Friday, December 01, 2006

Post #5: Baby Billionaires

When my November 16th editon of Rolling Stone came to my apartment I was giddy as a schoolgirl when I saw the fabulous cover featuring John Stewart and Steve Colbert. I quickly rifled through the magazine to get to the cover story and ran across another article that instantly peaked my interest.
It was titled "The Baby Billionaires of Silicon Valley" reported by David Kushner. This article painted a rather interesting picture of the young (many even younger than I am) inventors of the most influential and culture changing sites on the web. The article itself was a fun and sometimes enviable little read of how rich these men have become in their life, but it was the insert of a "get to know" table that really gave me a quick cheat-sheet of who's who in the Web 2.0 world.
It gave quick hits on Steve Chen and Chad Hurley, the founders of YouTube, Todd Masonis the creator of Plaxo, Matt Sanchez the founder of Videoegg, the "Next Bill Gates" Blake Ross the founder of Firefox (it is my preferred browser), Seth Sternberg the creator of Meebo, Mark Zuckerberg the creator of the pheonom that is Facebook, Rob Pazornik the founder of Lickeyship, Roelof Botha (I did not make up this name) the creator of Sequoia Capital, and Bram Cohen the creator of Bittorrent.
Rolling Stones seems to have had its finger on the pulse of what's new and intersting for the past 40 years and I thought the article was an intersting read. I know that I am hip deep in the library world when I immediatley thought that this should be something that librains should take a look at in order to get a quick refresher (or introduce them to new places) and help out their patrons even more in the Web 2.0 realm.

Oh, and the cover story of John Stewart and Steve Colbert made me as happy as I hoped.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

An old soul in a web 2.0 world

First and foremost, I want to preface this by saying that I love technology. I love what it offers society and its ability to open so many doors for an individual. Anybody, professional or personal, who purposefully shuns the technology that is at their disposal is doing themselves - and in many cases, their patrons - a great disservice. However, I might love technology, but I would be lying if I didn't say that I don't trust it either.
I am of the generation that is stuck right in the middle of two worlds - the technology generation and the generation of filing cabinets, notebooks and yes - even carbon copies. It was Herman Hesse who, when writing about his iconic character Steppenwolf wrote, "Now there are times when a whole generation is caught in this way between two ages, two modes of life, with the consequence that it loses all power to understand itself and has no standard, no security, no simple acquiescence." Now, I am not comparing myself to that of the character of Harry Haller, nor am I saying that the difference in these two ages have to be as hopeless sounding as Hesse writes of. But I am making a connection of there being a direct feeling of trepidation and misgiving between the two sides.
While being taught to use computers in school by playing "Oregon Trail" on an 8 in floppy disc, I was also still using my father's typewriter to write papers in my make believe games of being Lois Lane. I am a student studying to be an archivist and thus my dilemma takes flight:
How will we keep what is being produced on blogs, wikis or anything else that is Web 2.0? Is there such a thing as a true archived materials in this format? And I don't mean just out-of-date articles that have been stuffed somewhere in an electronic folder. I am talking about materials that can be viewed centuries from now by generations not yet lived. It scares me to think what brilliant works have been lost because their only existence is on pieces of outdated technologies that cannot be tapped into anymore. There are some truly genius works being written on blogs and online articles. Where will all that be if the server is destroyed, the operator or controller decides that enough is enough, or if the materials were never migrated to the next technological advancement?
All I can think of is what if Herman Hesse wrote his thoughts on a blog? Or Nietzsche? Or Goethe? Is it possible that an entire philosophy of a culture in a generation is being lost because it was created on a format that is so fleeting?
I am in no way meaning to sound like an alarmist, or someone who is trying to be melodramatic...but it really got me to thinking about the flip side of technology - the risk of losing a generation of work when the technology becomes obsolete so quickly.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Blogpost #3: Library Blog of note

As I was conducting research for a different archives class, I ran across a blog that caught my attention. The special library at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL has been posting regular blogs for over a year and a half about what they offer there at the Sterling Morton Library. I visited the library for this other project and was very intrigued by their collection of materials and spectacular organization of all things botanical.
However, on the blog, I noticed that the staff have been posting about things other than just their very strong collection. They have shown readers the exhibits, noteworthy articles, upcoming discussion groups as well as the artwork and architecture of the facility. It seems to me that they have jumped in with both feet into this realm of cyber-promoting, and have utilized it very well. They have been trying to connect with botanists, scientists, art lovers, nature lovers, librarians and educators all.
This tool of blogging can seem to be very daunting to some, but seeing it done well by a library that many may not have even heard of warms my heart. Now this is certainly not the only library that has a blog, obviously...but it certainly helps me to see a single example done well.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Post #2: The joys of photoblogging

Photoblogging as defined in wikipedia, is " form of photo sharing and publishing in the format of a blog, but differentiated by the predominant use of and focus on photographs rather than text." Now it is easy to just regurgitate information and move on. But this photoblogging aspect really got me excited. The possibilities of it really appeal to me.
With a degree in art history and a minor in fine arts, this aspect is something that speaks directly to a part of me that would want to easily display my pieces on the web. Now, the resolution of the pictures would have to be immaculate, but the tool to share them in photoblogging is an artist's best friend. Displaying the taste of entire portfolios on your blog with limited need for text is something to which I respond well. What is the saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words."?
And how would this relate to libraries? Very, very easily. Showing pictures of events that have been held at your library in a manner that promotes it can be so much more effective than trying to find "the perfect words". Showing pictures of the edifice itself or the staff can also be an effective promotional tactic.
Digital cameras are easy to find and are more and more affordable than ever before. Creating a photoblog could be the perfect tool for a medium that is inundated with images. On the web, pictures rule the viewers' attention. Photoblogging should be utilized.
Now, I am not saying to get rid of text all together, I can be very pleonastic. But photoblogging can draw people in who are used to clicking to the next page without thought or discretion.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Blog Post #1: What the heck is RSS?

Now I don't consider myself to be particularly tech savvy, but I know my way around a computer and if anything, I pick up on things rather quickly. However, it took me awhile to understand this mysterious beast called RSS. (Which I can't help but think of R.O.U.S's from the Princess Bride) But I digress...

As far as I can understand, RSS is pretty much a tool that helps one subscribe or link to other feeds without the hassel of e-mails or the like. As is briefly spoken in MIT libraries, the benefits of RSS can be better privacy, no spam (a fantastic selling point), and once you read what you are linked to, it deletes it and moves on.

But how does this help in a library situation? It helps it as much as any other tool the library chooses to implament. It would be easy to link to areas for reference, and literature research. Also, if there is a library or organization that can be a sort of benchmark for that particular library, then having an RSS feed to their website makes it easy to "keep up with the Joneses".

Now this is obviously a very simplified and elementary touch on RSS. But if there is anything else that can help me understand better what it is all about, please let me know.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Response to an article

One of the readings that we read for today's class was MySpace Can Be Our Space by Christopher Harris. In this article he wrote about some strategies that can allow educators to take the pheonomena that is MySpace and incorporate it into classroom activities.

There is alot of anxiety by parents and teachers when it comes to this new social boom on-line. For many adults, only the evils are seen, i.e. internet predators and inappropriate material being viewed by the children. These are completely valid concerns, and should most definately be addressed with the students. But what about the positives of such a medium?

Harris' article delved into using MySpace as teaching tools, or talking tools, in such subjects as art, music and social studies. I enjoyed very much the new twists that adults are using to stay connected to the next generation of tech savvy students.

Your thoughts?

Welcome to a corner of my world

This is me Jessi, talking to those of you who either want to or HAVE to be here because Michael is making you.

I hope that the things I have to say are informative, insightful and funny at least once or twice. I can't wait to hear from you. Your part of the deal is to leave me informative, insightful and funny coments as well.

I'll be kind to you, so please be kind to me. :)