Tuesday, March 27, 2007

#23 These exercises took a really, really long time to do. Not being as computer savvy as many, I'm sure it took me longer than some others. But even on the exercises that were relatively simple it took time to do them thoroughly, to really explore things and feel like I knew something about them. I think the estimates of time needed that were given by the team were not at all accurate. I don't regret the time I spent, but my expectations were not properly set. I would never have been able to complete all of this at work, partly because of the amount of time involved and partly because I needed uninterrupted time to devote to it. If you do this again as a course or if some other library asks you how it went, I think it would be helpful to future learners to give them a better estimate of the time involved.

It got really frustrating at times and it was not the reward that kept me working on this--although I think it's really nice that you are offering an incentive to participate. I kept going because I really appreciated the opportunity to learn about things that I would not have known about and/or explored on my own.

One thing I wish I had known when I started this was the number of accounts I would have to set up to use various sites. If I'd known, I would have made an attempt to make some kind of a system for the account names and passwords that would have helped me remember them. Doing the exercises partly at home and partly at work sometimes left me unable to access something I wanted to work on because the password I needed was on my list at my other location.

One thing I would have been happy to see included was a section on MySpace. Yes, I already know about it and I can use it if I want to, but I don't because it is so geared to younger people it just feels weird to be on it. If I had an assignment I'd feel I had a legitimate reason to be there.

I think it would be interesting to do something like this again in a couple of years. I imagine things will have changed alot--the things we know about will have better features (or not be used any more) and there will be new things that it would be helpful to be guided to.

Thanks for bringing this to us. Thanks for your comments and all the effort you put into it. It was definitely worthwhile.
#22 I do not have any patience for ebooks. I can hardly stand to read a screen for very long; --my eyes tire of it very quickly. I did look at what's available and I'm glad to know there are free books that can be accessed because I may be able to refer a desperate customer them at some time. I was surpised to see that when I searched for "Little Women" on Project Gutenberg I got so many hits. It took so long to load the book that I didn't have time to go back and look at what some of the other things were, but I would like to do that at another time. I'd also like to see if they have a "search title" function so you can weed out all the stuff you don't want. I'm glad SJPL offers ebooks because they are sometimes the only information I can offer a customer on a topic if he needs it right away (no time to place a hold.)

I would probably use audiobooks if I spent a long time in the car each day. I've tried them on long plane trips but unfortunately I didn't pick titles that really grabbed me and I haven't finished an audio book yet. I guess I need to audition them before I waste ipod space on them.
#21 I've added the Fresh Air (NPR) podcast to my Bloglines account. I tried to add a podcast for Mandarin lessons which seemed like it would be fun, but for some reason I couldn't get Bloglines to accept it. I looked at directories of podcasts--it is amazing to see what's out there.

Monday, March 26, 2007

#20 I like YouTube. I use it mostly when I have heard about something I want to take a look at. I don't use it a lot but, so far, everytime I've wanted to find something it has been there. This morning I was reading an article about the making of a GM commercial so I went to YT to see if it was there--it was. People often send me links to YouTube videos and they are usually good ones. I don't spend a lot of time just poking around looking for good videos, though. There is a lot of chaff out there with the wheat. I'll let others look and send me the good ones. Here's one someone sent me that I like alot (don't watch it if you don't like humor mixed with religion.)
#19 Here's my LibraryThing link: http://www.librarything.com/catalog.php?view=wensley4 (Perhaps you will tell me why, even when I used the "insert link" option above I still didn't get a live link.)

LibraryThing is ok. I was surprised when choosing which site to use as a source for a record to attach my books to that Amazon was more helpful than LC. LC consistently had "(date?) after the title. Amazon let me see the dates of various editions. The books I listed, not necessarily my favorites--just titles I could think of, are not especially popular. My most popular book was #396 on the popularity list. I did look at the lists of some of the other people that had listed some of my books hoping to find other titles I would like or could use, but the results were disappointing. Maybe if the site catches on there will be more people and more books entered and that aspect will improve. Some of the recommendations were good, though. This could be an alternate place to Amazon to look for things I might like to read. I like that LT links you to Amazon, etc. so you can get more info on the recommendations immediately.

There were discussions about only 2 of my titles and the discussions really weren't about my titles anyway. The books were just mentioned in passing. So, so far, the social aspect of this site doesn't offer me much. I'll probably go back to it, though, for the recommendation aspect.
ABOUT # 15: Thanks for reminding me that I hadn't posted. I did write it, but I left it in drafts. It's there now, take a look if you want to.

Friday, March 23, 2007

#18. This is the third time I've tried to write something and post it on my blog. I'm using Google docs because I find it simpler to use than Zoho. Zoho isn't hard but I couldn't get it to change the font. I don't know if it was me or them, but after I'd tried it several times I went looking for something else.

I think it's great that utilities like this exist, especially for people who do not have a computer of their own or who do not have it with them and need to write something and access it from home later. I'm glad I know about them so I can tell customers about them.

I thought it was interesting that Zoho provided some templates and thought that the resume template would be the most useful. Then I was disappointed to find that they didn't have a general one. I know you can get them other places, but it would be convenient to have it all on one site.

I also tried Zoho's To Do list but I didn't like it. I found it cumbersome--too many separate boxes to put information in.