Thursday, August 31, 2006

Monster Mashups

L I B R A - train at Travel Town R Y


I think Flickr is the official "place to go when looking to kill time" website. There is so much you can do with the photos there. I tried one thing that didn't work very well, but I haven't given up on getting it to work, so you may see it later. But in the meantime, I played with Spell With Flickr. Two summers ago I was at the Ann Arbor Art Fair with some friends and there was one booth that I remember really liking the concept of. This artist had taken photos of individual letters from everyday objects, old signs and billboards, and all sorts of other places. The artist then put them into collages to spell whatever you wanted. I liked it a lot, but of course did not have the money for such things. But now I can play with the same concept! Brilliant!

defining technology

My assignment for today is to blog about anything technology related. In looking for inspiration, I started with the dictionary.

  • the science or study of the practical or industrial arts, applied sciences, etc.
  • the terms used in a science, etc.; technical terminology
  • applied science
  • a method, process, etc. for handling a specific technical problem
  • the system by which a society provides its members with those things needed or desired

Webster's New World College Dictionary, 4th edition

It seems to me that most of the time we use the word technology, we mean either the 3rd or the 5th definition. I'm curious about the last one. Think about providing members of society with things that are needed or desired. I have no trouble seeing how many of the things we've studied so far fit into that definition. (I do admit to never knowing that I needed or desired a flickr chia pet, but I can acknowledge that I do not make up all of society.) But I think the true value in some of what we've looked at is the, to borrow a phrase from Anne of Green Gables, the scope for imagination that exists in so many possibilities. I think it's just knowing the stuff that is possible somehow makes a difference. Are most of ever going to use mashups as a part of our regular lives? Probably not. But how cool is it to know that if I wanted to, I could create a fake magazine cover with whatever title and photo I wanted on it. You could make some pretty cool gag gifts that way.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

RSS, or, Really Something Special?

The big thing this week in PLCMC's Library 2.0 project is RSS. So I went to bloglines and created an account, as required. I'm reserving judgment on this particular piece of technology. On the one hand, it seems to me that it really isn't a whole lot different than bookmarking your favorite sites to visit again. I mean, I figure out what info I want, I type it in to bloglines, and then whenever I go to bloglines, I can click and instantly have it in front of me. Other than the going to bloglines part, it just doesn't feel different to me. But I've been using it for a day, and I will give it some time and see if I really love it after using it.

Of the feeds I'm getting: Unshelved, a fabulous comic strip set in a public library, local weather, the Library 2.0 feed, and PLCMC's recent reviews of Young Adult Fiction books. And that last one included a review by my friend and coworker!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Flickr: Not Just for Lightning Anymore

I'm a bit behind on my blog, as well as the 23 things. My library was closed for 2 days last week due to a plumbing problem. I was farmed out to another branch for one day and spent the second shelving books all day, trying to catch up on some of the backlog. So, no time for the exploration of new technologies. But check out this great photo display of the hole they dug behind the library!

So, Flickr. I've used it before only to view photos that others, mostly my sister-in-law, have posted and then sent me the link to. I hadn't used it as a searching tool until today. I found lots of great pictures when I used the search term "quilt," and I will remember that next time I am looking for inspiration in my own quilting projects. I also tried the PLCMC tag, and saw lots and lots of photos from Imaginon and the technology summit.

Now, I'm in a bit of a quandary. Part of my "assignment" is to post a picture from Flickr, yet photo etiquette dictates that I not use photos of other people or that other people took without their permission, and I agree wholeheartedly with these guidelines. I could use one of the PLCMC photos, but most of them have people in them. So, this is a picture that my sister-in-law, Heather took. The quilt on the bed is what I gave Heather & Jimmy (my brother) for a wedding present. Heather made the headboard, and she dyed those pillow cases with beet juice.

I know you should be able to post a picture directly from Flickr, but I couldn't figure out how to do that, so I did the old-fashioned "save it to a file and post it from there" method. Do you need to have an actual Flickr account to post photos directly into your blog?