Archive for June, 2007
To me, Karaoke will always be known as the revolution that brought amateur singers out of their showers and into the limelight.
I’m not saying whether that was a good or bad thing… but local drinking establishments did clean up on it!
Singshot brings the karaoke movement for the glitz and glamour of your local dive-bar and onto the electrified waves of the Internet. No more smoke, no more booze, no more people to appreciate your erm… lovely voice which has yet to bring you fame or fortune. At the very least, perhaps a highlight real on American Idol’s audition episodes.
Singshot is an online community for singers who are looking for feedback from other singers. There are also groups and contests available to any member choosing to participate. The collection itself is not the best but there are literally thousands of songs to choose from and you will be able to find something in your range.
For the fun of it, I joined and tried the recording system. It was okay but could run into some serious lag issues as well; I mean, I know I wasn’t perfect, but I definitely wasn’t a whole measure out either. Once the lag was fixed though, I did post the song and got immediate feedback from people.
Uhhhh, let’s not talk about the feedback.
One of the better features on singshot is the webcam option, which has produced some rather funny vidoes. There really isn’t anything like watching the moment of a person trying to look their coolest and achieve rock-stardom… yet, completely failing to capture it.
A friend just sent me this fun site: The #1 Song on this Date in History.
It is easy to use and you can have lots of fun looking up what was #1 on the day you were born, the day you got married, or any other occasion.
For me, the #1 song on the day I was born was “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” by The Righteous Brothers. I have also looked up the #1 songs for everyone in my family. It is fun! Give it a try!
I think I am going to incorporate this site in to my Introduction to the Internet class (I just happen to be updating it this month). The song lists go back to 1890 so even older adults will be able to find their #1 song and it will be a fun exercise for practicing mouse skills, following links and scrolling.
So, now we can all share — What was the #1 song on the day you were born? (then we can all have fun guessing what year it was!)
News from Oregon Virtual Reference Summit 2007 – QandA and Ready Reference from Texting Google Mobile SMS (Beta)
I just recently returned from giving a keynote address on June 1, at the Oregon Virtual Reference Summit 2007. Caleb Tucker-Raymond, Oregon Statewide Digital Reference Services Coordinator, organized this wonderful conference that drew participants from Oregon, Washington, and California, but was mainly designed to bring together librarians who participate in L-net: Oregon Libraries Network. My plenary was called “I Was Kind of Confused b4” Interpersonal Communication Research in Virtual Reference” and I gave a workshop on “Exploring Encounters with Chat Users: Analyzing VR Transcripts.” I am willing to share ppt and handouts to LG readers if you send me an e-mail request. The plenary was videotaped and may be on the open web at some point, I will blog about it if/when this happens.
While at the conference, I attended a fascinating panel on: “What Students Need, What Schools Need.” This program brought together the viewpoints of middle and high school librarians, public librarians, and a delightful young junior high student who spoke about VR from the student perspective. After the panel, I congratulated her on her presentation, poise, and enthusiasm for VR. She mentioned that she had heard me speak in the plenary, but at first had not know what the word “plenary” meant, so she had sent a text to Google. I said: “You did WHAT???” She said: “I sent a text to Google (466453) and I put in define plenary and it gave me the definition.” I had her show me and saw that it also returns the URL where the answer was found on the web.
Some of you may already know about (or use!) this service (which is in Beta testing), but it was news to me! (It was also news to my 16 yr. old daughter, the text maven in our house, which helped me to decide to blog about this). Later one of the helpful L-net participants printed out the Google Mobile info page and I found out that not only are word definitions possible, but also you get info on weather, flight updates, movies, translations, currency conversions, driving directions, QandA and more. Google’s example for using their QandA is: abraham lincoln birthday. If any of you have tried this service out please leave a comment telling me what you asked and how it went!
Here we see Google testing the waters, as some libraries are doing, with text reference services. The latest start up I have heard of SMS for libraries was in Australia as reported on the dig_ref listserv this week by Colin J. Bain, Library Services Manager of Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane. Their SMS service just started this past Monday (June 4th) and Colin told me that they have only had 2 queries so far about library opening hours. Since they haven’t done any publicity yet, traffic will surely pick up.
Hmmm, now I am definitely going to have to spring for unlimited text messaging on my cell phone.
In the interest of being a member of the LG team, here goes my 8 revelations. Warning to all, the below is (almost) totally unrelated to librarianship. Abandon hope all ye who enter here!
1. If you have ever heard me speak, you may be surprised to learn that I had a bad lisp as a kid. My speech therapist advised me to take up public speaking to help overcome the lisp. Now I have a passion for public speaking and have had a career in teaching/librarianship (from Kindergarten through Doctoral courses and every grade level in between) and can’t get enough of either.
2. Following from the above, I admit that the famous YA advocate Mary K. Chelton, of Queens College, has (affectionately I hope!) dubbed me a “great big ham.” It fits.
3. After the lisp removal, I wore braces for 4 years in HS. Yuck! Today kids wear trendy colored braces in JH which are a status symbol of sorts. Not so then, when I endured being called “tin grin,” “can opener mouth,” (and worse unpleasantries that shall remain nameless). I must say, however, that this horrific experience made me a better person, especially later, when I was a school librarian with zero tolerance for vicious name calling or bullying.
4. Acting again on the advice of my speech therapist, I got involved in radio and had my own late night show for 4 years on the College of NJ (then Trenton State College) radio station, WTSR. My air name was “Me” and I played blues and rock n’ roll.
5. At WTSR (still WTSR 91.3 FM to this very day) I recollect that I once had a mad crush on another DJ whose show followed mine. I later found out he was gay (sigh). I should have known better, as his air name was “Peter Pan.” You can’t make this stuff up.
6. I am totally untalented when it comes to athletics, but I’ve been: an assistant cheerleading coach (to purge my intense dislike of cheerleaders, acquired in HS, see #3 above), a girl’s softball umpire, a scouting assistant to a HS football coach, and a choreographer for a HS production of Oklahoma.
7. I have never had the urge to do the following: ski, sky-dive, skateboard, bungee jump, or surf. But I have parasailed in Acapulco, ridden a motorcycle, refinished loads of antiques, and driven from NJ to Houston to cheer the Rutgers football team to its 1st bowl victory ever in the Texas Bowl last December.
8. I have had drinks with Umberto Eco at Erica Jong’s apartment. Read more about this story from my husband Gary’s point of view at his website (note the photo credit for the picture of Gary with Umberto!)
The follow-up meeting for those who attended the Mid-Atlantic Futures Conference takes place tomorrow morning at the Princeton Public Library. I’m really looking forward to it and I’m really excited about it. No doubt Pete, myself and others will have much to say!
You can finally check out the hand-outs and materials, etc. from the conference here!