Monday, September 21, 2009

Social Networking ambiguity

Cardiff Council have apparently gone live with a Twitter service for citizens to get up-to-date news.

I say 'apparently' because the public can't actually look at Twitter in the public libraries, so it remains an imaginary service to me, right now. Oh wait! I can see it on the intranet, so will pass on examples as best I can, until the public get access. Sadly, links to other sites that Cardiff is 'following' (like Chapter Arts, for instance) remain blocked for now.

However, perhaps it will motivate the libraries to unblock the site for the public? Hard to tell, as Twitter by definition doesn't seem so much like something you need on your desktop, more something for mobiles...

However - watch this space for news of other social networking approaches to council (and particularly library) services.

Library Stream initiated a discussion on Twitter recently. Find them in my list of blogs in the column on the right.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wave of the future

The hot news seems to involve Google's latest wonder - a totally integrated format of real-time communication called Google Wave. The implications for education (let alone entertainment) haven't really sunk in yet, but it seems ideally suited for remote learning.

A beta gets released to guinea-pigs later this month (a lottery) but later in the year it should emerge. Check out the preview

Although I can see uses for my e-learning tutor role, I suspect that if I get a beta account in the lottery I will use it for creative and collaborative interactions first. Me and my online 'gang' or 'posse' or whatever you call a tribe these days (we all seemed to call ourselves a 'reading group' when we met up in Berlin in July - sounds almost as tame as 'librarian' - heh heh [he cackles with eldritch rising organ music in the background]) well, we, ahem intend to test it to destruction, given half a chance.

As a motley crew with skills in various arts we do stretch and pull interactive processes in all directions. Currently we have a team blog, several individual blogs, a new Drupal forum and a couple of wikis running. Wave seems to have the possibility of integrating all these things seamlessly. The mind boggles.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Useful online file conversion service

Members of the public often arrive with files in formats not compatible with the library's computers. (wps files from Works, for instance).

Sometimes I can convert the files for users, but I try not to get involved.

I just discovered Zamzar, which converts all kinds of files to other formats, documents, images, music, etc.

So long as the user has an email address to receive the converted file, it works well.

And you can't argue with FREE.
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