Tuesday, May 1, 2007


Friends and family: long work post, but it could be interesting ...

This is my last 2.0 lesson, not counting next week's "wrap-up and reflection"! And I am extra happy that I've already experienced 2/3 of the lesson. Yay!

YouTube: In the past, I would occasionally go to YouTube if someone sent me a link for something, but I didn't spend much time on it. This year when my older brother set up a YouTube account to share family videos, I signed up for an account. Now I'm sold! I love it! Especially for our family which is currently split between Maine, Washington, and Moscow (Russia). Seeing my nephews thank me on a short YouTube video is 1000 times more enjoyable than a thank you card (though I love those, too). I've already embedded several videos in my blog in earlier posts, so I don't really feel like I need to go out and explore YouTube. I *loved* the short video KCLS27Things posted in this week's lesson, so I'll go ahead and embed that here for my family and friends to enjoy:

As an anthropology major, I must say that the reason this video is so well done is that it was done by an anthro prof!

As far as YouTube applications at KCLS? I have seen many clever library promotions on YouTube, and I think KCLS should look into embracing the technology. I imagine that KCLS being KCLS, there would have to be a committee formed and guidelines created. Perhaps all promo videos would have to come out of Community Relations. After a year or two of deliberations YouTube clips would begin to appear on our website, but by then they would be so passe no one would care. sigh.

Podcasts: I hadn't looked into these in the past, because I thought they had to be viewed on an iPod. Then when I found out you could view them in other ways, I didn't want to because I would have to download more software to my computer. Plus, I don't need to spend more time watching/listening to my computer when there are great books to read and birds and sunshine outside.

I looked at iTunes' podcasts, and was very unimpressed by the entry web page. The search box was almost invisible at the bottom of the page, and it searched the entire Apple site, not just podcasts. I don't see the alleged subject browse or a decent keyword search. So forget it. It lost me as a potential customer.

Podcast.net is much more promising. It looks like a web search engine; I found it relatively easy to browse and search. I loved that I didn't need to download any special software to listen to a NatureWatch podcast on the Ruby-Crowned Kinglet. I liked it enough to try adding a NatureWatch RSS feed to my Bloglines account.

I looked at Podcast Alley, but wasn't super impressed. On the one hand the categories are too broad, on the other hand some are to thin: only 15 entries under "science and medicine." Keyword search did not work well; I searched for travel Pompeii and received 200 results which had nothing to do with Pompeii. So forget it. It lost me as a potential customer. Although, it was nice you could listen without downloading software.

Yahoo podcasts is a busy mess of a page, just like Yahoo regular. The categories are too broad; I click on "science" and have 9237 podcasts to browse through. Keyword searches work well, and you don't have to download special software to listen.

I'm not sure why I would want to do a podcast, but it is nice to know that it seems pretty easy. I suppose the library system could use this for announcing events. Perhaps even broadcast some storytimes! As a kid, I used to love listening to the Spider's Web on MPBN, which was a 30 minute radio story time.

Ooookay. So. eBooks. I've already done this, too! It was somewhat rewarding, and somewhat disappointing. For Christmas this year I got a SanDisk mp3 player. I was psyched to try an e-book out! I had no trouble locating a book and downloading the software. I had no trouble using the OverDrive console to transfer the book to my portable device. I even had no trouble listening to the first two hours of my book. But then, Doom! The story would no longer play! My player kept giving me a message about updating permissions. I tried deleting and reloading the story. I tried totally wiping my SanDisk and reloading. I tried going to the SanDisk website and uploading a patch to make it more compatible with audiobooks, but my mp3 player wouldn't talk to the website! I tried e-mailing SanDisk, and I never ever ever got a response from the help desk. GRRRRRRR! I looked at the very very short list of mp3 players which are compatible with OverDrive, and mine is not listed. It seems pretty clear I have an unresolvable DRM problem. Meanwhile, because I had listened to two hours of my eBook, I was hooked. I ended up sitting at my computer at home, playing solitaire, and listening to Brendan Fraser read Cornelia Funke's Dragon Rider. Brendan was amazing! He has a great career ahead of him as a reader.

The upshot of my experience is that it is easy to get started, but using a portable device can be frustrating due to compatibility issues. One of the main reasons I have been racing through Learning 2.0 is to get an mp3 player that is compatible with KCLS' eBooks. Remember, you promised this capability!

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