Sunday, October 12, 2008

The End (for now)

Well, I'm glad to be at the end of this as it's been time-consuming, but it has been an interesting journey. The highlights for me were the web mashups - especially the maps and images, as I can see a use for them for our local history work. The mashup applications around at the moment still aren't at the level of sophistication I'm really looking for - I'd like to be able to use our own historic maps and add images to them rather than add images to the google maps - but I'll keep an eye on what is happening with those as they will surely keep developing.

I also liked the online word processing options like Zoho - those could be very useful, especially if laptops keep coming down in price, as it will make it that much easier to be mobile if you can cart around a cheap basic notebook and get online via a wireless connection from pretty much anywhere. I know you can do that now, but most laptops are still pretty heavy as they need processing power to run Word and all the rest. Shifting both the software and the storage of your files to the net means the hardware needn't be so complex, costly and heavy. PDFs and iphones sort of do that for you now, but I don't like their squitty little screens - for people who seriously need to WRITE, a decent size screen and keyboard are still important.

The blog itself is likely to be a useful format for our local history work at the library - I wouldn't use it for personal stuff, but as a means of bringing together online unpublished info we find about the shore, combine it with our digital pictures, and get feedback from knowledgable locals, it could be good. Once we've all had time to think about this Web 2.0 technology, it would also be valuable to go back through what we've covered and look at what we can co-opt into our regular, professional library work.

On a personal level - my favourites were YouTube, the Image generators and sorting out once and for all how to set up RSS feeds. (I would have liked to put one final YouTube link in here but the site keeps coming up in Chinese - that's been an issue for most of us right throughout this Web 2.0 program and it happens in Blogger also - if there's a solution out there I'd like to know it!!).

Thanks to the people who put this program together - your hard work is appreciated. - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more
Anna L

Monday, October 6, 2008

Libraries Online

Nice to see the number of libraries that already have profiles on MySpace and Facebook - I can see the value of this especially for building relationships with younger library users who are at home in the MySpace world. The blog by Meredith Farkas was helpful and she raises some very good points - for instance, about making your site truly 2-way (which is what Web 2.0 and social networking is really all about) by inviting comment, contributions, suggestions for purchase. We already talk at our users via our own websites - having a library portal somewhere like Facebook is a chance to talk with them.

With the right kind of promotion, this kind of outreach can move beyond the teen audience to embrace older users too - Kete Horohwenua (set up by Horowhenua Library) used Web 2.0 technology to reach out beyond their library users to the community at large, and did so in part by enlisting older contributors through promoting their site to the Senior Net people, who then went on to enlist and train others. They also set up workstations in the library itself that people without pcs at home could come and use to scan and post photos, documents, blogs - you name it - to the Kete site. It's a great example of local content built by its users - the library maintains a loose monitoring role, but the main contributors are the locals themselves.