Saturday, September 13, 2008

# 23 (Week 10) Play Week and Catchup

Wow! Congratulations!! You’ve reached the 23rd thing. We hope the experience has enhanced your Web 2.0 skills, provided you with the information and knowledge to provide better service to our customers, and has been a fun and rewarding experience along the way.

Be sure to give yourself a pat on the back for completing the programme!

For the last Exercise:

Please reflect on your learning journey and write a few thoughts about your journey on your blog.

  • What were your favourite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?

  • How has this programme assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?

  • Were there any take-aways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?

Use your gmail account to email with a link to your blogpost. Please put Exercise #23 in the subject heading.

When we sign you off for this last exercise we will send you an email to confirm completion of the programme and will arrange to have your reward and certificate sent to you in due course.

The programme officially closes on Monday 5 October 2009. There will be a one week extension for those who have fallen behind to finish and be eligible for the reward.

In closing, we want to thank you all for joining us on this journey of discovery and learning.

NSL Training Support

Saturday, September 6, 2008

# 22 (Week 9) Read some articles on social networking and libraries and write a post with your thoughts on social networkings

Libraries are using new ways to communicate with their patrons and social networking is one of these. By choosing the methods that patrons prefer, a wider section of the library community can be reached. Young people especially are keen users of social networking and this is an excellent way to reach them.

Check out the articles below on the ways libraries are using social networking, and some of the issues involved.

Discovery Resources:

Ways libraries are using social networking and some of the issues involved:

A list of Libraries Using MySpace
Libraries in Social Networking software (you may have to scroll down to find text).
Libraries Get Social
Your Space or My Space?

Discovery Exercises:

  • Check out some the articles above.
  • Set up another blog post and write about your thoughts on libraries' use of social networking.
  • Use your gmail account to email with a link to your blogpost. Please put Exercise #22 in the subject heading.

# 21 (Week 9) Get social - MySpace and Facebook

You may have heard of websites such as MySpace, Bebo, Facebook etc. - but have you taken the plunge and joined?

In general, social networking services, such as MySpace, Facebook and Bebo, allow users to create a profile for themselves. Users can upload a picture of themselves and can often be "friends" with other users. In most social networking services, both users must confirm that they are friends before they are linked. For example, if Alice lists Bob as a friend, then Bob would have to approve Alice's friend request before they are listed as friends. Some social networking sites have a "favorites" feature that does not need approval from the other user.

Social networks usually have privacy controls that allows the user to choose who can view their profile or contact them, etc.

Discovery resources:

How Stuff Works - Facebook
MySpace safety tips from Australia's Sunrise TV show

Discovery exercise:

  • Check out Auckland City Libraries and Rotorua Public Libraries to see how Libraries are using Bebo to let their patrons know what is going on at their libraries or as a social network for staff.
  • Visit MySpace and take a look around. Find out about your favourite band, radio station or something of interest.
  • Look at Facebook. - As well as connecting with your friends here and overseas, Facebook has groups you can join on topics that interest you, and an event feature that lets you know about social or professional events you might like to attend. LIANZA has set up an event page for Conference 2008, Poropitia Outside the Box. North Shore Libraries has a Facebook Group, so check it out and join if you'd like to.

  • Set up another post in your blog and write about your experience with insights into what you've discovered and learned. Feel free to share what worked for you...and what didn't....what surprised you...what frustrated you....what amazed you...or even which of the social networking sites you liked best. As before this post should be at least 3-4 sentences.

  • Use your gmail account to email with a link to your blogpost. Please put Exercise #21 in the subject heading.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

# 20 (week 8) Take a look at ebooks

Books come in many forms these days. You may have seen ebooks for sale on sites, such as Amazon who has recently launched Kindle, their ebook reader.

Project Gutenberg, started in 1971, is the first and largest single collection of free electronic books, or ebooks. Project Gutenberg is the original free digital library of books no longer in copyright. So you'll find a great many classic literary texts here.

Many of the free ebooks can also be downloaded as a podcast or audiobook. LibriVox is one of the many websites that provides free audiobooks from the public domain.

Discovery Resources

Discovery Exercise

  1. Search for a classic from the public domain (like works from Shakespeare) on any of the above mentioned web sites.

  2. Write about your experience in your blog. Was it hard to find the title? Where there a choice of format(s) offered? What interesting things did you discover?

  3. Use your gmail account to email with a link to your blogpost. Please put Exercise #20 in the subject heading.

Friday, August 29, 2008

# 19 (Week 8) Podcasts (You don't need an iPod)

The word podcast is used to refer to a non-musical audio or video broadcast that is distributed over the Internet. What differentiates a podcast from regular streaming audio or video is that the delivery method for podcasts is often done automatically through RSS.

In 2005, "podcast" was named the "word of the year" by New Oxford American Dictionary and with the growth of podcasting over the last few years it’s easy to see why.

Podcasts take many forms, from short 1-10 minutes commentaries (like the ones used in this Learning 2.0 programme) to much longer in person interviews or panel group discussions. There’s a podcast out there for just about every interest area and the best part about this technology is that you don’t have to have an iPod or a MP3 player to access them. Since podcasts use the MP3 file format, a popular compressed format for audio files, you really just need a PC (or portal device) with headphones or a speaker.

iTunes, the free downloadable application created by Apple, is the directory finding service most associated with podcasts, but if you don’t have iTunes installed there are still plenty of options.

For this discovery exercise participants are asked to take a look at some popular podcast directory tools. Do some exploring on your own and locate a podcast that is of interest to you. Once found, you can easily pull the RSS feed into your Bloglines account as well, so that when new casts become available you’ll be automatically notified of their existence.

Discovery Resources:

  • To find out more about podcasts start with this tutorial
  • There are many, many podcast directory and finding tools out there. Here are just four of the more popular ones that don’t, like iTunes, require a software download:

Discovery Exercises

  1. Take a look at one or two of the podcast directories listed and see if you can find a podcast that interests you. Look for some interesting library related podcasts like book review podcasts or library news.

  2. Add the RSS feed for a podcast to your Bloglines account. Look at the comments link at the end of this post for some tips to do this.

  3. Create a blog post about your discovery process. Did you find anything useful here?

  4. Use your gmail account to email with a link to your blogpost. Please put Exercise #19 in the subject heading.

Optional: Do you want to learn how to be a podcaster? Here are optional resources for those who want to learn to create podcasts:

Note: You don't need a podcatcher like iTunes to listen to podcast. There are many podcasts you can download as mp3 files and listen to on your computer (using Windows Media Player for instance) or mp3 player. Some podcasts however require a podcatcher. If you are interested, use the PodcatcherMatrix to compare the features of the different podcatchers.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

# 18 (Week 8) Discover YouTube and a few sites that allow users to upload and share videos

Over the last few years online video hosting sites have exploded - allowing users to easily upload and share videos on the web. Among all the web 2.0 players in this area, YouTube is currently top dog serving up over 1 million video views a day and allowing users not only to upload their own video content easily, but also embed clips into their own sites easily.

Do some searching around YouTube yourself and see what the site has to offer. You'll find everything from 1970s TV commercials and 60s music videos to library dominos and a video made by library school students for National Library Week. There's also the cult classic Conan the Librarian. Of course, like any free site you’ll also find a lot of stuff not worth watching too. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore and see for yourself what the site has too offer. :)

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Explore YouTube & find a video that interest you. Have a further look at The best of library videos blog and Infotubey-award winning library videos. Do you think library videos can be a fun marketing tool or 'infomercial'?

  2. Create a blog post about your experience. What did you like or dislike about the site and why did you choose the video that you did? Can you see any features or components of the site that might be interesting if they were applied to library websites?

  3. Use your gmail account to email with a link to your blogpost. Please put Exercise #18 in the subject heading.

OPTIONAL: Try placing the video inside your blog using the copy and paste code for the "Embeddable Player.” Note: you'll need to use Blogger's Edit HTML tab when pasting this code.(YouTube has instructions on how to do embed a video.)

Have a look at the fun this library had:

Monday, August 18, 2008

# 17 (Week 7) Explore any site from the Web 2.0 awards list, play with it and write a blog post about your findings

Throughout the course of this Web 2.0 program we’ve explored just a small sampling of these new Internet technologies and websites that are empowering users with the ability to create and share content. But given time there are so many more we could explore.

For this discovery exercise, participants are asked to select any site from this list of Web 2.0's Top 1000 and explore it. With so many to choose from, it might be handy to first select a category that interests you (like Books or Personal Organisation) and then simply select a tool/site to explore.

Discovery Exercise:

1. Select any site/tool from the list of Web 2.0's Top 1,000. Be careful to select a tool that is free and that doesn't require a plug-in or download.

2. Explore the site you selected.

3. Create a post about your discovery. What did you like or dislike about the tool? What were the site’s useful features? Could you see any applications for its use in a library setting.

4. Use your gmail account to email with a link to your blogpost. Please put Exercise #17 in the subject heading.

Web 2.0 – with so much to explore, just start with ONE. :)

# 16 (Week 7) Take a look at some online productivity (word processing, spreadsheet) tools

One major benefit to web-based applications is that they eliminate the need to worry about different software versions or file types as you email documents or move from PC to PC. Another bonus is that they easily accommodate collaboration by allowing multiple users to edit the same file (with versioning) and provide users the ability to easily save and convert documents as multiple file types (including HTML and pdf). And, you can even use many of these tools, such as Zoho Writer and Google Docs to author and publish posts to your blog.

It’s this type of integration with other Web 2.0 tools that also makes web-based applications so appealing.

For this discovery exercise, you are asked to take a look at a web-based word processing tool called Zoho Writer, create a simple document and then document your discoveries in your blog. If you are up to the challenge, you might even export your document as an HTML file or publish it through Zoho to your blog. With Zoho and web-based applications, the possibilities are endless.

Discovery Resources:

A short list of web-based productivity applications – Note: This list was authored in ZohoWriter and exported as HTML.

Discovery Exercise:

1. Create a free account for yourself in Zoho Writer (Note: if you cannot register for Zoho writer please use the same exercises for google docs).

2. Explore the site, create a test document or two and try some Zoho's features.

3. Create a blog post about your discoveries.

4. Use your gmail account to email with a link to your blogpost. Please put Exercise #16 in the subject heading.

Optional: If you’re up for the challenge, try using Zoho’s publish options to post to your blog.

* Note: You can also explore Google Docs, Google's online word processing, as an option for this exercise.

FYI: On Oct 11th, 2006, Google re-launched Writely (which it acquired in Spring 2006) as Google Docs. BTW: Here’s a Zoho-created document (viewable as a webpage) about some of the beneficial features of Zoho.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

# 15 (Week 6) Roll your own search tool with Rollyo

Do you have a group of websites that are your favourites? Or a set of similar online resources that you frequently use to answer homework or reference questions? Well Rollyo may be the tool for you. Rollyo allows you to create your own search tool for just the websites you know and trust.

Take a look at some of these search rolls that have already been created:

Public Domain e-Books Search
Rare Book Library Search
Free Photos
Quick Quotes

Explore other rolls here.

Discovery Exercise:

1. Explore Rollyo and create an account for yourself.

2. Create a search roll for any subject you like.

3. Can you see a potential use for tools like this? Create a post in your blog with your thoughts and experience of making a search roll and put a link to the search roll you created.

4. Use your gmail account to email with a link to your blogpost. Please put Exercise #15 in the subject heading.

OPTIONAL: Add your searchroll to your blog
  • Go to Rollyo at
  • Click on DASHBOARD
  • Scroll down the page and click on SEARCHBOX
  • Put the name and URL of your blog in the place provided
  • Click on the search rolls you want and click on the > arrow to transfer them into the into selected SEARCHBOX ROLLS box
  • Go to STYLE and select the type of Rollyo icon you want (it will preview your selection)
  • Go to the COPY AND PASTE CODE BOX. Highlight all the code that is in the box and copy it to your clipboard (highlight the code, go to edit on the toolbar and select copy OR hold down the Crtl key and click the C key at the same time)
  • Sign into your blog and go to the dashboard
  • Go to LAYOUT
  • Select ADD A GADGET in the place you want your blogroll icon to show. (Side or bottom of your blog)

  • Scroll down this page and select HTML/JAVA SCRIPT and click Add to Blog. This will lead you to a page that has a space to put (a) A title (b) Content
  • Key in a title (Such as rollyo)
  • Cut and paste the html contents you have copied into the CONTENTS. Do this by going to Edit on the toolbar and selecting paste OR hold the Ctrl Key on the keyboard down and click on the V key at the same time
  • Click on SAVE CHANGES
  • Preview your blog and the rollyo search should be on the template down the side of the page.

# 14 (Week 6) Take a look at Library Thing and catalogue some of your favourite books

Are you a book lover or cataloguer at heart? Or do you enjoy finding lost and forgotten gems on the shelf to read?

Then LibraryThing may be just the tool for you. Developed for booklovers, this online tool not only allows you to easily create an online catalogue of your own, it also connects you to other people who have similar libraries and reading tastes.

Add a book to your catalogue by just entering the title -- it’s so easy that you don’t even need MARC record training to do it – to connect with other users through your similar reading tastes.
Not just for personal collections, libraries have started using LibraryThing as well. Small libraries are using LibraryThing to catalogue their collections. According to their website, LibraryThing is “exploring relationships with libraries, to offer non-commercially motivated recommendations and other social data.”

As a result, they’ve created LibraryThing for Libraries. Libraries can add the LibraryThing widget to their web pages or blogs to recommend books and list new titles, or install a LibraryThing Search box (instructions are here). Being a non-commercial site makes LibraryThing a good option for libraries.
There are lots of ways to use LibraryThing. You can even view your books on a virtual shelf.
So why not join the ranks and create your own library online. With over 65,000 registered (BTW: LibraryThing also has group forum for librarian users and over 4.7 million cataloged books, so you're bound to discover something new).

Discovery Exercise #14:

1. Take a Library Thing tour (click on the Next >> button)

2. Create an account and add at least 5 books to your library - your own LibraryThing catalogue.

3. Add a post to your blog about your findings and add a link in your blogpost to your LibraryThing catalogue.

4. Use your gmail account to email with a link to your blogpost. Please put Exercise #14 in the subject heading.

# 13 (week 6) Play around with Image Generators

Generators? No, I’m not talking about those gas powered back-up things. The generators I’m talking about allow you to easily manipulate images and graphics to create fun images like this:

For this discovery exercise, we just want you to have fun. Find a few fun image or text generators to play around with and write a post in your blog about one of your favorites and display the result.

Adding a mocked up image you have created to your blog is as simple as copying and pasting the code that the page provides OR you may just need to right click on the image and then save it to your hard drive before using Blogger’s image button to add it to your post.

Have a look at these sites to start with:

The Generator Blog

Letter James

FD Toys


You could also search for online generators, text generators or image generators and see what you come up with!

Discovery Exercise #13:

1. Play around with some image generators and find one that you like.

2. Create a blogpost about your experience using the image generator and add the image you mocked up to the blog or add a link to the image generator you played with (copy and paste the URL). Note: some of the image generators don't keep the image you created. If you want to add it to your blog save the image on your computer and then upload it.

3. Use your gmail account to email with a link to your blogpost. Please put Exercise 13# in the subject heading.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

# 12 (Week 5) Add an entry to the Learning 2.0 SandBox wiki

"Sandbox" is the term that wikis often use to describe the area of the website that should be used for pure play. For this discovery and exploration exercise, we have set up a whole NSL Learning 2.0 Wetpaint* that’s for nothing but play!

Discovery Exercise (#12):

1. Look at the following resources:

2. Explore the NSL Learning Wetpaint wiki. The theme of this wiki is simply “Favourites”: Favourite books, favourite holiday spots, favourite restaurants, favorite anything …all you need to do is play and add your thoughts.

3. Add an entry to the Favourite Blogs page, that's how we'll know that you've been there. (Tip: After you have clicked on 'edit', your cursor will appear in the left top corner. Place your cursor at the end of the page and press Enter to create a new line. Key in your blog name and add a link to it. Save your entry.) While you are there add some more entries to the other favourite lists if you want to experiment a bit more with the wiki.

4. Create a post in your blog about the experience.

5. Use your gmail account to email with a link to your blog post. Please put Exercise #12 in the Subject Heading.

* NOTE: The NSL Learning Wiki was created using the free version of Wetpaint, a tool that lets you create webpages that anyone can edit.

# 11 (Week 5) Learn about wikis and discover some innovative ways that libraries are using them

A wiki is a collaborative website and authoring tool that allows users to easily add, remove and edit content.

Wikipedia, the online open-community encyclopedia, is the largest and perhaps the most well known of these knowledge sharing tools. With the benefits that wikis provide, the use and popularity of these tools is exploding. Some of the benefits that make wikis so attractive are:
  • Anyone (registered or unregistered, if unrestricted) can add, edit or delete content.
  • Tracking tools within wikis allow you to easily keep up on what been changed and by whom.
  • Earlier versions of a page can be viewed and reinstated when needed.
  • And users do not need to know HTML in order to apply styles to text or add and edit content. In most cases simple syntax structure is used.
As the use of wikis has grown over the last few years, libraries have begun to use them to collaborate and share knowledge. Among their applications are pathfinder or subject guide wikis, book review wikis, conference wikis and even library best practices wikis.

Discovery Exercise (#11):

1. Look at these resources to learn more about wikis:

2. Have a look at a Youtube video demonstrating wikis, by Commoncraft videos.

3. Take a look at some library wikis - here’s a few examples to get you started:

4. Create a blog post about your findings - What did you find interesting? What types of applications within libraries might work well with a wiki?

5. Use your gmail account to email with a link to your blog. Please put Exercise #11 in the Subject Heading.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

#10 (Week 4): Read a few perspectives on Web 2.0, Library 2.0,

Library 2.0 is a term used to describe a new set of concepts for developing and delivering library services. The name, as you may guess, is an extension of Web 2.0 and shares many of its same philosophies and concepts - including harnessing the user in both design and implementation of services, embracing constant change as a development cycle over the traditional notion of upgrades, and reworking library services to meet the users in their space, as opposed to ours (libraries).

Many have argued that the notion of Library 2.0 is more than just a term used to describe concepts that merely revolve around the use of technology; it is also a term that can be used to describe both physical and mindset changes that are occurring within libraries to make our spaces and services more user-centric and inviting. Others within the profession have asserted that libraries have always been 2.0: collaborative, customer friendly and welcoming. But no matter which side of the debate proponents fall, both sides agree that libraries of tomorrow, even five or ten years from now, will look substantially different from libraries today.

Discovery Exercise (#10):

1. View this great video that illustrates the Web 2.0 phenomenon.

2. Read Web 2.0: Where will the next generation of the web take libraries? in the OCLC Next Space Newsletter.

3. Read two or three of the perspectives on Library 2.0 from the OCLC Next Space Newsletter:
Away from Icebergs
To a temporary place in time

4. Create a blog post about your thoughts on any one of these:
Library 2.0 - It's many things to many people:

- What does it mean to you?
- What have you learnt?
- How can you see it being used in our libraries?
You may like to talk about North Shore Libraries' vision for the future, and how you see Web 2.0 being incorporated into this.

5. Use your gmail account to email with a link to your blogpost. Please put Exercise #10 in the subject heading.

Further Reading (optional):

# 9 (Week 4): Explore Technorati and learn how tags work with blog posts

So now that you’ve been blogging for a while, you might be wondering just how big the blogosphere is. Well, according to Technorati, the leading search tool and authority for blogs, the number of blogs doubles just about every 6 months.
On July 31, 2006, Technorati tracked its 50 millionth blog. Yes, these numbers are astounding, but as you’ve already seen for yourselves, blogging is so easy that these publishing tools are being taken advantage of by almost every industry, including libraries.

So how does a person get their blog listed as part of the blogosphere?
The answer is that your blog is probably already being captured by Technorati due to the fact that you're already using Blogger, the most popular blogging tool.

There are many ways of searching for blogs in Technorati. You can search for keywords in blog posts, search for entire blog posts that have been tagged with a certain keyword, or search for blogs that have been registered and tagged as whole blogs about a certain subject (like photography or libraries).

Discovery Exercise (#9):
1. Explore Technorati - click on the links in the Navigation Bar.

2. Use Technorati Advanced Search and search for “Learning 2.0” in Blog posts, in tags and in the Blog Directory. Are the results different?

3. Explore popular blog, searches and tags. Is anything interesting or surprising in your results?

4. Create a blog post about your discoveries on this site.

5. Use your gmail account to email with a link to your blogpost. Please put Exercise #9 in the subject heading.

# 8 (Week 4): Learn about tagging and discover (a social bookmarking site)

Tagging is an open and informal method of categorising that allows users to associate keywords with online content (webpages, pictures & posts). Unlike library subject cataloging, which follows a strict set of guidelines (i.e.Library of Congress subject headings), tagging is completely unstructured and freeform, allowing users to create connections between data anyway they want is a social bookmarking manager which allows you to bookmark a web page and add tags to categorise your bookmarks. Many users find that the real power of is in the social network aspect, which allows you to see how other users have tagged similar links and also discover other websites that may be of interest to you. You can think of it as peering into another users’ filing cabinet, but with this powerful bookmarking tool each user's filing cabinet helps to build an expansive knowledge network.

For this discovery exercise, you are asked to take a look at and learn about this popular bookmarking tool.

Discovery Exercise (#8):

1. View this video: Social Bookmarking in Plain English: Another Commoncraft Youtube video which explains in user friendly terms.

2. Read Tags help make libraries an article from Library Journal on how libraries are using this technology.

3a. Take a look around using the PLCMCL2 account that was created for this exercise in the original Learn 2.0 program. Note: In this account you will find lots of resources that have been highlighted or used throughout the course of the Learning 2.0 program.3b. Explore the site options and try clicking on a bookmark that has also been bookmarked by a lot of other users. Can you see the comments they added about this bookmark or the tags that they used to categorize this reference?

4. Create a blog post about your experience and thoughts about this tool. Can you see the potential of this tool for research assistance, or is it just as an easy way to create bookmarks that can be accessed from anywhere?

5. Use your gmail account to email with a link to your blogpost. Please put Exercise #8 in the subject heading.

If you’re up to the challenge, create a account for yourself and discover how this useful bookmarking tool can replace your traditional browser bookmark list. You might even want to explore’ latest addition, a network badge.

# 7 (Week 3): Learn about RSS feeds and newsreaders

There are two parts to thing 7 this week:
7.1 to get to know about RSS, and
7.2 to search for RSS feeds.

Today we have access to huge amounts of information and we can somethimes feel overwhelmed with keeping up to date in an ever changing world. This is where RSS comes to the rescue.

7.1 What is RSS?

RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” and is a file format for delivering regularly updated information over the web. It is like visiting all those information sources and web pages in just one place and all at the same time … without being bombarded with advertising… without having to search for new information on the page you’ve already seen or read before… and without having to spend a lot of time visiting each site individually. You do this through a newsreader and RSS.

Tip: It is best to open these links by right clicking and selecting open new window. You can then close the window by clicking on the Red close button top right of screen.

Discovery Exercise (#7.1): Get to know about RSS

  • Learn more about RSS and newsreaders.

  • Create a free online Bloglines account for yourself.
    TIP: After you have registered a verification email will be sent to your gmail account. Close the Bloglines screen and reply as instructed in the confirmation email. Your Bloglines account is now ready to use.

  • Subscribe to 5-10 newsfeeds with your reader (Bloglines). For more information these resources will help you:

  • Here is a list of newsfeeds you could subscribe to:

  • Create a post in your blog about this exercise. Don’t know what to blog about? Think about these questions: What do you like about RSS and newsreaders? How do you think you might be able to use this technology in your work or personal life? How can libraries use RSS or take advantage of this new technology?

  • Use your gmail account to email with a link to your blogpost. Please put Exercise #7.1 in the subject heading.

  • 7.2 Searching for feeds

    Now that you have a newsreader (your Bloglines account), you can begin adding other newsfeeds that is of interest to you. When visiting your favourite websites look for news feed icons that indicate the website provides feeds on updates. Often a feed icon will be displayed somewhere in the navigation of the site.

    Discovery Exercise (#7.2) : Search for RSS Feeds

  • There are many search tools to locate interest newsfeeds. Have a look at the ones listed below:
    • Use Blogline's Search tool - it lets you search for news feeds in addition to posts, citations and the web. Use the Search for Feeds option (drop down at top right of screen) to locate RSS feeds you might be interested in.
    • Google blog search and Google News follow the familiar Google pattern and are easy to use.

  • Create a blog post about your experience. Don't know what to blog about? Here are some questions to think about ... Which method of finding feeds did you find easiest to use? Which search tool was the easiest for you? Which was more confusing? What kind of useful or unusual feeds did you find in your travels? What other tools or ways did you find to locate newsfeeds?

  • Use your gmail account to email with a link to your blogpost. Please put Exercise #7.2 in the subject heading.

If you found something else useful, why not post a comment on this blog and let us know about other sites that could be helpful.

Friday, July 25, 2008

# 6 (Week 2): Create a blog post about anything technology related that interests you this week

Discovery Exercise (#6):

1. Add a post to your blog about anything technology related. Yes, it can be anything that relates to technology! You just need to share a few thoughts.

For example: I like digital cameras because it's much easier to share photos with family and friends and especially now that I have a Flickr account. Services like Skype let me talk with friends through our computers. Technology advancements for music, medical equipment, etc. Video Games, iTunes, iPods, Flatscreen televisions, etc.

2. Use your Gmail account to email with a link to your blog post. Please put Exercise #6 in the subject heading.

PS: Also be sure to add at least one comment to another participant's blog. That's what online communities are all about - connecting and communication.

# 5 (Week 2): Have some Flickr fun and discover some Flickr mashups and 3rd party sites

Like many web 2.0 sites, Flickr has encouraged other people to build their own online applications using images found on the site. Through the use of APIs (application programming interfaces), many people have created third party tools and mashups that use Flickr images.

Here is a sampling of just a few …

Bubblr - create comic strips using photos from Flickr.
Flickr Color Pickr - lets you find public photos in Flickr that match a specific colour.
Retrievr - lets you search for photos on flickr by drawing sketches of them.
Spell with Flickr - generate one picture per letter.

Discovery Exercise (#5):

Explore some of the fun Flickr mashups and 3rd party tools that are out there.

Create a blog post about one that you found interesting. You might want to check out FD ToysTrading Card Maker.

Use your gmail account to email with a link to your blogpost. Please put Exercise #5 in the subject heading.

So, have fun discovering and exploring some neat little apps.

# 4 (Week 2): Explore Flickr and learn about this popular image hosting site.

Photo sharing websites have been around since the 90s, but it took a small startup site called Flickr (now owned by Yahoo) to catapult the idea of “sharing” into a full blown online community. Flickr uses "tags" or what we would call keywords to help identify and search for photos.

For this discovery exercise, you are asked to take a good look at Flickr and discover what this site has to offer. Find out how tags work, what groups are, and all the neat things that people and other libraries are using Flickr for.

New Zealand Libraries that have Flickr profiles include the National Library, LIANZA Conference 2008, Rodney Libraries, and our own Birkenhead Library.

Discovery Resources:

Flickr Learn More tour (6 steps)
Mediamazine Flickr Tutorials
Popular tags Interesting- Last 7 days
Flickr Services (3rd party applications & mashups) and here's another Flickr site that lets you create movie posters, CD covers, magazine covers and so on.
Libraries that Flickr

Discovery Exercise (#4):

Watch the Common Craft video "Online Photosharing in Plain English."

Take a good look around Flickr and discover an interesting image that you want to blog about. (You can explore Flickr photos, search the tags, view various groups, and more without a Flickr account).

Use any keyword(s) (Auckland, beach, library cats, library signs, library, whatever…) to find photos with those tags.

When you find an interesting image or group - create a post in your blog on your experience finding images, using Flickr, and anything else related to the exercise.
Include in your blog post a link to the image.

Use your gmail account to email with a link to your blogpost. Please put Exercise #4 in the subject heading.

So go ahead, explore the site and have some Flickr photo fun and if you're interested in looking at some photo hosting sites, then check out Picasa Web Albums from Google and another service called Smugmug.

To upload photos to your blog:

You have two options for doing this, either:

Flickr's blogging tool (you need a Flickr account to see the button) lets you click the Blog This button (right above the picture) and add any public photo on Flickr to your blog. Be sure to give credit to the photographer, if it is not your photo.
Blogger's photo upload feature lets you add photos from your computer or from the Web and choose the placement in the blog post. Click the little photo icon in the toolbar on the New Post page—it is in the row of tools above the post box. Follow the instructions in the pop up box.

PS: A quick word about photo posting etiquette - When posting identifiable photos of other people (especially minors) is it advisable to get the person's permission before posting their photo in a publicly accessible place like Flickr. Never upload pictures that weren't taken by you (unless you have the photographer's consent) and always give credit when you include photos taken by someone else in your blog.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

#3 (Week 1) Explore some blogs and make a comment in a blog

By now you know what blogs are. Here are a few blogs that are either very popular, or of possible interest to you:
  • BoingBoing: The most widely-read blog, it chronicles lots of the weird and wacky, as well as tech/gadget/web stuff.
  • is a blog about being a librarian. Like what you see? Check out a slew of more library blogs.
  • There are also blogs dedicated to children’s literature and librarianship. Probably the most widely-read one is Fuse #8, which started out as independent but is now published by School Library Journal. She gets paid to blog!
  • Then there is our famous NZ Beattie's Book Blog - among the hundreds of book blogs on the web! And don't forget about the eLGAR Programme Office blog.
  • Explore Technorati's Top 100 blogs that cover all kinds of topics.
Blogging is all about communication. The bloggers put their ideas out to the audience and the readers comment on it. You would often see at the end of a blog post a comment that changes into a conversation where readers comment or ask questions and the blogger comes back with a reply. That is often where you pick up very interesting things - either references to other web sites, arguments from a different slant, or thought provoking comments.

Comments are moderated where the blogger first looks at the comment before it gets posted on the blog, or, comments can be turned off so no comment can be made especially if the blog serves as a notice board. But most commonly the comments are open and immediately published.

Some pointers when making comments:

  • Thoughtful comments which contribute to a topic are always welcome, especially if it leads to a lively debate or sharing of experience.
  • Express your appreciation when you have learnt something from a blog post.
  • Be aware of giving too much personal information online.
  • Remember that whatever you write on the web will be there for everyone to see forever. (There is a web site where deleted web pages can be traced.)
  • The law also applies to online publishing - including copyright and libel/slander laws.
  • For further advice on commenting in blogs see The comment etiquette, Time wasting blog comments , The blogger's guide to comment etiquette.
Discovery Exercise (#3):
  • Make a comment on a blog - it could be on one of your colleagues' blogs or any other blog that you find interesting.
  • Use your gmail account to email with the link to your comment. Please put Exercise #3 in the subject heading.

To find the link to your blog post look for the permanent link for that blog post. Depending upon the Blogger template that you selected, the permanent link for each individual posts can be found either through the post’s title or through a link in the post's footer area that contains the date.
Example: Here is where you would find the permanent link for this blog post:

permanent link
Have fun exploring blogs. You will find some interesting award winning blogs at Blogger's Choice Awards, Weblog Awards, Blog Of The Day Awards, The Best of Blogs.

#2 (Week 1) - Creating a blog

Our first thing was quick and easy to do, wasn't it?

Before you go any further look at these tips on how to find time for the programme in your busy schedule.

The next step is to set up your very own personal blog to begin recording your thoughts, discoveries and exercises. We recommend that you use Blogger, a popular free online blog hosting service that is extremely easy to use.

Discovery Exercise (#2):

1. Set up a blog for yourself through Blogger following the three easy steps below:

(i) Create an account: Sign into the Google account you created when you registered. Click on more (one of the links across the top beside Web) - click on even more>> to see all Google's services and then click on logger (under Communicate, show & share). Sign in and click on create a blog.

(ii) Name your blog: Remember that the whole web world can see your blog title and blog address so you may not want to use your real name. Consider creating a blog name that’s anonymous, yet uniquely you. Please remember your URL address and/or bookmark it.

(iii) Select your template: Blogger has several templates - have fun choosing one for you!

If you run into problems - check out Blogger's Help file and Tutorial or ask one of your colleagues. Blogger has created a short video How to create a blog with Blogger which might help you as well.

2. Play around - add a test post or two - try selecting different colours on your template.

3. Create a post on your blog to provide insight into what you’ve discovered and learned. Share what worked for you … and what didn’t … what surprised you … what frustrated you … what amazed you. You will be asked to create a post each week and each post should be a minimum of 50 words.

4. Use your gmail account to send the link to your blog to (copy the URL address at the top of your blog and paste into the email - put Exercise #2 in the subject heading.

These exercises are all about discovery! Have fun … and happy blogging!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

NSL Learning 2.0 Exercises - 23 "Things"

Discovery has never been so much fun .....

This blog has been set up to record the 23 "things" or discovery exercises that need to be completed as part of the Learning 2.0 programme.

Each Monday, for the duration of the 10 week programme, the exercises for that week will be added to this blog. You will need to check this blog each week to get details of the "things" you need to do for the week.

Our first "thing" (# 1) is for you is to create a Gmail account and register onto the programme. If you have not already done so, make sure you are familiar with the nature of the programme by reading through About the NSL 2.0 programme and 23 things to do and following the various links on those pages to give you an appreciation for this on-line programme.

Registration and Introduction

11 July - 19 July:

# 1 Register and create a Gmail account

1. Create a Gmail account for yourself. If you already have a Gmail account, create A NEW ONE especially for this programme. Use a pseudonym in the first and last name fields and for your login name rather than your real name to protect your privacy. Remember to write down your Username and Password.

2. Send us an email from your new Gmail account to giving us your real name and library location and your preferred choice of MP3 player or Data Traveler (subject to availability).

So fasten your seat belts, grab your mouse and get ready for a discovery adventure .... and remember, it's OK to play in the library and have fun!

Be sure to tune in on Monday, 20th July 2009 for the next "thing" or discovery item.