Sunday, July 22, 2007

Snowie on vacation

I'm going on vacation for two weeks, so my blog is going to be dormant during that time. I'm sure all 3 of you who are reading this will go into withdrawals! :)

Thursday, July 19, 2007


I'm enjoying using Technorati. I'd often wished for a way to search just blogs, and I was thrilled recently to discover the Google Blog Search. But that tool doesn't have very sophisticated search capabilities, and it was often like finding a needle in a haystack to pick out good posts by real people from among the irrelevant things that also seemed to turn up (like fake blogs and shopping sites). Technorati seems to have solved those problems by letting you search for either words in the blogs themselves or tags assigned to the blogs, which would seem to help narrow things down considerably. Blogs also accumulate "authority" by being linked to by other blogs, so you can kind of tell which blogs have been judged important by other humans.

I wanted to search for my own blog in Technorati, and I eventually did find it, but first I found a post that linked to my blog. It was from someone at another library (apparently a public library, judging by the context) also doing Learning 2.0 this summer. It was amazing for me to discover that other people are actually reading this! Hello to all of you, and feel free to leave a comment if you want to introduce yourself!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Very tasty indeed

I tried, and I'm having great fun with it, although I'm not using it for the purposes for which it was intended. It almost seems to me like someone would need to use either RSS feeds or, but not both. If I've got all the sites I check all the time on RSS, why would I need to bookmark them so carefully as well? But what I am doing with is checking it to see what sites have been tagged with different keywords. It's bringing up different things than I might have found by searching otherwise. For instance, I tried Doctor Who (as always), and I got all the usual suspects, but I also found a TARDIS USB hub that looks very cute, and a site with patterns to knit the 4th Doctor's scarf, and other quirky little sites like that. I guess people bookmark little quirky things they like to look at once in a while, not just the big important sites on a topic. And maybe that answers my first question up above!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Where has Snowie lived?

I hope Tim doesn't mind my copying him, but I created a map of all the places I've lived after seeing his. It's not quite as long as his, but I think my move quotient is higher because I'm younger! Check it out.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Rolling Your Own

This makes me think of my mother's cousin Marvin, who is the only person I knew who still rolled his own cigarettes. We inherited a lot of cigarette papers and Prince Albert cans from him after he died! But in this case, rolling your own refers to making your own search engine that will search only the sites you tell it, using a site called Rollyo. I tried the default searches the site has, but nothing struck my fancy. So I decided to make my own search for Doctor Who news, using the top 5 Doctor Who news sites. It's here. It was somewhat useful, but very rarely did it find useful information for me from more than one of the sites at once. So I'm not sure how it would really save me time.

I can imagine using this for certain instructional situations. Students in a class on a specific topic are often given a list of "approved" sites to visit by their instructor. Instead, the professor could create a Rollyo search that automatically searches all the sites at once. That might save the students a little bit of time and make their searching a little easier.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I created a LibraryThing account and added a few books to it. This is the one tool we've used so far that I'm the least interested in. The truth is, I don't own very many books at all anymore. After I became a librarian, I figured out that I could always get practically anything I wanted from the library, and they would store it for me during times I didn't need to use it! So I have probably under 100 books these days. They fall into three categories: cookbooks, Bee Gees, and Doctor Who. Those are the three things I'm really passionate about, I guess.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Snowie from Springfield

This is a Simpsons avatar I made for myself on the Simpsons site. You can make one too.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

More about RSS feeds

To answer my question from last time, when I wondered how long it would take my blog post to show up on Bloglines, the answer was 10 hours. It seems like none of the Blogger blogs I added are showing up there very fast. Maybe it's just a quirk in the system? Other feeds from commercial sites seem to show up much more quickly.

The Salon feeds are working great, but I had to remove the Slate ones from my list. The same articles kept showing up as new over and over again. At first I thought it was just because they were updating them, but there's no way there could have been that many corrections to make! After a while I got suspicious and looked to see if other bloggers have noticed this problem, and the answer is yes. I finally just removed them, and I'll check Slate manually myself every day like I used to.

I did try several of the feed search services. The only one that I actually liked was the search feature within Bloglines itself. I went looking for Doctor Who feeds, and the first two were the two big Dr. Who sites, so I added them. It found a lot of Dr. Who blogs as well, but I didn't add them yet because I didn't want to drown myself. Then I tried the other sites and didn't find anything useful at all. I think the problem is that those sites search the posts within the feeds rather than just the titles of the feeds. So what I got from each of them was a list of sites that had either one post on Doctor Who, or else, more often, a sentence such as this: "The doctor who pleaded guilty to malpractice was sentenced yesterday." Not what I wanted at all!

I am finding that using Bloglines really does save me some time that I used to spend looking at the same old pages over and over again. Now I have more time to look at other things or, heaven forbid, actually do some more work!

Monday, July 2, 2007

RSS feeds

I've set up a Bloglines account and am experimenting with RSS feeds. I've known about them for years, but I've never really thought it would save much time to use them. There aren't that many blogs that I follow regularly, and it's not been a problem to figure out the schedule and check them once a day or week, as the case may be. But now that I've looked around, I'm surprised to find how many other sites besides blogs have RSS feeds, and how useful they can be. For instance, there's a certain columnist at Salon that I adore. I certainly didn't want to see every time they add something new to the whole site, because that would drive me bonkers! But I found out they have a lot of different feeds, including one just for her column. So I subscribed to it. I also added my own blog, and now I'll see how long it takes for this to show up on Bloglines.

Snowie the movie director

When I was in library school, we had to film and edit a little movie just to prove that we could do it. Now mine is up on YouTube, so I figured I should post a link to it here for extra credit. (We can get extra credit, right?) Anyway, you can watch it here. Enough time has passed that it doesn't seem as horrible as it once did, although I still notice several mistakes I made.