Tuesday, September 25, 2007

#12 Roll your own search engine with Rollyo

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Do you have a group of websites that are your favorites? 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:

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Explore Rollyo and create an account for yourself.

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

Create a post in your blog about your experience and link to your search roll. Can you see a potential use for tools like this?

OPTIONAL: Add your searchroll to your blog

1. Go to Rollyo at

2. Click on DASHBOARD

3. Scroll down the page and click on SEARCHBOX

4. Put the name and URL of your blog in the place provided

5. Click on the search rolls you want and click on the > arrow to transfer them into the into selected SEARCHBOX ROLLS box

6. Go to STYLE and select the type of Rollyo icon you want (it will preview your selection )

7. 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 )

8. Sign into your blog and go to the dashboard

9. Go to template

10. Select Add and arrange page elements

11. From this page select HTML/JAVA SCRIPT and click Add to Blog

12. This will lead you to a page that has a space to put

a. A title
b. Contents

Key in a title (Such a 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

Preview your blog and the rollyo search should be on the template down the side of the page

#11 All about LibraryThing

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Are you a book lover or cataloger 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 catalog of your own, it also connects you to other people who have similar libraries and reading tastes.

Add a book to your catalog 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.

There are lots of ways to use LibraryThing:

  • You can even view your books on a virtual shelf,

  • add a widget (see sidebar as an example) to display titles that are in your catalog or

  • install a LT Search box on your blog.

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 Resources:

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Take a look around LibraryThing and create an account.

  2. Add a least 5 books to your library.

  3. Blog about your findings and be sure to link to your LibraryThing catalog.

#10 Play around with Image Generators

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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 these:

For this discovery exercise, I 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.
Often adding the image you mocked up to your blog is as simple as copying and pasting the code that the page provides.
If not, 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.

If you’re having difficulty getting your image added to a post in your blog, ask a co-worker for help. In looking at several staff blogs, it’s easy to see that we have lots of people in the system who have figured out how easy it is to add images to their blogs.

Discovery Resources:

The Generator Blog
Letter James
FD Toys
Also try searching for online generators, text generators or image generators!

Discovery Exercise:

1. Play around with some image generators and find one that you like.
2. Post the result of your discovery process in your blog.
Note: Be sure to include a link to the image generator itself, so other participants can discover it too.

So take some time and have fun with this exercise.
Learning 2.0 ....discovering web 2.0 technologies through PLAY!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

#9 Finding Feeds

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Now that you have a newsreader (your Bloglines account), you can begin adding other newsfeeds that interest you. There are several ways you can locate newsfeeds:

  • When visiting your favorite websites -- look for news feed icons that indicate the website provides it. Often a feed icon will be displayed somewhere in the navigation bar of the site. (Here's an image that contains a sampling of several feed icons).

  • Use Blogline's Search tool - Bloglines recently expanded search tool lets you search for news feeds in addition to posts, citations and the web. Use the Search for Feeds option to locate RSS feeds you might be interested in.

Other Search tools that can help you find feeds:

    • Feedster - One of the largest collections of RSS feeds, Feedster lets you search for feeds in three categories: news, blogs & podcasts

    • Topix.net - This search tool allows you to locate recent newsfeed items based upon keyword or phrase searching. The tool focuses specifically on news and media outlet RSS feeds for information, not weblogs.

    • Google Blog search - This is still in BETA mode, but appears to be a good search tool

    • Technorati - Technorati is a popular blog finding tool that lets you search for blogs. Since RSS feeds are inherent to all blogging tools, Technorati Blog Search can help you find RSS feeds for topic specific blogs you may be interested in.
      Additonal Resource: Technorati Tutorial on finding and adding your blog

Discovery Excercise:

  1. Explore some of the search tools noted above that can help you locate some news feeds.

  2. 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 feeds did you find in your travels? Or what kind of unusual ones did you find? What other tools or ways did you find to locate newsfeeds?

Extra stuff to explore

Some of the databases your library subscribes to have RSS feed alerts.
Ebsco ANZ Reference Centre is an example of this.

To subscribe to a RSS feed for a specific journal using Ebsco

  1. Go to Ebsco ANZ Reference Centre

  2. Click on NEW FEATURES

  3. From this screen tick the ALERTS box. This will embed an RSS icon against the publications list

  4. Find a journal your would like to subscribe to (eg Australian Library Journal)

  5. Follow the instructions to put RSS feed into your bloglines account

You may like to explore what other databases have a similar feature.

#8 Make life "really simple" with RSS & a newsreader

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FYI & ICYW: This is the longest podcast in the program.

You’ve heard of RSS? You’ve seen those small funny tags on websites?

You’ve heard co-workers and acquaintances swear by it, but still have no

idea what RSS is?

Well don’t worry, according to a recent survey you’re still in the majority, but this is changing rapidly.

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 regularly updated information over the web.

Just think about the websites and news information sources you visit every day.

It takes time to visit those sites and scour the ad-filled and image-heavy pages for just the text you want to read, doesn’t it?

Now imagine if you could visit 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’d already seen or read before… and without having to consume a lot of time visiting each site individually.

Would that be valuable to you?

Well, it’s available now through a newsreader and RSS.

This week’s discovery exercises focus on learning about RSS news feeds and setting up a Bloglines account (a free online newsreader) for yourself to bring your feeds together.

Discovery Resources:

  • RSS in Plain English: A simple and user friendly overview of RSS created by Commoncraft Video on Youtube.

Discovery Exercise:

  • Follow the discovery resources above to learn more about RSS and newsreaders.

  • Create a free online Bloglines account for yourself and subscribe to at least 10 newsfeeds to your reader. See Using Bloglines Tutorial steps 1-3 for instructions.


    • Subscribe to several of your co-workers' feeds. This is as easy as typing the blog URL into the subscribe field in Bloglines. Or go to your friends' blogs, click on the 'subscribe' or 'atom' button at the bottom of the page. Try it, it's easy!

    Then try adding a few other types of news feeds from news sources (you may like to select a couple from the list below)

  • Create a post in your blog about this exercise. Optional: If you're up to the challenge, you can provide the URL address to your public bloglines account (find where to find this below).

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?

How to find your public Bloglines URL:

  1. Click on the Share tab within your Bloglines account:

  1. Scroll down the right screen pane and locate the public URL (see screenshot)

  2. Be sure to add this as part of your post to demonstrate your completion of this activity.

Why make your RSS feeds public?

Try to think where a public account may be useful. ie: sharing with a group of people with the same interest, sending information to specific types of clients, etc...

PS: Once you tackle this discovery exercise, you've tackled the most difficult one of the whole
23 : )

Monday, September 17, 2007

# 7 Blog about technology

“Library 2.0…it’s not primarily about machines and software: it’s about using the best tools and ideas to provide the best possible service to our users”

[A presentation by Marylaine Block
for the British Colombia Library Association , April 19, 2007

The Learning 2.0 program is all about teaching you how to use web 2.o tools, and some of these tools you may may find useful to help deliver services in the library.

For Exercise #7, simply blog about anything technology related.
Yes, it can be anything that relates to technology!
You just need to share a few thoughts.

Perhaps you might like to talk about 'Creating Content' , or a technology you now rely on to perform everyday tasks.
Try for at least 100-150 words.

We have all come along way using technology in a very short time. Can you remember learning to use a computer and a mouse (!!!), and having to send an email instead of faxing a memo?
Imagine now having to cope without these technologies

# 6 More Flickr Fun

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 just a sampling of a few …

  • Mappr - allows you to take Flickr images and paste them on a map

  • Flickr Color Pickr - lets you find public photos in Flickr that match a specific color.

  • Montagr – create a photo mosaic from photos found on Flickr.
Discover more mashups, web apps, and Flickr tools.
An interesting site showcasing mashups is the Mash Up Awards .

Discovery Exercise:

Your discovery exercise for this “thing” is to:

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

  2. Create a blog post about one that intrigues you.

Suggested tools to use are FD ToysTrading Card Maker.

And there’s a ton of librarians out there that have created their own Librarian Trading Card.

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

And if you're up to the challenge while you’re at it, why not create a trading card of your own. :)

* Mashup Note: Wikipedia offers some great articles that explain mashups. Basically they are hybrid web applications that take features from one application (like Flickr) and mash it up with another (like a map). In this example, you get Mappr (http://mappr.com/).

The image above was created by txt2pics

# 5 Discover Flickr

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Photo sharing websites have been around since the 90s, but
it took a small startup site called Flickr to catapult the idea
of “sharing” into a full blown online community.

Within the past couple of years, Flickr has become the fastest growing
photo sharing site on the web and is known as one of the first websites to use keyword “tags” to create associations and connections between photos and users of the site.

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 (list also here) are using Flickr for.

Discovery Resources:

Discovery Exercise:

In this discovery exercise, you have two options…

  1. Take a good look around Flickr and discover an interesting image that you want to blog about. Be sure to include either a link to the image or, if you create a Flickr account, you can use Flickr's blogging tool to add the image in your post.

    -- OR --
If you have access to a digital camera you might like to upload a picture to flickr.

I have created an account for you to use (Please email me for login and password).

  1. To upload a photo, first save your photo to your computer (or USB).
  1. Go to the flickr website at http://www.flickr.com/

  2. Sign in (using the login and password I have emailed to you. If you have forgotten it, please email me and I will send it to you).

  3. Click on upload photos.

  4. Click on browse and locate where you have saved your photo (you can upload more than one photo at once).

  5. You can add tags describing your photo at the bottom of the page.

  6. Click upload to complete the process.

Something else to look at:

You might also like to take a look at the National Library Picture Australia website
  1. Click on the flickr icon on the front page and you will be led to a display of images the National Library have used from flickr.
    This is part of the National Library's vision of building a comprehensive pictorial record of Australian history. You may also like to view the media release from the National Library about this collaborative project.
  2. Other photosharing and photography websites include www.snap.com, www.fotolia.com, www. slide.com, and www.dumpr.net.

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.

Don't forget to label this post on your blog #5 flickr and talk about what you have learned doing this activity.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Week 2 - Setting up your blog

Now the active participation starts!
Are YOU ready to get stuck into 'Thing #3 ?

#3 Grab yourself a blog in 3 steps

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Now that you’ve done some exploring around this website and understand how this program will work, it’s time to setup your very own personal blog.

Your blog is where you will be recording your thoughts, discoveries and exercises for the Learning 2.0 program.

For this exercise 'Setting up your blog' we are using Blogger*, a popular free online blog hosting service that is extremely easy to use. However, there are other bogging sites such as Myspace, Livejournal, Facebook, Immortalspace and Wordpress.
Please feel free to use whichever site you prefer.

Creating a blog using Blogger takes just three steps:

1. Go to the Blogger home page. Set up an email account if you don't already have one: you can use any existing email account you wish, your personal or staff one, or you can set up a Yahoo, or Gmail account.

2. Name your blog (view screenshot)

3. Select your template. (view screenshot)

Once you’ve created your blog here are two important things to know:

  • To add posts:
    The maintenance interface that you will use to add posts, edit or change the set-up of your blog is accessed online at http://www.blogger.com/
    Make sure you write down your login and password.

  • To view your blog:
    Your blog address is http://(xxxx).blogspot.com, (xxxx=is the unique identifier/name you entered in Step 2, i.e http://maryslearning.blogspot.com).
    Be sure to also write down your blog address.

A couple of useful Tips!

  • Again, you can use any email address to set up a Blog in Blogger.
    It is not necessary to set up a Gmail account to create a Blog.
    (you can use your staff email)

Write down the details from your 'Create Account' or print out this page.

This may help you to remember
your login and password.

#4 Register your Blog

As you progress through the PLCMC Learning 2.0 Program it will be evident that certain things do not apply to our program.
We may change some of the exercises to more relevant ones for you.
This will appear on your library's Learning blog.

Once you have registered your Blog it will be listed on your library's
Learning 2.0 Participants Blog.
The participants blog is a good place to gain inspiration and support each other via the comments section in the individual blogs.

A great site of general interest is Blogger's Help page, with handy tips for new members.

Learning 2.0 - discovering web 2.0 technologies through PLAY!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Week 1 - Introduction to Life Long Learning

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

Learning 2.0 is an online learning program to learn more about emerging technologies on the web that are changing the way people, society and libraries access information and communicate with each other.
Over the course of the next nine weeks, this website will highlight “23Things” with Discovery Exercises to help you become familiar with blogging, RSS news feeds, tagging, wikis, podcasting, online applications, and video and image hosting sites. Image courtesy of www.infed.org

To familiarize yourself with this project, be sure to read the
Welcome to the Learning 2.0 progam and also our
Learning 2.0 FAQs page.

These FAQs should answer most of your questions about this program.
If you don't see your question answered just add it as a comment at the bottom of the page so we can address it.

Now listen to the podcast about the program

Listen to this podcast [1:53]-->

#2 Lifelong Learning
The Seven and 1/2 Habits of Highly Successful Lifelong Learners provides you with a refresher on what it means to be a lifelong learner.

Habit 1 – Begin with the end in mind
Habit 2 – Accept responsibility for your own learning
Habit 3 – View problems as challenges
Habit 4 – Have confidence in yourself as a competent, effective learner
Habit 5 – Create your own learning toolbox
Habit 6 – Use technology to your advantage
Habit 7 – Teach and mentor others
Habit 7 ½ – PLAY!Have fun! It's never too late to become a lifelong learner.

Discovery Exercise:

Follow this link
for a podcast about the Seven and 1/2 Habits of Highly Successful Lifelong Learners and your first discovery exercise. If you would like to see and print out your Learning 2.0 Contract you can do so here.

Read the Wikipedia definition of Library 2.0 and see how Learning 2.0 impacts upon Library services. Some good resources are also listed on the Wikipedia page.
A useful link to a site on Life Long Learning and Library 2.0: Library Instruction Wiki