Archive for August, 2007

Happy Blog Day 2007!

Today is the 3rd Annual Blog Day and I thought I would play along by listing my 5 “new and/or interesting” blogs. I won’t be giving much of a description for each blog I list due to a time crunch (aka packing for a vacation at Disney) and I will not be blogging again until mid-September at the earliest. I am leaving my laptop behind and unplugging for the entire vacation. Without further ado, my five “Blog Day Blogs”:

Cupcake Bakeshop by Chockylit — I love everything about cupcakes, especially experimenting with new recipes. I also love to read about them and Cupcake Bakeshop gives me lots of visuals to see the process. I actually follow more than one cupcake blog and I have to say that I read and adore Cupcakes Take the Cake equally as well. So many cupcakes, so little time.

Sandusky History — I received an email earlier this week from Dorene Paul, Reference Assistance at Sandusky Library in Ohio, that led me to a wonderful local history blog that is “inspired by the collections of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center and Follett House Museum”. The photos are fascinating, the accompanying stories are engaging. This is local history done right!

Trashionista — Great for keeping up with chick-lit on both sides of the pond. They have a great tagline too: “We read books like they’re going out of fashion”.

MomsRising Blogs -MomsRising is a grassroots, online effort that has a goal of “bringing millions of people who all share a common concern about the need to build a more family-friendly America” and they have several bloggers helping to move their cause forward.

The Gadget Blog — There are lots of gadget blogs that I check and read regularly, some well-known and others that are not. Keeping up with the world of gadgets is important to my job, even if my budget can rarely afford the newest and the coolest.

See everyone again in a few weeks — enjoy the Labor Day weekend!

August 31, 2007 at 9:15 am 1 comment

Nicole Engard to headline 8th Season of Tech Talks at PPL!

This talk is free and open to everyone — registration not required.

If you live within driving distance, consider joining us we kick off the 8th season of Tuesday Technology Talks at Princeton Public Library with Nicole Engard.

Full details can be found on the newly migrated Tech Talk blog.

August 28, 2007 at 4:18 pm

How addicted are you?

Found via TTW — I couldn’t resist taking the quiz and am surprised at my score!

87%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Mingle2Dating Site

August 26, 2007 at 1:07 pm 1 comment

Magical Mystery Tour Wiki Link

As requested, here’s the link to the Wiki that supports the Magical Mystery Tour: http://librarygarden.pbwiki.com

My Flickr set from the day is available here.

My 15 minutes was focused on getting across the concept of RSS. I did a powerpoint (also up on slideshare.) All of my supporting information is up on the wiki here: librarygarden.pbwiki.com/Pete’s+Favorites.

We’re doing a repeat performance next Thursday (and then Barbequing at Chateau Bromber’) so if anyone has any recommendations or feedback to improve my RSS presentation I’m all ears. Grilling tips are also appreciated.

August 23, 2007 at 5:15 pm

History is Made!


Bloggers of Library Garden
Originally uploaded by janielianne

Today the bloggers of Library Garden had an historic first — we all finally got together in real life. This photo captures the first time that the entire blog team was assembled in one place at the same time since we began blogging about 18 months ago. We have had 3 or 4 of us together in a room before now, but never all six. In fact, this the first time that Amy and Marie have met face-to-face.

The occasion? A little something we call The Magical Mystery Tour, which will be repeating again next week in South Jersey and later this fall in the Highlands. Full links and details to follow… it was a great day. Thanks to everyone from CJRLC who joined us this morning for some Web 2.0 fun.

August 22, 2007 at 2:28 pm 4 comments

Mashups and Other New or Improved Collaborative Social Software Tools

Following up on two articles–both available at robertlackie.com/ under the “Selected Online Materials” page–published in late 2006 on Web 2.0 and social networking sites of interest to librarians and teachers, a colleague of mine at Rider University and I (Robert D. Terrio and Robert J. Lackie) just published another article in MultiMedia & Internet@Schools magazine continuing the discussion of practical free tools and technologies that teacher-librarians are currently using.


This article, “Mashups and Other New or Improved Collaborative Social Software Tools,” has just become available in HTML full text within the EBSCO Academic Search Premier database and soon in PDF within Wilson databases as well as at the MMISchools.com site. The goal of our article was…

…to continue the discussions of practical Web 2.0 tools and social networking sites that have been brought up in this magazine and at recent school librarian conferences and to highlight other collaborative tools and exciting developments in free Web 2.0 social software, items we will categorize as “Useful Collaborative Tools” and “Practical Mashups.”

We see that librarians and other educators are continuing to learn about and integrate Web 2.0 technologies and collaborative tools in practical and worthwhile ways, and we think it’s very exciting to be a part of it! We hope that you will take the time to read the article, check out the sites, explore the references, and share these and your opinions with all of us.

Additionally, if integrating Web 2.0 into the classroom or library is new to you, read, watch, listen to, and play with many of the interesting resources listed at the Web 2.0 info site of Kathy Schrock, one of my favorite authors and presenters, and continue to come back and visit us at the Library Garden for more discussions, communication, sharing, and creating of valuable content to and ideas for librarians and other educators!

Technorati Tags: collaboration, communication, Library Garden, mashups, social software, web 2.0

August 21, 2007 at 3:43 am

The Future of Gaming

I am part of the original gaming generation. I can remember when I was six years old, my father bought my mom an Atari for her birthday. I can remember becoming one of the first players to be printed in Atari magazine’s 20,000 Pitfall club. The Christmas that I was eleven, Santa brought me a Nintendo and my brother a Sega… and I still consider Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out! one of the greatest and hardest games ever created.

And my 19 month-old daughter has followed in her father’s gaming footsteps already as she asks to sit and watch me play the Wii.

Video games are experiencing some of the greatest success since the Arcade days. And to call it a reborn fad for our kids would be greatly misunderstanding just how far the passion for gaming goes. According to the ESA’s 2006 Sales, Demographic and Usage Data report, the average age of gamers is 33. In fact, 25% of gamers are over the age of 50. As much as we like to portray games as a child’s play, there is little that is childish about it. Video games are a part of our society at all levels. Overall, video games took in just under $10 billion dollars last year. I have a guess that the overwhelming success that the Nintendo Wii has with casual gamers will put it over that milestone this year.

By the way, that $10 billion is just for the United States; worldwide is estimated around $38 billion (not including consoles).

And as a self-proclaimed First Generation Gamer, the changes we’ve already seen in games have been awesome to witness. Games have changed from running-to-the-right scrollers into entire virtual worlds, and there seems to be a virtual world for just about any enthusiast. The controllers have changed from a joystick and a single button into eight button and directionals that can control all three dimensions. And let’s not forget motion sensitive controllers, like the Wii, to specialized controllers like Guitar Hero and the upcoming Rock Band. Perhaps the most amazing thing is that a game’s storyline has changed from unbending objectives into flexible stories that allow the player to choose their own story lines, decisions and really make the character their own. Because of these developments, game manufacturers are finding renewed interest and new players in the gaming culture.

So where does it all go from here? I’m not sure, but I have some guesses.

Obviously, graphics and sound will continue to improve. The dropping prices of surround sound systems will influence how players and game developers use sound in the gaming experience. As TVs continue to move towards better picture quality, console makers will be sure to be on the cutting edge with them.

The casual gamer will continue to influence the development of console gaming, price and strategy-wise. If there is anything that Xbox and PS3 have learned from the current sales-war, it is that even the most passive gamer is willing to spend a little money for a couple hours of enjoyment.

Games will become more about buying the right to play rather than levels. What do I mean? Think in terms of World of Warcraft; you buy the software and the ability to create characters but the game itself is housed online. Game developers are going to start using this for console games as well, thus allowing them to continually add and improve the games as the characters grow. So your game is not limited to the hardware it is housed on. The advantage of doing this is that your story lines never have to end and, for all intents and purposes, the character will live as long as you do.

Social networks and support groups will continue to play major roles. World of Warcraft is as much about the people you play with as it is about the game. People join groups in the virtual world and it is like a sacred bond. Real world friendships and even marriages have resulted from WoW meetings. As games continue to allow players to flesh out their own characters, the socialization platforms that come with the games will be used in the same ways as Facebook and Myspace, perhaps stronger.

Games will continue to influence education and professional training. Games like Trauma Center are a lot of fun (the player is a surgeon who performs everything from removing cysts to heart surgery) but they have a greater potential if applied to the medical field. The military uses a gaming interface to help train their soldiers for life-or-death situations. From a marketing perspective this is a major yet-to-be-tapped resource but one with serious profits if they make the right games.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again; I love the age I am growing up in. It’s not just gaming revolution, it is evolution. We’re going from static to dynamic and creating games that are not just one-dimensional stories but true interactive experiences.

So, if you are not part of the gaming culture, I recommend you check it out… there is something for everyone. And if you are, I hope we meet in the virtual worlds.

Incidentally, if you are ever smitten by someone named Rex Libris in the virtual world, I apologize now.

August 15, 2007 at 9:45 am 5 comments

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