Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thing 41: Live Mocha

Learn a new language and make friends along the way!

Live Mocha is a language site+social networking site rolled into one. On Live Mocha you can pick a language you'd like to learn (they have tons of languages from Spanish, Thai, Hindi, ect) and select the level you'd like to begin with. But, what sets Live Mocha apart from other language learning sites is you can have your speaking and writing submissions reviewed by native speakers who will give you tips on how to improve. You can also connect with users on the same level as you and buddy up in the chatrooms or through video. This site is great for people who don't have time to take a language course but still want that "group" atmosphere and also for those who are brushing up their language skills. I'm currently taking a Spanish course on Live Mocha now and it will definitely come in handy when conversing with Spanish speaking library patrons.

Live Mocha just went live September 24th of this year and their still in beta mode. Right now all the language courses are free.

¡El mocha vivo es impresionante!

Discovery Exercise

  1. Create an account on Live Mocha.
  2. Select a language you're interested in and take a course.
  3. Was there anything you liked or didn't like on Live Mocha? Blog about your experience.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Thing 40: Retroland

Reminisce about the good old days.

I have a new favorite site and it's Retroland is a social networking site where members can reconnect with the things they loved "back in the days" and interact with people who share the same fond memories. One of the features I like the most on Retroland is it's Retropedia. From the 1990s all the way back to the 1900s you can see a time line of things like music, fashion and school memories that defined (and embarrassed) the decades. If you see something that you remember fondly you can simply add it to your favorites and also add a memory post. When you add a memory post you can upload a picture to go with what you are talking about and what you remember about the subject. If someone likes your memory post they can give you a gold star (just like in grade school) and your posts ratings will increase. Check out the memories users had of the Slinky. You can also get to know other members by clicking on Retrotalk and posting on their forums which are all pretty active. My favorite would have to be the food forum.

Discovery Exercise

  1. Create an account on Retroland.
  2. Explore the Retropedia.
  3. Did you see a tv show, toy, or fashion accessory that you had long forgotten about? Blog about your experience.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Thing 39: Animoto

Make video clips like the pros!

You don't have to be Steven Spielburg to create professional video clips online. Animoto is a web application that produces professional videos using their own patent-pending technology. Animoto is the brain child of producers from ABC, Comedy Central and MTV who definitely know their stuff. Animoto analyzes your images and the music you use and pieces everything together to where it all flows perfectly in sync. If you don't like how your video turns out you can click the Remix this Video button and have Animoto automatically change it up for you or tweak it yourself. No two video clips come out the same which makes for hours of fun, as I found out today. Here is an example of one I did earlier using some images from a Myrtle Beach trip.

Animoto is still in beta mode which means they are still testing things out and adding new features. One feature it doesn't offer yet is the option to link to your Photobucket account. But rest assured, I contacted the Animoto guys and it should be available in the upcoming weeks. Also, if you want a clip longer than 30 seconds it will cost. But, you can make as many 30 second clips as you want for free.

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Create an account on Animoto.
  2. Create a 30 second clip or Animoto Short, by uploading at least ten pictures. Still got the Flickr account from Learning 2.0? Animoto can link directly to it.
  3. Choose from one of the songs in Animoto's music library or upload your own music file to go with your clip.
  4. Embed your new 30 second clip onto your blog. There is a special code just for Blogger that you can use.
  5. Blog about your experience using Animoto.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Welcome Serena - September's Discovery Guide

Well it's September and that means it's time for Serena to take the helm as our Discovery Guide. Serena Morrow is a seasoned "floating" senior library assistant here at PLCMC, which (in addition to meaning that she "walks on water") means that she is seasoned enough to cover everything from the Circulation Desk to technology training in the Virtual Village.

When prepping for this introduction I asked Serena to share some of her interests with me. Here's what she had to say: "I love to discover new sites (especially social networking sites) and share them with coworkers and library patrons. Last year I participated in Learning 2.0 and had a blast which you can read about here. Whenever I'm online I'm usually on Flickr, MySpace, or blogging on

Welcome Serena. It's great to have you on board!