Adventures of Knittinmama

Library Student, Knitter, and Mama

My first Web 2.0 nightmare February 17, 2008

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After having class all day Saturday and reading about Dewey-less libraries all evening, I add my first Web 2.0 nightmare.  Literally. 

One of the things we did in class was explore Meebo, an instant messaging site.  I had lots of trouble in class getting it to work.  My computer kept freezing and doing strange things.  It was anything but ‘instant’.  Later that night I played with it on my own computer and successfully added a Meebo widget to my blog.  So far, so good.  Things are looking up for me in Meebo-land.

 Then last night I dreamt that I was part of a scavenger-hunt where a small statue was being hidden in a murky room overgrown with plants.  (Freudians, you have my permission to go wild with this)  First you would be alerted by Meebo that the statue had been re-hidden, then you had to find it and Meebo back the location before actually picking up the statue.  I was never able to report the location successfully and slowly drove myself crazy.  You know how in a dream-  print text never looks the same twice?  This was pure hell.  Plus, at the same time I kept getting messages from my child’s school nurse, that he was sick.

I never discovered exactly who I was contacting.  Perhaps some Meebo-gods….

 

#1 – My yahoo avatar

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Yahoo! AvatarsThis was very fun.  A person could spend way too much time trying out all the options.  I think I got all the elements of mother, knitter, and librarian in there.  The hardest part was posting it to the blog.  I’m using WordPress, rather than the one that 23 Things recommends.  Once I pasted the code under the ‘code’ tab, versus the ‘visual’ tab, it worked.  Seems obvious now. 

One of my classmates had what I think are very valid criticisms of the Yahoo programming.  http://wrmarsolek.wordpress.com/2008/02/17/21/  Ideas of gender are pretty fixed in Yahoo-land.  It would be impossible to put what yahoo has deemed female clothing on a man and vice-versa.  It’s also pretty intent on unrealistic body-images.  I would also like tools for me to build my own backgrounds, clothes, etc.  If it wants to be a 2.0 ap, the users need more input.

 

meebo name February 16, 2008

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My meebo name is: knittinmama 

(surprises)

I also put it into my sidebar as a widget.

 

NY Times Book Review sources about blogs February 5, 2008

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Here’s a link to the NY Times Book Review article about current books about about blogs.  Sources included.

 link

 

My First Experience with Virtual Communities

Filed under: Uncategorized — mryknx @ 3:40 am
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I apologize to those from my LIS 753 class who have heard this story before.

 So it’s the Summer of 2005 and I am freshly divorced after almost a year of separation.  It was not pretty.  Nothing that would make a Lifetime movie, but I was not doing well.  I was pretty numb.  My ex-husband had a friend who had a blog.  I had been without an internet connection for awhile due to a move and I finally got it set up.  I checked on his blog and noticed for the first time that you could click on the name of the people who left comments.   This was how I found my ex’s blog and his girlfriend’s  (of more than one year) blog.  The good news was that I was no longer numb.  The bad news was that I was no longer numb.  You know how most blogger have made-up names and don’t refer to the actual names of others.  Not so much.  Even his address was his name spelled out.  I’ll spare you the gory details, but I got pretty obsessed.  People assume that I was upset about horrible things he wrote about me and our marriage.  It took awhile to figure out, but what really killed me, was the utter lack of any mention of me. 

 Prior to this, I had observed the online world of Everquest from a distance.  My husband, after getting fired from a job, became obsessed with the online gaming world.  I played a little, but it became his escape from his life. 

One of the main reasons I took LIS 753 was to make new associations for myself with the internet and its communities.  I started subscribing to library, knitting, and pop-culture blogs.  I enjoyed it.  Since then I have become very involved with three communities:  43 Things, Ravelry, and Kiva. 

43 Thingsis a site where you set personal goals and then blog with others working with others working on the same goals.  I freaked out a bit when I got my first subscriber.  While I knew that I was putting stuff out in public, I was blown away that anyone would actually be interested.  I couldn’t write anything for about a week, feeling pressure to be interesting.  I got over it, but it was a strange feeling for awhile.  Currently I’m up to four subscribers.  It’s still a bit odd. 

Ravelry is a social site for knitters.  Knitters have always been community minded and it’s interesting to see it on the web.  Knitters tend to be on the older side and not what I would describe as ‘early-adopters’.   This site has been a huge hit with young and old knitters alike.  I can tell from talking to customers where I work that it’s popularity is growing.

Kiva is a site where you can loan money to people all over the world.  This is my favorite thing about what the internet can do.  Through this site, and other social entreprenural ones like it, a person do something directly.  It’s not about electing someone and hoping that they do something.  You can take action yourself. 

 

Reflection on Library 2.0 & Participatory Service

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The two biggest challenges I see for public librarians embracing Library 2.0 services are related – two aspects of the same issue.  1) Librarians trusting the public and their contributions and 2) Librarians becoming comfortable not ‘owning’ or being the experts in a traditional sense within their institution.   What makes this even more challenging is that I believe these attitudes to often exist on a subconscious level.   I don’t think many public librarians would disagree with a mission statement that valued a ‘user-centered’ library.  We all pretty much agree that we work in a service industry.  However when you change the old paradigm to include things such as allowing patrons to add their tags or comments to a catalog, there can be some strong knee-jerk responses rooted in fear.  

 For example, after our weekend, I was pretty jazzed about all the things we were playing with and exploring.  The next morning while I was at work at the yarn store, a local librarian came in for a spell.  She went to school in the pre-internet years and has been telling me from day one, “Take as many technology courses as you can.”  I also know her a bit and would describe her as a pretty liberal kind of gal.  When I started telling her about class, in particular the open-source  catalogs, I could see her shut down a bit.  She doesn’t know much about Library 2.0 stuff, and I could tell that intense resistance set in once I described something that touched upon the sacred cow of the catalog.  She started talking about digitial divide issues as a reason why the library shouldn’t go this direction.  To her, it was going to a) increase the divide and b) take resources away from more traditional services.   

 I had to go wind some yarn before we could finish the conversation, but it made me think about how to initiate conversations with current librarians about Library 2.0 stuff.  From what I knew about this person, I wasn’t expecting this response and if I were do it over, I would start with more foundational ideas, rather than ‘cool applications’.

 

Second Day January 27, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — mryknx @ 5:26 pm
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What I did today at schoolFrom nothing to playing with the universe.  Not bad for one day.