The Digital Me

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Week 9, Thing 23

I've finally reached the finish line, and it's been a long tough trip. I have learned quite a bit, been frustrated a number of times, and had to try really hard to find the extra time to work on this project. In spite of the title of this post, I think I'm actually well past week 12 (16?!).

The one thing that I found truly useful for the way I live and work is RSS. It would be at its most useful if tied into a web browser that is RSS friendly and not through Bloglines, but I still like the concept of having content pulled to me instead of my searching for it (or even visiting multiple sites to get it).

As for the experience as a whole, while I learned plenty and consider this to have been a useful exercise, it was very difficult to find the time to do the work. Part of the problem is my strong need for a formal structure (I'd never pursue online degree work), which is just exacerbated by my busy work schedule. Quite a bit of the work I did while at the branch was actually after my shift ended. I would have to think strongly before volunteering to take part in a similarly structured training opportunity.

In spite of my difficulty with the program, I know a umber of folks who flourish with just such a program (a few have completed degrees online). Because of this, I would never dismiss the concept. It just has to do with learning styles and scheduling.

Week 9, Thing 22

Overdrive is a great service for libraries to offer. Although the circulation of books on CD and, to a lesser extent, books on tape are still high, digital audio formats are slated to replace them. Like we did in moving from LPs to cassettes to CDs, we need to continue to migrate to the media that are dominant and used. Otherwise we should just get out of the way. This is a solid use of technology that libraries can adopt (and obviously many already have).

I was very pleased to find a BBC full-cast performance of a Wodehouse Jeeves title! I'd definitely be interested in downloading this, as well as the other traditional narrated Wodehouse audio books.

Week, 9, Thing 21

I have listened to a small number of podcasts before, but never used a podcast directory; I've always known where to find the podcasts in which I am interested (i.e. podcasts of shows I regularly listen to). These directories definitely open up a wider world; my searches brought back hundreds of results. Not all were on target, or things I'd be interested in, but still I did find some gems.

In keeping with the name of my blog, I searched for opera podcasts, selected and listened to an extract of a Puccini opera ("La Boheme" with Pavarotti and Freni), but could not find an RSS feed. Because I knew that "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me", an NPR show, has an RSS feed, I subscribed to it.

Week 9, Thing 20

I've looked a YouTube a few times when someone has suggested I check out a video or two. It's interesting, but mindlessly so. There may be a good use for it, but much of it is just pointless and silly, not that there is not a need for such things (God knows we need more levity in this world). I do find it intriguing, however, that folks can share things so readily, especially across oceans!

YouTube and its ilk are a good creative outlet for folk with that bug. They make it much easier and cheaper to produce and share videos. I can see it helping musicians to get their music out their without having to rely on the traditional method of convincing someone at a record company to take a chance on them. Although I can't think of an example, I know there are bands who have taken this route and actually become successful as a result.

Week 8, Thing 19

I Checked out Yahoo's Upcoming, which provides events listings for a location you specify. You can also search by band, type of event, etc...

It was okay, a good place to start if you have the time to explore. It's big weakness is that it does not allow you to filter by type of event or even musical genre; you just get it all. When I searched by a musical genre for the Baltimore area (opera, of course), it brought up operas, but also events taking place at the Lyric Opera House that were far from opera. It obviously uses a very simple keyword searching. I would also like to see at least basic details about each performance. It is still necessary to go to the venue's website to get even a basic idea of what the event is if you've never heard of the band or play, etc... Sad to say, this was the first place winner in its category. Still more work to do folks!

Week 8, Thing 18

I found Zoho to be interesting, and quite intuitive based on my experience with Word and Wordperfect. I can see a use for people who do not always work in the same spot, especially if they are working on collaborative projects. If one is working independently, I'd think that a laptop would answer most needs as far as taking work documents along on the trip, but it does not facilitate easy collaboration. E-mail attachments are all well and fine, but have their limitations in a truly collaborative, back-and-forth, working relationship.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Week 7, Thing 17

I had some difficulty with the Sandbox, specifically with the "Point and Click" edit feature. It didn't work, so I had to revert to the classic mode. I was able to limp along, although I have no knowledge of HTML. I basically just copied the code from previous postings, and it seemed to work. No room for creativity on my part, however.

If things had worked as advertises, I would have probably completed the exercise much quicker than I did. The floundering wasted a bit of time.