Friday, September 28, 2007

Week 6 - 12. Explore MySpace and Facebook

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I'm sure you have heard of MySpace, and not necessarily in a positive light. Recently, MySpace has appeared in the news for all the wrong reasons.

MySpace is an organised space that allows you to personalise your interests and activities on the Web. You can browse, search, invite friends to connect and interact, share film reviews, make comments, post mail and blog entries, view videos, post classified ads and much more. It has also gone mobile.

MySpace is an incredibly popular communication tool amongst teenagers, and libraries have begun using MySpace to market to their teenaged patrons. Despite controversy over the issue, the use of creating Library spaces in MySpace is really taking off. Read through the Discovery Resources links below to get an idea of what different libraries are doing in MySpace and what librarians are saying about MySpace!

MySpace is busier than Google, with reports showing that it gets between two and three times Google's daily traffic. Over 150,000 new MySpace accounts are created daily, so its capacity to each a wide audience is mind-boggling.

Discovery Resources

Tasks

In your blog, answer the following questions:

  1. View several library MySpace pages and examine their content. How are they using MySpace?
  2. List the useful headings on these pages that you feel would be of benefit to your own Library MySpace.
  3. Does Deakin or Swinburne University already have any MySpace pages?

Facebook

Facebook is a social networking web site that connects people with others. People use Facebook to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet.

Originally, the membership was restricted to students of Harvard University but since 2006 it has been open to all email addresses. Users can select to join one or more participating networks, such as a school, place of employment, or geographic region.

In June 2007, Facebook was ranked in the top 10–20 web sites and was the number one site for photos in the United States, ahead of public sites such as Flickr, with over 8.5 million photos uploaded daily. It is also the seventh most visited site in the United States. Time magazine reported in its 3 September 2007 issue that Facebook's fastest growing demographic consists of people 35 years or over.

The name, Facebook, refers to the paper facebooks depicting members of the campus community that US colleges and preparatory schools give to incoming students, faculty, and staff.

Discovery Resources

NB: Please note that Facebook has only been released to the "general public" recently. Although some of the following resources state that facebook is only available to students registered at certain colleges, this statement is no longer correct.

Tasks

  1. Go to Facebook and register. Check out this tutorial for assistance on how to join.
  2. Edit your Profile
  3. Search for a person you work with. See if you can find them and add them as your friend.
  4. Add yourself to the Deakin University or Swinburne University Network.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Week Five - 10. An introduction to Social Networking/Bookmarking - digg.com

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Digg is a place for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the web. From the biggest online destinations to the most obscure blog, Digg surfaces the best stuff as voted on by their users. You won’t find editors at Digg — Digg provides a place where people can collectively determine the value of content. Digg is changing the way people consume information online.

I have mentioned in the audio for this week that Digg is geek and American centric. However, over the past few weeks some Australian stories have made the front page of digg, including the Chaser antics and the <tongue in cheek> OPEC forum</tongue in cheek>.

Your Tasks

  1. Check out wikipedia's definition of social bookmarking.
  2. Subscribe to the digg.com RSS feed through Bloglines.
  3. Finally, create a post in your blog telling the world about digg.com. Do you think this would be a great way to read the news in the future?

Resources

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Week Five - 9. RSS Feeds

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Have you heard of RSS and seen those small funny orange tags on web sites? You might have heard co-workers and acquaintances swear by it, but do you have any idea what RSS is?

In the information world, RSS is not only revolutionalizing the way news, media and content creators share information, but it also is swiftly changing the way everyday users are consuming information.

RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” and is a file format for delivering regular Internet feeds

Task

Follow these discovery exercises to set up your own personalized RSS feed reader.

  1. Check out this tutorial for steps on creating a Blogline account and how to add feeds to your blogline account. Additionally, you can check out this YouTube video on adding feeds to your Blogline account.
  2. Create a free "RSS aggregator" account at Bloglines and subscribe to at least 5 newsfeeds.
  3. Finally, create a post in your blog telling the world about the 5 newsfeeds you subscribed to. You could even post the public Blogline URL into your post (see below for details on how to do this).

RSS Feeds you could add

Library Related RSS Feeds

General

How to find your public Bloglines URL:

  1. Click on the Share tab within your Bloglines account.
  2. Scroll down the right screen pane and locate the public URL.

A screenshot of how to find your public Bloglines Account

Why have a public account? To share blog rolls with others, of course.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Week Four - 8. Play with LibraryThing

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As our next adventure I would like you to take a look at LibraryThing. Whether you are a librarian, publisher, bookseller or just a lover of reading, LibraryThing allows you to catalogue your own titles.

There are thousands of books already listed on LibraryThing - in most cases, adding a book to your personal catalogue is as simple as adding the ISBN, or the title and author.

LibraryThing also allows you to share your book collection with others and get book recommendations from other people with similar tastes. It doesn't make a difference if you have a large collection of books or just a handful of books.

It's also not just limited to new releases or best sellers - you can find interesting books you may never have otherwise picked up.

Your Task

  1. Take a look around LibraryThing and create an account.
  2. Add a few books to your library. These can be books you own or books you have read.
  3. Blog about your findings and be sure to link to your LibraryThing catalog!

Resources

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Week Four - 7. Play with a funny image generator

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So, you may be wondering what an image generator is. Sounds like something you would take camping just so you can watch a movie in the middle of the bush. I'm not talking about those gas powered back-up things. The generators I'm talking about allow you to easily manipulate image and graphics to create fun images like these:

woman with tattoo

Your task

For this exercise, I just want you to have fun.

Have a play around with a few of the sites below or type the words 'image generator' into Google, and you may find some great sites yourself. Have a play around with some and write a post in your blog about one of your favorites and display the result.

Often adding the image you mocked up to your blog is as simple as copying and pasting code that the page provides. If not, you may need to right click on the image and then save it to your hard drive before using your blog's 'add image' button to add it to a blog post. If you're having difficulty getting your image added to a post in your blog, ask a co-worker for help.

Discovery Resources

Also try searching for online generators and text generators!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Week Three - 6. Join a Flickr Group

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At this point you should have created a Flickr Account and perhaps have also discovered some of the interesting and exciting features that Flickr offers. This exercise will take you a bit further into your exploration with Flickr.

What are Groups?

Groups are a great way to share photos and have conversations, either privately or with the world. The creation of “groups” or “pools” of photographs is one simple and basic way of sharing information about a subject, whether it is popular or esoteric. For example there are groups for people who wish to improve their photography. Members of the group can post photos for others to comment on and they can in turn comment on other's work. Flickr can also be a useful resource for obtaining photographic information about a subject (Bradley 2007). If you can’t find a group that is of interest to you, just start one of your own.

How to join a Group!

Joining a group is simple and straightforward:

  • Log into your Flickr account
  • Click on the down-arrow by groups
  • Select “search a group”
  • Type in the name of the group
  • Select the title of the correct group from the result list
  • Click on the link to “join this group?” under the search box
  • On the next screen click on the link “Join this Group”

The strength of Flickr lies in its social networking, with participants working together to create many different “pools” for sharing photos and a discussion board for talking. So join a Flickr group!

Important: Remember to add this task as an entry in your blog!

Resources

Friday, September 7, 2007

Stephen Abram's Powerpoint Presentation

Stephen Abram's powerpoint presentation is now available.

Week Three - 5. Create a Flickr Account

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What is Flickr?

Flickr is a free website to host your photos online. It is one of the fastest growing photo management and photo sharing sites on the web. Flickr allows you to upload your photos and tag them (describe them with keywords).You can arrange them into groups too, so they are easy to search for. Basically it is a way to display your photos publicly for family, friends and if you wish, the general public to access.

Explore Flickr!

For this exercise you are required to take a look at Flickr and discover what it has to offer:

  • Discover the fascinating things people and otherlibraries are using Flickr for
  • Find out how tags work
  • Find out what groups are
  • Then create a Flickr Account!

Register for a Flickr Account

A basic Flickr account is free. Since Flickr is owned by Yahoo! it is necessary to create a Yahoo! account first. If you already have one, you will be able to login to Flickr straight away. Creating an account takes just 3 easy steps. Just follow the necessary Yahoo! link which takes you to the sign up page and enter your details to register. You are then ready to sign into Flickr and register.

Important: Remember to add this task as an entry in your blog!

Resources

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Week Three - 4. Comment on each others' blog

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Blogging is not just about getting your message across. It's also for communication - other people can comment on what you have written, or respond to you on their own blog and link back to you. This is a public discourse. It could also be a way of starting arguments.

By now we have a nice list of staff blogs. You may not know which blog belongs to which person, but you can take a look at the blogs and see what they've written.

Your task

Go into a few other people's blogs and leave some comments. You may offer a word of encouragement, or read some people's reasons for blogging and tell them what you think of it.

Other people may comment on your blog.

Blog about your experiences contributing to discussions on other people's blogs, and how you think blogs can be useful for you or the library.

What's next?

You may want to keep watching some people's blogs for new posts and adding comments where-ever you feel like encouraging, helping out with a problem or responding to what they've written. There's even ways of subscribing to their blogs, but that will be covered in steps 9 to 11 of 23 Things.

Resources

Monday, September 3, 2007

Week Two - 3. Send us your blog!

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Show us your blog!

By now, you should have created your very own blog and written a post in it. If not, you'll have to complete the previous step now.

Your Task

Your next task is to tell us about your blog. Remember, you can remain anonymous if you like - the only ones who will know who you really are will be the 23 Things committee.

To tell us about your blog, you'll need to use the 23 Things registration form.

Using your blog

From now on, you'll need to use your blog to write about each 'thing' you complete. We'll use this as a record of where you are up to in 23 Things.

Even though we number the things and have a schedule, you may complete tasks out of order if you really want to.

Resources

Week Two - 2. Create your own blog and write something

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'blog' is short for 'web log'. It evolved from a 'web journal', like an online diary. Blogs serve different purposes. They are promotional tools, communication tools, social tools, or tools for sharing or commenting on news.

Why blog?

People blog because they want to share with others. They may share their opinions, rants on particular topics, or news from a holiday. They may even have a professional blog where they share views on their industry, or they may have a blog all about their cat.

When you're blogging, you can adopt any persona you like. One blogger adopted a persona they called Fake Steve Jobs and tried to write from the perspective of Steve Jobs.

Many companies have an 'official' blog, where they release news about the company and views about the industry. Some blogs are highly successful due to the personality of the blog's author. Some blogs have multiple authors.

Your task

You'll need to create your own blog. Have a look at Blogger.com and WordPress.com. You can get a free blog at either of these websites. Click the "Sign Up" or "Create a free blog" link to get started, and follow the directions.

I would also like you to write your very first post on your blog. You may want to introduce yourself, or your persona, or explain what the blog is for. Simply go to your blog and click 'New Post'.

Over the course of 23 Things, you'll need to write a blog post about each 'thing' you complete. That will let the 23 Things committee know what you're up to. You should also have a think about the audience for your blog - who are you blogging to? Anyone can read your blog - will you show it to your family, your friends, or will you just keep it to yourself? Will you want to continue blogging after you've completed all 23 Things?

Have a look at the links below for ideas on what to blog about, and why people blog.


Important: Bookmark your blog!

Save your blog to your bookmarks or favourites folder so you can return to it quickly later. You'll need to add an entry to it for each 23 Things task you complete.

Want to be anonymous?

If you prefer, you can create a blog under a pseudonym - you don't have to give your real name. The only people that will know whose blog it really is will be the 23 Things committee.

Resources