list in "the best photo editors"). The result of my PrintScreen via the PhotoScope will be visible, I hope, below:
I will try later, promise.
Now it is later, next try: Nothing again.
So it is a SCREEEEEAM! Today. Hopefuly tomorrow will be better day.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

First steps

It was not too difficult - to make those first three steps into Web 2.0. Hopefully next ones will feel more like jumps than steps. I have read of course bloggs posted by others but it is my first active experience in this matter. I am not sure yet how I will use all this in my work at the library but:
"I call this game FUN-IN-A-BOX",
Said the cat.
"In this box are two things
I will show to you now.
You WILL LIKE these twoTHINGS,"
Said the cat with a bow."
Dr. Seuss created Thing One and Thing Two. We are to create twenty three of them! At the moment the Thing Three is done. So far so good. Looking forward to the twenty others!