Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Google Docland

So far, the most exciting thing about Google Docs is its freeness. I used this word hoping to trip a spell check, but I haven't found it yet. While exploring I noticed you can export the new work as an HTML document and even export to the Office suite choices. This all sounds pretty neat. I am intrigued by the "save copy as a presentation" feature, but at this point, I don't want to mess too much with my assignment. The share feature actually seems to be the most interesting since it would be more secure than an open wiki, and much easier than sending e-mails to each other. Ok, so what does the quote symbol do besides enter thin text boxes below the original paragraph? Does it include " or do you need to add these? I am thinking this is for a paper or article with a quote paragraph, but not used all that often outside of the academic realm...hmmmm. Ooohh, I also noticed the little flashing red "save" feature every few seconds...that's pretty cool since we could have a pc crash or power outage any second.... a safety feature that Word should really adopt. I hate to blog and run...but this one seems pretty simple yet very useful. I can think of several instances I could have used this with past committee assignments.

**Update: I did encounter an error in trying to publish to my blog. The pop-up box that requires you to enter your blog id and password also has a place to give the name of your blog and says that this allows the correct blog to be the post recipient. If this is not filled in Google states the program will select whichever blog it comes to first. Problem: I have more than one blog and the non-Blue 2.0 blog is listed first in my dashboard. I looked around for a place to switch the dashboard order, but couldn't find it.....so as an experiment, I allowed the Google Docs item to publish anyway. I didn't like it. The title was not in my nice bold print with designer color and my body font was not consistent with the rest of the blog posts. Being two Google items, I would have thought this process would have been more seamless. I assume it will become more seamless as time roles along, but for now Google Docs looks to be limited to group work or writing on the fly from a foreign computer.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Delicious Tagging

I'm not really sure what I think about the delicious task. I like the concept of having access to my bookmarks online...very convenient if you switch between several computers. The site itself was interesting. After I downloaded the two easy add and tag buttons, the site wanted me to add two more buttons that I could never quite add because their example was from an older version of Explorer. I eventually gave up on these new toolbar buttons, but I felt the first two were enough since they allowed me to add and tag on the fly - two more buttons might have added too much clutter. I like the feature of seeing how many people have added the same link, but when you click to see the people who have this link, they are listed in two different places which kind of breaks the flow of easy reading. I finally got the hang of it...but again, I think it will just take some getting used to. Here is my list so far...I couldn't quite quit with five and will add more very soon: http://del.icio.us/historiana

As for the optional task, I had already completed most of this one when I joined two years ago. Even after all of that time I still LOVE Library Thing! The widget was one of the first things I added to my blog from the first day of blog creation. The only thing I had not done was actually tag my books. I really hadn't seen a use for this since I knew all of the subjects I owned anyway, but after I got started it was handy to tag by century (for antique volumes) and by series since LT lists by title or author instead of keeping known groups together. It became quite addictive for a couple of evenings and I still didn't tag everything since some things just don't fit into a group I might want to access. I think the real joy was seeing my very own tag cloud....it had been depressing to see I didn't have one as I kept procrastinating about this task....thanks Blue 2.0 for giving me a tag kick in the pants!

And for Valentine's Day a special selection from my Library Thing collection:

Now on to Google Docs..... http://del.icio.us/ukilldd

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Wildcat Wiki

That was going to be my first idea for a wiki, and then I figured I really didn't want to look up a bunch of UK or Wildcat stats as a beginning...nor did I want opponents trashing the place since this is a new thing. So I opted for a work wiki for ILL which I thought might help as we update to 7.2 in ILLiad. So far, since we haven't updated yet and I'm not real sure what to start with, it's a pretty empty wiki. Part of the problem seems to be my resistance to info collection that might not be correct. Something like this might be a breaking point for the OCD nature of librarians.


My only beef with the wiki world seems to be an isolated nature of pbwiki that does not make the newly created pages all that easy to access once they have been added. I keep hoping for a bold or eye-catching menu but only see my new pages under recently edited pages or when I click to see all pages....some main menu from the home page listing the other pages would seem to improve usability if you are switching back and forth or accessing a lot of pages. Otherwise the experience was easy, just a bit awkward since I read wikis but rarely contribute. I will definitely keep this in mind when we have group projects.

P.S. An added note about the rss feeds....thanks to anonymous "winter blues" Crovo for reminding us about Outlook 2007 feeds already on our sidebar. I had looked at these and deleted what I didn't like but didn't realize how easy it was to add your favs to this feed instead of bloglines....one exception: I did have a weather blog that was added yet Outlook does not update or pull in any new posts. Bloglines treated this feed fine, but Outlook had trouble....again, maybe I just need to look at settings...just an fyi.

Happy Wiki Wednesday! (Sorry, couldn't resist)