Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Wanna Wiki Radio, Part I

I came to know a bit about the wiki format because it was forced on me. A streaming radio station that I have been affiliated with since 2002, Whole Wheat Radio out of Talkeetna, Alaska became too unwieldy for it's creator, Jim Kloss, and it was transformed into a wiki format.

Over the years CD's flooded in and needed to be added to the library. As word got out that Jim played only RIAA safe (unsponsored and independent artists) the job grew considerably and that wasn't all. The listenership was growing and house concert production and streaming was also building to a crescendo. Jim gave a courageous stab at keeping it all up. Still, he yearned to plant flowers and do stuff he loved - things he did before he decided to design a radio station from the computer at the foot of his bed in 2002. It was either shut the streaming WWR down or devoted listeners where going to have to learn to love wiki. Of course, after years of listening, it was threatening to consider life without WWR so the website was transformed and we all began to learn how to help maintain the station so Jim could do other stuff.

In many ways I've already gone through the "AWWWW I've gotta to do THAT, too??" stage of wiki awareness...the little html bits! and I can no longer just load a picture into the chat room with a copy paste, I have to format things!...boo hoo...that whining has long since faded into history as the website has been wiki now since January 2006....The picture of my cat, Saturday, looking at the monitor on the header of this blog is a shot of the pre-wiki Whole Wheat Radio chat room page - WWR received honorable mention from the 2007 Web 2.0 Awards and because we are wiki we can all take some of the credit for that success (though, of course, it is our benevolent dictator, Jim, who is truly the heart of Whole Wheat Radio).

If you have a love of music, especially live music, I hope you will enjoy the clip that I have added from a house concert held at WWR in Talkeetna last winter. This is a clip from a concert that was broadcast (streamed) live over the Internet, remember...so besides the people in the audience, there are maybe 50 people listening on-line and a handful of the on-line listeners are communicating in the chat about their experience to each other while they are listening. They also leave messages that are read to the performers later and can call in to leave an adio message for the performers, the listeners or the audience.. Also, on line, during the concert there is the ability to instantly purchase all the recorded material the artist has to offer that will be delivered by mail and signed by the artist (even with your name, if you ask!)
There is a tip jar for the on-line listeners to add to, if they wish, during concerts with all of the proceeds going directly to the performers. I can't tell you how much fun these concerts are...it's one of those, "you had to have been there..." sort of situations. The videos don't do the live experience justice but you can get the idea. If you like this video, there are a few more video clips of WWR house concerts here.

How does Jim pay for all of this "labor of love", you might wonder? It is supported by donation. There is tally observable by all in the upper right corner of the chat room of all of the money needed to make the monthly bills. At other parts of the site all the disbursements are openly recorded for anyone to see. Jim insists it is to be like this and I think it is honorable of him to do it this way.

I want to make a statement about what I have discovered about my personal experience with wikis and experiencing them but I'm going to save that for another post....this one seems too long already. For now enjoy the music by Ann Pence, Robin Hopper and Radoslov Lorkovic among others......

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Feast

Where have I been????? Stuffing my del.icio.us and my Library Thing and every other 2.0 orifice I've been introduced to this past few weeks! It's like a great, bottomless maw of information!!!

del.icio.us...it's yummy. I say this BECAUSE when I was much younger two years ago, I had the horrible misfortune of loosing my mother board. A complete meltdown. I managed to hire someone to retrieve most of what I had on my hard drive but do you know what was like a stake into my heart??? Loosing 10 years of BOOKMARKS!! ARRRRGHHHH I thought to myself, "Self, there ought to be a way to have my bookmarks FOREVER!!!" Well! From my lips to the ears of the powers that BE! Voila! del.icio.us!!!! For anyone who's lost their mother.

Next Library Thing. I was so bummed! I don't own books. I work in a bloody library! What do I need to own BOOKS for? I have 6+ floors of books plus the consortium!!!! (I can feel my co-workers recoiling! Hands flying up to their mouths...gasps... Blasphemer!) Well, it's true. My name is Night and I have no personal library....well, none to speak of... So, well, I cheated when it came to Library Thing because I'm a Virgo and I can't resist a list! I thought of a few books that I really have enjoyed in my reading history and I listed them....if some stranger emails me and and wants to borrow my copy of Dharma Bums, I will direct them to their local library. Having said that, I'm not real clear about how all the sharing thing works and, frankly, I'm not totally comfortable with it yet. I need more time with that to decide.

Now you now know my dirty little secret about books. Please don't judge me harshly. There's only so much do-
re-mi to go around and my nickels go to non-RIAA, independent musicians...the poor gypsies, anyhow....

I can't imagine either one of these features
NOT being important in one way or the other to our library.

PS: Thanks for bringing in Anne Marie to talk to us last week, oh, technical ones......

: Photo credit to Stacey Nightmare. I found this wonderful photo of hers on Google Images. I hope she doesn't mind that I used it.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Let Your Freak Flag Fly

I have to say one of the really great things about being able to read peoples feedback about these assignments is stumbling upon the one thing that makes the whole thing sing. That happened to me when I was reading the article in Positive Change blog. The article was by Stephen Abrams. He talks about all of these tremendous technical abilities that seem to be already hardwired into our young when they are born - among other things. At the bottom of his article, he listed the web sites of everything he was refering to.
It was here that I started using my spidey sense and one thing led to another until I found myself watching YouTube vidoes of a fellow named Torey teaching people how to make stuff in his Second Life world. I watched several clips (at home - no audio/video or time at work...sigh). Initially I was fascinated with Torey's enthusiasm for what he was doing. He cracked me up! Soon I realized, however, I had enough technical knowledge to actually figure out what he was doing! Then I kinda got jazzed! What if there was a Wilson Library in Second Life? For one thing it would be so new, every student would be on it like love itself - at least the gamers! No body was interested in having a virtual personality page on social sites just a few years ago except a few designers.
I predict all of these young people raised on Harry Potter fantasies would fall all over themselves eventually for a virtual library that had cool stuff in it. All the service desks could have alter personalities of wizards and gnomes or talking trees! It would be a hoot and, of course, the students could run through the library with their flags and what not. Students could come into the library as a guest personality or actually develop themselves an avatar and flounce around finding information! They could take their avatar to their social site and bring even more people to the library. They could meet them on a skybridge in Wilson Library that really WAS in the sky!
I am already designing my Second Life personality in my mind....I hope you enjoy Torey's tutorial as much as I did!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

My Face Space Book

I have a MySpace account and I rather dislike it. It’s too BUSY…there are people shaking their booties at me and saying they like me….if they only knew! What kind of Maynard thinks that is cool, anyway? It may be MY space, but it’s not a good fit for me, personally. I keep it up, however, because I find it is a good way to keep contact with students.

I started the account because I was curious as to what the appeal was. Also I had students here handy to help me set it up (a big PLUS). I really liked the concept but I was soon to turn sour on it for any part of my social life. It continues to be an excellent way for me to say "howdy" to my students without the implied need for an answer that an email suggests. If I'm thinking of Suzy Jones all I have to do is go to my own MySpace and click on her picture. Perhaps I will find out she's just back from hiking the Appalachian Trail. I can leave a little message about that for her. A pleasant way to interchange niceties....

After reading others blogs about Facebook, I opened an account but was really upset when I was asked for my personal email password. This was to check if there was anyone in my contacts list that had a Facebook account so they could search their data base. I tentatively gave that information only to have a list shoot back that had every name checked in the list. If you went too fast through this screen, it would "appear" that the checked boxes were all people who had Facebook accounts but if you read the fine print you see that it defaults to sending everyone in your address book and invitation to open a Facebook account... ergo it sends SPAM!!! I happened to notice my deceased mother's name on the list and that's when I pulled up short of clicking on through! I'm sorry but I closed my Facebook account then and there. That is just sneaky and uncalled for in MY mind! If I would have clicked on that I would have been VERY embarrassed to have sent that sort of thing to my friends in-boxes! Too close for comfort.

I suspect I will always keep my MySpace account. I don't go there often but when I do, it is nice to see a little greeting from someone. They are like little cyber postcards the shout outs, pictures, bulletins and announcements.

The library could easily have a library MySpace. There are some students besides the ones who work here who are regulars that might be interested in being "friends". Interesting things could be posted on there regarding events here. Also links to things library related like events could be posted. I'm not at all an expert on this type of site but think we should be careful not to try and make it a web page. It is really only used on the fly for most people with the intent for some sort of contact or the possibility of contact through some extra curricular activity (read: party/gathering)....at least that's MY take on it.....ok. MOVIN' ON....

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Got film?

Isn’t digital photography grand? I’ve already long forgotten how to fill out a film submission envelop at Costco! I'm wondering....what else did I put in that extra real estate I acquired in my cranium?

For 10 years I had a MSN Groups photo album and it did not change much in that decade while I had that account. In that time, I managed to get about three of my relatives to figure out how to look at pictures there… (There are at least 150 people in my immediate family.) I switched to Flickr when I explored the site and became intrigued by fancy things like “slideshow” Hey! …there’s no slideshow in msn groups…so much for loyalty!

I have had a Flickr account for quite awhile. I even subscribe. Simplicity was important to me in photo sharing with my rather analog-inclined family members. Either they are finally getting up to speed with technology or the site is superior - perhaps a little of both. I also keep a Shutterfly account for printing pictures and put my favorites there so the family can order prints if they want to hold something in their hand. I found Shutterfly’s printing quality exceptional.

I use this Flickr account, too, to link up with graduated students who are shutterbugs. As well there is a feature for groups, which would be nice for the student assistants to link to, if it was set up properly for the library. I have a lot more exploring to do in Flickr and I think it could be a fun tool in the library as a Student Supervisor…could all the assistants have Library Assistant Cards to put on their MySpace??? I’m going to try and make a badge tonight!…but I'm behind in my assignments!

and I’ve got to MOVE ON!

Monday, July 9, 2007

(R)andi (S)anders (S)ervice

Needless to say, living on “spidey-sense” can inevitably take one away on time-consuming adventures revolving around crime and injustice and all of that. Let’s just say, "I been busy"….all the while I have been plugging away at the Learning 2.0 tasks. I really enjoy reading everyone’s blogs and even if I slack on an assignment, I rarely miss a blog entry!

I started a Bloglines account and put all of my Learning 2.0 blogs and faves from around the globe in there. I wrestled with RSS feeds but I still default to asking Randi about current events and I don’t really know if there will ever be a better interactive news source for anyone than turning around in your chair at your desk and asking your friend sitting behind you. The woman’s BRILLIANT! She knows everything! So, the RSS feed is a hard sell for me. Maybe later, I’ll try again. I’ve got to MOVE ON....