Thursday, May 14, 2009

A project realized because of Web 2.0!

I, as anyone can tell, am an avid aviation buff, especially with regards to Workd War I. I am also a plastic modeler as well as a history major. I love to build models of the things that I research which leads me to my current project. I am building the aircraft of Manfred von Richthofen or, as everyone else knows him, The Red Baron. The problem that I have had concers conflicting information in the books that are avalible to me. When I started the web 2.0 training, I was only building a single aircraft of Richthofen's. However, I decided to take a chance and use the computer for more that just reading files. I used the lessons from web 2.0 to begin to actively search out information. In the process, I found a website that caters to people with my own interests. What's more, many of the people posting on this site are aviation historians, authors and aviation artists who'se books and articles I have read. I made a long posting and used tools such as photobucket to illustrate my points and I utilised RSS feeds, and later delicious, to keep up to date on what was going on, as well as many other lessons on information sharing from the Web 2.0 training. I actually wasn't expecting much. However, in a short while I was communicating with these aurhors and historians over the very subject that I was researching. They were providing me with titles of books I never knew existed but could either purchase or, if out of print, get through ILL as well as supplying me with their own photos and information from their own collections. They gave me the inside information on why certain conclusions were made in certain books and why they either agreed or disagreed with them. Most importantly, they supplied me with enough research information to be able to draw my own conclusions on these topics. The information I received was more that I expected and would never have been avalible outside of direct contact with the authors and historians themselves. I have become so excited over what I have learned that a simple series of questions have exploded into a full blown research project where I have learned more that I ever though possible. All of this was because of the lessons in connectivity and information sharing that I have learned from the web 2.0 training. What was originally a single model has exploded into eleven different aircraft that each tell a story about a signifigant event in Manfred von Richthofen's life. This has become so big, that I made a proposal to Karen Johnson, our branch manager, to display these models along with historical information, texts, profiles, artwork and memorableia in our display cases in a manner that will not only tell the story of The Red Baron (outside of Snoopy) but will aslo let people know what it was like to fly over 90 years ago. She has agreed to do this, and now I am beginning the process of forming this display and building the models. However, the research is not done. There are still new books coming out. Author Jim Miller has a book due to be released in June that is covering the exact same topics that I have been researching. He shared much of his own research with me and some of the models I am building are based on his profiles. There are also a few lingering questions as well, but I am now confident that I can answer them with the information that I now have access to because of Web 2.0.

Social Internet Radio Cataloging

I just finished reading the internet radio and social cataloging sections in training. Internet radio is a tool I have used before in non work settings. I know that we had a computer here during the holidays that was tuned into a internet radio site that was playing holiday music while we worked. Other that this I have never really done much with internet radio as I really haven't had a real interest in it. As far as social cataloging, that seems like a good way to share information, especially on recommended books and reasearch sources. I will have to take a closer look at that to see what it offers and what I can do with it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Phun Photos!

I actually did the Fun photos training last week, but I am just now getting around to posting about it. I have done photo manipulation for a while now. I use it when altering profiles and other things to use as visual aids in my research. I've actually become so visually oriented that it is easier for me to keep details organized when I have some visual representation. Kinda sad actually. I will need some extra time to play around with the image generators that are reccomended in the lesson. It has been rather busy lately. The one that interests me is the slide show generator. This may be a good way to visually show transitions from one time period to another in the items I am researching currently.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Online productivity.

Online productivity sounds like the right application of technology for the jobs we sometimes do, especially in the office. Myself and the other two managers here have been emailing back and forth a number of revisions to work procedures that we use here. My inbox keeps getting full of stuff like this that just takes up room and causes confusion. This new method of placing items on the Internet for revision and review seems like a very good idea in this situation. Maybe I can convince the others to start using this more often. The only problem that I would have with this would be security. I would not feel comfortable with confidential information being placed on the web. Likewise with copyrighted material. I have met some authors and artists in my recent research and I know that one of their main concerns is infringement on their work. Placing that work on the web to share with editors might be a little risky. However, use in the work environment seems like a wonderful idea to me.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Delicious? Tastes like computer to me.

I just finished the training on social bookmarks. This particular item has its uses for people that need to share online source information and access it form other terminals. For many applications this appears useful for those constantly working online and traveling alot. I started my account on delicious and added a couple of items, but I may not use this particular service itself all that much. This may change as I continue to explore it though.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Social networking!

I just finished the training on social networking today. While I have not used the particular sites mentioned in the training, I do participate in social networking on other sites that are specific to the research and interests that I have. The one I am using alot right now is a website dedicated to those with an interest in World War One aviation. Many of the people who post on this site include some of my favorite authors, artists and historians. I am currently working on a research project and I am happy to say that I am using the web 2.0 training in my posts in inquiries. The thread that I have going now relates to a particular aircraft flown by Manfred von Richthofen, a.k.a. the Red Baron. If anyone wishes to see this thread, here is the link:

Gaming? At work? COOL!!!!!

I just finished reading through the gaming training and I am actually suprised to see this on a county training course. Gaming as a part of work training? Who'da thunk it? But seriously, there are some types of gaming that are educational and can be used in that capacity. However, I would tend to shy away from encouraging RPG and Shooter games at work as they can be very addictive and sometimes just trying to figure out the controls can take up hours. I also have trouble with the idea of people only networking through gaming. Actual face to face interaction is always the best way to teach children how to associate with others in the outside world. This is a section I probably will spend little time exploring myself.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wicked Wikis

I just finished the wiki training on CHPL learning and this is another one of those items on the internet that I use quite frequently. In fact, I have been using Wikipedia quite frequently over the past few years. Wiki's are an excellent source for sharing information. However, the one thing that everyone needs to be aware of is that sites like Wikipedia can be written and modified by EVERYONE and not everyone will give accurate, or even factual, information. There has even been instances in the past few years of newscasters and news writers using blogs and wikis to base a particular news reports on and the information they used turned out to be false. A few of these newscasters and writers have even lost their jobs over these false stories. I have used this example to point out one of the hazzards of using wikis for research information. Unless you know the source, you need to check out the facts for yourself. Encyclopedia Wikis serve as good starting points, but it always pays to do your own research. Other types of wikis, such as our own CHPL wiki, are excellent sources for exchanging information and sharing technical details in a quick and easy manner. Others adding to the wiki contribute their own knowledge and experiences that can be shared with others. Adding lines in an wiki operations manual can be a good way for someone to shaer an easier procedure with others, or give helpful hints from their experiences.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Photo Sharing

This week we covered photo sharing in our training. This is something that I have been using for a good while now. I like to search photo sites on the web for museum collections and other research. This allows me to see photos from museums and other places that I may never be able to see myself due to distance or rarity. This could also be good for documenting events at the library. I know that when I worked at Glen Allen we kept an online photo journal of the progress being made on the expansion work being done. I use Flickr quite a bit along with some general search sites and some specific photo sharing pages as well. For those who are interested in aircraft two of my favorite photo sites are and These two sites have thousands of photos of aircraft from around the world. The photo posted with this blog entry came from The photo is of Fokker Dr.1 replicas built by a flying museum in New Zealand. The Fokkers all accurately represent planes flown in Richthofen's Jasta 11 during the First World War. They literally fly an entire squadron of Fokkers for airshows and other occasions. An impressive sight that I did not even know about until I found it on a photo sharing site.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pod People.

I have taken the training on podcasts today and I see some good applications for this. Training courses, instructional & informational, and other forms of useful information coud be of great benefit to users of podcasting. I have watched podcast instructional and news videos many times without actually labelling them as podcasts. I have found them very informative. This is one aspect of the training that I definately know I use on a regular basis and find informative. As far as making my own podcast, I probably won't delve into that end unless I find myself teaching a course on something on the internet someday.
In the meantime, I have been trying to apply the things that I have learned so far from this training. Outside of Twitter, most of the things I have seen so far seem like they could be useful for the exchange of nescessary information. As far as twitter, only myself and one other employee here at Tuckahoe using it and the infor we are passing back and forth is pretty mundane and has little bearing on what we do, even though most of it is in relation to our job.
Well, I'm off to experience more podcasts. Maybe watch Weird Al Yankovick's "White & Nerdy" on YouTube. :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

I came, I saw, I Twittered!

Today's web experience is Twitter. This system is seeming more and more about catering to information junkies. I'm not sure if Twitter is the best way to share work related information other than the mundane. I will try it for a while and see if it proves useful. I don't tend to hover around the computer that much so it may not be as useful as blogging to me.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

RSS accomplished!

I have read and created an RSS feed for myself. I have included all the blogs of the employees that report to me as well as a news and a weather site. I am interested to see how this works for receiving information. There is a personal research project that I am working on that I had hoped to receive information on but I have not quite figured out how to get the RSS feed to get the information for me as the searches that I am entering are coming up with nothing. I may write more about this project in a future blog hoping that some of the librarians ou there may be able to connect me to information I don't have myself.

As far as RSS, it seems a good way to get up to date on news and other current events and opinions.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Added Music

In exploring more about the blog I am now using I have learned how to add music. I followed the instructions on the blog dashboard and created an account with a free service to generate the URL needed to play the music. Appropriately, the song is The Royal Guardsman's Snoopy vs. The Red Barron. Hope everyone enjoys the song, it's a lot of fun for any Snoopy fans. The Royal Guardsman did a whole series of Snoopy & Red Barron songs, so I will be able to change the music around from time to time so it won't get boring.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Having gone through the week one and week two training, I am hoping to learn more about the manipulation of the blog site that I am using. I am still trying to figure a number of technical things out. Since this is my first blog, it may take a little time. I have used computers for years, but I have never gone to the blogging end of the spectrum. Mostly I use them for research, information, and products while I prefer to communicate in person. I don't even like to use phones that much. I always thought I was rather techno savy, but maybe not.

But some of the things that I can do here, I have been getting information in a similar manner by going to chat sites with similar personal inetersts like aviation sites and history sites and joining in on posts and conversations. I will also do general searches for certain topics and see what comes up for information I am looking for. Sometines this is rewarding, sometimes frustrating, sumtimes, just plain suprising. By using blogging, maybe I can expand the information I can recieve.

I am going to wait until I get the "big picture" as I go along in training to see if this becomes a tool I will use more frequently.