Web 2.0 Awards

I looked at some of the winners of the Web 2.0 Awards and there are some interesting ones.  Not a whole lot of stuff I would use regularly, but it is interesting to see what is out there.  I would like to explore Stumble Upon more at home sometime.  I was surprised that some sites I think of as 2.0 that I WOULD or DO use were not even on the long list…Since they were not, here are some of my fave 2.0 sites:

Ravelry -This is a social networking (and more) site for knitters and crocheters.  Kinda like Goodreads or Library thing in some ways, but for a different audience.  I think just about anyone who knits or crochets knows about this site and is highly addicted to it.  It has loads of free patterns and you can shop for patterns and other items as well.  You can show off what you are working on, and keep progress reports on the projects you are working on.  You can create an inventory of your yarn stash, needles and hooks & pattern books.  There are also forums and you can of course find ‘friends.’  How did this site get missed?  Seriously!!!

Swap-bot -This is a site where you can sign up to swap things with others from all across the world.  Mostly you swap things you make.  There are swaps for all interests.  I’ve seen recipe swaps, postcard swaps, ATC (Artist Trading Card), quilting, sewing, knitting, crochet, Mix CDs, letters, magazines, books, photography…all sorts of things!  The swaps have a deadline and you have a partner or several partners.  You also fill out a profile about yourself and can join groups.  It isn’t quite as advanced on the social networking side though.  Here is a link to my profile on swap-bot: 

http://www.swap-bot.com/user:djminimart

Spoonflower: Not entirely sure if this counts as 2.0, but it is such a cool new site, especially if you are an artsy type.  They just this week opened it up to anyone too.  Basically on this site you can upload your own designs and have them printed on fabric!  They look all professional too!  I haven’t tried uploading an image just yet, but will soon! 

I know I am supposed to have my librarian hat on for these exercises, but I cannot help but leave my artsy-crafty hat on…Web 2.0 technology has really brought such a HUGE, GIGANTIC sense of community to domestic arts and arts and crafts.  It has also led to a celebration of many formerly under-appreciated skills that have traditionally been done by women.  I love how so many women are blogging about what they make and do and that there are sites like the ones above.  In my blogging and swap experiences over the last 2 years, I have connected with people of all ages and from all over the country!  How amazing, when you really think about it!  A community like this didn’t exist 10 years ago.  The arts and crafts are one area where I see Web 2.0 at its best.   

Ok, stepping down from my soapbox now…

Google Docs

I’ve used Google Docs for almost 2 years now.  I don’t use it a ton, but I do like it.  My husband and I use it to track our budget and I like that both of us can go in there from different computers.  I didn’t know I could turn things into pdfs until reading the Learn and Play exercise and that is handy.  I played around converting a couple of my old documents into pdfs and found a letter a wrote to the City of Columbus contesting a ticket I received.  I used to live on a street that did street cleaning 3x a year and I ended up getting towed twice in 4 years!  It really stunk!  Getting towed is expensive.  Last May I moved my car just in time but they still gave me a 20.00 ticket and I used Google docs to write up a letter contesting the ticket.  I still had to pay it…I know, poor me…but it was a great experience using Google Docs and funny to re-read the letter after all this time :)!

Wikis, Part 2

Wow, I am finally up to #16!  I actually starting to feel almost caught up!  I added my blog to the Learn and Play at CML Favorites Wiki and I added some favorite books, restaurants and vacation spots.  I think this exercise may be good for experience publishing online, however, I think this wiki looks messy.  It isn’t organized at all once you get into each category and isn’t actually set up for finding anything.  You have to read through everything and I prefer my information organized.  Some link, some don’t.  It just looks like a mish mash of random information.  I think the jury is still out for me on wikis…although I do like the name wiki, makes me think of the Ewoks.

Wikis, Part 1

I took about a half hour to look at the wikis linked in the Learn and Play blog post.  My wiki experience really only goes as far as wikipedia, so a half hour is really not enough time to get a true feel for wikis.  I still don’t feel completely clear about the best ways to use them.  I still have a hard time browsing wikis, they just don’t look inviting to me.  I thought the ones linked seemed a little sparse on content and being used to wikipedia which is anything but sparse, I found that somewhat disapointing.  I can see how wikis are useful for colaborative projects.  I also think they would be useful as a sort of database, for recipes or book lists, other things with a lot of “stuff.”  Still wikis seem to me most useful when you already know what you are looking for and not so much for just browsing.

Library 2.0 and Web 2.0

***this picture has nothing to do with this post, just thought it was pretty…it’s what I did last Monday 🙂

I read most of the articles on Library and Web 2.0 and my first thought was that 2.0 is a lot more overwhelming to read about than it has been to explore some of these 2.0 technologies.  Some of the articles just got a little too technical for me.  Reading some of these perspectives, however, reminded me that Library 2.0 is more than just the web or technology, which is probably how I tend to think of it.  And I am glad for that.   I think the key phrase I got out of all of this is that Library 2.0 is user-focused.  Previously when I heard the term Library 2.0 I thought of technology and it doesn’t have to be that…although I think the discussion does tend to focus more on technology sometimes than user-focused.

I think my philosophy on Web/Library 2.0 goes along best with the Michael Stephens article.  I loved what he said about technolust and that Librarian 2.0 does not buy technology for the sake of technology.  I think this is critical as the library evolves…lots of technology ends up just being a passing fad and it takes a higher level of thinking to identify if certain technology will truly improve service. 

What I think is most important for Library 2.0 is that we do not leave people behind.  I see a lot of people who have been left behind at my location.  I see this also with my family and friends and that scares me sometimes.  How can we meet these customers needs?  How are we helping the person who has never needed to fill out an online job application before, but now needs to in order to get a job at McDonalds or Family Dollar.  I don’t feel I ever have enough time to really work with folks on things like this…and they don’t always want to come to a scheduled class.  Another thing I notice, and maybe I just hang out with people from the stone age, but the majority of my college educated friends (the ones who don’t work in libraries) who are in their mid twenties to early thirties do not have flickr accounts or blogs.  Most don’t even read blogs.  They don’t twitter or have a facebook page.  How will Library 2.0 meet these people if they aren’t in these places I keep hearing they supposedly already are?  This is why I think it is important to go beyond technology when we discuss Library 2.0.  It is important for us as a profession to be familiar with these tools, and many people are using them, however there are still a lot of people who are not using them and have no need to use them.  And I am not saying here that we shouldn’t be moving forward like we are, we most definitely should, however, I hope as we move forward we are not turning a blind eye to what is right in front of us and that we are truly focusing on what our users want and need.

Delicious

I am pretty behind on Learn & Play, so I’ll try and catch up.  I played around with delicious over a few days (well weeks actually, like I sad I am behind).  I liked it okay and definitely see a use for it.  It is definitely handy to be able to save your links no matter what computer you might be on.  Only thing is I don’t save a lot of links.  I seem to always be able to relocate a link I need with a google search.  But I did save a few links and tagged them.  Now, we’ll see if I use it again 🙂