You may remember from my first post that I began this blog as part of an online learning program called 23 Learning 2.0 Things. This program, which should not have taken me this long to complete, was designed for staff at this library but shared online for anyone who wanted to participate. (Though the rest of us didn't win mp3 players for completing the program - drat!)
Helen Blowers did a fantastic job of putting the program together and recording podcasts for each module. Really, I can't imagine how much work it was to put this together. With the exception of a shudder-inducing grammatical error on Thing #18 ("Web-based Apps: There Not Just for Desktops") it is very professional and very organized. The topic of social networking sites was noticeably absent and with all of the hullabaloo about MySpace, particularly in the library world, I'm flabbergasted that it wasn't included.
A few of the things weren't new to me which I suppose is a sign that I'm not a complete Luddite and that is always good to know. I've been using Bloglines for a while, I've downloaded audiobooks from Netlibrary (and experienced the frustration of not being able to listen to them on my mp3 player of choice, but I digress), and I've watched videos on You Tube. I'd clicked links to photos on Flickr but never spent time looking around the site, and I use Wikipedia frequently but hadn't looked at other wikis.
I had never seen the online productivity tools like Zoho Writer and Google Docs. They are a great idea, though I'm not certain I'll necessarily use them. But I probably should, as having an online space for documents certainly seems better than constantly emailing them to myself.
A few of the things, though I was glad to learn about them, mystified me. I couldn't figure out the point of Technorati. I dutifully signed up and added my blog and then thought - now what? What am I supposed to do? You can use the site to find blogs on particular subjects, but Google works very well too. I'm probably missing something, but if I can't figure it out from exploring the site for 10 or 15 minutes it's not worth my time. Similarly, Rollyo isn't particularly useful. Basically you create your own search engine by choosing which sites you want it to search. For example, I could make a knitting search that will only search my favorite knitting sites. This would make sense if you want to repeatedly do a search on a specific set of sites, and I'm sure someone out there finds it useful, but not me. I had heard a lot about LibraryThing but hadn't ever used it. It was really very fun, for about ten minutes, and now I'm not sure I'll ever even look at it again. It's just one more thing to increase the strain on the username and password-remembering part of my brain.
Do you ever feel like you have too much stuff, and just want to leave all the books and yarn and animals and forks behind and go live in a yurt? Well, I do and signing up for all of these accounts made me feel similarly burdened and yurt-deprived. While I think it's important to be aware of new things on the web, most of the things in the program are incredibly specific and therefore not particularly useful in my everyday life. If I were to ever attempt to keep up with it all, it would surely be at the expense of other hobbies such as, say, showering or eating dinner.