Monday, July 27, 2009

Week #6--Tagging and Folksonomies

Yes, libraries are changing. And for the most part, I think it's all for the better. I remember back in the stone age when I was in college and writing a paper. I would type parts of it as I got the research finished. Research being perusing tons of books and journal articles to find the bits and pieces you needed to defend your point of view. Then I would take the pages and cut them up into paragraphs and tape it all back together in some appropriate order. Then I'd edit again, move a few more pieces around and type it all again as a final draft. What I would've given for a word processor! In those days if you studied in the library, you studied alone. Because if you were with someone else, you would be talking and you'd be asked to leave.

I guess I don't need to list all the ways research and libraries have changed and the technology involved. But it's definitely a more welcoming, livelier, and noisier place. A lot of research revolves around databases, search engines, bookmarking, and proper tagging. Research articles or items for purchase when tagged incorrectly, show up in the oddest places and are just a nuisance. Tagged correctly they pop up nicely when you need them.

While I'm not certain if I'll ever use Delicious as I'm happy with the "favorites" on my computer, I really like Technorati. It's a good place to keep track of blogs on various subjects and a way to get my blog seen. I've set up an account but probably won't do anything with it until this course is finished and my blogs are more pertinent to my new life after 60.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Week #6


Week #5 -- Explore

So I spent a little time exploring suggested sites. I didn't get an account at either Rollya or the Library site. I looked around but really wasn't interested in what was there. I did try to create an avatar in Yahoo. I was able to do this and it shows up in some odd places as I travel around the site. But I wasn't successful in uploading it to my blog or my Yahoo email account. I tried a variety of ways and even used the Yahoo tutorial, but nothing worked. I did find a page that listed the changes in the new version of Yahoo mail that said that avatars no longer show. And as I don't really want the avatar in my blog, I just dropped it.

I walk for exercise but hate to just aimlessly walk around town. I prefer to have a destination--the post office, local dollar store, something I need from the market. I guess I'm not very good at just exploring sites for the same reason. I prefer to have something that I need to do.

So I'm moving on rather quickly to Week #6.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Week #4 -- RSS Feed

Well that was easy, relatively speaking.

So all my fears about this whole RSS feed were all due to not truly understanding what it is and not reading enough to find out. Thank you, 23 Things.

I set myself up with a Bloglines reader, subscribed to some of the popular sites Bloglines lists, and looked through them all to see which ones I'd actually read. I then was able to delete the bad ones and organize the remaining ones. As I really don't follow any blogs, I searched for some that I might like to read. Technorati was helpful as was the Google blog search and tomorrow I'll see the news all in one place.

I also added the RSS icon to this blog in case anyone wants to follow me on this journey.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Week #3 -- Flickr Pt.2

Originally uploaded by jansjems26
The assignment this lesson is to discuss my thoughts on any form of technology. As I've just spent an hour trying to get Flickr to talk to Google, I guess that's what's on my mind at the moment.

It required a great deal of patience (anyone who knows me knows I have this in short supply) and some genuine persistence to make the transfer of images work. The directions on Flickr were incorrect as the info you were supposed to see on Google didn't exist. I even found a forum complaining about this problem so I knew it wasn't just my lack of skill. Don't ask me where I finally found a page where I enabled google to accept Flickr pictures as I'll probably never be able to find it again. But it was not where it was supposed to be.

In any event, from this post you can see that I was able to download a picture of my husband and me in front of Montecello last week. It was a nice, relaxing vacation before a very long ride home.

As my plans for the future include designing and selling jewelry full time, any technology that helps me promote my product is important. And since pictures are the most important part of online sales, any technology that aids in the manipulation, download, and reconfiguration of photos will be very useful in that arena. While I dislike spending so much time on the computer and would rather be making jewelry, it's unavoidable.

Week #3 -- Flickr Pt.1

This course has finally given me the opportunity to spend some time on the Flickr website. I've had an account for awhile as it was promoted as a way to market products. So I put up a few pictures of jewelry and just forgot about it. I now see what other people have done with their pages and the importance of tags and sets. I organized my pictures and loaded them with tags and we'll see what happens.

It was also fun to try some of the third party applications. I like the mosaic picture maker and may find a use for it in the future. I also tried the trading card site and popped in on the ecard site as well as Animoto. I've bookmarked the ones I like and will spend more time on them in the future.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Week #2 -- Blogging

Well that was fun. The blog is set up and registered. And I just spent some time customizing and downloading pictures.

So how's it look?

Week #1 -- Explore

The banner of this blog has the name of my new business and, hopefully, what will eventually become my new identity. But this is not really my "Week #1" of the journey. The journey has been ongoing for about 2-3 years and this is actually "Week #1" of my online technology class called "23 things".

This first week was meant to be motivational, encouraging our staff & librarians to try new things and experience new technologies. Jansjems has been my new thing. And little did I know that designing jewelry would lead to so many challenges and technological new things that have nothing to do with jewelry design.

I think I'm a pretty good example of several of the points made by the video--learn new things, never too late, see problems as challenges, use technology to your advantage. As a child that grew up in the early days of television (is anyone reading this old enough to remember Ed Sullivan, Pinky Lee, the Lone Ranger??) my familiarity with computers only grew as a result of my library job. And somewhere in the late 80s things started moving so fast that I just got left behind in the dust. Oh, I can use what I need to here in the library, but then my kids started talking about social networks and tweeting. They'd tell me about improvements to programs that I have old versions of, and how I can load pictures to the web (if I'd just get a digital camera).

So I bought the digital camera and, OMG, my life changed. I didn't need to buy film, I could see my pictures right after they were taken, I could delete them, edit them, and on and on! And that was the beginning of MY 23 things.

I was introduced to Picasa as a photo editor since Photoshop and Gimp were just too complicated for me. But now that I have some experience, my daughter downloaded Gimp onto my home computer and I will try (she says meekly).

Though I was happy to make jewelry for craft shows, bought the required tent and displays, there are a lot of months when I'm not at shows. Not ready to set up my own website, my girls introduced me to Etsy. This is a marketplace similar to Ebay that makes setting up a shop easy and inexpensive. I now have 2 shops on Etsy and a new one on 1000markets, have set up payment options with Paypal and Amazon, and take credit cards on Propay.

Conversations on both of the marketplaces are constantly about marketing so I'm now on Facebook, have a Flickr and a Twitter account (though I don't really see the point of this one), and I'm a member of local artisan networks on Ning and Yahoo. I post to the group blogs. I've been to Technorati & and may even have accounts I've forgotten about. But I am looking forward to playing with some of the features of all of these that I haven't tried yet. And I've been a little afraid of the RSS feed thing. So Week #4 will be a challenge.