Friday, April 30, 2010

Week 2: Zamzar

Interesting. Still waiting for my doc, a couple of hours later, but I like the simplicity of the site, and you seem to get a fair amount of functionality for your free account.
Sites like this always make me a bit nervous, where I'm submitting a doc to the ether and trusting on the confidentiality of a bunch of folk who have typos in their FAQ o_O and where I seem to be getting something useful and desirable for free. I was pleased to see that at least they addressed this fear in their FAQ!
Would I use it again? Personally, probably not, but then I have software available to do that kind of thing. I suspect that if I worked at a branch and had to help loads of customers with file format queries I would be cheering this site about now, although, with the delay? Maybe we need to pay for an institutional account so we can get our customers bumped up the queue??

Monday, April 26, 2010

Week 1: Blogger

Whoa, let me just get over the surprise of actually remembering my blog URL from the first time round... expectations of this time round, hmm... I'm hoping to consolidate things I know or suspect about Web 2.0 tools, and learn about some new stuff, too. There's always so much out there that is new, and I'm no early adopter. In fact, it usually takes me a wee while to explore new Web 2.0 tools (if I ever do), and I usually need the motivation of at least a fleeting likelihood that they'd be an improvement in my life, not just another cool thing to spend time on. Once I do find time for some of it, though, it settles in as part of my routine and I really appreciate it - Flickr and Twitter spring to mind, plus Goodreads. They've all definitely enriched my life, though I only skim the surface of their features.

Fears? Last time, some of the tools were irrelevant and I've never wanted to look at them again. Last time, some staff were miserable slogging through some of the challenges, and I'm hoping that this time round, the challenges are such that the staff will find them more relevant and less confusing.

How might a public library use a blog... definitely of the school of thought that says don't just do stuff because you can. Have something to say that will be likely to find an audience. Update regularly. If your audience is young, keep content relevant and on high rotate. I like the way blogs can be used to market library stock - wave interesting things in front of people, put readers together with books. Throw in some authentic voices from library staff to differentiate from a slick shop catalogue - this isn't "Appealing fixer-upper opportunity", it's "Falling apart ex-bungalow with a wonky roof". Be specific, be personal. Get people into the habit of not only borrowing but also thinking, talking, arguing, "using their words" (too much time with a toddler??).