Archive for April, 2007

A Serendipitous Stumble: Social Computing Magazine

I was just surfing around looking for information on several topics for a variety of reasons when I came across Social Computing Magazine and had to share my serendipitous find.

Actually, I did not find the site directly but rather the article Wikis, Collective Intelligence and Libraries written by Laura B. Cohen. The article challenges academic librarians to create more subject-based wikis and to collaborate with students in order to take advantage of the collective intelligence of students and to keep their sites current. I think that public libraries should also be trying to harness the collective intelligence of their community via the use of wikis and this article gave me some great food for thought for a future post on this topic.

It is hard to tell how long the “magazine” has been around — I would say no more than two months given the dates of the articles in their online archives and the fact that some of the topics have yet to be written about. The articles and topics on the site look promising, but when I went to the message boards it seems as if they are just getting going with them.

While I was exploring, I read the article on The Blogger’s Code of Conduct and bookmarked it separately for future reference and use in blogging classes … oh, and though it took some doing, I finally discovered the crucial information I was wanting to know — who is the person/people behind this venture. I finally found it at the bottom of the article Is ‘Social Computing” a Breakthrough — or an Oxymoron?

Jeremy Geelan is Founder, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of Social Computing Magazine. He blogs at The New Web Blog and is Executive Director of The Social Computing Foundation.

It will be interesting to keep tabs on this in the months to come.

Edited to add:

Jeremy Geelan emailed me today to thank me for the positive review (and it is a positive review, I found the content useful and the overall site design easy to navigate). My one complaint about not easily finding the information about who was behind the site was a lot more visible than I originally thought — I will blame it on the fact that I was posting late on a Sunday night after spending the day in the garden and chasing after my toddler ;-)

In any event, here is some text from the email Jeremy sent that will help clear up the issue:


… As to prime movers, there is one other link on the SCM main page that would have helped you, at the bottom left: http://www.socialcomputingmagazine.com/editboard.cfm . We probably need to move that up above the fold, but we wanted content to come first, and personalities onl a distant second.

Between them, these guys are some of the most forward-thinking, savvy minds involved anywhere in and on the Web today. I am just the (lucky) conductor… they each play their instruments far better than I ever shall!

Thanks for the good thoughts,…and don’t forget, either, that SCM is a participatory site, so the more folks become involved the merrier: http://www.socialcomputingmagazine.com/submitnews.cfm

I for one plan to become involved and encourage others in the biblioblogosphere to do the same and give a librarian voice to this new venture.

Thanks for emailing me Jeremy!

April 29, 2007 at 11:20 pm 2 comments

5 Things I learned @ Conference

5 Things I learned @ Conference

  • Helene Blowers is sooooooooooooooooooooooo cool!
  • Running the NJLA Podcasting Station w/IT was even more fun this time around!
  • If you’re going to ask a speaker to come to said NJLA Podcasting Station, it’s best to be prepared, or they might just walk away!
  • If you go to a luncheon at Ocean Place, don’t order the vegetarian meal (or so I heard).
  • Pete is a snappy dresser!

    PETE!

If you went to conference and want to share “5 Things” on your blog then, “Tag, you’re It!”

April 27, 2007 at 3:41 pm

Conference Swag!

Hello! The ‘gardeners are just back from the NJLA Conference, and what a wonderful conference it was!!! (And some of us are off to another conference – The Mid-Atlantic Library FUTURES Conference, May 7th and 8th at The Borgata in AC!)

I don’t know about anyone else, but I sure have a lot of stuff, or swag, from it! Plenty of free pens, notepads, lanyards (even flip flops – really!) abounded in the exhibit hall from the vendors.

And, of course, t-shirts!

Well, if you have too many t-shirts, here’s a fantastic thing to do with them! My friend Beth Cackowski (go NJLA IT Section!) reminded me about a book called Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-Shirt, by Megan Nicolay.

I had seen this author on one of the morning shows once – Martha Stewart I think actually!

Check out this book and, voila! there you have it – something to do with all those free conference t-shirts!

  • Make it into a skirt!
  • A bikini!
  • Turn a regular t-shirt into a tank or tube top!
  • A handbag!
  • iPod cozy!
  • Leg warmers!
  • and more…………. (yes these are all real patterns in the book)!

I’m so glad Beth reminded me of that and I am passing the tip along to you! If you actually DO turn any of your conference t-shirts (or any other t-shirts) into something else, let us know! Beth was wise enough to choose t-shirts in larger sizes so she would have ultimate playing-around room with them!

However, I myself will not be taking scissors to my beautiful purple SUPER LIBRARIAN shirt!

April 27, 2007 at 2:13 pm

Computers in Libraries 2007 — Slides and Comments

While at Computers in Libraries this year I gave two CyberTours and one presentation. This is just a quick post that will be edited very soon with more details. I just want to get the slides up here before speaking at the NJLA conference tomorrow. I am demonstrating SlideShare, a new addition to our Fantastic Freebies portfolio — one I learned about at CIL07!

Stay tuned for more… here are the slides:

April 23, 2007 at 11:18 pm 2 comments

Friday Fun!

This really has nothing to do with libraries, but I found it amusing… and it is interactive between an agency and the public, which is social and so sort of related to my interests in social software and technology and libraries…. and, anyway, it’s Friday, so… check this out:

You can vote on which Star Wars character will have his/her/their/its own sheet of stamps! You can vote once a day and you can vote for different characters each time. I’m not a big Star Wars fan even, but I have been having fun voting and I’m leaning toward Yoda myself!

Apparently, the USPS hasn’t been too keen on getting the public’s input in the past – according to the site, this is only the second time in history that fans will make the decision about which stamp will be issued.

The choice is in your hands. Time is running out.

April 20, 2007 at 11:15 am 6 comments

I’m off to see the conference…

It’s that time of year: The NJLA Conference!

The conference is one of my very favorite things! Last year was the first year that I found myself “behind the scenes” and I had the best time! I experienced the conference in a completely different way and got just as much, though different, things out of it! I had attended a few years prior to that strictly as an “attendee,” but last year, due to my involvement on the NJLA Information Technologies Section, and the NJLA Member Services Committee, I found myself much more involved.

I spent a lot of time welcoming people at the Hospitality Table – boy, that was fun! And a lot of time at the Podcasting Station, which was also fun and very exciting!

I hope you’ll stop by either one of those places, or both, if you’re coming to conference….

I’ll also be blogging the conference here for NJLA (really, I WILL! Which I intend to use to get back into blogging and stop being so lame!) so check it out! Really!

I hope to get to at least SOME of the programs – I am especially excited about:

  • Of course, the IT and YA Programs, particularly Cool Tools and Just Push Play! with Steve Garwood; Let’s Mambo at the Library, with Robert P. Rynkiewicz; and Harness the power of Social Software @ Your Library, with Liz Burns and Sophie Brookover!
  • Our own Janie L. Hermann will be presenting 15 Fantastic Freebies in 50 Minutes, which I’m sure is going to be packed!
  • And, especially the Helen Blowers presentations, Core Competencies, Core Values in the Era of Library 2.0 and Discovering Library 2.0 (Can you tell I’m a little bit tech-oriented!?)!

Gosh, I hope I can get to everything! That is usually the only criticism I hear and feel about the conference – too many good programs competing against each other in the same time slots!

One more invite: Lynn Schott and I will be hosting “Lunch Buddies” again at the conference – if you want people to eat lunch with, we’ll be gathering people at the Hospitality Table – so come see us!

April 20, 2007 at 10:44 am

Cool Collaboration Concepts–PBwiki & YackPack, and a Tumblr Example


How about engaging your students or patrons in real time by putting a YackPack Walkie-Talkie Widget on your library home page, your Facebook page, your online syllabus, your course Blogger blog, or your educational PBwiki?

This fun widget allows you to very easily put voice on any type of Web page, with no configuration or registration to do, no software to download, no money to spend—just one “push-to-talk” button widget embedded on your site and you have a web walkie-talkie for live voice chat from any Web page.

It is a very simple and easy way to connect local and remote individuals or groups together to collaborate or coordinate on just about anything, including students conducting or sharing research with a teacher, or students or patrons discussing database research tips or verifying APA citations with a librarian.

And YackPack has teamed up with another free resource provider, PBwiki, bringing voice chat/functionality to any of your PBwiki pages in less than a minute. CNET wrote a short, entertaining article on the Walkie-Talkie Widget and the PBwiki blog introduces the widget.

Janie Hermann, blogging from the Computers in Libraries 2007 Conference, mentioned Tumblr (and some other very interesting tools) in her “CIL 2007 Link Dump” post a few hours ago on Library Garden. I agree that it is something special for us to explore. If you go to our (Renee and Robert Lackie) Tumblr tumblelog (R&R Tumblr-ama), we posted a short video about the walkie-talkie widget on PBwiki pages. I think you will love PBwiki, the YackPack widget, and Tumblr!

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April 17, 2007 at 11:08 pm

CIL 2007 LInk Dump

Computers in Libraries is as awesome as always this year. Record attendance means standing room only at lot of sessions, hence my lack of live blogging (not to mention the rather sporadic wireless connection in certain rooms). Also, since I am giving 2 cybertours and a presentation, I need some down time.

Nonetheless, over the last few days I have jotted down lots of little scribbled notes, and as I look them over they are mostly the names of sites, apps and gadgets to play with later. Many of the sites I have heard about before and haven’t yet had time to explore, but there are also many that are new to me. I am posting all the links to everything (with my commentary). This is the list of what I plan to investigate more fully upon my return to reality and I need them here so that I don’t forget — and so that you can explore too.

In no particular order and from the multiple presentations over the last few days I now present “CIL 2007 Links Dump”:

Open Clip Art Library (one can never have too many options for finding public domain clip art)

Joomla! (Content Management)

MyBlogLog (get detailed stats about your blog)

Free Digital Photos (might be a good example for the Fantastic Freebies repertoire)

Podcast Pickle (too much fun to say … thanks Davc!)

Slideshare ( a trainer’s delight)

Pixer.us and Picnik (these will be the basis for a new class at PPL)

gvisit.com
(a little spooky in the level of detail, but oh so cool)

dbWiz
(Open Source Federated Searching — see it in action at SFU)

tumblr (John LeMasney gave a demo at my last Tech Talk… gotta take a serious look)

popurls
(I always want to stay current… this looks promising)

Podzinger (several mentions, worth investigating)

SuprGlu
(been on my radar for a long time, must play with it soon)

Okay… I have more, but I need to get some sleep as I am doing a cybertour tomorrow morning and presenting in the afternoon. I will edit this post with more links later.

April 17, 2007 at 9:11 pm

C U @ CIL07

My bags are packed and I am ready to head off in the “Nasy Nor’Easter” as the local weather station is calling the dreadful weather. It is going to be a long drive in the rain and wind, but I am so excited about the next 3 days that it does not matter.

My schedule is on the wiki (more or less what I expect to do) and I am staying at the Holiday Inn across from the Hyatt due to a mix-up with my reservation.

I am giving two cybertours and then Bob and I will have the honor of closing down the conference by speaking in the last slot on Wednesday. I am really excited about our session because we get to share it with two really cool presenters from PLCMC.

Safe travels to all who will be on the road or in the air to get to Crystal City!

April 15, 2007 at 9:42 am

God bless you Mr. Vonnegut

Listen: “Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.”

Listen: A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.”

Thanks Mr. Vonnegut. Thanks for giving me, “If this isn’t nice, what is.” and farting/tap-dancing aliens and ice-nine and Bokononism and grandfalloons. Thanks for karasses and duprasses and tralfalmadorians. Thanks for Kilgore Trout and Dwayne Hoover. Thanks for Billy Pilgrim. Thanks for Eliot Rosewater and Wanda June. Thanks for your honesty. Thanks for your humor. Thanks for your humanity.

Busy, busy, busy…
So it goes…
Goodbye.

April 13, 2007 at 10:12 am 1 comment

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