Happy Blog Day

I was taking a look at Technorati to see what's new and saw that BlogDay2006 was the most popular tag. Remember years ago when one had to be a programmer and learn HTML to create Web pages. Web 2.0 has certainly changed things! Now anyone can create a blog and say just about anything.

Since the BlogDay site is down (for the moment), I was able to find the details for today's festivities from A Mama's Rant.

  1. Find five new blogs that you find interesting.
  2. Notify the five bloggers that you're recommending them on BlogDay 2006.
  3. Write a BlogDay post today with a short description of each blog, and a link back to each one.
  4. Add a "BlogDay 2006" Technorati tag and/or link back to Technorati BlogDay 2006 page.
  5. Link to BlogDay website (which at the time of this posting, isn't working)

So here are my 5 blogs for BlogDay 2006:

  1. LifeHacker - Computers make us more productive. Yeah, right. Lifehacker recommends the software downloads and web sites that actually save time. Don't live to geek; geek to live.
  2. NetFamilyNews - Kid-tech news for parents. Welcome to the official blog of the SafeKids/NetFamilyNewsletter.
  3. Cool Cat Teacher Blog - Teaching content with new tools, enthusiasm, and belief that teaching is a high calling.
  4. 43 Folders - Personal productivity, life hacks, and simple ways to make your life a little better.
  5. Cats Me if You Can - A must for any cat lover or hater for that matter!

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Week 4 Things 8 & 9: RSS Feeds

I remember when I first attended a demo for staff of RSS feeds. It took me a while to get it, and at that point I was not reading nearly as many feeds as I am now. I discovered, quickly, that a News Reader is a must to keep up with information.

Years ago I used My Yahoo. Last year I tried Bloglines but did not like the linear form of it. Then I tried NetVibes and appreciated its visual appeal. I quickly learned that NetVibes was only manageable with a limited number of feeds. Then NetVibes added tabs, and I was in love... until my account got erased and all my feeds and links were lost. After that I switched back to Bloglines and have never turned back.

One of the best features about Bloglines is that it is not just for RSS feeds. You know all those e-mail subscriptions that you sign up for that clutter your Inbox? You can have those sent directly to Bloglines and keep them archived there!

Here's how to subscribe to an e-mail newsletter with Bloglines:

Step 1: After logging in to Bloglines, click Add in the upper left column

Step 2: Click Email Groups in the right window pane

Step 3: Add the name of a Yahoo or Google Group or click Create an Email Subscription

Step: 4 Fill out the New Email Subscription Form and click the Create Email Subscription button

Step 5: In the Email Subscriptions window you will see a list of your email subscriptions followed by a Bloglines e-mail address. Select and copy this e-mail address.

Step 6: Go to the Web site that has the subscription form. Paste in the Bloglines e-mail address. This is your new e-mail address for this subscription only.

Step 7: After you have subscribed to the newsletter, go back to Bloglines and you should see a feed listed for your e-mail subscription. You will notice an envelope icon next to it. Click on the feed to view the newsletter.

The best part about this is you can easily "unsubscribe" by deleting the feed. You can add an unlimited amount of e-mail subscriptions or feeds. If you start getting spam in your feed you will have a good idea of where it originated from (since each feed can have its own bloglines e-mail address).

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Beta Blogger

Beta Blogger has some really cool features. It is much easier now to configure your template and change the colors. However not being able to edit the HTML template is frustrating.

Since Beta Blogger is separate from Blogger you have separate accounts (for now). I understand that later we will be able to merge the accounts. The biggest drawback to this is that to post comments to a Blogger Blog, you have to sign in with a Blogger account, a Beta Blogger account will not work--unless the blog is setup to allow anonymous comments. However even if the blog is set up to allow anonymous comments you can still choose other and type in the URL of your blog.

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Week 3 Thing 7: Blog Spam

Wow within a minute of my last post, I got hit by blog spam in the comments. How annoying. To prevent this I have turned on word verification for comments.

Read more about blog spam and what Blogger is trying to do about it.

Just like junk mail and telemarketing, spam is here to stay!

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Week 3 Things 5 & 6: Flickr

I've had a Flickr account for a while now and it's been great for sharing photos with family and friends. I agree with jwdettel, the uploading limits are frustrating, but I still like Flickr because I can send links to family and friends and they don't need to create an account to view the photos.

Flickr is also great for eBay. Instead of paying eBay to host photos of your items for auction, you can insert a link to a Flickr photo instead.

You can make Flickr uploading easier by downloading and installing the Flickr Uploading Tool. This lets you drag and drop photos into Flickr and automatically resizes them for you so that you don't max out on your monthly quota.

Speaking of Flickr, I just found my son on the cover of a magazine!

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Week 2 Things 3 & 4: Blogging

Wow, is all I can say to how many blogs we have from PLCMC staff! The fun part is trying to guess who some of these bloggers are.

I have to say so far my favorite blog from our staff is Salad Days. Love the image at the top of the page and love the humor.

My favorite blog title from our staff is Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Blogging and because Love of Learning 2.0 was obsessed with this book for a while when we worked together, I got the blog title!

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What's Your Learning Style

Thanks to Helene for forwarding me this great post from Nicole on What I Learned Today about Learning Styles.

As trainers, we need to be aware not only of the many learning styles our participants may have, but of our own learning styles as well. It's easy to think that eveyone learns in the same way that you do, so you have to be careful not to make that assumption.

Nicole's post links to a learning styles quiz with 70 quick questions that you rate from 0-3. At the end you receive a visual picture of your learning style. Mine was no surprise: visual, verbal, and social. I wonder if that's why all my report card from elementary school had comments in the way of "Lori is a great student, but she talks too much."

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Week 1 Thing 2: Lifelong Learning

For Week 1, staff watched an online tutorial about lifelong learning. The tutorial contains 7 1/2 habits that successful lifelong learners exhibit.

Habit 1: Begin with the end in mind
Habit 2: Accept repsonsibiltiy for your own learning
Habit 3: View problems as challenges
Habit 4: Have confidence in yourself as a competent, effective learner
Habit 5: Create your own learning toolbox
Habit 6: Use technology to your advantage
Habit 7: Teach/mentor others
Habit 71/2: Play

Some staff really liked the tutorial, some staff thought it was ok, and for some it was as boring as physics. And that's ok. The point was to get everyone to try something new and help empower those who feel as though they need a classroom and a handout to learn something. Learning 2.0 is all about getting out of the classroom and breaking away from the traditional ideas of training and moving forward to learning.

For me, creating the tutorial was part of my lifelong learning experience. The tutorial was first created in an LMS called Isoph Blue which proved to be cumbersome as best. Then the tutorial was put into PowerPoint with animations and lastly narrated and turned into Flash via Articulate Presenter.

Our library is lucky in that we have been able to try these products for free in a beta testing program via WebJunction.

Now on to the week's assignment...

The easiest habit for me is habit 7, teach and mentor others. Guess I have found the right job!

The hardest habit for me, and this may come as a shock to those who think I am so organized I have OCD, is habit 1, begin with the end in mind. I really hate to plan things. Even though I live and die by my calendar and to do list, I really like to just begin a project and see where it goes. However, as I am acquiring more and more projects, I am seeing the need to plan them out better. Hmmm maybe something else to add to my lifelong learning plate!

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Learning 2.0

At our second annual Technology Summit, Helene Blowers, PLCMC's Public Services Technology Director, introduced Learning 2.0 for our library staff (and others).

For Learning 2.0 staff will be asked, voluntarily, to do 23 things on the Web using Web 2.0 tools. As a reward each staff member who completes the 23 things will earn an MP3 player and be in a drawing for some great prizes.

I hope that PLCMC gives away 500+ MP3 players!

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