Monday, September 22, 2008

Welcome to 26.2 Things!

Hello all, and thank you for running with me. We're about to start a course full of exploration, play and -- with luck -- no Heartbreak Hills.

26.2 Things in Boston is a self-directed program of discovery designed to introduce you to the tools of Web 2.0, also known as the 'social web.' Over the next ten weeks, we'll cover blogs, wikis, social networking and reviewing sites, photo/audio/video resources, RSS feed readers, online applications, downloadable services and more. By December 1st, you'll have a list of 26.2 Things you can do on the web that you might not have tried before and, hopefully, you'll be more comfortable discovering and using new tools in the future.

If this seems like a lot, don't worry. Every Monday, I'll put up posts for 2 or 3 Things; each post will contain information about the tool or site, some examples and a discovery activity to work through. The discovery activity should only take about 15 minutes to a half hour to complete and report on. (Unless you spend a few hours looking for your favorite childhood cartoons on YouTube!) You'll receive credit for completing the Thing when you report on it, usually in a blog post.

Please note: We don't expect you to become a Flickr Pro or LibraryThing power user. The point of this course is to explore and become familiar with the basics.

As a part of this program, you will set up a Google account and blog with Blogger, if you don't have one already. These will be our primary means of communication and discussion, as well as the place you'll post your completed activities. I'll be monitoring all of your blogs, and will include them in a reading list (blog roll) here on this site, in case you'd like to see what other participants are finding.

As I mentioned in the course description, I view myself as your coach on this run through 2.0. I'm here to show you the basics, walk you through trouble spots, offer advice and tips, provide support and encourage you to play. I also encourage you to ask other participants, friends and coworkers for additional help you might need. Comments are the places that discussions happen in blogs, so don't hesitate to let others know what you're thinking and what questions you have in response to their posts.

To start things off, please read through the About page for this course. I've also written up a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to explain some things in more detail. As a reminder, there's no specific software you need for this course, but you do need access to a computer with both audio and video capabilities, and a reasonable internet connection (broadband/DSL or better).

Thank you all for being a part of this first version of 26.2 Things in Boston. I'm looking forward to seeing what we can find out in the great wide web!

Up next....Thing #1: What's the Big Deal About 2.0, Anyway?


Beatrice said...

Dear Jennifer,

Wow how kool! My url is

i like this new adventure.

Cecily greenaway

beatrice said...

I did get ahead of myself. I now have a new email address and a newer url:

Cecily Greenaway VHPL

Susan said...

Hi Jennifer,

I think this is a great way to get people involved in the newest innovations on the internet. I have created an email before, but never registered with a blog.

Susan V Ch. Br.

Susan said...

Hi Jennifer,
I have followed a few of the links you provided one was to the Lansing library to see what they are doing with chat and the like. I saw they had a cost counter for sevices at the library they got from Boston. I looked at the library page of blog links, but am not sure I got anything out of it.
I did creat a blog which you can see below.
PS Why is there a trashcan at the end of my comment

Jennifer Koerber said...

Hello, Susan!

That trashcan allows you to delete your comment, if you choose to. I can delete any comments on a post (though I would only do so in extreme cases), and you can delete your own comments. No one can delete anyone's comments but their own.

How are things working for you all?

Unknown said...

My head is swimming. I'm the director of the Weymouth Public Libraries. We have staff blog, a teen blog, IM use between staff, a story hour wiki for our parents and yet, there is so much more we can be doing and should be doing. Our recent statistics of Overdrive audio downloads was shockingly high, obviously in a good way. But, it made us realize that there are so many more ways we can be serving those patrons who don't and never will, step inside our doors and yet can remain actively engaged library users. I found Michael Stephen's "Into a New World of Librarianship" especially thought provoking. Imagine getting users engaged in library design and budgeting via 2.0. These innovations aren't just trendy and cool, but could indeed be the key to our survival.

beatrice said...

Dear Jennifer,

What is Subscribe to: Posts (Atom) about?


Jennifer Koerber said...

Good catch, Cecily. We'll be discussing RSS feeds and subscriptions in the 3rd week of Things, but the short answer is that an Atom feed is one way that blogs and other sites have of pushing their information out to users. Much like a newspaper subscription, a feed allows readers to pull the content of that site to them, which they look at via a feed reader. If you want a sneak preview, check out the Google Reader application in your Google account.

Lauren Lepanto said...

Hey Jennifer.

I cannot link to Levity's Compass and Librarian's Third Eye. I am asked if I want to save the file. Any ideas?


Jennifer Koerber said...

I'm not sure, Lauren, but Blogger did announce that there'd be a service outage at 7pm tonight. You might have tried to access while that was going on and had issues. I'd recommend trying again in a little while.

Cheryl said...

I am a little confused. I thought I posted a comment before and I don't see it here. I am hopeful that I will catch on to what it is I am suppose to be doing.

Jennifer Koerber said...

Hi Cheryl

Your comment was posted over on the main class blog. This auxiliary site is for additional information. No worries!

Jennifer Koerber said...

Actually, Cheryl, my error. You commented on a different post in this blog. You're still all set, either way.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jennifer,

My new, very skimpy log is named,
Librarian's Third Eye.

beatrice said...

I wanted to ask Dave G. on "Levity's Compass" blog the name of the city in his photograph. I could not find a way to post a comment. Do I need a post to comment?

Jennifer Koerber said...

@Cecily: Yes, there needs to be a post on a blog before you can comment on it. When you comment, you're doing so on a specific post, not on the blog as a whole.

I've also discovered that when I link to an empty blog in our blog roll, following the link takes you to the feed page rather than the blog itself. So, folks, when you create your blogs, please put up even the barest of Hi, I'm here! posts, so we have something to link to and comment on. Thanks!

Tropical Paradise said...


Olga said...

Hi Jennifer,

How can I search for blogs to follow by subject? I suspect there should be an easy way, but I can't find it for some reason :)


Judy said...

Hi. It's Judy. I just created my fist blog at Hmm. Now I have to post to it!

Judy said...

Hi again. I've just changed my display name from JD to Judy.

beatrice said...

Hi Jennifer and Running Mates,
I am not sure I am doing this correctly: Going the extra mile thing 10 (imbedded in the post) but the following url should take you to Flickr photos of me and my granddaughter: Conneticut


beatrice said...

Or try this

beatrice said...

Oh yuck, I meant "my granddaughter and I"

Jennifer Koerber said...

@Olga -- Because of the way that blogs (and the internet) developed, there isn't a particularly easy way to search for blogs by subject. Blogs were designed to be found based on their authors and possibly their content by keyword, but not by an easy subject classification system.

Technorati is a blog indexing service (as well as many other things) and they do have a directory of blogs by subject. It's not comprehensive, but it's a good start. They also have a search function and various headlines pages.

Of course, Google has a blog search. It works in the same way as Google's main search does, but limits results to blogs.

For that matter, a search on the term "blogs on [subject]" in any major search engine should give you results worth poking through.

Finally, there are ways to discover blogs by keyword or tag through your RSS reader of choice. I know Bloglines and Google Reader both have that function.

For more ideas, here's a forum discussion on Metafilter that offers other suggestions.

beatrice said...

Dear Running mates,

Thing 24 This a favorite recipe from epicurious, that always pleases summer guest. At first I search "corn chowder" only to find many additions since I last used the site. I added "lobster" to the search to find my tried and true recipe. Actually the benefit of web 2.0 recipes over books is the readers comments and hints. Allows you to be more choosy, creative, and not too surprised, and really could I let go of several of my cookbooks.
Jennifer, Thanks for the HabersBrulle site. Happy Thanksgivng everyone. Cecily