Tuesday, June 26, 2007

RSS: Hot Off the Digital Press!

I gave Bloglines a try today. I've seen the orange RSS thingie all over the place for quite some time. But it's only now that I understand what a useful service this could be for me. I have yet to sign up for the "at least 10 newsfeeds", as directed by our Learning 2.0 assignment, but I am working on it! I am enthralled by the HBO drama Deadwood, so the first thing I signed up for was the Save Deadwood feed. I also signed up for some political feeds and a couple movie related ones. I have many other interests, too, so it shouldn't be too difficult to reach the magic number 10.

If you are a bit of an information junkie (which I assume many of us in this profession to be) :-), then you will probably appreciate what Bloglines can do for you. Go ahead and put it to work...and have fun!

"Hot off the press" in the old Deadwood days...

Itunes is Pretty Cool...

I decided to write my "anything technology-related" post about Itunes. Before the Tech Fair, I thought you needed an Ipod in order to make use of the Itunes website. But actually, you really just need a computer.

I am a music junkie, and between my husband and I, we have several hundred CDs. But sometimes, you just want that one song, and not the whole CD. This is where Itunes comes in handy. At Itunes.com, you can search their library of thousands of songs, most of which may be purchased for 99 cents. I found a bunch of songs I've been wanting for a long time, including one from a rare Tori Amos CD that is no longer available to buy in stores. That was a cool find! Now, because I live in The Middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania, I connect to the internet via an archaic dial-up connection. This means very slow-going when it comes to downloads (it took each song roughly 20 minutes to download.) Still, it was worth the wait. By the time I had chosen, purchased, and downloaded all of my songs, I was ready to burn a fabulous new mix CD. And I did just that! I was very pleased to listen to my creation in the car this morning on the way to work!

So, don't discount Itunes just because you don't have an Ipod or other MP3 player. If you have a computer with a CD-burner, you can make good use of this technology.

***A tip: Make sure the song you decide to purchase is really the one you want, by the artist you want. (Upon listening to my newly burned CD, I realized I accidentally bought a far inferior cover version of one of the songs I wanted. So I've definitely learned my lesson. :-)

***One more thing: You will have to download the Itunes software onto your computer in order to buy music or movies. On my turtle-paced dial-up, this download took over an hour, but for those of you living in the the 21st century, it should be quicker.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Flickr Mashups

So I've been checking out some Flickr Mashups. I found a website that has listed the 10 Best Flickr Mashups (according to them, of course...you may find some that you like better!)

I must say that I've had a hard time wrapping my head around this whole Mashup thing. Before the Tech Fair, when I heard the word "Mashup", I thought this was something strictly related to music (like when the musician Danger Mouse blended the music of the Beatles and Metallica.) As I learned more about Mashups, I just kept thinking, what is the point??? The whole thing seemed rather complicated to me. But, now, I'm starting to get it.

I did find a Mashup called Fastr that is kind of cool. It's actually a game where you are shown several Flickr images, and you have to identify the common "tag." Kinda fun if you are bored!

Thursday, June 21, 2007


This site is great. I had heard of it before the Tech Fair, but had never actually visited the site. I adore hydrangeas (hence, my username "nikko blue", which is one of my favorite hydrangea cultivars) so I decided to do a simple search for "nikko blue" and see what came up. I was so surprised to see all of the beautiful results--over 100 hits! My own hydrangea plants (I believe I'm up to six now) are all very young, with only one finally blooming this year, so of course I am envious of all the beauties found on Flickr!

~Nikko *Beautiful* Results!~

Lifelong Learning

After completing the 7 1/2 Habits of Lifelong Learners, I wondered: Do I love to read because I love to learn, or do I love to learn because I love to read? Hmmm...

And it also made me think about why I love my job in Children's Services. One of my favorite things about the job is that I constantly learn new things. Children often come to us for information about animals or people I've never heard of, so in the process of helping them, I get to gain some new information! I learn about all kinds of things I might never have known about, had it not been for a random 5th grader's school project!

I think being a lifelong learner is so important. The world is so full of fascinating things to learn about, I don't see how anyone would not want to continue learning throughout their whole life. And hey, if your'e a lifelong learner, you get really good at "Trivial Pursuit." Everyone will want to be on your team! :-)

***Well, that was going to be the end of my post, but then I decided to share something I just learned (hello, Habit #7!) I wanted to link to the 7 1/2 Habits in my post, but I kept having problems when I tried to do so. Here is the trick...

1. Type the words you want to appear as the link (i.e. 7 1/2 Habits of Lifelong Learners.)
2. Highlight the words you just typed.
3. Now, click the "Link" icon on your toolbar (the globe with the little chainlink.)
4. In the little box that pops up, type in the URL, then click OK.
5. The link should now show up neatly in your post!

Let me know if you have any trouble with those directions, and if you have any other helpful tips, feel free to share those as well--we can learn from each other!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Journey Begins...

Hello, all! Welcome to the

Jareth welcomes you, too...

My fellow children of the 80s may recognize Jareth, *The Goblin King*, from Jim Henson's masterpiece film, ~*Labyrinth*~. Others may just recognize him as David Bowie! :-)

Coming Soon: Further tales of my adventures in the Library 2.0 Labyrinth! Goodnight!