Sunday, November 18, 2007

Thing 23: Summary

It's curious how all those Library 2.0 sessions at Computers in Libraries didn't have nearly the impact that this self-paced learning experience did to help me understand the importance of social networking tools in my life and the lives of our customers. It was a very good for me to be an novice user for a change and to muddle my way around unfamiliar web sites; this brought new awareness to me of what our customers face when they try to use the Library's web site. One thing that's very evident is that users need to be able to create their own portal where they can add all the sites they visit, with a single login to access all of them. It's a real challenge to track the usernames and passwords for all the sites I wanted to use. Security is essential to protect our privacy, but can't it be handled in a better way?

Even so, we really just scratched the surface of what's available (300-500 sites and growing all the time). What I plan to take away from this experience is a greater willingness to explore and learn on my own, clicking through when I see a link in a blog or a reference in an article. I was pleased to see that I have already done some of Stephen Abram's "43 Things I Might Want To Do This Year". What I hope we can do as a library system is integrate some of these great tools into the services we provide.

I love RSS, de.lici.ous, Flickr, and LibraryThing and will continue to use them both at work and in my personal life. Widgets and image generators are great fun; I could have gone really crazy adding them to my blog. Blogging was very hard for me because I'm not used to vocalizing my impressions and ideas. At first I felt like I was being watched, then got more comfortable with it and was lulled into thinking that probably no one was reading it anyhow. Do people blog because they feel anonymous and can say anything they want, or because they have thoughts they want to share, with the hope that others will comment back, or simply as a way of journaling online? No doubt some of each.

I would certainly participate in a similar learning experience in the future. The only suggestion I have is that the information provided be more up-to-date. Some of the blogs and articles we were given to read were several years old and, although still applicable, did not contain the most current information. There were even a few dead links. Overall it was a wonderful experience. Kudos again to the developers of this great program.


Generator Guy said...

Over a thousand image/sign generators @ .

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