Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Picture perfect

I enjoyed searching Flickr's vast image bank again. I have used it previously when looking for pictures and found it very useful. I have my own camera but don't use it often enough so I don't have my own account. I'm taking it with me on my holiday to Cornwall soon so maybe I'll upload some photographs, if they're any good! I tend to use Facebook for family and friends photos, as it's easier to share them with everyone.

Using the keyword 'books' I found this cute picture of a cat seemingly in charge of running a bookshop! :) Credit goes to 0olong;

I had a look at the recommended photostreams from local photographers and also the libraries that are using Flickr and I thought the pictures were really impressive and could be a useful way of promoting and publicising. Our deputy librarian has been inspired and has made it her summer project to create a virtual tour of the library, which I think is a really good idea.

Away from libraries, I also found Flickr to be a fantastic place to find some really beautiful scenic pictures by budding photographers.

Above is a photo of St. Michael's Mount in Cornwall by midlander1231, which I'm hoping to visit on my holiday. What a magical image! He has taken lots of other wonderful pictures of Cornwall so I have added an RSS feed from him to my iGoogle page;

Now I can flick through beautiful pictures from my homepage, which is very convenient. I liked Things 9 and 10 and can see how Flickr could be useful for libraries. I thought learning about Creative Commons was really helpful as well, because sometimes it's difficult to know whether a certain image can be reproduced or not. Now I know where to search if I'm looking for an image to use elsewhere.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Tags and Labels

Tags (known as 'labels' on Blogger) are words you can use to describe the content of a particular blog post so that you can organise your information and people can easily search through your posts. You can add a label cloud to Blogger, which shows all of the tags you have assigned. So, if people are interested in a particular topic they can just click on the tag and they will be taken to the blog posts that have been assigned that tag.

Unlike cataloguing library books, there is no right or wrong way to tagging, it is all down to personal preference. I like tagging because if you have a large amount of information (or pictures, as you can also use tags on Flickr) it enables people to find what they are interested in more easily. They are like subject headings that take you directly to a list of everything that is relevant. Quick and easy to use, they are definitely a positive thing in my book!

Tweet tweet

I was initially sceptical about Twitter when there was a big buzz about it - it just seemed similar to the feature on Facebook where you can tell everyone what you are doing...and no one really cares. "Just eating a bacon sandwich", "Listening to my favourite song", "Going off down the pub later" - that side of Twitter I don't find very appealing.

I wondered if it could be used to keep in touch with friends and family, but you can't really say all you want to in 140 characters. So I was left pondering what the benefits could be.

Then I started writing my film blog; reviews, articles and features about cinema. I wanted to find somewhere where I could interact with like-minded people, share my thoughts about movies and let people know when I'd posted something new on my blog. Twitter was the answer. Short, sharp, to-the-point tweets with interesting tidbits and links to pictures or more in-depth articles elsewhere.

It can be of great use to organisations and people with something to say, a way to provide their 'followers' (those who are interested in them)
with information. It could be of benefit to libraries that want to find a way to interact with their readers and let them know about opening hours, events, changes, acquisitions, etc. Saying that, I realise Twitter is not for everyone and there are those who loathe it. I don't think it should be used begrudgingly because only when people are positive about it and make an effort, will they be able to see the benefits.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

The amazing adventures of Doodle and Google (calendar)

Okey dokey, next up are Things 5 and 6. To be honest, although I found both Doodle and Google calendar really easy to use, I don't think I'll be using them, simply because I don't schedule and attend many meetings, or have much to put on my calendar. There are a grand total of eight people working in my library, so if we have a meeting, we can either email each other...or sometimes we just talk (dun dun derr)! I can see the benefits for a larger organisation or if people from different libraries wanted to get together though. As for the calendar, our deputy librarian already produces a really useful weekly sheet that we can refer to via CamTools so I'm not sure it could be used to great effect. Perhaps in our busy periods in Michaelmas term when there are lots of library inductions for new students it could be of help then so we know what is taking place on which days. Here is a screenshot of my Google calendar with a fake meeting scheduled! :P

A post about blogging, or a blog about posting

So, I have visited a few of the other blogs involved in the Cam23 programme and they all look really great. Everyone seems to be really getting into it and enjoying exploring the different Web 2.0 tools. I think it was a good idea to take part in something like this in order to extend our knowledge of things our readers may use day to day so we can help them and maybe promote our services in different ways. Also, I will probably use some of these things personally at home - for example, RSS feeds. A short and sweet post this time, so I will leave you with a picture of Johnny Depp to enjoy, just because I can!

RSS feeds feed me knowledge

I think RSS feeds are a really good idea. Being able to view new content from your favourite websites all in one place is both quicker and more convenient. Because people in general have become very lazy, I also believe this would be a better way to get information across to the masses, as they are much more likely to quickly add an RSS feed than to constantly keep visiting your site on the off-chance that a new update has been posted. I have added the RSS feed for the 23 Things Cambridge blog and also the feed for all of the Cam23 blogs.

Something I have just discovered but am excited about is Google Reader (see screenshot), a better way to keep on top of all your feeds. It is much easier to see which sites you have subscribed too and you can also 'star' interesting posts that you want to refer to later. I think it's definitely something I'm going to be using more often in the future.

I also thought the further reading for Thing 2 was very interesting, listing ways in which libraries could use RSS feeds to their advantage. I think they could be utilized very effectively in order to keep people informed and updated.

Indeedy iGoogle

I'm really glad I discovered iGoogle through this Web 2.0 programme as it's really useful, both for home and work, as a place to keep all the web pages you visit in one place. This is great for lazy people like me because all of the information can be there right in front of you as soon as you log in. I have two separate areas on my page; home and library stuff. My homepage has BBC news, weather, IMDb (I'm a big movie fan) and even a virtual wolf called Oz! ;) On my library stuff page I have a 'children's book of the day', Copac search and RSS feeds for libraries and the 23 Things blogs (which I will talk about more in my next post). I like that you can have a different theme for each section, as it was really hard to decide which one to pick, so now I can have two! I have a starry sky with a full moon on one and Johnny Depp on another (see screenshots) :D

Thursday, 10 June 2010

My first post!

Welcome to my thingymeblog! Here I will be blogging about the Cam 23 Things. I have used Blogger before although I wouldn't consider myself an expert in it, I also have had a dabble on Facebook and Twitter. I hope Cam 23 will enable me to extend my knowledge of Web 2.0 and learn how it can be used for work as well as play. I'm looking forward to reading other people's views and opinions on how successful it could be for libraries. Right, let's get started!