Thursday, May 21, 2009

Web 2.0 aps remaining from first web 2.0 collage

Web 2.0 Logo CollageImage by Mmmonica via Flickr

Web companies from the original web 2.0 logo collage which are still going

Meg Pickard, who created this image, wasn't trying to "call fail" on web 2.0, but to update an outdated imge. Her blog post, Game Web 2.Over? has additional images and thoughtful commentary.
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Monday, May 11, 2009

Thing 39: Digital Storytelling

Image representing Scrapblog as depicted in Cr...Image via CrunchBase

This was great fun! I used Scrapblog, which was very easy to use. It was only time-consuming because I played around with it so much!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Thing 37, reprise

Image representing BubbleShare as depicted in ...Image via CrunchBase

This is more like it! Alth0ugh I must say, for all my exploring and playing around, the outcome isn't much different from the PictureTrail slide show I did in 23 Things. Hmm . . .

I wasn't sure how literally to take "tell a story." This is the story of spring in my yard, I guess!

Mother's Day 2009 Yard and Garden

BubbleShare: Share photos - Find great Clip Art Images.

This went well, just some network hangups on this end. Although as usual the frames were oriented to 13-year-old girls and their BFFs, and are cartoonish rather than subtle or sophisticated. Oh well.
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Thing 37: Photo Tales

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

I probably spent more time with less result on this Thing than any other. You've heard it before: I have a new computer. The old one is in a sad corner of the spare room, and I didn't trust my technology (or want the time-consuming bother) of putting the iMac back together, transferring the pictures onto my memory card that has been uncooperative lately, and uploading them bla bla bla. So I puttered around trying to copy my Flickr photos onto some of the other aps. N o can do. Tried with my PictureTrail photos. Looked again for the memory card and adapter and after a lot of fiddling, was unable to find any photos on the card!

So I took my new camera out of the box (Did I mention that the old camera broke? And that I didn't want to futz around setting up the new camera? And did I mention that I took advantage of Mother's Day camera sales so I'd have one for this Thing? And did I mention that I thank you for the excuse?) and futzed around setting it up. It went more smoothly than I had dared to hope, and I went out into the garden and snapped a c0uple dozen shots.

I was able to upload them to FLickr fairly painlessly, too. I'm getting better at this! Some of it, anyway.

I wasn't happy with any of the sites I tried. The mosaic site had a server error and didn't work. I've forgotten what the problem was with the second mosaic site. I wanted to caption all of the photos, but the photo captioning was one picture at a time, and I didn't have the patience for that.

Tiltshift, Comeeko, and Bubblr were all boring with flower pictures. I did use Flickrslidr to create code for an embedded slice show, seen above.

All that remains is to try some of the other slideshow software. Wish me luck.
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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Thing 41: Mash up your life

Image representing FriendFeed as depicted in C...Image via CrunchBase

I set up Friendfeed and then never got around to checking it. When I finally did, it was great! Particularly for tne people I follow on twitter like mashable and Robert Scoble. I also like seeing all my social ap content on my Facebook page!

It is a timesaver. I have a Firefox tool that pops up my Twitter and Facebook feeds, but when I'm trying to get work done it can be fatal to follow some of those intriguing links. I like the formaat on FriendFeed better than on Twitter. It's easier to follow up on those leads, especially from prolific posters like -- well, mashable and Scoble. I subscribe to Jay Rosen, and I wish he was on Friendfeed.

I also have some personal/professional friends. librarians I don't see often, so it's fun to see both their personal and professional posts. Right now only one is a frequent user. I'm afraid others have set up Friendfeed as part of More Things, so it will be interesting to see if they continue once they complete the Things.

I like this more than I thought I would. The more active your professional community,the more useful this would be.

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Thing 38: Screencasting

Image representing ScreenToaster as depicted i...Image via CrunchBase

I skipped Thing 37 for now and went to screencasting. I chose ScreenToaster so I wouldn't have to download any software to my little netbook. It was pretty fun. You were saved from a very boring "How to use Gmail" screencast at the last minute when I got the Tweet about Mark Twain Motivational Posters.

It took me several tries to get it right. If you open ScreenToaster in one tab and your content in another, there is no indicator that you are recording. The first time through I got hung up and coludn't stop the recording. One nice feature is that you don't save the screencast until you have the one you want. You can record, view, and then just re-record, without having to name files and then delete them.

A feature that would be good would be the ability to change the shape and position of the recording area rectangle. My final screen wasn't placed quite where I wanted it to be.

A library could amass a collection of these to explain using the library web site, getting a hotmail or yahoo e-mail account, or navigating a subject area, say, the job search section of the web site. This would be great!

Personally? I don't know, I can't think of an application. I did consider stringing together some of my favorite design, art, and picture sites; but I'm not sure who would view it. I've been trying to persuade my sister to sign up on Facebook. Maybe I should send her a "how-to" screencast!

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Thing 36: Comic Relief

I had to laugh when I did a keyword search for "library" cartoons on Toondoo. Recent postings . . . by Minnesota librarians . . . who were new to the site and only had one cartoon . . . sounds like "Thing 36" to me!

#1 favorite:



Favorite #2

And here's mine:


I borrowed the punch line from a friend's nephew, a real hellion and a seething mass of unstoppable energy, not too interested in reading -- or coloring! BTW, since he's from Texas, it's pronounced, "CRAY-oh-las." "Don't be givin' me no CRAYolas, cuz I ain't gonna color!" It's a preference one is wise to heed!

I've wanted to try Worldle for a long time. Fun! Here is a wordle based on a blog post I wrote entitled "Credo," which means "I believe."
Wordle: Credo

This will be down to the wire just as the last Things were for me. Without the deadlines I would never ever do these Things!
I feel more than a bit wimpy choosing easy rather than useful generators. That's the down side of a deadline. I'm going to have to do one Thing a day, so I'm streamlining.

I think I remember hearing that one could spend hours on each thing or "as little as one hour." How could that be?

Though the generators I chose are just pretty pictures, I know from using the 23 Things blog and More Things wiki that the images you use really liven things up, and highlight important messages in a fun and memorable way. These would liven up any library communication, in-house or outside.

I love Emily Lloyd's "Shelf Check" srip. She's incredibily creative and perceptive. It would be fun to work in a library that used comics to communicate. My librarysystem is pretty formal -- I can'tvisualize comics being used here.

I found the ToonDoo site very clumsy to use. It wouldn't retain my search list of library cartoons. I would click on a cartoon, then not be able to go back to my list of search results. I had to redo the search over and over again. I ave to think it might have been me, but I looked diligently for the "proper" way to do this and didn't find it.


It's 12:18 a.m. and my son just asked me "What would happen if two black holes meet? Would they merge, implode, or devour each other?" We batted around a few ideas for a story he's writing, and used up my knowledge of physics in a nanosecond or two. "Oh, well," he said, "There's always wiki"

24/7 availability! Answer below.
They used the coolest phrase to describe a black hole: "God divided by zero."


Here's the answer:

Word on the street is that if two black holes collided, there'd be a bigger black hole. The ripples in space-time would be big enough to surf. Energy released in the event would be almost beyond calculation. This is an event you would not wanna see from the front row. Or maybe even the back row. It may not even be safe from the cheap seats.

First answer by Quirkyquantummechanic. Last edit by Quirkyquantummechanic. Contributor trust: 1131 [recommend contributor]. Question popularity: 5 [recommend question]

Further reading yields more detailed answers, plus links to science news RE: black hole research.
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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Thing 35: Books 2.0

Cover of "Proust and the Squid: The Story...Cover via Amazon

I found that I am content with the Book 2.0 tools I currently have, especially Shelfari. Perhaps if I had more time to partake in the community aspect of books 2.0 it would become more important to me, but my time is limited. I'm most interested in book reviews and recommendations, and I subscribe to BookBrowse, Harper First Alert, The New York times book section e-mail, and the Hennepin County Library weekly e-mails of "Forthcoming Fiction" and "Forthcoming Non-Fiction" lists, as well as HCL's weekly update of what's new on the NYT best-seller lists. That provides me with all I can read and more. And there are bo0klists galore on HCL's Book Space!

I feel like a curmudgeon on this round of "Things." Perhaps because I'm not working in a library right now (budget cuts). Perhaps because I go online after work, errands, housekeeping, dinner-making and dishes, laundry . . . oh, heck, and sometimes I skip all that virtuous stuff and just READ for a while. I want to spend more time reading, not talking about reading.

But when I hear myself say that, I also realize that I've often wanted to discuss a book with someone who has recently read it. I think the problem is that relationship-building takes time, so one can't just skid into a 2.0 site for a minute or two and expect literally instant community.

I'm currently speed-reading through LifeHacks, which has many pages devoted to tips and tricks to keep from getting side-tracked on the way by these very 2.0 aps, which can suck up so much time, and then one finds oneself at the end of the day with nothing done but checking Facebook, twitter, e-mail, and possibly RSS feeds. In fact, this is exactly what happens to me when I sit down to work on More Things!

Many "voracious reader" library patrons I meet come in with a list of books in hand, and just need help finding them or putting them on hold, but I still like to be prepared for
Readers' Advisory:

I really like the idea of ReadingTrails, but in practice they just seemed like old-fashioned book lists. Disappointing.

Similarly, I was intrigued with Book Lamp, but the dimensions they used didn't represent the things I look for in books. Somewhat useful, but it I think the job is done just as well with "reads like" suggestions available elsewhere.

I like Overbooked; I've used that before and it's a great resource.

Book Glutton's simultaneous reading plan seemed cumbersome and random.

Living Social -- I have the ap on Facebook but I don't know anyone who is active on it.

BookBrowse: I already subscribe to their e-mail.Very good!

I thought the International Children's Digital Library sounded great but found the interface too clumsy. The book page was either too small or too big. I have an extra-small screen (Netbook) but it was just ridiculous. It took a long time to load, and there were about 8 pages of material before I ever got to story text. It just wasn't worth the hassle. Maybe someday on a faster machine with a bigger screen.

I like the Vintage Children's books and Old Childrn's Books on flickr! Thanks!

Maryanne Wolf's Proust and the Squid; the story and science of the reading brain escribes the important difference between scanning electronic text for meaning and prolonged engagement with printed text, and the different brain activities associated with each. Fascinating stuff! And we have to keep reading books, not just quick-scanning, in order to continue to create modifications to our evolving and maleable mind!

I subscribe to and value "Shelf Awareness." It has some book industry news, some reviews, but what I especially value is the list of authors on the media circuit. It's perfect for the patron who comes in and says, "There was this guy on "Good Morning America. . . "

Here's an excerpt from Shelf Awareness. It's not a 2.0 tool, but it's a good tool.
* * *

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Chris Cleave, Author of Little Bee

This morning on Good Morning America: Whoopi Goldberg, author of Sugar Plum Ballerinas: Toeshoe Trouble (Hyperion, $4.99, 9780786852611/0786852615).


Today on Fresh Air: Ayelet Waldman, author of Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace (Doubleday, $24.95, 9780385527934/0385527934).


Tomorrow morning on the Early Show: Chris Cleave, author of Little Bee (Simon & Schuster, $24, 9781416589631/1416589635).


Tomorrow morning on Good Morning America: Michael J. Fox, author of Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist (Hyperion, $25.99, 9781401303389/1401303382).


Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Adam Perry Lang, author of Serious Barbecue: Smoke, Char, Baste, and Brush Your Way to Great Outdoor Cooking (Hyperion, $35, 9781401323066/1401323065).


Tomorrow morning on NPR's Morning Edition: Steve Miller, author of The Turnaround Kid: What I Learned Rescuing America's Most Troubled Companies (Collins Business, $25.95, 9780061251276/0061251275).


Tomorrow on the Diane Rehm Show: Joshua Cooper Ramo, author of The Age of the Unthinkable: Why the New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us and What We Can Do About It (Little, Brown, $25.99, 9780316118088/0316118087).


Tomorrow on NPR's On Point: Ruth Reichl, author of Not Becoming My Mother: and Other Things She Taught Me Along the Way (Penguin Press, $19.95, 9781594202162/1594202168).


Tomorrow night on the Colbert Report: Laurie Garrett, author of The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance (Penguin, $20, 9780140250916/0140250913).

Worst-Case Scenario 10th Anniversary Display Contest
* * *

Movies: The Pale Horseman

Kevin Grevioux, co-creator of the Underworld movie franchise, will direct the adaptation of his graphic novel, The Pale Horsemen. Variety reported that "Grevioux and Len Wiseman wrote the original screenplay for the first Underworld pic, which bowed in 2003 and spawned two additional installments. . . . The film rights to several of Grevioux’s other graphic novels have also recently been picked up, including ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction, optioned by Benderspink, and I, Frankenstein, at Death Ray Films."

Books & Authors

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new books appearing next Tuesday, May 12:

Road Dogs: A Novel by Elmore Leonard (Morrow, $26.99, 9780061733147/0061733148) revisits characters from three of the author's previous novels.

Wicked Prey by John Sandford (Putnam, $27.95, 9780399155673/0399155678) is the 19th novel featuring Lucas Davenport, a security expert who has the task of guarding the Republican convention in St. Paul, Minn.

Terror on the Seas: True Tales of Modern-Day Pirates
by Daniel Sekulich (Thomas Dunne Books, $24.95, 9780312375829/0312375824) explores the scourge of modern piracy.

Cemetery Dance by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (Grand Central, $26.99, 9780446580298/0446580295) is the ninth mystery featuring FBI special agent Aloysius Pendergast.

Patrick Swayze: One Last Dance
by Wendy Leigh (Simon Spotlight, $24.99, 9781439149973/1439149976) is a bio of the actor, who is suffering from pancreatic cancer.

The Last Child by John Hart (Minotaur Books, $24.95, 9780312359324/0312359322) follows a 12-year-old boy searching for his missing twin sister.

How to Really Stink at Work: A Guide to Making Yourself Fire-Proof While Having the Most Fun Possible
by Jeff Foxworthy and Brian Hartt (Villard, $16, 9780345502803/0345502809) is a comedic guide to professional misbehavior.

Down Home with the Neelys: A Southern Family Cookbook by Patrick Neely, Gina Neely, and Paula Disbrowe (Knopf, $27.95, 9780307269942/0307269949) compiles Southern cooking recipes from the hosts of the Food Network's Down Home with the Neelys.

The Stalin Epigram: A Novel
by Robert Littell (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781416598640/1416598642) follows a Russian poet who speaks out against Stalin and experiences the worst of Soviet brutality.

Now in paperback:

An Inconvenient Book: Real Solutions to the World's Biggest Problems
by Glenn Beck (Threshold Editions, $19.99, 9781416560449/1416560440).

Whispered Lies
by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love (Pocket, $15, 9781416597421/1416597425).

Inaugural NAIBA Notable: Booksellers Find Wanting

The first NAIBA Notable title is Wanting: A Novel by Richard Flanagan (Grove Atlantic, $24, 9780802119001/080211900X), which is on the shortlist for Australia's prestigious Miles Franklin Literary Award. Publisher Morgan Entrekin said that Wanting has "similar rhythms and tropes as his masterpiece Gould's Book of Fish, yet may be more approachable for many readers."

On behalf of NAIBA, Lucy Kogler, Talking Leaves, Buffalo, N.Y., wrote in part that "the word wanting is not only the title but is one of the characters in this incredible novel. Having never before read Richard Flanagan I was utterly taken with his imagination, sense of politics and incredible ability to make me think about the title throughout the book."

Under this new New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association program, one book with "a large fan base of booksellers in the region" is chosen a month and promoted to other booksellers, store staff and customers. The NAIBA Notable titles are not necessarily regional "but an outstanding piece of work that booksellers want to sell." NAIBA is emphasizing that "independent bookstores in this region outnumber any other single retailer, and our collective efforts to support fine pieces of writing will be recognized. These great books need our attention."

NAIBA is asking all members to display the books and promote them online and in print. "Each book will come with its own features, some with author appearances, autographed stock, special coop promotions, etc."

Book Review: Seven Pleasures

Seven Pleasures: Essays on Ordinary Happiness by Willard Spiegelman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $23, 9780374239305/0374239304, April 28, 2009)

"Most folks," Abraham Lincoln observed, "are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." By that standard Willard Spiegelman, a professor of English at Southern Methodist University, is an extraordinarily happy man. And we should be equally pleased he's chosen to discourse on the reasons for his happiness in this erudite and spritely collection of essays.

Spiegelman has chosen seven "ordinary pleasures"--reading, walking, looking, dancing, listening, swimming and writing--to illustrate how simple activities serve to bring joy and fulfillment to his life. It's impossible to read this collection without pausing often to reflect on the similar pleasures each of us could add to or substitute on Spiegelman's short list, whether it's cooking, gardening or golfing. And whatever pleasures our catalogue may contain, he suggests, we should turn to them often to "increase a general sense of well-being," confident as he is that "happiness may come through grace or birth, but it may also come through training."

It would be misleading to suggest that Spiegelman's slim book should be consigned to the overcrowded category of slick, self-help tomes. Inspired by eminent muses like Emerson, Wallace Stevens and Auden, he brings to his task an impressive scope of learning, enriched by broad reading and extensive travel and reflecting a deep appreciation of the visual arts and a love of music. He's uniformly at ease discoursing on the delights (and inevitability) of getting lost strolling the alleyways of Venice, deconstructing an Edward Hopper painting or recalling the joys of browsing the aisles of a dusty used bookstore in his home town of Philadelphia. Firmly at home in the relaxed, occasionally discursive tradition of the personal essay, Spiegelman demonstrates an agreeable facility for summoning up an apt quotation or allusion that invests a seemingly modest insight with nuance.

Intermingled with his unabashedly intellectual pursuits, Spiegelman doesn't hesitate to celebrate our physical existence. He's passionate about dancing's contribution to mental health ("Put on your pumps, toss out your Prozac.") and there's wry humor as he describes how he almost squandered the joy he experiences in the swimming pool when he took lessons, striving to perfect his technique.

Willard Spiegelman is frank to acknowledge he's a lucky man--physically and mentally sound at age 65 with many friends and a stimulating profession--although he takes pains not to flaunt those blessings. In Seven Pleasures, he's graciously endeavored to help each of us understand how fortunate we, too, can be if we simply allow ourselves to savor our good fortune. That's the inspiriting message of this elegant, delightful work.--Harvey Freedenberg

Shelf Talker: A scholar's delightful discourse on the simple activities that enrich his life and on the joy we can experience if we seek out the corresponding pleasures in our own.

** Author Buzz 5/4/09: The Unit: A Novel by Ninni Holmqvist **
** Author Buzz 5/4/09: Happiness Key by Emilie Richards **
** Author Buzz 5/4/09: Promise of the Wolves: A Novel by Dorothy Hearst **
** Author Buzz 5/4/09: The Belly Dancer by DeAnna Cameron **

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