Friday, September 08, 2006

Finding Feeds

This post actually belongs on the heels of last week's post about RSS, but I didn't have the time to elaborate on how I found the feeds I am currently getting via my bloglines account. Several sites made specifically for finding RSS feeds that were recommended to us are Feedster, Topix, and Syndic8. I tried Feedster, Topix, and Technorati, and found all of them incredibly difficult to navigate. After trying 2 searches on each and not understanding my search results, I decided that the best way to find feeds were to go to sites that had things I was already familiar with and interested in and see if they were armed and ready with RSS capabilities.

I'm slightly less wary of RSS than I was when I first tried it, though I don't know how much I'll use it after this project. I like being able to "monitor" my coworker's blogs and know when they have new posts, and it's great to know that Unshelved will be there everyday, as well as the local weather report. But the news headlines contain about 50 stories a day, and I admit to clicking on them once a day to make the bold headlines go away. If it were 5 a day, I would read them all, but I thought part of the point was to get rid of unwanted stuff.

Who is Library Lil?

So my name isn't really Lil. It's also not Lilith, Lillian, Lily, or Lila. So where did the name come from? Library Lil is a picture book by Suzanne Williams, illustrated by Steven Kellogg. Lil is a very strong & spunky librarian. When I was looking for a name for this project and this blog, I chose Library Lil because it's a picture book and I'm a children's librarian, because it kept the word library in the title, and because I like the book. I won't tell you what happens in the book, but you can look for it and find out.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Gen-er-ate good times, come on!

Thing #10 is to play around with image generators. Yes, I'm a little out of order, since I posted about Thing #11 yesterday. But if the theme this week is "play," I figure I can play with the order.

There are a lot of neat image generators out there, and I do plan to go back and play with more of them. One site seems to be something of a clearing house for generators. Do be aware that not all of the generators on generator blog are image generators. Many are, though, and you'll be surprised at what all you can create. I tried the official seal generator, the tarot card generator, and the motivator generator. The motivator can be seen here. I was hoping to come up with some really mocking text, but I wasn't feeling inspired, so it's slightly sappy instead. The picture is from a trail my family likes to hike in Virginia. It's along the Appalachian Trail, and one time we were there we had to stop admiring the waterfall and move on our way so that two through hikers could strip down and bathe in the water.

This may be my favorite thing so far. I can see playing with these and creating gag gifts. But I don't understand the difference between this and mashups (Thing #6). In fact, one of the things I was playing with for thing 6 but couldn't get to my satisfaction was one of the examples used in the Learning 2.0 blog for thing 10.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Lib Thing! You Make My Heart Sing!

Thing #11 is to play with Library Thing. It basically lets you catalog the books you own, and it can do such things as recommend other books you might like or help you find other people who like the same books that you do.

I think the concept is awesome, and I know some folks who would absolutely love it, and I'll make sure that they already know about it. (Among my friends, I tend to be on late end of technological advances.) But for me, I'm not sure Library Thing is that helpful, for two main reasons.

One, the purpose is to catalog the books you own. There are lots and lots of books I love, but I only own a fraction of them. I am limited in funds for purchasing and space for storing, of course, but I also, wonder of wonders, get the majority of from my local public library. Hey, somebody's gotta keep us in business! So if people are trying to recommend books to me or connect me with others based solely on the books cataloged on Library Thing, the information they would be using would be incomplete.

The second reason is that I don't read, nor do I own, that many "grown up books." Most of the books I own have an intended audience of readers with ages in the single digits, or those who have only recently made it to double digits. On the other hand, there may actually be others out there like me, so maybe Library Thing will turn out to be great for me after all. Either way, I think the idea of it is super cool.

At this writing, I've only put in about dozen titles, but you can find my own personal catalogue here. And I did join the Library Thing group for librarians!