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Minnesota, United States

Monday, September 8, 2008

Thing 23 - Final Thoughts

I did it! I completed 23 Things on a Stick and found it to be a great program. I am hoping for a sequel! Here are my thoughts to the following questions:

1) Go back to your thoughts/ideas about Library 2.0. Has anything changed as a result of this experience?

I have become considerably more knowledgeable and proficient in using web 2.0 tools. I have increased my awareness of how web 2.0 can be used in libraries.


2) What were your favorite Things and discoveries?

I enjoyed each of the Things very much. The most fun for me was Thing 5 (Flickr Mash-Ups), Thing 6 (Online Image Generators), Thing 18 (Online Videos), and Thing 21 (Exploring Social Networks beyond MySpace and Facebook)


3) How did you connect with others doing the 23 Things On a Stick?

*Communicating my thoughts about web 2.0 through my blog
*Exploring web 2.0 communication tools (email, IM, text messaging, and webconferencing) and communicating with others via these methods.
*Participating in this wiki, which discusses web 2.0 issues
*Joining Facebook
*Commenting on various web 2.0 related blog posts


4) Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?

*There were some things that I didn't know about prior to this program. Most of the material in Things 9 (Collaboration Tools), 12 (Social Media Sites), 13 (Online Productivity Tools), 16 (U of MN Assignment Calculator and Research Project Calculator), 17 (ELM Productivity Tools), and 21 (Social Networks beyond Facebook and MySpace) were completely new to me.


5) What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or content?

*The program was great. I can't think of any ways to improve the content. Maybe give us a little more time to finish. I like to thoroughly explore each of the 23 things and would have gone more in depth on some of them given more time.

6) If we offered a 23 More Things On a Stick program like this in the future would you participate?

*Yes, can't wait for the sequel!

7) How would you describe your learning experience in one word or in one sentence, so we could use your words to promote 23 Things On a Stick learning activities to others?

*An enlightening experience

Thing 22 - What Did I Learn Today?

I am almost done with 23 Things on a Stick but I will continue to maintain my blog and update my web 2.0 skills. Some of the ways I will do this include:

*Reading others 23 Things on Stick blogs to get new ideas.
*Adding entries to my blog when I discover new web 2.0 tools that can applicable to a library setting.
*Do some of the optional challenges in the lessons that I didn't get around to doing.
*Continue reading and subscribing to new RSS feeds as appropriate
*Check out some of the web 2.0 sites that I have bookmarked on del.icio.us

My resolutions for keeping with web 2.0 include:
*Spend 15 minutes a day on web 2.0 related activities
*Explore at least one new web 2.0 tool a week
*Attend at least one free webinar or online course per month through sites such as MINITEX, WebJunction-Minnesota, or OPAL

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Thing 21 - Beyond MySpace: Other Social Networks

So many social networks, so little time. That's how I felt going through this exercise. I found many great social networking websites, but where will I find the time for all of them?

Some of the sites listed, I already use, including LinkedIn for career networking, Webjunction for professional development, and LibraryThing for discussing books and finding new things to read.

There were a number of sites I found interesting and plan on exploring more when I have more time. Some of these include:
Yelp, which provides reviews of local interest (including libraries)
Last.fm, discover new music based on your preferences. I currently use a related site, Pandora.com
Flixster , networking site for movie lovers
What's on My Bookshelf?, a site where members can exchange books using a point system
43 Things, list your goals and share your progress with others

In addition, I joined the Library 2.0 and the 23 Things on a Stick groups on Ning. In the 23 Things on a Stick group, I posted comments, uploaded a photo, and also added the 23 Things on a Stick badge to my blog.

What are some uses of the above social networking tools for librarians?

*Ning can be used to create new social networks. This would be particularly useful for librarians with specialized interests and careers.
*LinkedIn can be used for networking purposes
*Webjunction can be used for professional development. Many free workshops are offered here.
*Yelp posts reviews of local libraries. Librarians can use this information to see what community members think of their libraries and make changes accordingly.

Thing 20 - Libraries and Social Networks

I explored two of the most popular online social networks: MySpace and Facebook. I set up a Facebook account, set up a profile, added some friends, and joined the following Facebook groups: American Library Association Members, Library 2.0 Interest Group, and Hennepin County Library Employees. I was pleased to find a Facebook group for the library I work in. I hope it becomes more active.

Privacy is a concern of many with social networking sites. I liked the option to make my profile only viewable by friends. You never know who may be looking for you or who accidentally stumbles upon your name. When I set up an account, I got a list of "people you may already know". Some I did know, but several were complete strangers.

I was surprised to find that a lot of people I know: relatives, long lost friends, college and high school classmates, and coworkers have Facebook accounts. I liked the ability to search for people in Facebook from my email contacts or based on the college or high school I attended.

Compared to Facebook, MySpace has similar features. Both social networking sites have similar features: groups you can join, browsing for people based on interests and school attended, look up friends in your email address book, marketplace/classifieds, etc. It seemed like MySpace had more applications overall but also a busier and less clean layout.

I visited the MySpace page for Hennepin County Library and found it to be a good way of promoting the library and its services. The page has a built in search bar for the library, links to library programs, and a find a good book feature.

Librarians can use social networking sites to promote their libraries, network with other librarians, and join library related groups. In particular, many teenagers use MySpace and some libraries have MySpace workshops, including an internet safety component.