Thursday, March 6, 2008

Odds and Ends from Play Week

I know that Second Life already filled up my Play Week quota, but I wanted to comment on a few of the other choices we had:

I switched to this Google format quite some time ago, but it really has helped in the same way Bloglines has: by grouping some of my favorite news sources into one page. Another time and click saving option that also adds a bit of giggle to your day. It is very customizable and you can pick things such as weather, "Today in
History", "Art of the Day", "Word of the Day" or, my personal favorite, "Funny Cat Photos". What more perfect element is there for librarians than cat photos?! If you're having a cloudy day, these cute cat captioned photos will do the trick!

I signed up for this last night and everything seemed to go well. It was kind of interesting to see my blog ranked at the bottom of almost 5 million. It sure puts the blogging impact in perspective....we may like the writing or sharing....but few to share it with in reality. I really liked the feature of listing the most popular blogs by category...just to see what everyone is reading and searching out new additions to my bloglines feed list.

Besides Technorati, I also registered a while back with Blogflux. It's a nice browsable blog directory, but with one huge drawback: as they add more blogs, they start a new alphabetical list all over again at the end of the first...very frustrating! Blogflux claims to offer a lot of services such as stats, ranking, templates, hosting....all of the same things most blogging services offer, but Blogflux is still very much in the minor leagues as they only claim to feature a little over a hundred thousand blogs in their directory.

But for you Gardeners out there:
I have stumbled across Blotanical. This directory may not have a ton of blogs yet, but the concept is great! They display the gardening locations of the bloggers complete with clickable maps and each blogger listed has a plot of their own to leave messages, list favorite plants or plant expertise. Best of all, the browsing format is so user friendly it practically begs for a cup of hot tea and scone on a cold winters day as one dreams of the gardening season. Remember, below the equator, the gardening season is reversed, so when we are snowed in, they are ranting about their latest garden failure or success. The pictures alone are worth the browse. The popular listings have screen captures and descriptions of the blogs to better help you decide what kind of gardening blog looks promising.

Blinging the Blog:
I will admit to blinging my blog from day one because I love the magic of widgets. I learned about the Library Thing widget almost at the same time Blue 2.0 began so the timing was perfect. I also added my own counters and mapping systems, but I try not to bling too much since I don't want readers overwhelmed with the selection of widget choices. I have been to some blogs that require adjusting my focus just to see the blog posts. Simple, clutter free blogs are so much easier to read.

I do like the tagging option which I added fairly early and I also visited Feedburner to add a nice large RSS button on my blog....I don't understand why this wasn't an offered feature in Blogspot. However, Google just purchased Feedburner, so I would imagine this will be a feature VERY soon!

Second Life:
Just as a wrap up on the Second Life fun had by all the past two weeks:

While poking around Library Thing with their new local registry I noticed that they do have a Second Life Group to join.

Oh, and don't forget to add the official Linden Blog to your RSS feeds since they include important updates and tips!

But the Second Life exploration should really dictate we refer to the past two weeks of Blue 2.0 as Party Weeks since, as you can see below, there are librarians aplenty dancing the afternoon away at the grand opening celebration of Cybrary Island. Touted as a "global village for information professionals", they actually offer space for free in order to "build a more "global village" atmosphere and outreach to more international communities within the library and information science professions." So far, we haven't had the time to explore much of their concept, but they sure do know how to get librarians dancing....just ask the UK Island's Blue 2.0 explorers: Goffredo, Sifriya, All of Manni's Angels (with Manni in tow) and Genevra! Those Librarians sure can move!

Well, off to play in the snow...IF it gets here.
Have a good weekend!

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