Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The end of the trail...or the beginning

The end of the trail?

It's been a very interesting journey down the 27 Things path. I've accomplished some things that I'd never really given much thought about previously, like creating and maintaining a blog; explored online services that I'd heard about but never investigated, like Bloglines, LibraryThing, and Flickr and checked out others I'd never heard of (Zoho and Rollyo); and in general expanded my knowledge and confidence in using online tools. It's been a fascinating and educational trip.

A few random observations along the way:

I've got several online accounts for various services like Flickr, Zoho, etc., and I suspect I've forgotten the passwords to some of them. Thankfully there's always a "Forgot password?" link.

Some of the online services are interesting but I doubt I'd use much, at least now, like Flickr or Zoho, or are just a cute gadget (Wordle and the map from Big Huge Labs).

Some are useful but I would probably put aside for another time, like Rollyo or LibraryThing.

I need to add more content to my Bloglines account. Right now all I've got is Daily Dilbert and a couple of weather reports. I've located several fantasy & science fiction review sites I would like to include.

Twitter seems pretty ephemeral. For keeping in touch with others, I like Facebook better. I didn't even have a Facebook page until a week ago, and I now have added my three nieces in Pennsylvania as friends and am a fan of SPL.

Downloadable audiobooks: A definite yes!! I'm going to check out downloadable music from SPL as well.

YouTube: Fun to watch, but it has the potential to be a big time-waster. I don't own the necessary camera equipment to record and post videos, and probably wouldn't post them anyway.

Something I still need to figure out is how to upload digital photos from my home computer to this blog or to Facebook. Hey, I'd be content with just transferring them from the computer to a DVD to share with family. The wolf picture is actually from Microsoft clip art's files, as is the image of the knight's helmet on the Facebook badge.

Web 2.0 is all about collaboration and sharing. It's evident in sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Classmates.com. You can experience it when online retailers solicit product reviews from customers, movie ratings on Internet Movie Database, book reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and subscriber comments on newspaper and media sites (though sometimes those comments get nasty--I got so fed up with people trashing California on USAToday.com that I now post occasionally in defense of the state). Web 2.0 is interactivity. It used to be that websites used to be "Here's our online presence" with little opportunity for two-way interaction. Now it's "Here's our online presence. Like it? Share it/blog it/tweet it/post it/bookmark it/Facebook it/MySpace it/Deli.cio.us it/tell us what you think!"

As for the name "Arizonawolf"...it's a mashup of sorts, a combination of a favorite state to visit and a favorite animal. I have a photo of a pair of Mexican gray wolves taken at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, but the wolves kind of blend into their surroundings and I can't yet figure out how to upload it to this blog (I like the clip art photo better anyway). Then I started thinking that wolves are actually collaborative creatures: all members of the pack cooperate in hunting and in raising their cubs. Indeed, the pack's success depends upon that collaboration.

So where to from here?

I intend to keep up this blog for library-related stuff, and I hope others maintain theirs as well. I'll throw out a few tweets from time to time about some new title or a bit of news from CMS (not in any official capacity, of course!). I'd like to see branches start their own blogs, and perhaps there might be some place on SPL@ where all staff and branch blogs can be brought together in one list.

The end of the trail? Nope. It's just the start.

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