Wednesday, July 30, 2008

NPR Reports on the Resurgence of Libraries

Stop the press! It's an NPR 'driveway moment.' All Things Considered featured a segment on how "Libraries Shine in Tough Economic Times."
It proved so popular with listeners that many responded the next day and were featured in "Letters: Resurgent Libraries".

With the down turn in the economy, patrons are coming back to the library in record numbers. If ever there was a need for libraries, now is the time.

What was most impressive was that the Library Director for Boyd County Public Library, Debbie Cosper, was working the reference desk while she was doing the interview with Melissa Block! Kudos for Cosper!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

LOLCat photo becomes famous!

My little LOL cat photo is only 4 days old and has become famous! It has been used in an article in NowPublic, a participatory news network which mobilizes an army of reporters to cover world events. The article is "I can haz lolcode?," by Rob Peters. It covers the efforts by to create a real computer language that is supported on multiple platforms. Enjoy!

Google Knol - a more serious challenger to Wikipedia

Google has come out with a potential Wikipedia killer. Its latest product, called Knol (short for knowledge), will require article writers to post their name. You will not be able to post anonymously. Others can edit your knol, but you can choose to accept, modify or reject any edits that others make. They predict multiple articles on the same topic with variances of opinion. The author can also choose to accept ads on their Knol. If they accept those ads, Google will compensate them substantially. Will this be World Book or Britannica killer? Probably not, unless it can really offer features that World Book, Encyclopedia Americana, and Encyclopedia Britannica excel at, such as outstanding graphics, maps, charts, timelines and video clips that easily explain difficult concepts.

I see it as a possible first stop for certain kinds of research. But it will not replace everything. It will be no replacement for the kind of in-depth research that would be available at your library. But many will attempt to use it for exactly that since it's easy. Doing real research is time consuming and as Americans who want instant achievement, Google Knol will satisfy the need of instant gratification.

For more information, check out Google unfurls less laughable Wikipedia, by Cade Metz in The Register.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Thing 30: LOLCats


more cat pictures

For this discovery exercise I got to know what LOLCats were all about. I've seen many of these photos in emails that friends have sent me but just didn't realize where they were being generated. Then when I explored many of the popular LOLCats sites I found where they originated. It's hard to believe that this Internet phenomenon has been around since 2005. It's been mentioned in Time Magazine, Wired, the New York Times, even Business Week and the Wall Street Journal!

Shown above is my favorite LOLCat, which is actually a collage of several in the 'Invisible' theme. Just in time for the Summer Olympics comes the Invisibl Olimpiks! I can just imagine these cats taking over gold, silver, and bronze medals.

I also created my own LOLcat using the LolCat Buildr. I've always thought the angry wet cat look left a lasting impression. The picture came from Then I just added Dr. Banner's famous line from the Incredible Hulk in LOLcatspeak and presto!! A great looking LOLcat. Meow!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

SnagFilms - Documentaries Finally Have Distribution

For too long it has been a challenge for creators of documentaries to have access to a distribution network to get their films to the audience that would like to see them. But SnagFilms has changed all of that. You can watch the documentaries for free and you can also place them as a widget on your web page or blog or other places that accept them.

That means that advocacy groups would benefit from the documentaries that support their cause. That also means for libraries, another way to assist patrons with access to non-fiction videos that they might not otherwise have in their collection. These are professionally made documentaries. They are not the garage filmmaker kind that you would find on YouTube. These you will find at the Sundance Film Festival and are produced by the likes of National Geographic, PBS, and IndiePix. SnagFilms is to documentaries as Project Gutenburg is to books. A great resource. Check out Jefferson Graham's article, "SnagFilms gives documentaries an online outlet" in the USAToday for more details.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Thing 29 : Scrapblog - Online Scrapbooking

I have really enjoyed getting to know about Scrapblog. It took me a while because when I read "favorite" books in the exercise description I panicked! I thought--I have so many favorites! So I decided to do the most influential books instead. When I read these 5 classics they influenced everything else that I enjoy reading. I have also posted the scrapblog to Flickr. They are tagged as "scrapblogbooks." There was a slight glitch, when I tried to share/post to Flickr directly from Scrapblog it only seemed to load the first page. So I exported all the slides as .JPGs to my PC and then uploaded them to Flickr. No problem.

I can really see using Scrapblog in many different ways to showcase what the library is doing. What a way to jazz up your branch photos. Also they can be used for PR to showcase a program you want to feature, to commemorate library volunteers, retirees, or staff functions. You could even highlight your trip to ALA or Internet Librarian! They could even be used as prizes for summer reading or any other library contest.
Over all, Scrapblog is a very useful tool.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Could Google's Lively Be the Next Second Life?

Although still in Beta, Google's 3D Virtual World called Lively could be the next Second Life. You still have to download the software to use it, like Second Life, but it allows you to make widgets of your avatar and room and place them on your website or blog--making it web-based. You will only need Flash and a small plug-in for it to work. Do I sense a new craze coming our way? Only time will tell. Get more details in Matt Vella's article, "Live from Lively, Google's New 3D Virtual World," in Business Week or Garett Rodgers' article "Google's Secret Project Turns Out to Be Second Life," on ZDNet.

Online Games Article for The Gaming Zone

I have written an overview of Online Games for the Gaming Zone Blog. It defines online gaming and terminology, role playing games (RPGs), servers (shards), payment options, and web-based online games. Enjoy!


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