Sunday, August 31, 2008

Zoho locomotion

Great things start with Z: Zealand, Zorro.. Zugby, and now Zoho.

My only concern is how this zoho frowny-smiley face is not going to appear.. So I'll have to type it :( Thats tragic.

Not entirely layout-compatible with Blogger, which would mean, over a long haul, one or the other. And howabout the screen jittering every time it updates.. I mean, :(

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Realio trulio little read Rollyo

One slightly awkward thing about Wikipedia is its search engine. If there's no redirect manually set up to compensate for capitalisations, for example, then you can miss out. Hence Rollywik - my search engine just for Wikipedia. However, as with my experience with making something similar to rollys, a swicki, I found it a bit finicky. But if a librarian were to set one up for me..

In passing I note Jimmy Wales is trying to create a wiki-built search engine, WikiaSearch. Not sure if this will benefit Wikipedia directly. Nor even if he'll have much luck bettering Google either - wouldn't relying on the crowd be just a manualised form of the awesome PageRank algorithm? Hope he succeeds, G seriously needs the competition.

Library Thingamajig

Does Thingee use LibraryThing? Or does he prefer Shelfari, GoodReads, Anobii, Books iRead.. What, between LibraryThing, and Wikipedia, and Amazon, and-
But I digress. My LT. Chose several entries of same book, "An Angel at my Table," because the first time I used LibraryThing I was struck by how identifying with ones "own" book depended so much on the cover. Not that we should judge em by em..

And, by the by, wouldn't it be grand if maybe NSL could be the first LTFL library in noozoo. An opac of many parts. Very.. frankensteinian.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

People people people, and a cat

Our tools are way in front of our imagination
--Paul Reynolds
Reynolds is good value. Maybe it's the accent. Maybe it's the "Library Link of the Day" widget in his blog. Or the blog. In the RNZ podcast (quoted above) he's referring to how webtools used to be difficult, now the limiting factor is.. people.

So it's all about people deciding peoplely what people want, and people well doing it. A thought par for this course. Beautiful.

Now, mate, about the Fitch..

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

TV is dead. Long live TV.

Choose.. a forking big television. But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose television: I chose something else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you've got the Interweb?

But here are some anyway.

What's really profound is not the amount, but the array of new sources. This is not incidental. Clay Shirky explains. He even mentions public libraries.

BBC proves the msm can wag the long tail. Now howabout an online sequel to Planet Earth..

It's not all Youtube. Actually, there was some disgruntlement when Flickr started hosting vids. This one is.. touching.

TED shows why, repeatedly, conferences work online. PS: that waterbottle costs $10,000. Sip sparingly.

Vimeo. One of many video sharing websites. Like I said, it's not all Youtube. Incredible HD. And this is what, just somebody's homework..?

Webcams. Not the golden weather; its golden tamarins. When bandwidth is free, and giant screens are too we won't have windows. Well, we will, but they'll be windows.

Youtube. Lest we forget. Not just for your cat. YT also hosts well-known television giants like New Scientist.. And offshoots of tvnz. And quirky bits of individual genius. Moo.

Opacs are not even fruit

The woolly mammoth in the room is that libraries tend to have two websites: a website proper, and an opac.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ducks without orange




Orange, orange, against the plying of the slight

In space no one can hear you scream
try the public library!

Once upon a time Russell Brown used to write for the NZListener, commenting on the Internet. Now he's given up journalism for television, though he still runs the Public Address commentariat.

Recently one of his cohort of bloggers, Fiona Rae wrote: "Good news, everyone. Science fiction is coming. That's if you haven't already downloaded it from the internets, put it on a flash drive and played it on your 32-inch widescreen LCD TV via your PS3. Ahem. What I mean to say is that season three of Battlestar Galactica starts tomorrow night on C4."

What's telling here is that of all the involuted options to access the tv series she explores none mention the public library. Hmm.. I wonder why. At NSL say, just say, for example the dvd set has been available for at least six months. Arghhhhhh! Have another orange.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Halftime quater-orange pull over play nice

Nearly rest week. Here is a half-time quarter-orange then - and an eighth of a thought to go with it.

Am amazed at the range of opinions here, shown on this course. Even within this relatively small, relatively homogeneous professional group there's been quite a nuanced range of reactions to each Thing. Take, say, just at random, wiki..

There's been assured, positive, very positive, convinced, almost-convinced, musing-on-possibilities, for-it, furthering-it, practical, useful-buttish, cautiously-enthusiastic, wonderstruck, gushing, zealous (that'd be me then), nonplussed, double-nonplussed, doubting, more-against-than-for, more-for-than-against, fun-but-not-serious, not-convinced, against, rabidly-against..

And when you factor in how these positions are still evolving, and will keep doing so.. and multiply them by the opinions of the other 22Things.. and how all the applications are all constantly developing too, and their synergies.. well, we'll definitely need more oranges.

Lightning doesn't strike here

Like a bolt from the blue, or in the case of Beijing, the grey. The lightning kid strikes. It's not hard to pick the headlines surrounding Usain Bolt. It was a great Olympic moment. Pictured is a screenshot from tvnz's coverage, at the moment Bolt insane slaps his chest before prancing across the line..

Uh-huh. Uh-uh. D N A Y S. Turns out tvnz doesn't do web2.0 - you can't embed the video, you can't even take a screenshot.

I mention this because it's easy to forget when carping over flaws in things like Wikipedia, just how good, how absolutely extraordinary these initiatives are.

I mean, I'm sure, if I wanted, if I really wanted, I could find the Usain footage Out There. Though rather than be furtive about it I wish things like video were more subject to the same Fair Use as text, so it could be quoted from, etc.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Lolcats beam me up

Image generation, sounds like something from Star Trek, probably the holodeck. Great fun. Who could resist lolcats! The hard thing is finding a way to use these generators in a manner that is both innovative and useful, yet doesn't lose advantage of the convenience they represent.

Drawing a long cow

Whoa: this. More commentary on web2.0, library2.0, blah, blah. Blah blah blah um blah. (Mouseover, readunder.) Ok, maybe just watch the vid.

Go on, say it. You know you want to.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

If a wookie could wiki

[Please note: I've updated this post to better reflect Badke's position which, he pointed out, I mangled. Original in comments. I have left in my irritating sarcasm. ]

You'd think public librarians would love wiki. Yet does any public library in noo-zoo make use of a wiki? Why not? Not yet? Hmm..

In some the response to, say, Wikipedia is still ambivalent, almost disapproving. At best, Wikipedia is considered a "single" source. (William Badke wrote that, despite its strengths: "we need to help our students see that Wikipedia is also an environment for shallow thinking, debates over interpretation, and the settling of scores." Yeah, cos like, none of that happens in academia.)

The mistake, I think, is to expect Wikipedia to be perfect. As if an error in any particular article damned the whole project. Yet despite what Nick Carr says about Google making us stupid, (or presumably any part of the Interweb), I'd put money, real money, on Wikipedia. Because on well-above-average - for all its errors, biases, and frauds - Wikipedia is better informed than an individual. That is a hard metaphysical thing to take.

I recommend Chris Anderson. He gives a good, clear sense of the way Wikipedia works, and it's importance: "the first source of information, not the last." He also links to Nick Carr's critique for those who still want a straw to clutch.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Behind, before, above, between, below

To protect the supersecret of your identity maybe you mulitplex yourself, and go online in a multitude of different places; but maybe there is automated author profiling software that crawls the web for "who else writes like" your blog, and creates a nice chronological flowchart of what you've been up to.. Naturally, the more you say the more accurate will be the chart.

Even if this precise software doesn't exist, it almost could. Artist-cum-computer-scientist Jonathan Harris (pictured) has a project called 'We Feel Fine' which...

"...scans the world's newly posted blog entries every two or three minutes searching for occurences of the phrases 'I feel' and 'I am feeling' and when it finds one of those phrases it grabs the full sentence up to the period and also tries to identify demographic information about the author.." (video)

and then animates the feelings. Now as it happens Harris is incredible, and his project exhilarating. Nevertheless.. over time the more you say the less potential anonymity you will have - even if the software doesn't get better, which it will. Any sockpuppetry can only take you so far.

Did I mention Harris' project automatically extracts your photos too, and captions it with your sentence.? Now, altogether: "I am feeling altogether.."

Does this matter? Well, it might actually be a non-issue: people want to be recognised, and the web allows reputations to be built. Which is a good thing, because this openness is surely integral to any "Library 2.0" concept. In fact there are plenty self-identified librarians on the web, though perhaps not here exactly.

Which reminds me, I must be off. Got a tiddlywinks tournament to attend, and a knit-off, cat-show, seance..


The Percolator is nothing to do with coffee, which is sad. However maybe it's the key to understanding Technorati. It being a vainglorious attempt to get a handle on the whole, the whole, blogosphere, in "near realtime." That is sensational. Hopefully one day they'll have a more visually intuitive representation like Flickrvision.

Anyway, T-searching Learning2.0 I inevitably found a robotfish. Or rather, and this is what struck me, people going to an aquarium to see a robotfish..

Monday, August 11, 2008

Pushing up Daisy's last post

Lest we forget..

Some points, and some disappoints. William Gibson famously once said: "The future is already here - it's just not evenly distributed." And he should know, he almost prefigured the Interweb. So, in the interests of redistribution, say what you like here, or even what you don't. I'll just be odd.

On high o'er questions..

How do you pronounce this? Are those stops glottal?
If you put a feedmark in a bookmark does your head explode?
Is it quicker to peruse everyone else's tagged comments on a bookmark, or just to examine the site itself yourself?
Can you comment on a comment?
How old are those PLCMC2 bookmarks! (not a question).

I've gathered all the images I've taken off the Commons and displayed them Deliciously. Efficient, however not sure if that really does as a proper Acknowledgement.

I even tagged a few, though only lazily. Perhaps for images bookmarks really need to have thumbnails, like Technorati. In fact, be thumbnails, in a tagcloud.

Which brings me to wondering if the whole relentlessly textual-linear-one-at-a-time manner of Delicious is not rather old-fashioned. Certainly the direction of the Interweb is towards more visual, spatial representations, cos we are all paralleloprogrammed. I may have mentioned this before.. Check out Aurora, Mozilla's future browser concept, putting the space in cyber.

Anyway, back on earth, managing cloudmarks.. Portability is always good. But to be useful for research they'd have to be in tightly focused in-depth groupings that couldn't be bettered by a simple Google search.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The big O

Here are five webbish things about the Olympics, apart from the logo (pictured). (Display with thanks to Missy and Janman).

In the spirit of Chinese copyright cavalier use is made of the mascots. Bei Jing huan ying ni. Beijing welcomes you:

During the opening ceremony virtual displays were integrated into physical ones, and included crowd participation through light and noise. Very.. hyperrealistic.

TVNZ has the rights to the coverage in NZ including online, so youtube has been geoblocked here. Meanwhile, despite promises, the Communist Party is still blocking access to the Internet.

Wikipedia has a running commentary of every event and athlete. And country, and venue, and medal. And of course every related topic is hyperlinked.

Spectators load their experiences online and this is pushed about by bloggers everywhere, including here. During the parade of nations some athletes waved flags; one team official talked into his cellphone.

Timekeepers and other measuring devices beam their data near instantaneously to the International Space Station where it is adjudicated upon by four astronauts and a supercomputer. Okay, I'm kidding about this last one, the astronauts are just decorations.