Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wikis - Thing 21

I like using Wikipedia, so I am familiar with the concept. It is interesting that Wikipedia is as accurate as it appears to be. Users seem to do a good job of policing the site and making sure it remains credible. Speaking of credible, I added a bit of info on our Wiki. I added content about Firehouse Subs. Briefly, it is good but somewhat overpriced deli food. I much prefer Subway for value.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Podcasting About the Web

I enjoyed this thing and learned quite a bit, too. I have used podcasts before and have subscribed to one or two, but podcasts are not among my more widely used online tools. Like most things it comes down to subject matter: find something you like and chances are, you'll stick with it, otherwise,you're gone!

Initially, I used the site to select a podcast from the Denver Public Library. Randomly I selected the first item on the list: The Pig Who Went Home on Sunday :An Appalachian Folktale by Donald Davis. It was a reading of a children's book. The narrator did a good job, but sadly I can not tell you how the story ended. I can tell you that it was a take-off of the "Three Little Pigs" saga and that the sly fox had dinner with the first pig. Menu was pork. Oh well, kids will love it.

My second selection from the list was a podcast from the Lincoln (Nebraska) City Library. Sound quality was excellent... for the introduction. The intro consisted of a lovely classical music piece followed by an announcer that came direct from WRR radio. His tone was deliberate and pretentious. His words were hushed; he quietly mouthed the announcement as though he were in a library, or perhaps at a golf tournament. With great expectations the program began. What a letdown! The sound quality was lousy. It sounded like somebody put a mike in the back of an auditorium and taped a lecture. Life is too short for bad microphone placement.

I searched for other podcasts and found a series on disaster preparedness by the Texas Historical Commission's Museum Services' folks. The first podcast was audio only. It described the purpose of the series. The remaining podcasts were video podcasts with a conservator from Amigos Library Services demonstrating how to respond to water-damaged books, papers, textiles and objects. The sound quality was good. The camerawork was poor in the first video but got better in subsequent broadcasts.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Brave Hulu World

OK, so now we have Hulu (and other similar products). What impact will that have on my life, on the library, on our patron's lives? The short answer is not a whole lot. At least not right now. You see, these technologies are evolutionary, not revolutionary. People, myself included (yes, I am a people)are already catching on to this latest time-saver. I see people on the library computers with headphones on intently enjoying the latest episode of The Family Guy all the time. I started watching last Monday's episode of 24 (which I have saved on our home DVR). Other than an old-fashioned dedication to working at work, I could have watched the whole show, but I didn't. Hey, I can watch it on HD on a big screen at home. On Hulu the presentation is fine, just small. I like the options: read comments about what others think of the show. This show rocks! This show stinks! I guess you can't please everyone.

Bottom line, expect more of this sort of thing. As long as advertisers will go along with it, it will be free, otherwise it will become a subscription thing.