Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Something in the (podcast) air

Call out the instigators
because there's something in the air
We've got to get together sooner or later
Because the revolution's here,
and you know it's right
And you know that it's right

We have got to get it together
We have got to get it together now

(John 'Speedy' Keen) from the album Hollywood Dream by Thunderclap Newman, 1970
Well, I think I can understand why "podcast" was chosen as the 2005 word of the year. Not quite a revolution, but Podcasting seems like the next step beyond radio - and you can customize it so much better to your own particular foibles than just switching the dial. I can't wait to get my "reward" of an MP3 player once I complete these exercises, so I can put it to work searching out some podcasts that I'd like to listen to at my leisure. That will be yet another experience figuring out how to master the loading involved in that process, no doubt - hopefully not too difficult?? Will my brain be able to handle all this techno-overload? I looked at a couple of the podcast directories, and chose the subject areas relating to animals/wildlife/environment. I was very pleased to come across a podcast of a presentation given by Douglas Smith, the Yellowstone Wolf Project Leader, in 2005, talking about the first 10 years of the project, and what the future might hold. It was a long presentation, and was broken into 2 streams, so I definitely want to come back to this. I revisited my bloglines account, but it still doesn't make much sense to me, I'm afraid. I must figure out how to add an RSS feed from The Greater Yellowstone Coalition Press Room, where I came across this gem, to my account there - it surely can't be as difficult as I appear to be making it! I will persevere and/or seek the guidance of one of our ever-so-patient tutors on that task - obviously I still have a major block regarding RSS. Thank goodness you can usually also subscribe to receive email updates - I have no problem with signing up to those and reading them! I will come back some time and look for some library related podcasts, as well - looking forward to hearing what other libraries around this big wide world are getting up to.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Chasing The Pack through the 'Tube'

And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell
and I understood more than I saw;
for I was seeing in a sacred manner
the shapes of all things in the spirit,
and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being.

Black Elk (1863-1950) Medicine Man of the Lakota (Sioux)

You would have needed to have been living in the Land of the Lost, in hibernation or deep frozen over the past several years not to have heard of YouTube. I've never done a major exploration here myself, but am glad this exercise has given me the excuse to do so at last. I've been a bit hesitant to get hooked in to this site, but can certainly see it's merits. You can choose to be entertained, educated, informed, etc as well, of course, as being a provider of such things. Like anything, it is viewer beware, remembering not everything necessarily follows the "seeing is believing" maxim. Great resource when you're feeling nostalgic for seeking out those old '60's & '70's westerns, or similarly vintaged music video clips. However, surprise surprise, I chose to focus my quest on canis lupus - my spirit friend The Wolf. I found some here that tell about the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park and how they have changed the landscape there - in some opinions not for the better; there are others dealing with an aerial campaign being waged against them in Alaska, with US Vice-Presidential wannabe Sarah Palin at the forefront.
However, the clip I have chosen to display here is one about the recent discovery of wolf pups in Washington - the newest members of the first confirmed wolf pack in the state since the 1930's, believed to have ventured down from Canada, where there are still healthy wild populations. They haven't faced the same type of persecutions north of the border as the Lower 48 wolf populations have, and this film shows that given space and time, Mother Nature will find her own way of putting back some of the balance we have, sometimes deliberately, destroyed. There is also a clip giving the pups howling - I hope you enjoy some of these wonderful sights and sounds.

Monday, September 22, 2008

And the Web 2.0 Gong goes to....

"If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them something more than the miracles of our technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it."

President Lyndon B. Johnson, upon signing The Wilderness Act of 1964

Well - is there ever a healthy helping to choose from here! As ever, I could spend way too many hours exploring all the sites associated with this exercise. I'm amazed at the wonderful efforts of some talented folk to entice others to explore their world. I was intrigued by what I might find under the "Philanthropy" heading, so decided to do my "Discovery exercise" there, and was not disappointed by the "Gong-getter" here - Incorporating petitions, donations, groups and tips, Care2 is an online hub of people who care about their world and want to make it better. Nice to see an organisation I am already familiar with, Defenders of Wildlife, has a presence here as well. This is a site I'll return to, and add to my bookmarks. Chances are I probably wouldn't have found it if it hadn't featured in the Web 2.0 Awards. The awards site could be a useful reference source for discovering websites which are considered to be "a cut above the rest" amongst the web community, and linking through to them from on-line library resources like pathfinders.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Zoho explore - where have you gone?

Zoho Explorations with el lobosurprised

This looks like it could be a lot of fun and quite useful. As with everything we are discovering on this tour around the vast Web 2.0 world, it will be a matter of continuing on with the explorations and using the various things we like the look of. Then once we have mastered those ones, we can go back - maybe - to the ones we still struggle with.

I'm going to see if I can insert an image I've tried to get off my new digital camera. I'm not quite sure where it's gone to though as now my nano has gone walkabout somewhere on (although it looks like off would be the more appropriate word at this point) or in my computer. Just something else to try and get my head around. Here goes...tongue_out

wolf crossing sign

What is man without the beasts?

If all the beasts were gone, men would die from great loneliness of spirit,

for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to man.

All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the children of the earth.

Seathl, Duwamish chief (Chief Seattle)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Rollyo Rolling, rolling, rolling

Rollin', rollin', rollin'.
Rollin', rollin', rollin'.
Rollin', rollin', rollin'.
Rollin', rollin', rollin'.
Hah! Hah!

Keep rollin', rollin', rollin',
Though the streams are swollen,
Keep them dogies rollin', rawhide.
Through rain and wind and weather,
Hell bent for leather,
Wishin' my gal was by my side.
All the things I'm missin',
Good vittles, love, and kissin',
Are waiting at the end of my ride.

Move 'em out, head 'em up,
Head 'em up, move 'em on.
Move 'em out, head 'em up:Rawhide.
Cut 'em out, ride 'em in,
Ride 'em in, cut 'em out,
Cut 'em out, ride 'em in:Rawhide!
Hah! Hah!

Movin', movin', movin',
Though they're disapprovin',
Keep them dogies movin', rawhide.
Don't try to understand 'em,
Just rope an' throw an' brand 'em.
Soon we'll be living high and wide.
My heart's calculatin',
My true love will be waitin':
Waitin' at the end of my ride.

Move 'em out, head 'em up,
Head 'em up, move 'em on.
Move 'em out, head 'em up:Rawhide.
Cut 'em out, ride 'em in,
Ride 'em in, cut 'em out,
Cut 'em out, ride 'em in:Rawhide!

(Rollin', rollin', rollin'.)
(Rollin', rollin', rollin'.)
(Rollin', rollin', rollin'.)
(Rollin', rollin', rollin'.)

Yet another "tool" I've spent too much time on, getting more frustrated and confused the longer I spent on it. Sites like Rollyo, which to me look "cluttered" because they have so much - some might say too much - I find confounding. I always thought myself quite logical and practical, but yet again I've found myself going around and around and around.... Creating more when I was desperately trying to delete - why is it you can delete some things far too easily (usually when you don't actually intend to) and when you do want to delete something, it almost seems impossible to do? Anyway, once I figured out how to consign some rolls to the trash heap, I did end up with a search roll I thought was okay, and I've added that searchroll to my blog. One site I just couldn't link here, and I can't figure out a reason why. Murphy's Law, it's a site I've used myself for a while, as well. I probably won't revisit Rollyo often, but I think I understand how it works. I'll now store it away in the recesses of my organic computer to draw upon in the future if I feel it could be useful. I may do some more "playing" sometime to see if I can figure out some of it's mysteries which have so far eluded me.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A WonderfulThing is this LibraryThing

Read the best books first,
or you may not have a chance to read them at all
Henry David Thoreau

I can see I may definitely continue adding to my catalog on LibraryThing. A great idea, very easy to use and I can see it could actually be useful to have a link to this from our own library OPAC. Like an extension of your reading history, LibraryThing allows you to peek into other people's lists, and catch up on titles you may not otherwise stumble across. After all, we can't all be cataloguers, and while I certainly appreciate the need for good accurate catalogue information - I also realize to most people (myself included) the rules of cataloguing are, and will always remain, one of Life's great Mysteries. The added joys of simple tagging!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Generating the hours (and hours) away...

Perhaps unless the billboards fall,
I'll never see a tree at all
Ogden Nash

Well,my goodness - you can spend hours on this exercise. It has been fun, but I'm beginning to feel the more we explore, the less we find out we think we know? It's quite scary the time you can so easily get trapped into spending at some of these clever and amazing sites. With so much being added to the blogosphere every second, there's no way you could ever hope to find enough - just as well there are "real people" always at hand to drag you back to reality! I enjoyed playing with a couple of generators. Would love to keep going with more, but my brain (and my body) needs a rest. Hope you enjoy my efforts.

glowtxt.com image
Henry David Thoreau, 1854

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Wiki Qwicki = edit (write) save link

The Beginning
In the beginning there was nothing. Only water, darkness and The Raven.

He flew through the darkness with a bag that hung around his neck. He had been flying for a long time, and was starting to get tired. So while he flew, he removed a rock from his bag and threw it into the sea. This rock became the first land. He sat down upon this land to rest, while resting he took other rocks from his sack and threw them into the water. Thus The Raven made the land.

Rested, The Raven picked up his bag and continued to fly. After a while he became tired, so he sat on a rock and took more items from his bag. He removed the fir, the pine, the spruce, the redwood and all the trees of the world. He also removed the huckleberry bush, the wild strawberry, the grass and all of the plants of the world, including the plants of the sea. These things he scattered across the land and the water, so that they may grow.

Again The Raven took his pouch around his neck and flew through the darkness. And again The Raven became tired so that he sat upon a rock. This time he removed all the animals of the world. The wolf, the eagle, the salmon, the bear, the dear, and all the animals of the land and of the sea.

The Raven looked around him at the world he had made, it was a good world, every one was peaceful and happy. But before he flew off he looked into his pouch and saw that there was one thing left. So he removed man from the bag and placed him upon the earth.

(Mythology told by the people of the West Coast of North America)

The Raven and the Wolf have an often symbiotic relationship - when the wolf hunts you will always find the raven present, but Raven is also known to lead Wolf to prey - a wonderful relationship where both can (usually) end up getting their bellies filled! The way in which Raven built his 'community' in The Beginning, and the co-operation that still continues amongst that community, has a wiki ring to it - "edit - save - link" - as noted in the best video I've come across so far in connection with this Web 2.0 experience. There are some useful and interesting library wikis, especially the ones listing subject guides and new books. You could spend so much time just exploring these wikis, you recognize how great it would be to have a well resourced library IT department to create these for us. Not forgetting the possibilities of library training wikis, either! Another extension of the already co-operative community that exists amongst libraries and librarians? Power to us all, and a reminder of The Wiki Prayer

Please, grant me the serenity to accept the pages I cannot edit,
The courage to edit the pages I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference

Monday, September 1, 2008

Library 2.0 - not the world's biggest cemetery

He who rejects change is the architect of decay.
The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.

Well, I don't think we need have any fears that we are in imminent danger of becoming a giant cemetery, but there was certainly some interesting reading with this exercise. The article that gave me the most hope was To a temporary place in time. The thoughts and ideas here I can identify and agree with "Libraries are not just collections of books, they are conversations, they are convocations of people, ideas, and artifacts in dynamic exchange. Libraries are not merely in communities, they are communities; they preserve and promote community memories; they provide mentors not only for the exploration of stored memory, but also for the creation of new artifacts of memory." North Shore Libraries has made a great start on this path with the recent official launch of our Local History Online. While Library 4.0 sounds like a virtual reality dream, there must still be room for People. As the video showed - "WE are the web; the machine is US" - just remember to watch out for icebergs.