Monthly Archives: February 2010

Week 5 – RSS and Feed Readers

For this week’s lesson I chose to do activitiy 1 and a little bit of activity 1 and 3.   I have been hearing about RSS feeds for several years, but never really started using them until probably two years ago. When I started using them I first started using a blogger account I had set up years before.  That worked pretty well, but I always forgot to go in there and check blogs.   Then I got Outlook 2007 which I discovered had a built in feed reader.  I started using that to keep track of blogs and websites.  This came in really hand for me to follow all of our library KLOW sites.  This has worked well for me because I only have one place to go to check my email and RSS feeds.   

As part of 23ThingsKansas I also started following more and more blogs.  Because of this I didn’t want to put them all in my Outlook so I dug up a Google Reader account I had from another class I took years ago and inputted them into there.   Google Reader seems to be working pretty well for me, I like it better than Bloglines.   For now I still have my KLOW feeds and a few others set up in my Outlook.  That seems to work well.  Sometime, though I need to sit down and organize my feeds in both of them a bit more.  I can see myself getting easily overwhelmed and not being able to sort out my feeds in Google Reader since I have so many of them. 

One of our libraries contacted me about adding some sort of a RSS widget so that patrons could automatically add their library feed to a reader.  I began searching to see what we could add and came up with all sorts of solutions.  I tested a few out on our KLOW test blog and the library decided to try out a widget by addtoany.   With this widget you can share blogs on social networking sites and also add them to feed readers.  It will also let you email yourself a link or add it to your favorites.   Since we found it,  I have been messing around with it.  There are several different forwats and ways to add the widget.  I finally figured out how to add it to my post.  To get it to work I had to mess with my the permalink structure on my post a bit.  Addtoany didn’t seem to like the original format which was making my permalink be https://janellegant.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/week-5-RSS-and-Feed-Readers.  Once I shortened it to:  https://janellegant.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/week5 it was fine.  I will post some directions later on how I got the widget to work, but for now my brain hurts!  It’s been a crazy Friday!

Janelle

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Week 4 – Photo Sharing

I will be the first to admit that I am a horrible photographer.  That being said, I still love to post photos others have taken.  I have had a Flickr account for a long time, but never really get around to using it.  It seems I always default back to sharing my photos through Photoshop or Facebook.  From what I remember, I think you can pull pictures into Facebook with Flickr, but I have never really taken the time to do it.  We also have two Flickr accounts at work.  We use them mostly to share our Summer Reading Pictures.  It has worked pretty well for that, but some people are still a little nervous about the mechanics of posting on Flickr and having their pictures out there.  I have always had a tough time navigating on Flickr, too.  There are such fabulous pictures out there, though!! Especially related to the library world.

I have always been fascinated with library signage.  Every time I go into a library one of the first things I notice is the library’s signs.  About a week and a half ago I was in a library and noticed some signs I really liked.  I tweeted about how I thought the signs were so cool and one of my friends messaged me back to let me know there is a group on Flickr for library signage. If you are thinking of updating your signage at your library or getting some new signage I think this is a great place to start.

Here is a pic I took of one of the signs at Cimarron City Library.

cimarronpic

Remember my comment about being a horrible photographer?  This is just proof of that statement.  In my defense I was using my cell phone to take this picture.  hehe.  Thankfully most others on Flickr are much better with cameras than I am.

Here is another signage picture I found that I thought would be a great idea for a library sign.

15/365

I never thought of using a digital photo frame to share library events. What a great idea!  Picture taken by c_l_b on Flickr.

Library Sign - Gadgets - Blue

Photo posted by:  CCAC North Library on Flickr.  CCAC also has a Library Signage photo set, which this photo came from.  It was inspired by ipod advertising and used creative commons licensed images provided by others.

Liz Rea also created a WordPress blog to share Library Signage pics, it’s at: http://librarysigns.wordpress.com/

While I was on Flickr I found a really easy way to add photos to your blog.  It worked well in WordPress anyway.  Here’s what I did.  I used this instead of the blog this button since I already had my post set up.

1.  Clicked on Share This in the upper right hand corner while viewing a picture.
2.  Expanded the HTML section and then copied and pasted the code from the Grab the HTML.

I have always been confused about the “proper” way to site photos.  I have read numerous articles and tried to look at other blogs to see how others do it.  If someone has a great example to show me I would appreciate it.  I am still also confused about Creative Commons.  I guess I need to practice it more in real and work life to get the hang of it.  Hopefully reading other blog posts and reading over some more of the resources with the lesson will help.

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Week 3 – Online Meetings

Wow!  There were so many great archives of online meetings out there to choose from.  I love online meetings mostly because usually I get to listen to people I would never get to listen speak in person.  One session I attended a few months had one of the creators from Common Craft speaking.  I know I would never get to hear him speak otherwise. I also like how most sessions are usually only one hour long.  It’s amazing what can be fit into a one hour time frame.

On the months we don’t have board meetings we have what we call “Informational Meetings” in our system’s OPAL room.  This works pretty well.  It’s a great chance for us all to touch base with each other and catch up.  We also have a few board meetings a year in OPAL.  At first this was a bit tricky and still is at times, but it works great!  It saves us a lot of mileage money and also saves a lot of time.  We have some library members who are about 3 hours away.  Traveling to and from a meeting can take up at least 6 hours of their day.  Yuck!

One of my coworkers, Sara McFarland, mentioned the webinar she listened to for her Week 3 activity.  The webinar was through Infopeople and was entitled, “New Copyright Tools and Best Practices: Copyright Law Update 2010“.  I thought this one would be a good one for me attend, too.  We have dicussed copyright several times.  The webinar was very helpful.  I was especially thankful that it was a recent webinar with recent information.

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Week 2 – Online Communities

The first Online Community I joined was MySpace. I was pretty resistant about it at first, but am thankful I did. I would guess that was probably back in 2005 or 2006. Shortly after joining MySpace I signed up for Facebook, but never actually used it. I continued to use MySpace more and more as I found more friends from high school, work, and college. For the most part MySpace was just used for personal use. I had some people from work on it, but we didn’t share much work info at all. It was more of a way to share pictures, music, write comments, posts, etc.

In 2008 I bought a Blackberry Pearl. On my phone I was able to access MySpace and Facebook. The Facebook  accessibility and app were a lot better than the MySpace app so I quickly started using Facebook more and more. I was able to update my Facebook status very easily on my phone and also view other’s profiles. This is when I started switching from MySpace to Facebook. Now, I can’t even remember the last time I logged into MySpace and I haven’t updated my MySpace profile for months or possibly even a year.  One thing I am sad about is that I have some friends and family on Myspace that haven’t crossed over to Facebook, yet.

I love how I can use Facebook to connect with my friends and coworkers and how these two worlds have merged. A few weeks ago I had a high school friend ask me to help her find her a book at the library in the town where we grew up. Consequently, this library is one of the library’s our library system serves and I was able to easily help her. It felt so good!!! I had another friend ask me to help her find an author she might like. I was able to use Novelist to find read alikes and then share them with her on Facebook. I have also helped and received help from many in the library community.  At first I felt strange about my personal and work life merging so much, but now it feels good.  It feels great to help each other and also be involved with people’s lives through Facebook. I especially love seeing pictures of my friends and family as their families grow. Some of them I haven’t seen for years, but I feel in touch with them through Facebook.

My cell phones have also evolved. I went from a Blackberry Pearl to a Blackberry Curve and now have a Droid Eris. I love being able to check my Facebook and do so many other things on my phone. In the evenings I hardly get on a computer.  I love this since I am  basically on a computer all day at work.

For this lesson I joined Ning. Being used to Facebook, Ning took awhile to get used to. I think it is something I will continue to explore. There are some great communities on there. I look forward to exploring more of them especially the Library 2.0 Ning. It will be interesting to see what Online Communities we are using in 10 or 5 years and how we are using them.

Being a mentor for week 2 I also learned a bunch about Facebook.  One of the things I like about Facebook is how much customizable the privacy settings are.  Facebook has received a lot of flack about this with these recent changes, but I think it continues to work well.  When using an online community I think it’s important to keep yourself educated and in the know about what information is being shared with others and how your information is being protected.

As far as how our library system will use online communities, we currently have a Facebook Page. We have had it going for quite a while, but I hope to start getting better about keeping it up to date. There are other library systems I have become fans of and they are great at keeping their pages up to date. I hope to set some sort of a schedule or something to keep ours going. I don’t want it to be left out in the cold. One of the great things about this lesson is that we gained enough fans on Facebook on our SWKLS page to get our vanity url! Woo hoo!

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