Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Soothe me

I've got a headache now. I need something soothing:

I found this in the Widgets bit of the Web 2.0 Awards site

Ta derrrrrrrrrrrrr

Just made a quick trip to Tada list - another log in - two items in a list. Hmmm.
For just me - why not just write it in my diary like I always do?
If I was doing something with others? Perhaps . . . perhaps not.

Big poll question - give it a go



I had hoped to just be able to cut and paste from the googledoc I did but I emailed it to the SLNSW and myself several minutes ago and it still hasn't come.

I've just realised I haven't closed the googledocs thing and can just copy from there:
This document seems almost pointless - it's only going to you, Ellen - no offence intended. I can see how these things can be useful for collaborating on documents but what are the differences between googledocs/zoho type services and wikis? When / why would we use one over the other?

Another week where I'm a bit underwhelmed yet overwhelmed by the amount of stuff out there - looked at the CML Learn and play site which has a link to a Web 2.0 Awards site - http://www.seomoz.org/web2.0 it boasts 174 Web 2.0 Sites in 41 Categories - and these are only those deemed to be the best . . . there are literally thousands out there.

I can see that Zamzar might be useful - I can't open powerpoint files at home, I usually have to forward them to myself at home so it will be interesting to see if I can find something that will convert the powerpoint file to something I can look at. Probably won't get one for ages now . . .

The slideshow had Tada List - for to do lists - an incurable list-maker I will have to give it a go.

And doodle - my group of school mums might be able to use it for arranging a night out - instead of the 458 emails that go back and forth - only trouble is I've only just introduced them to the idea of using a wiki for that kind of organising as per the video we watched - introducing something else at this stage may cause a few heads to explode!

Now I'm going to close the browser and see if I can find it again . . .

OK so, signed in to Google I click on more at the top left and then on documents - easy!

Now I'm off to test drive a few of the apps - doodle and Tada I think.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Using Gurulib

So in the short time since my last post I have exported my LibraryThing database, created a Gurulib account, made a screen dump and saved it as a jpeg file and am currently importing my LibraryThing books into Gurulib. Easy!

Initially I didn't think it was going to work - look at the page I got. Check out how long until it thinks it'll have downloaded the stuff (6 days, 23 hours, 56 minutes, 57 seconds)!!!

Budge over LibraryThing, but to where?

I started adding books to Good Reads yesterday. It's quite easy to use but it doesn't have any tagging or any other indexing facility that I can see and I can't quite cope with that (spending too much time with the bearded one me thinks). I'd like something where I can have the already reads, the currently reading and the will-read-when-I-can in separate categories. I'd like something I can tag.

The Fiction_L list has come up trumps again with mention of an article called Social Sites for Book Lovers which very usefully appraises several sites. The author comes down in favour of Shelfari. It doesn't mention Gurulib though which I liked previously because it allows you to enter other media like DVDs and music. The article mentions that you can export your lists from one library to the other - makes life a whole lot easier and a little less tied to the computer.

I think at this stage, I'm going to abandon Good Reads and look at Shelfari and Gurulib again.

Oooh, I hate having to make choices.

Mair tattie tales

Having spent a fair time puddling about with web 2.0 and ignoring the trolley of cataloguing at the side of my desk this week, I'd PROMISED myself I would knuckle down and get through said cataloguing . . .

However, my beloved side-kick here has been doing Week 10 and asking me questions and I've got sucked in big time. We've had quite a giggle. She'll hate me telling you this (sotto vocce), but she Warhol-ed herself and ended up with a fabulous beard. All shredded now sadly . . .

Thought I'd let you know about two other mashup things while I remembered.

First up is AutoMotivator. Similar to the Motivator in Big Huge Labs. Helps you create posters. How creative could we get at work? Very I think.

Here's one I prepared earlier:

The second is Wordle. Have I mentioned it before? Take a muckle great wad of text and put it in Wordle and see what happens.

This is how To a Louse came out:

Now, isn't that so much easier to read??

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Budge over LibraryThing

Peeps, I've stumbled across another record your books thing. This one is called Good Reads.

An American librarian, Patti, wrote about it on the Fiction_L list. I'm sure she won't mind me showing you what her Good Reads page looks like here. As you can see you don't just record what you have read, you can list what you'd like to read - for me sitting down here in Cataloguing, with all that yummy new fiction coming across my desk, that list gets bigger every day.
There's a networking element to this one too so you can see what your friends are reading. Might send you an email sometime soon?

I'm off to give it a go and will then add another widget gadget.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Champit literature

Is Literature Map a mashup?

I think it's one of the coolest RA sites whatever it is.

Champit tatties*

*(scots. - mashed pototoes - as in haggis, neeps and champit tatties as eaten at a traditional Burns Supper. Yummmmmm).

Lots to look at again this week. But it was fun and interesting.

Had a read of the wikipedia description of mashups first and looked at all the different sites. Thought the AlertMap was great. There's a "locust and other beetle infestation" at Temora right now! Great site for kids doing their 'disasters' projects.

Also impressive was CLEARMAP, in use by the Chicago Police to record and warn citizens of crime levels in their area. Useful for statisticians, politicians, sociologists and students for up-to-date and retro info. on crime. Wonder if any local police services are doing similar things? Didn't like the google maps do-it-yourself one though; too open to nefarious posts I should think - people trying to make up crime stats to suit their own purposes (see politicians above!).

Diaroogle - what a sensible site I thought, then I read it's mission statement - "It's for the discerning, on-the-go defecator who is brave enough to use a public bathroom, but still demands a hygienic and private bathroom experience." Hmmmm. That aside Diaroogle does help you find quality public toilets from your mobile phone. Handy. Compare it to the National Public Toilet Map, an initiative of former Liberal government minister, Bronwyn Bishop - with that one you have to check out the loos and try and estimate which one you'll need to use BEFORE you go out. Indeed the site acknowledges this - there is a Trip Planner to make life easier.

What a hoot the Big Huge Labs are. I've made a little brag book of the new babies for my daughter to take to school, and a dice on the same theme. And here's me by Andy Warhol. Quite fancy myself in the MOMA.

See my library poster? The boss has already ordered A3 copies from the printer so expect one in your boxes soon.

London : a life in maps. Love it. Can see the Local History boy having fun doing something like that. Have bookmarked it to really pour over later. Need to hurry before we're disconnected at 2pm.

The Public Library finder has obvious relevance to our lot. Anyone doing that in Oz?

When you have a spare several hours, have a look at The Generator Blog. There's hundreds of things to play with. One recent one is The Lazy Bloggers Post which I've already flagged before.

Sign language

The Sign Language pages from the UK's Daily Telegraph had me laughing out loud.

There is more than just one sign each week; see there are more to scroll through at the top right hand side of the page. To go to a previous week click on Related articles under the scrolly thing or on the Last week's sign language link under the main picture.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I found this on Unshelved (cartoon about a library - great fun for your RSS feed)

It seems Cedar Mill Community Library makes a regulat habit of naming their trolleys.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Rene Decart is my favourite I think. The Ramona one had me baffled. What about you?

Can we come up with some fun names for ours?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Week 9

Podcasting - looks like there could be uses in the library, but would have liked more on how to do it for yourself and tips to avoid doing rubbish. Here's a blog about what to be wary of with podcasts : 6 reasons I'm not hooked on podcasts. Some sound advice for us if we choose to go down this path.

I noticed that the Library Success wiki page had a How to bit but several of the entries made reference to ringing a number and recording your podcast. Surely not? - might be a job for someone . . . sometime . . .

I'm a bit confused about the use of podcasting in some cases. I can see how they would be great for storytelling, etc. but for promoting library events? I think I'd really prefer to just read about the next great project. And you'd have to make sure the person doing the podcast had an appealing voice - use a monotone and it'd be a mono audience.

However, having looked at OCLS and LibVibe and the others, I can see how literary talks, storytelling and book reviews could be a good idea. And several people suggested using them for recording Living Books. As an online education tool they would be useful too. I liked on the OCLS site that you can download for your MP3/ipod etc, and/or watch it on video for some topics ~ I would have liked it even more if the link had opened and I'd been able to watch it. What a shame LibVibe seems to have stopped in June although the narrator illustrates my point above regarding annoying voices! I listened to a little bit of a podcast from Cheshire Public Library where they are using podcasts to give the local youth a voice - great idea - allows the kids to showcase their talents and air their views. This project is teen-driven.

While in the ABC site I could've gone mad - oh how careful you'd have to be about your download limits. I must admit though, I'm a little confused there too because the ABC had stuff about RSS feeds - can I use my bloglines RSS feeder or not? If not, I'll have to wait till I get home to subscribe to a podcast feeder. What I was really interested in was the ABC's new iView service but couldn't get it to work - not enough bandwidth for it I think - but could this be the start of something entirely new?

[One of the downsides of all this web 2.0 stuff is all the different things you have to join up to ~ I'm considering a spreadsheet to record them all, I'm loath to use the same login and password all the time but the number I have to remember is getting unwieldy and I'm running out of room at the back of my diary!]

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

There's nothing more nauseating than an ex-pat in full flight!

It's official, The Guardian Books Blog is my favourite blog and Carol Rumens my favourite contributor.

Why? She's promoting Robert Burns' To a Louse as the Poem of the Week.

Ms Rumens writes "His mastery is exhibited in this week's poem, "To a Louse", chosen in preference to the equally delightful but extremely well-known "To a Mouse". The speaker's tone here is understandably less tender to the object of his address. The movement of the verse is wonderfully tetchy and jumpy. But as the argument develops, we see that Jeanie's airs and graces are mocked by her unsavoury guest. And of course, Burns sneaks in a neat touch of anti-clericalism for good measure. Readers wishing to enjoy more of the bard in Calvinist-baiting vein may like to sample Holy Willie's Prayer - with the help of Michaelian's Glossary, of course."

To A Louse

On Seeing One On A Lady's Bonnet, At Church

Ha! whaur ye gaun, ye crowlin ferlie?
Your impudence protects you sairly;
I canna say but ye strunt rarely,
Owre gauze and lace;
Tho', faith! I fear ye dine but sparely
On sic a place.

Ye ugly, creepin, blastit wonner,
Detested, shunn'd by saunt an' sinner,
How daur ye set your fit upon her-
Sae fine a lady?
Gae somewhere else and seek your dinner
On some poor body.

Swith! in some beggar's haffet squattle;
There ye may creep, and sprawl, and sprattle,
Wi' ither kindred, jumping cattle,
In shoals and nations;
Whaur horn nor bane ne'er daur unsettle
Your thick plantations.

Now haud you there, ye're out o' sight,
Below the fatt'rels, snug and tight;
Na, faith ye yet! ye'll no be right,
Till ye've got on it-
The verra tapmost, tow'rin height
O' Miss' bonnet.

My sooth! right bauld ye set your nose out,
As plump an' grey as ony groset:
O for some rank, mercurial rozet,
Or fell, red smeddum,I
'd gie you sic a hearty dose o't,
Wad dress your droddum.

I wad na been surpris'd to spy
You on an auld wife's flainen toy;
Or aiblins some bit dubbie boy,
On's wyliecoat;
But Miss' fine Lunardi! fye!
How daur ye do't?

O Jeany, dinna toss your head,
An' set your beauties a' abread!
Ye little ken what cursed speed
The blastie's makin:
Thae winks an' finger-ends, I dread,
Are notice takin.

O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An' foolish notion:
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us,
An' ev'n devotion!

Notes: ferlie= a wonder or marvel
wonner=a wonder (contemptuous)
haffet=lock of hair at the temple
breech, aiblins=perhaps
toy=woman's old-fashioned cap with ear-flaps
wyliecoat=flannel vest.

And here's the YouTube clip (not the best quality in the audio but it'll give you the gist of it)

Monday, October 13, 2008

On a personal note . . .

In the past few days I have become the wife of a grandfather (I am having great difficulty coming to terms with my husband calling himself Grandad so be nice to me)

Jono, Narelle and
Fraser George Colquhoun
(born 9th October 2008)

and an aunt again . . .

Me, my sister Karen and
Xavier Christian Hale
(born 12th October 2008)

What a busy girl I've been!

Here's a slideshow of the weans :

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ho hum

I'm completely underwhelmed by both Yahoo Answers and WikiAnswers. At the risk of sounding like a complete fuddy duddy I don't like them at all.

I can see danger Will Robinson! I took a look at the health bit in WikiAnswers - Danger, Danger. How can proper answers be given to simple questions? Health professionals, like librarians, need to ask several questions and listen carefully to the answers to understand the question being asked and to give an answer in terminology pitched at the right level for the asker.
I applaud the efforts of the librarians 'slamming the boards'. Oh what a teeny weeny drop in a muckle great bucket though. We as a profession certainly need to ensure we promote the use of reliable Ask a Librarian type services, as several colleagues have noted we seem to deal with fewer reference questions in the library nowadays and the quality of answers out there can be abysmal.

Some of the questions were so purile!

I put in one question in WikiAnswers and I've already got 101 points. What's that all about?

I noted in WikiAnswers that there seems to be no clear indication of where answers end and commentary/feedback begins, eg: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_can_you_learn_good_table_manners
The last answer/comment made me smile though : Good table manners are learned from one's parents or nanny. If they have failed in that duty then you should purchase a suitable book on the subject. (I can see that person so very very clearly in my minds's eye!!! ) I hope my children get a nanny soon because I feel I have very little influence; no matter how hard I try mealtimes still seem like the monkey's tea party.

I did like the Taste website though. And good, reputable publishers behind the recipes.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Starz Bunnies

My sons got me on to Starz Bunnies; fun 30-second animated retelling of great movies - all starring bunnies, or as we call them in our house, runny babbits.

Here's a sample: