Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Week 12: Videos/Youtube

To start, a recent fav video. It should make you laugh.

Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop With No Keyboard

I spend too much time on Youtube, mostly watching old music videos from years gone by. But, I find it's useful for other things, like bicycle repair and clips of Family Guy. I think Youtube is an amazing site, but I am often disappointed with the quality of the videos, which might have to do with limitations in file size. Another problem is that videos can't be longer than 10 minutes, which means many videos have to be uploaded in segments. The good news is that uploading and finding content is simple. Subscriptions and favorites are useful too.
Week 11- Podcasting and Audio Files

My fav podcaster, from Boston, stopped podcasting a couple of years ago. I am finally over that. In the early days, I used Juice to d/l podcasts, but have now moved on to iTunes. I have subscribed to lots of stuff, including NPR's All Songs Considered, which is awesome, most of the time. I have yet to subscribe to any "useful" podcasts and am sticking to music. I am sure that there are lots of library-related podcasts, or maybe there aren't?
Week 10: Browser Tools

I hated Lib-X until I discovered F9 and could reclaim some lost space. In fact, the thing I dislike most about toolbars is that they eat up some precious screen real estate. But, F9 makes me happy, as it makes the Lib-X toolbar vanish, until I hit F9 again. On the serious side, I often wonder how many of our students have loaded Lib-X or are aware of what it can do for them.

I like Cooliris, but I wish there was a way to moderate the speed of slide shows. I asked the folks at Cooliris some time ago, and they said that was in the plans.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Week 9: Social Networks

My Facebook profile is here:

Brian Cameron's Profile | Create Your Badge
Brian Cameron's Facebook profile

Despite getting some bad press from privacy people, I really like Facebook, though I never expected to like it. It's an efficient way of keeping up with family and friends. I have no bad stories. I think the privacy settings allow for control over who sees what and how much, but I am aware that anything you load might be there forever and others could pass it along. So, be careful about that.

I recently started using Twitter, but the jury is still out on that one. I feel oddly constrained by 140 characters.
Week 8: Working with Google Applications

I use Google Docs quite often, mostly to share documents with people at other universities. Recently, my co-presenter shared her portion of our OLA presentation with me on Google Docs. This way, we could keep up with what each other's progress. I just noticed that Google Docs does not support .pptx or .docx files :-(

I have shared an old doc with my group. And, here's an old Route I used to run when at FLIS (now FI). Of course, I ran the loop at Queen's Park more that once at a time :-)

View Larger Map

I use Google maps routinely for directions. But, for running routes Gmaps Pedometer is much better.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Week 7: TPZ

I enjoyed the Wii :-)
Week 6: Library Thing

I have known about Library Thing for a long time, but have never bothered to set up an account. I can't really say why. But, it is finally done:


A lifetime membership is a steal of a deal. Who could pass that up? I honestly think that Library Thing is the best online place to catalogue one's books. And, because you can search the Library of Congress, you can often find Compact Discs and DVD's too, so it could become a place to list most of your stuff. The functionality is way better than Feelingclose.com or the horrible Listal.

I love the ability to change book covers. That is something that really frustrates me about WeRead: you are often stuck with a book that has no cover or one that is for a different edition. But, WeRead is integrated into Facebook, so it is convenient.

I haven't purchased a lifetime membership, but I might do just that.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Week 5: Social Bookmarking

I set up a delicious account ages ago, but it never really caught on with me. I certainly see the value in it, but I never really bookmarked many sites in my browser anyway, so I ended up with a handful of sites that I could remember without the aid of this or other sites.

Using delicious is like creating a mini web directory, like early Yahoo! I'd rather search for what I want than sift through thousands of bookmarks.

I do see the value in it, and I appreciate the use of a broad folksonomy to identify sites. The lack of authority control does not bother me at all. I feel that in our online universe, social tagging is the future (apologies to the cataloguers out there). Over time, enough proper tags will be added to a site to make the folksonomy valid. So, I think tagging has a future in our catalogues, just as I think that Google Scholar might very well be the answer to federated searching.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Week 4: Photo Sharing

I have been using Flickr for close to three years as a host for the photos I display on my photoblog. I use Facebook for some of my personal snapshots of family and friends because facebook allows users to upload unlimited amounts of photos. Flickr does provide a free service, but if you want to upload lots of photos, you might want a pro account.

I like Flickr because it provides a excellent platform to share photos and get feedback from other enthusiasts.

Here is Justin Trudeau speaking at the Ontario Library Association Conference.

Justin Trudeau

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Week 3: Wikis

I posted a recipe to the wiki.

Personally, I appreciate wikis, at least in a theoretical sense. It's a quick and relatively easy way to edit content on the web. Most wikis have a wysiwyg editor, so editing documents is like using a word processing editor, more or less.

I think that much of the content on our intranet could be moved to a wiki platform. A wiki would provide an efficient way to edit policies and procedures without having to create HTML documents and then pass the file along to someone else to upload. Wikis could also be useful for collaborative projects, brainstorming, etc.

My main criticism is that many wikis have strange syntax and it is often difficult to add new pages where you want them to go. So, while text editing is often straight-forward, the internal wiki structure can be confusing.