Tuesday, April 8, 2008

23 Things on a Stick - Thing #13 – Online Productivity Tools

1) Customized homepage - The igoogle customized homepage is great. In fact one could set up a “customized homepage” for the library using a library e-mail as the username. Then the whole library staff could use this home page and its productivity tools! Pageflake looks like the same thing really – except it errored when I tried to load it. Then it closed down my browser. I do not doubt that it is every bit as good as igoogle. There are so many things that can be done with a lot of these tools from the customized home page. The calendar the Notebook, the ability to keep lists, how about a to do list or a phone book for the library. The nice thing about it too is that it is multi user and can be accessed from anywhere in the world. This would allow for a worker to go over seas or to a branch library and work without interruption. They could also work from home if they were so inclined.
2) Calendar - With this technology one could setup a library calendar – perhaps a work schedule for librarians or library events – since this is all done online it can be viewed by multiple people from multiple locations.
3) Task List - I was not really impressed with the Ta da list. To me a google doc or zoho writer document is much more flexible and robust. After viewing the “Remember the Milk” tool, which is slightly better than the Ta Da list, I would be forced to conclude that people just want to make things – I do not see how this is practical as I feel that it takes more time and energy to set it up the way you want then the benefit you would get from it. Again I feel that a google doc or zoho writer doc is much better way of making online lists.
4) Tools with multiple features (Backpack) – Now this is cool – and once again the fact that it is multi-user makes it that much better. When people collaborate these tools come in very handy. What is especially nice in Backback is the recent activity section that tells you when something has been added or has changed – without this feature this whole concept of the multiple features would not work as it would be an administrative nightmare trying to keep up with all the changes and additions.

Monday, April 7, 2008

23 Things on a Stick - Thing #12 – Do you digg?

This is an interesting concept. It is kind of an RSS that you do not even need to setup. Anything and everything is out there all ready – you just need to go out to the page. Although it is nice to be caught up on world news. I really see something like Digg and Reddit as a waste of time – unless you have time to kill then it can be entertaining. Something like this may be used as a tool to help get people into the library – that is if the people do not have computers at home. Newsvine, like Mixx on the other hand serves a purpose – to bring you up to date on actual news items. This is a good source for seeing what is going on in the world today.

Friday, April 4, 2008

23 Things on a Stick - Thing #11 – tagging and del.icio.us

Tagging and using del.icio.us are great ways to find information and since others are going to the websites and looking for the same type of information you can usually bet that if it has been tagged by a lot of people it is a good site. This will help sift through lots of useless websites to help you find the best possible sites.
As far as a practical application for libraries I really see none. One other down side to the del.icio.us tagging is that it does not work well with frames. If you tag it, it saves the site of the parent frame and not the actual site itself as I discovered when I used our Electronic card catalogue.

23 Things on a Stick - Thing #9 & 10 – Online Collaboration & wikis

The wiki – This is the greatest thing since sliced bread, especially for people who are researching something. When people work collectively there is more that can be accomplished and you are able to utilize the creativity and knowledge of an entire group. How can this help a library? Simple – let’s say that you are a start up library and do not have the books in a database yet, but want to have a list of all the titles, authors, genre etc…. Using the wiki you could have many people working in unison to do this.

Or let’s say that a library would like to build a “whos’s who” document. They could all write biographies on the authors and link the books to them. There is no counting the number of possibilities for wikis.

Monday, March 31, 2008

23 Things on a Stick - Thing #8 – Share Your Creations

Thumbstacks – Now why didn’t someone come up with this a long time ago. This is a great tool – and will be even better once they have all the bugs ironed out. This works very well if you do not have access to powerpoint and need to create a presentation. Also, you do not need some kind of storage device to store this presentation which makes it kind of nice, all you need is access to the web. This is perfect for students or business travelers, such as sales reps. This tool rates high in my top 10 useful tools! http://www.thumbstacks.com/edit.html

Zoho Show – Just when I thought Thumbstacks was the end all on-line slide show presentation editor along comes Zoho Show and blows me away. This is definitely head and shoulders above Thumbtacks and also allows users to use an online chat utility, which of course can come in very handy for doing presentations. Imagine you would be able to do a presentation halfway around the world and have a person watching the presentation be able to ask questions and interact with the presenter as well as share their desktop. This is huge!! Fleno’s pick is Zoho Show.

Slideshare.net – Like Zoho Show this is a very good tool with lots of bells and whistles, however, the home page is quite a turnoff. It is WAY too busy. It appears that their developers are trying to put everything under the sun on one webpage. I would say because of this it would probably tie with Thumbstacks for second place!

Sharing Photos – Hmmm. Again I am not a big fan of sharing photos on-line and I think I already commented on the Flickr thing. Although it certainly has it’s place on the web for jazzing up a site I don’t see much of a use for it other than spicing up the webpage.

Databases – Okay this is a very useful online tool. This will allow people to share information and create a good source of information, because you can have many people do this as a collective project. It is however, hard for me to get excited about the database creation tools online as I have been doing things like this professionally for the past 10 years or so. All in all though this is a wonderful concept.

e-Folio – This is a great tool and should actually be required for any and all graduating students from a post secondary institute. It is here where potential employers would look to find their workforce. The setup is very simple and easy and to use. Since e-folio is kept electronically this is a perfect e-resume. Eventually this is where the resume will end up – if not already.

New Life

Okay.... Got a visit from "jd" and she pumped new life into me. Thank you "jd" it is nice to see that there are others out there. I see that I am a little behind schedule so I need to put this into overdrive. Luckily there are some things left out there that I have been doing for awhile - so the hands on will not be too involved for me.

As always

Thursday, March 27, 2008

23 Things on s Stick

Well, it appears I am not being checked up on. I am not even sure if the people from 23 Things on a Stick know that I am registered. I have seen no comments on my blog so I am assuming, I guess I am doing something wrong. This will be my last blog as part of 23 Things on a Stick. I must say the program was extremely good and I learned a ton from it. I just wish that there had been a little bit more "hand holding" along the way.

Although I will no longer be writing blogs I will continue to follow the program and finish the 23 Things on a Stick - I have lots to learn - and look forward to it. :)

Darin (Fleno)