Saturday, September 30, 2006


I was learning the searching function of Technorati and surprisingly found a picture of the library umbralla bag was posted in flickr. In web 2.0, you never know who will comment about your library, and how they will do it. Intersting, should I add comments to this picture? Here is another one related to Eskind, but not tagged.

Just like what is said about Technorati in its help page:

Technorati allows you to find out what people are saying about you, your company, your products, your competitors, your politics and, other areas of interest, on the Internet in real time.

Another paragraph answered my question about RSS and Technorati:
What about an RSS search engine? Is that different from what Technorati does?
Yes. RSS feeds are a subset of the World Live Web. An RSS search engine searches only content structured in specialized XML formats such as RSS and Atom but does not look at a site's HTML or other markup. Not all blogs have RSS feeds, and some sites that are not blogs (such as The New York Times or some online event calendars) do have RSS feeds. Many blogs only send out a small portion or summary of their full postings and leave the full postings on their sites as HTML. Technorati specializes in searching all blogs, not merely those with RSS feeds, and instead of only indexing the RSS feed (often the first few hundred words of an article), Technorati reads all of the HTML code in a blog posting, and also tracks all of the activity around a blog or post such as inbound and outbound links.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

blogline, social bookmarking, web2.0 and library

I've been quiet and reading a lot these days. Jumping from one blog to another, I found a whole new area that I completely missed out, the web2.0 and its applications in the library and library services. Thinking about my own library, we are talking about redesign the library website a while ago, should we move onto web 2.0 now?

Just to mention a few,
- New books, library news as RSS feed;
- A library blog on library events, CE site, even for library comments page.
- Customized library search bar;
- Library training podcast;
- Library image tour using flikr;
- A wiki for service desk quick manual;
I need more time to work on the list, make a proposal and get it done.

What web 2.0 means to health libraries, instead of summing up myself, I will provide a introducing web 2.0 series articles to show what a canadian librarian says about it:
- RSS trends for health librarians
- webblogs and podcasting for health librarians
- Social network and social bookmarking for health librarians

On RSS, here is a link to a nice presentation abour RSS,RSS aggregator, and RSS applications in library

I also played with the following social bookmarking sites:, digg,, and feedster. I am working on comparation and will post later.

Another web 2.0 related article is posted by Michael Calore, who compiled "Web 2.0 winner and loser" of web 2.0", the following social networks are the winners:

Too late, I have to stop here.

Sunday, September 24, 2006 Or Google

Sarah Houghton-Jan posted "ten reasons that librarian should use instead of google"

1.'s Smart Answers rock my world.
2. clearly identifies their advertising.
3.'s Image Search is far superior to Google's in terms of relevancy
4. For all types of searches, offers one-click links to narrow your search, expand your search, and provides links to results for related terms.
5. provides a binoculars icon with each search result
6. offers instant white pages searching from their main search box.
7. offers RSS Smart Answers
8. has a version specifically designed for kids, Ask for Kids, that users natural language searching and has a kid-friendly interface.
9.'s Maps and Directions Search has some neat features too.
10. Finally, has far less ads overall

In the coming week, I will compare these two search engines and see what I feel like.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Joy of Learning

Signed up for a bloglines account and subscribed to several library related blogs. The readings were so good and for me it seems an eye-opening look into a new librarianship. Got to 'steal' some ideas, application to use on our library website and services. I also steped into a MLIS course on "social software and library", the whole course in on blog format, using blog to study blog, what a great idea. The sidebar has a link to worldwide library or librarian blogs. Wow, never realized there are so many fellow librarians are doing blogs.

On Google, I've gathered lots of good sites in my "bookmarks" for my professional readings. Need to get it organized. I've been installing Google toolbar on all the workstations that I am using, my work computer, my home computer, the staff rotating laptop, and the service desks computer. Making the bookmarks available online does make the reading and learning more easiler.

I also discovered the "google webmaster tools", sound interesting, will look more closely later.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Compare photo services

The online version can be seen from Google spreadsheet at here.

New technologies

Tried SitePal. The character doesn't look professional at all. Probably will not be accepted in our library. Though it may be fun to receive some animated greeting emails from friends and coworkers occasionally.

Noticed the "text to sound" product, since it can speak 52 languages, I thought it will be cool to include translation component into the product. Imaging this, when I type in English word or sentences, the sitepal say it out aloud in Chinese. That will be way cool.

Another video program I tried in the last couple days is the camstudio, a free screen capture software. The program records screen activities and audio into standard .avi file. It can also convert the .avi file to streaming flash file. With little video editing skill, I created a software installation tutorial movie for our staff, it works out pretty neat.

Another two programs worth mentioning are google spreadsheet and Writely. Pretty cool applications. comparable to Office software, but free and stored on the server. Other feathers include multiple output formats (including PDF files) and online collaboration. I will definitely recommend to our library users since most of the public workstations in the library don't have Microsoft Office installed. Thanks to Taneya bringing this to my attention.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

More Flickr Funs

Today I played more with flickr mashup. See the top image created with spell with flickr. I like it. We sure can used it in our library website or personal webpages.

2. Also created a flash photo show using my family photos in flickr. Compared with the picasa photo link, it looks more fancy.

3. Used one of the flickr services to create this collage. Seems pretty cool.
Flickr does have some really cool services. Need more time exploring. Also, blog from flickr is easy. I start to like flickr. ;-)

Friday, September 15, 2006

Compare Online Photo Services

[Photo]My children

I tried picasa today, I gave it 6 out of 10. An ok photo organizer. Like it separate the folder and album, similar to the "set" concept in flickr. Doing so a picture can be put into multiple albums. But lack of photo description, or keyword function, limited the search functions.

The photo to blog function was not working tonight, maybe because of the network. or because of the beta version blog. Will try later.

As for comparing the all online photo albums: Snapfish, photoworks, shutterfly are more geared to photo printing and sharing function. Traditional online photo services. Picasa is a desktop photo organizing application, with added online album functions. Flickr, a social software, is more focused on sharing, available for everyone to view and to comment, like blog. ( I was surprised to get a comment from Helen. Thank you for your encouragement. ) All photos are searchable and maybe viewed by anyone. Because of the different nature, snapfish and photoworks album sharing is a limited sharing, friends passively receive the link and view the photos you selected for them. In nature, they are commercial photo printing services, with added online sharing feature.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Learning about flickr

Couple days ago I signed in for the flickr services. Nowadays everything seems google or Yahoo related. As long as you have those accounts, you are able to sign in for lots of services, namely avatar, flickr, writely, etc. I am exploring all the services along with this learning 2.0 program.

I am not so impressed with flickr itself. The interface is not clean. For photo service I like it simple, with enough space and descriptions to showcase the photos. I like the tag and the sets concept. A very nice thing is the note, especially to put a notation for selected area.

Another thing I learned is the 3rd party mashup. I like the idea of using it in other applications. Our library might be able to use it in our newsbox or library tour pages.

One thing I am been thinking is the differences between flickr and other photo hosting services, such as snapfish, photoworks, shutterfly. How about google's picasa? I will post my findings later.


Blog is not so new to me. I started one for my family 2 years ago. Unfortunately was not able to keep up with it. Couple reasons: dull templates; long publishing time; not a good Chinese language support; the most important reason is that my family member at china cannot access the blog server. without audience, I stop the blog. That is the nature of those social software, isn't it?

This time I switched to the beta version, it seems much better, at least for now. No more long waiting for publishing posts. I haven't tried Chinese input. But I like the idea of being able to customize the templates, give me more flexibilities. I read about the multiple posting accounts and the categories, that what I've been wanting. Will try to use them in my future posts.

Get Started

I noticed the learning 2.0 program couple weeks ago and liked it at my first sight. I finally jumped into the water to catch up. One of my coworker has a sign posted on her desk, "Having ideas is one thing, to make it happen is another thing." I turely believe it. I will make it happen this time.