Saturday, June 30, 2007

Thing 30: I'm in UR Libary, Readin UR b00ks

One more thing from me, before the month is up ...

Oh, those wacky cats and their bad grammar! When will they ever learn? When will we every stop laughing?

As a web trend, LOLCats are about 12-18 months old, but they're still going strong. They're totally silly fun, but they make me laugh even when I'm working on Saturday, and there should always be a place for that!

Great LOLCats sites:

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Cruise the LOLCat sites.
  2. Blog about your favorite LOLCat, and include a link to it!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Thing 29: Scrapblog - I'm in Love

Remember all those images representing your favorite books that you gathered up in Thing 27, Photobucket? We're going to use them to create a fantabulous scrapbook slideshow at Scrapblog.

I came across Scrapblog last summer and enjoyed using the service, but it was a beta product with limitations and frustrations. Early this year, the service formally launched, and the wait was worth it. I recently used Scrapblog to create a presentation for my grandfather's 90th birthday, and despite a few hair-pulling moments I was very impressed. (I should note that I'm pretty sure the hair-pulling was because of things I did, not faults inherent in Scrapblog.)

One of the best things about Scrapblog? Little creativity is required! When you begin to create a Scrapblog, just choose to work from a template to start with several nicely-designed pages just waiting for you to add your own pictures. (Drag a photo from your sidebar over an image in the template, and it will pop into place.) You can add blank pages anytime you want, and arrange photos, stickers and text any way you'd like.

If you use programs like Photoshop or Publisher often, you'll find many familiar features available in Scrapblog. If you don't, you'll still be able to have a really good time!

Discovery Exercise:
  1. Create a new Scrapblog about your favorite book or books. Make sure you have at least two pages, and use at least one photo and a few stickers. (Here's my sample.)
  2. Publish your Scrapblog, then use the Share/Post to Flickr option. Give it the tag "scrapblogbooks".
  3. Blog about your experience with Scrapblog and potential ways you might use the service.
P.S. See our Explore ... Discover ... Play at Ning for Scrapblog hints and tips. It's also a great place to ask questions about the service!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Thing 28: Well we're big rock singers…

--> NOTE: Although Jamie is officially June's L2.1 Learning Guide, I just had to add this one 'thing' for my contribution for the month - Helene <--
"…we've got golden fingers
And we're loved everywhere we go
We sing about beauty and we sing about truth
At ten thousand dollars a show
We take all kind of pills to give us all kind of thrills
But the thrill we've never known
Is the thrill that'll get you when you get your picture
On the cover of the Rolling Stone."

I don’t know how many of you recognize these lyrics from Dr. Hook’s 1973 hit, On the Cover of the Rolling Stone. But if you've ever dreamed about being featured on a magazine cover, these image generators will give you that chance. (Note: Some magazine image generators may not adhere to library collection management.)

Discovery Exercise:
(This one is purely for fun)

  1. Select an image generator of your choice, upload a photo and create your magazine cover.
  2. Save your creation by using your mouse’s right click and select “save image as”
  3. Create a blog post and upload your cover to either your blog or ning profile.

Optional: Upload your magazine cover image to Flickr and tag it “LibMagCovers

Think about how you could use these image generators to create unique signs for your library? Or offer a creative class for library users on magazine cover fun?

In the meantime, why not join me and put yourself “on the cover of the Rolling Stone.” :)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Thing 27: Photobucket

In Learning 2.0, we looked at Flickr, an excellent resource for finding photographs of places and things, and an excellent place to post your own photography.

Photobucket competes with Flickr, although they have slightly different target audiences. Like Flickr, Photobucket is a photo sharing website, but it also lets you share other kinds of images (including animations) and video clips. Photobucket dominates the photosharing website game with 40% of the market in April of this year. (No other site has more than 6% of the market; only Yahoo! Photos has over 5%, and Yahoo! Photos is set to be discontinued in favor of Flickr, also a Yahoo!-owned website, before the end of the year.)

In addition to photo and video storage and sharing, Photobucket also lets you save animated clips, create slideshows of images, "remix" videos and create avatars. Oh, and they have lots of pictures of celebs and other newsworthy items. (By the way, Photobucket is being purchased by Fox Interactive Media, the company that owns MySpace. FIM is, in turn, part of NewsCorp.)

You may have noticed a few "things" ago at LetterPop that you could import your images directly from Flickr, without downloading and uploading them to and from your PC as an intervening step; Photobucket has a similar arrangement with many, many websites, notably social networking site MySpace and others. One big difference is that from Flickr you can only use photos you have posted; at Photobucket, add any image or video you like to your album (or further organize your choices into sub-albums), and you can use it, no matter who originally posted it. In other words, anything you add to a public account at Photobucket is fair game for any other Photobucket user to see and use on a blog or profile at any website (as long as it's not for commercial purposes).

Discovery Exercise:
  1. Create a Photobucket account.
  2. Search for images and videos that have something to do with your favorite book or books and save at least two or three of them into an album or sub-album(s). (Why? All will be revealed in Thing 28.)
  3. Use the "Find stuff" tab to browse for items (instead of searching).
  4. Be sure to click the "My album" tab - that's where you'll add your own photos, create slide shows and avatars or remix videos.
  5. Blog about your experience at Photobucket.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Thing 26: Little bits of the Internet, on your desktop

Widget, widget, who's got the widget?

You will, at YourMinis!

Okay, back up. What’s a widget? Well, the Google definition is here.

Clear as mud, right?

Essentially, a widget is a small, interactive program that allows quick access to often-used tools or information. Most – though far from all – widgets are connected to the Internet. Some are very practical; some are just for fun.

Windows Vista and the latest Mac operating systems have widget software built in; widgets show up right on the desktop. (Windows calls them Gadgets.)

So, umm, what's a widget again? The best way to find out is to play with some.

If you aren’t lucky enough to have the latest OS, you can install the Yahoo! Widget Engine on almost any recent PC or Mac, or some USB drives. But because you might not want to (or be able to) install widget software on your computer, try using YourMinis to investigate widgets.

Discovery Exercise:
  1. Go to YourMinis and click Open Startpage.
  2. Click one of the "templates" at the bottom of the right-hand pane to add a tab full of widgets to your pages.
  3. Create a new tab by clicking Add Tab at the top of the page, and use the gray bar on the left to add some widgets to your page. (If you don't see the bar, click Add Content in the upper left corner.) It's easy to drag them around on the page. Mouse over each widget and click the buttons that appear in its top right corner to set options and change widget color, etc. You can also use the small drop-down arrows beside each tab's name to change the tab background color, delete the tab or perform other "maintenance" tasks.
  4. Write about your experience with YourMinis in your blog.

Friday, June 1, 2007

First Torch Pass ...

Wow! I can't believe it's June already and half the year has nearly gone by. But with dawn of a new month, I'm pleased to begin the torch passing and introduce Jamie Christenbury who will taking the reins for the next 30 days as our Learning Guide.

Jamie's a dynamo trainer at PLCMC's Virtual Village and a social networking diva (she's also responsible for setting the Ning community as well), so I'm really looking forward to following her discovery suggestions and learning a few new things myself.

Anyone can be a Learning Guide for Learning 2.1. All you need to do is to submit a sample post and commit to adding three or four new discoveries during the month. If you're interested, please feel free to drop me an email. The best thing about a learning community is that we all can be teachers and students at the same time. So why not think about it and sign-up to carry the torch for a month. :)