Posts tagged ‘Fantastic Freebies’

Firefox 3.0 Is Here (almost)

Just a quick reminder, the new Firefox 3.0 will be available to download tomorrow, June 17, 2008. The new version has been ‘improved’ to include one-click bookmarking (is it really too complicated now?), phishing and malware protection, new productivity tools, and the ability to customize.

It will be interesting to see how well the roll-out goes. Now that Mozilla and Firefox are so much better known than in the past, will the ‘improved’ product be as exciting? My own experience of products I love being ‘improved’ has been poor–generally a loved product becomes something so different I change brands. With technology, improvements and upgrades make more sense than say with deodorant, soI hope that is true with this!

They are trying to create a world record for the most software downloads in a day. If you download tomorrow as part of the world-record quest, let us know how it goes. Me, I will wait a few days….

June 16, 2008 at 3:30 pm 1 comment

Vote now for the Webware 100 Awards 2008

All of the finalists for the Webware 100 have been announced and polls are now open for voting. I have found several new sites and applications to play with already and plan to spend some more time this week and next exploring before I cast my votes. You can view the finalists in one handy alphabetical list or by category on the ballot form. Even if you don’t plan to vote, this is a great list to help you stay current and find new “freebies” to use at work or home.

The contest, now in its second year, is organized by CNET and has an interesting companion blog. Voting will run until March 31 and winners will be announced on April 21. Almost a million votes have been cast in the first few days alone according to their vote tracker.

March 6, 2008 at 12:45 pm

Free Web Based Conferences—Perfect for poor library studies students everywhere…

As a library science student, I hear about all kinds of great conferences, but I can not afford them. Some recent grads have told me that now that they can afford more conferences, they have far less time to attend them. I recently found out there are a number of online ‘conferences’ that are free of charge.

Yes free—really and truly free!

I thought I should take one for a test drive. The Library of Congress offers a free web conference orientation to their website each month. Despite this being a regular source of note in a variety of my reference classes, I have always found the site too big to search well and much better suited to browsing. Maybe this orientation would be the key to making http://www.loc.gov/ a regular go-to source for me. To be honest, I didn’t hold out much hope, it was after all FREE…

I am not sure where I heard about this conference—an email to be sure, but I don’t remember who sent it. I clicked a link, picked a date and waited. Within 24 hours, I had received an e-mail conformation from Judith Graves, Digital Project Coordinator—not an automated response, but an e-mail that actually included useful information, including contact information!

On my originally scheduled date, I had no cable, which meant I had no internet. I later sent a note to Judith who kindly and happily rescheduled me immediately—no need to re-register or do any additional work. How rare and handy is that!

Last week, I finally participated in the one-hour orientation. It was fun, information and interactive. Participants could ask questions in real-time using a chat function. I learned some interesting things: Did you know LOC was using Flickr? (find out more on the LOC Blog). Like the initial customer service, it was a positive and helpful experience. I would recommend anyone with an hour to spare look into the orientation—it is offered each month. I still feel the site is better suited to browsing, but with practice, I can see some good public library applications and uses.

But wait, there’s more!
One of the best outcomes from this event is that I found out about Online Programming for All Libraries—a listing of on-line library events taking place which are free. While I am sure many librarians already know about this, it is new to me. I asked around at Rutgers and most of the students did not know about it either, so I thought it worth noting.

Here is a sample of the LOC online series of programs:
Mar 12 – Early scrapbooks and the women who created them
April 9 – Poetry
May 14 – Jefferson’s Library
June 11 – All History Is Local in a Digital World

There is plenty more including book discussion groups, lectures and chat sessions with library professionals, and multi-part presentation series. A diverse group of libraries and librarians contribute content to OPAL. You can find it all on their schedule. Be sure to check out the archives as well—I am looking forward to finding the time to look at the ‘Six Weeks to a Social Library’ series.

Let me know what you think of these freebies….

February 19, 2008 at 9:12 am 2 comments

Slides from NJLA Spring Conference

Bob Keith and I gave a new version of our Fantastic Freebies presentation on April 24th at the NJLA Spring Conference. It was our first attempt to cover 15 Freebies in fifty minutes — we usually do this as a 90 minute or 2 hour presentation. Due to schedules, Bob and I did not have time for a complete run through before going live — a little nerve wracking. We incorporated a lot more screen shots than we normally do and limited the number of live demos and the presentation came in at 47 minutes, so we even had 3 minutes for questions at the end.

As promised to the participants, the slides are now archived on SlideShare and also being posted here for easy access:

Since doing this version of Fantastic Freebies we have found several more possibilities that we will use the next time around to keep it fresh, current and relevant.

May 4, 2007 at 4:13 pm


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