Tuesday, October 23, 2007

#23 Is this really the end? Or just the beginning ...

The future of Web 2.0 is limitless...

Wow! Congratulations!!

You’ve reached the 23rd thing.
Be sure to give yourself a pat on the back for completing the program.
There is just one more discovery activity for you to post to your blog .

For your last and final exercise for this program please reflect on your learning journey and post a few thoughts.

Here are some questions to prompt you if you're drawing a blank ...

What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?
Were there any take-aways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you? What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?

In closing, I want to thank you all for joining us on this learning 2.0 journey.

This Victorian Public Libraries Learning 2.0 Program has been based on the PLCMC Learning 2.0 program developed by Helene Blowers of the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County.
Many thanks to Helene Blowers for allowing us to use her program.

Learning 2.0 is licensed under Creative Commons

#22 Audiobooks (or "The end is in sight ")

[There is no podcast for this exercise]

Downloadable eAudiobooks are becoming more popular in library situations.
Subscription services such as Netlibrary and Overdrive enable libraries to purchase audio files, so library members can download them onto their mp3 players.
The beauty of this is that after the loan period expires, the audio file is deleted from the mp3player.

For this discovery exercise, you merely need to familiarize yourself a bit with the structure of the World EBook fair site (a free Downloadable eAudiobooks site)

Take a look around and locate a few titles of interest.

Discovery Resources:

Discovery Exercise:

Click on the eAudiobooks link and explore some of the titles.

These are FREE downloads here from the Gutenberg Project.
If you have Real Player or Windows Media Player installed you can listen at your PC or download to an MP3 device.

Interesting links can also be found at the:

Create a blog post about your findings.

#21 Podcasts, Smodcasts!

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The word podcast is used to refer to a non-musical audio or video broadcast that is distributed over the Internet. What differentiates a podcast from regular streaming audio or video is that the delivery method for podcasts is often done automatically through RSS.

In 2005, "podcast" was named the "word of the year" by New Oxford American Dictionary and with the growth of podcasting over the last three years, it's easy to see why.

Podcasts take many forms, from short 1-10 minutes commentaries (like the ones used in this Learning 2.0 program) to much longer personal interviews or panel group discussions.
There’s a podcast out there for just about every interest area and the best part about this technology is that you don’t have to have an iPod or a MP3 player to access them.
Since podcasts use the MP3 file format, a popular compressed format for audio files, you really just need a PC (or portal device) with headphones or a speaker.

iTunes, the free downloadable application created by Apple is the directory finding service most associated with podcasts, but if you don’t have iTunes installed there are still plenty of options.

For this discovery exercise participants are asked to take a look at some popular podcast directory tools.
Do some exploring on your own and locate a podcast that is of interest to you.

Once found, you can easily pull the RSS feed into your Bloglines account as well, so that when new casts become available you’ll be automatically notified of their existence.

Discovery Resources:

There are many, many podcast directories and finding tools out there. Here are just three of the more popular ones that, unlike iTunes, don't require a software download:

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Take a look at one or two of the podcast directories listed and see if you can find a podcast that interests you. See if you can find some interesting library related podcasts here like book review podcasts or library news.
  2. Add the RSS feed for a podcast to your Bloglines account
  3. Create a blog post about your discovery process. Did you find anything useful here?
    Can you see a use for podcasts in the library situation?


You may try to create your own podcast using free downloadable programs such as Audacity. More and more often podcasts are being used as instructional aids (like the ones used in this program). So, for anyone interested in creating new on-line services for your library you may like to explore making your own podcast. I recently played with Audacity and found it relatively straightforward, so why not give it a go!

You may also like to listen to the following podcast by Helene Blowers (creator of this Learning 2.0 program) Learning 2.0 : Make "play" your New Year's resolution
She discusses the development of this program and the concept of lifelong learning.

#20 You too can YouTube

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Within the past year online video hosting sites have exploded allowing users to easily to upload and share videos on the web. Among all the web 2.0 players in this area, YouTube is currently top dog allowing users not only to upload their own video content easily, but also embed clips into their own sites easily.

Do some searching around YouTube yourself and see what the site has to offer. You'll find everything from

Of course, like any free site you’ll also find a lot stuff not worth watching too. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore and see for yourself what the site has too offer. :)

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Explore YouTube & find a video worth adding as an entry in your blog.

  2. Create a blog post about your experience. What did you like or dislike about the site and why did you choose the video that you did? Can you see any features or componets of the site that might be interesting if they were applied to library websites?

    OPTIONAL: Try placing the video inside your blog using the copy and paste code for the for "Embeddable Player.” Note: you'll need to use Blogger's Edit HTML tab when pasting this code.

Other popular video hosting sites include:

NOTE: Videos, like music downloads, are bandwidth hogs. You may have some trouble playing long clips

If you have time, watch this old video I found on Youtube entitled "Do you want to be a Librarian?" Fascinating stuff... : )

...how things have changed...

Monday, October 15, 2007

#19 Discovering Web 2.0 tools

[There is no podcast for this activity]

Throughout the course of this Learning 2.0 program we’ve explored just a small sampling of these Web 2.0 technologies that are empowering users with the ability to create and share content.

But given time there are so many more we could explore.

For this discovery exercise, participants are asked to select any site from this list of Web 2.0 Awards nominees and explore it.

With so many to choose from, it might be handy to first select a category that interests you (like Books or Personal Organization) and then simply select a tool/site to explore.

Be careful to select a tool that is Free and that doesn't require a plug-in or download.

The majority of these free, so this shouldn’t be a problem.

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Select any site/tool from the list of Web 2.0 Awards nominees. (If you prefer to select from just the winners, here’s a link to the winners.)

  2. Explore the site you selected.

  3. Create a post about your discovery. What did you like or dislike about the tool? What were the site’s useful features? Could you see any applications for its use in a library setting?

If you are interested, here is a Web 2.0 tool Directory for you to explore- it is simply amazing what is out there, and evolving every second!

Learning 2.0...exploring web 2.0 technologies through PLAY!

#18 Web-based Apps: They're not just for desktops

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The availability and use of online productivity web-based applications
(eg: word processing and spreadsheets) has exploded over the past two years.

These powerful applications provide users with the ability to create and share documents over the internet without the need of installed desktop applications.

Some experts speculate that this emerging trend may mean the death to Microsoft Office and other software-based productivity tools, while others think web-based applications have their place, but not in the office.

But no matter which side of the office suite platform you side with, on this both sides seem to agree; web-based applications have their place.

One large benefit to web-based applications it that they eliminate the need to worry about different software versions or file types as you email documents or move from PC to PC.

Another bonus is that they easily accommodate collaboration by allowing multiple users to edit the same file (with versioning) and provide users the ability to easily save and convert documents as multiple file types (including HTML and pdf).

And, you can even use many of these tools, such as Zoho Writer and Google Docs and spreadsheets to author and publish posts to your blog.

It’s this type of integration with other web 2.0 tools that also makes web-based apps so appealing.

For this discovery exercise, participants are asked to take a look at a web-based word processing tool called Zoho Writer, create a simple document and then document your discoveries in your blog. If you're up to the challenge, you might even export your document as an HTML file or publish it through Zoho to your blog.

With Zoho and web-based applications, the possibilities are endless.

Discovery Resources:

A short list of web-based productivity applications

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Create a free account for yourself in Zoho Writer.

  2. Explore the site and create a few test documents of two.

  3. Try out Zoho Writer’s features and create a blog post about your discoveries.

If you're up for the challenge, try using Zoho’s "publish" options to post to your blog.

* Note: You can also explore Google Docs and spreadsheets Google's online word processer, as an option for this exercise.

The participants tracking log (tracking your progress through these activities) is all done via a spreadsheet on Google Docs. The spreadsheet can be published as a html document if required.

Monday, October 8, 2007

#17 Playing around with PBWiki

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"Sandbox" is the term that wikis often use to describe the area of the website that should be used for pure play.
For this discovery and exploration exercise, Helene Blowers at PLCMS has set up a whole Learning 2.0 Favorites wiki* that’s
for nothing but play!

For this “explore-and-play-with-wikis” exercise, you are asked to add your blog to this
PBwiki Learning 2.0 wiki.
The theme of this wiki is simply “Favorites” : Favorite books, favorite vacation spots, favorite restaurants, favorite anything …all you need to do is play and add your thoughts.
To mark your adventure on this site, you should add your blog to the Favorite Blogs page.
There are already a list of Blogs under AUSTRALIAN BLOGS

Discovery Resources:

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Add your blog to the Favorite Blogs page. That's how we'll know that you've been there. It’s easy to do if you follow this simple syntax:


    [ URL Title of blog]

    [ http://plcmclearning.blogspot.com Learning 2.0 ]
With brackets [ ] and just a little typing, you’ve added a link - yup, it’s as easy as that!

Create a post in your blog about the experience.

* NOTE: The PLCMCLearning Wiki was created using the free version of PBWiki, a tool that lets you create webpages that anyone can edit.

#16 So what’s in a wiki?

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A wiki is a collaborative website and authoring tool that allows users to easily add, remove and edit content.
Wikipedia, the online open-community encyclopedia, is the largest and perhaps the most well known of these knowledge sharing tools. With the benefits that wikis provide, the use and popularity of these tools is exploding.

Some of the benefits that make wikis so attractive are:
  • Anyone (registered or unregistered, if unrestricted) can add, edit or delete content.
  • Tracking tools within wikis allow you to easily keep up on what been changed and by whom.
  • Earlier versions of a page can be viewed and reinstated when needed.
  • And users do not need to know HTML in order to apply styles to text or add and edit content. In most cases simple syntax structure is used.

As the use of wikis has grown over the last few years, libraries have begun to use them to collaborate and share knowledge. Among their applications are pathfinder or subject guide wikis, book review wikis, conference wikis and even library best practices wikis.

Discovery Resourc
Use these resources to learn more aboout wikis:
Discovery Exercise:

  1. For this discovery exercise, you are asked to take a look at some library wikis and blog about your finding. Here’s a few examples to get you started:

  2. Create a blog post about your findings. What did you find interesting? What types of applications within libraries might work well with a wiki?

So what's in a wiki? Find out by doing some exploring on your own.

You might also like to read Peter Blake's paper from the Information Online 2007 conference
Using a Wiki for InformationServices: Principles and Practicalities
Peter Blake, Australian Catholic University.

A good Youtube video, by Commoncraft videos, demonstrating wikis.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

#15 On Library 2.0 & Web 2.0 ...

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Library 2.0 is a term used to describe a new set of concepts for developing and delivering library services. The name, as you may guess, is an extension of Web2.0 and shares many of its same philosophies and concepts including harnessing the user in both design and implementation of services, embracing constant change as a development cycle over the traditional notion of upgrades, and reworking library services to meet the users in their space, as opposed to ours (libraries).

Many have argued that the notion of Library 2.0 is more than just a term used to describe concepts that merely revolve around the use of technology; it also a term that can be used to describe both physical and mindset changes that are occurring within libraries to make our spaces and services more user-centric and inviting. Others within the profession have asserted that libraries have always been 2.0: collaborative, customer friendly and welcoming. But no matter which side of the debate proponents fall, both sides agree that libraries of tomorrow, even five or ten years from now, will look substantially different from libraries today.

Discovery Resources:

OCLC Next Space Newsletter – Web 2.0: Where will the next generation of the web it take libraries?

Five Perspectivesform th eOCLC Next Space Newsletter:

Links to more discussions can be located through the list of references at the bottom of the Library 2.0 page in Wikipedia

A great video that illustrates the Web 2.0 phenomenon can be viewed here.

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Read two or three of the perspectives on Library 2.0 from the list above.
  2. Create a blog post about your thoughts on any one of these? Library 2.0 - It's many things to many people. What does it mean to you?
    You may like to talk about the State Library of Victoria's vision for the future, and how you see web 2.0 being incorporated into this.

#14 Getting not-so-technical with Technorati

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So now that you’ve been blogging for a while, you might be wondering just how big the blogosphere is.

Well, according to Technorati, the leading search tool and authority for blogs, the number of blogs doubles just about every 6 months

On July 31, 2006, Technorati tracked its 50 millionth blog.

Yes, these numbers are astounding, but as you’ve already seen for yourselves, blogging is so easy that these publishing tools are being taken advantage of by almost every industry, including libraries.

So how does a person get their blog listed as part of the blogosphere and how can you tag your posts with keywords to make them more findable through a Technorati search?

The answer to the first question is that your blog is probably already being captured by Technorati due to the fact that you're already using Blogger, the most popular blogging tool.

But if you want to join the party and have your blog officially listed on Technorati and also take advantage of the watchlist and other features, you’ll need to claim your blog yourself.

As for tagging posts with Technorati tags? This is easy, too. All you need to do is add a little bit of HTML code to the bottom of your post (see my example below) and Technorati will pick up these tags when it spiders (or web crawls) your site.

There are a lot of new features that have been added to Technorati including new ways to search for blogs.

You can search for keywords in blog posts, search for entire blog posts that have been tagged with a certain keyword, or search for blogs that have been registered and tagged as whole blogs about a certain subject (like photography or libraries).

Discovery Resources:

Technorati Tour
– videocast of new features & new look
Technorati Popular feature

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Take a look at Technorati and try doing a keyword search for “Learning 2.0” in Blog posts, in tags and in the Blog Directory. Are the results different?
  2. Explore popular blog, searches and tags. Is anything interesting or surprising in your results?
  3. Create a blog post about your discoveries on this site.

If you're up for a challenge, learn how to tag your posts by with Technorati tags so they can join tag searches.

You may also want to consider claiming your blog and creating a watchlist.
NOTE: When adding HTML code, you'll want to make sure you're in Blogger's Edit HTML window.

#13 Tagging, folksonomies & social bookmarking in Del.icio.us

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Tagging is an open and informal method of categorizing that allows users to associate keywords with online content (webpages, pictures & posts).

Unlike library subject cataloging, which follows a strict set of guidelines (i.e.Library of Congress subject headings), tagging is completely unstructured and freeform, allowing users to create connections between data anyway they want.

In the past few weeks, we’ve already explored a few sites – Flickr and LibraryThing to name two --that allow users to take advantage of tagging.

This week, in addition to exploring Technorati tagging, we want to also take a look at a popular social bookmarking site called Del.icio.us (keyed in as http://del.icio.us/)

Del.icio.us is a social bookmarking manager which allows you to bookmark a web page and add tags to categorize your bookmarks.

Many users find that the real power of Del.icio.us is in the social network aspect, which allows you to see how other users have tagged similar links and also discover other websites that may be of interest to you.

You can think of it as peering into another users’ filing cabinet, but with this powerful bookmarking tool each user's filing cabinet helps to build an expansive knowledge network.

For this discovery exercise, you are asked to take a look at Del.icio.us and learn about this popular bookmarking tool.

Discovery Resources:

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Take a look around Del.icio.us using the PLCMCL2 account that was created for this exercise. Note: In this account you will find lots of resources that have been highlighted or used throughout the course of the Learning 2.0 program.

  2. Explore the site options and try clicking on a bookmark that has also been bookmarked by a lot of other users. Can you see the comments they added about this bookmark or the tags that they used to categorize this reference?

Create a blog post about your experience and thoughts about this tool.
Can you see the potential of this tool for research assistance, or is it just as an easy way to create bookmarks that can be accessed from anywhere?


If you’re up to the challenge, create a Del.icio.us account for yourself and discover how this useful bookmarking tool can replace your traditional browser bookmark list.
You might even want to explore Del.icio.us’ latest addition, a network badge.