Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thing #23: Wrapping Up

I'm going to handle my last post like it's an interview.

What was your favorite thing you learned about?
My favorite thing that I learned about in the Web Challenge is either Delicious or Google Docs. Delicious, definitely because it makes bookmarking so much easier and productive. Google Docs, because its wonderful. It makes writing on the go so much easier. Have you checked it out yet?

No, not yet.

You really should. It's life changing.

That's interesting. What did you like least about Web 2.0?

The RSS Feeds is kind of redundant, since I got on board with the whole Delicious scene. It's the technology that I think I'll use least. It's nice and all, but I like looking at the original pages. Call me a purist.

What areas of Web 2.0 do you think the library should get more involved in?

That's kind of a loaded question. But I think that our staff should be more aware of Google Docs, as now we won't need to have dedicated word processing terminals. Just put them on Google Docs and they can type their letters, reports, essays whatever.

I do like the ideas of the shared Delicious accounts for staff to share useful websites, and I can see that being useful.

What Web 2.0 services have you shared with your friends and family?

Pandora, because I'm a music junkie. Google Docs, because its awesome. Library Thing, because I have lots of friends that like to brag and show off their book collections. How cool would it be if Library Thing allowed you to add movies and music....

Thing #22: Listen NJ

My thoughts on Books on Tape are mixed. I like them for long car, plane or train rides. I loathe them driving to work or when I go jogging. If I'm going to be listening to an audio book, it needs my undivided attention.

Anyway, I decided to give Listen NJ a spin on my work computer. Unfortunately, LNJ isn't compatible with iPods or Macs just yet. The software set up was very easy. When I was looking for a book to download, I remembered my friend giving me a glowing review of the historical account of a zombie invasion called World War Z, which my friend gave a glowing review to thanks to it featuring voice work from punk rocker Henry Rollins and Star Wars dude Mark Hamil.

I entered the title into the search box, doubtful that it would appear. But it did!

I downloaded the audio book and skimmed through it. I was pleasantly surprised that LNJ had it available! Now that's impressive.

You can check out WWZ at:

Thing #21 : Finding & Listening to Podcasts

Podcasting is very cool and something I wish I could get into. I do enjoy listening to audio content, especially interviews. For this discovery exercise, you are supposed to look for and listen to a podcast.

During dinner, I watch NBC's nightly news, and they always mention that they have special podcasts available. I looked on the two suggested site Podcast had their podcast, but Odeo did not.

You can listen/watch this programming over the Podcast website, but sometimes doing other things with your web browser can conflict. I prefer using iTunes to manage my podcasts.

It does a great job indexing podcasts for you to download, working like Google Reader but for podcasts. From their, you can listen to them on your iPod or computer, with it tracking where you left off last time you listened.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thing #20 - YouTube and You

YouTube is great; it has video clips of everything you can imagine.

For my blog, I chose this clip from the band Shadows Fall. The video of them is performing their song "Thoughts Without Words" from the album The Art of Balance

What's cool about this video is that the visual part was filmed at a concert at Club Krome in NJ. I was at this concert and I remember it being an awesome time. I think this was the third or fourth time I saw SF, and I have had the pleasure of seeing them many more times over the years.

Thing #19 - 2.0 Awards

Oh how I love Pandora.

Unfortunately, I've spent way too much time bugging fellow staff and committee members with how it has changed my musical listening life. Instead, I'll blog about something else on the list.

LULU--1st Place, Books

Have you ever thought about publishing your own book? Aside from actually writing it, determining how to get it printed is the biggest challenge facing a budding author. Lulu is allowing them to find a way to get their work out to the public.

The old way would be to go to a printer, have them print a minimum order of the book, and the author would then have to go out of there way to sell the book. This includes payment processing, shipping and handling, fulfillment and such. Not only does this take a lot of time, but it is expensive. The author has to purchase the books, regardless if they sell. Let's say your book cost $20 to manufacture and you had a minimum order of 1000. That means your already out of $20,000, without even selling a single copy. Ouch.

Lulu is a print on demand publisher. The author uploads their book to Lulu. That's it. Uploading the book is free to the author, and the title becomes available for sale through Lulu's bookstore.

Now what happens when someone wants to order that book? Lulu handles the purchasing with the customer. They process the order, print the book and ship it to the customer. 

So how does anyone make money through a Lulu book?

Lulu sets a minimum fee for a book. Let's say your historical fiction on Napoleon's long lost twin brother costs $12 to print via Lulu. That price includes all their production fees. The author then sets the MSRP to $19. Lulu gets $12 to make the book and their overhead, the author gets $7 , and someone gets a book that they want.

Lulu makes it simple for everyone to get their books published.

In review, why Lulu?
  • No inventory/overstock to pay for or have stored.
  • Lulu handles everything; the author just has to write their book
Lulu is a 2.0 way to do a 1.0 thing. Way to go Lulu!

Thing #18 - Web Apps

What's not to like about Web Apps like Google Docs and Zoho? They are very similar to the Microsoft Office software we are all used to. GD and Zoho are nearly identical; they are based on the same programming code!

I've been a big fan of Google Docs, due to its portability and simplicity. When I added my name to the Google Doc, you could really see how easy it is. So many of our coworkers added their name, edited the type/color/formatting and some even adding pictures! How great is that!

I've been using Google Docs for a variety of things, especially sharing information from my  home computer and work computer. Currently I am using it to write a book with a few friends--one located in Calgary, the other in Freehold. 

By using Google Docs, it makes editing/writing on this collaborative effort so much easier. I'm now a card carrying, sworn believer in the power of the Google Doc!

Thing #17 - Play in the Sandbox

I played around in the Sandbox!

I added my blog (CHRIS' BLOG OF DOOM-- to the blogs page.

In addition, I also left a note in the Sand Box section, proclaiming my love for Surf Taco.

Wiki's are very easy to update and creae. There are several useful ways Wikis could be used here at OCL, including:
  • A guide to successful library programs
  • Holidays throughout the year
  • Computer tips
  • PR and photography information
A wiki would be a great way for everyone in the system to share information about how to do daily tasks/projects more efficiently.