LibraryThing

I’ve been meaning to create an account at LibraryThing for quite some time now but the thought of cataloging my entire library… I would definitely need to upgrade to a paid account ($25 for a lifetime membership seems pretty reasonable to me). I decided to add a few books to my library that I’m currently reading, re-reading or have read within the last month (I don’t necessarily own these- in fact I cataloged two of these titles at work and decided to check them out).

I liked the social networking dimension, even though I don’t have the time to haunt the groups and discussion lists at the moment. Also, the suggester/unsuggester tools seemed pretty accurate for the few searches I did.

Book Metamorphosis

The Free Library of Philadelphia blog pointed me to this post at Centripetal Notion: go ask google or wikipedia who Brian Dettmer is and then check out some of his artwork. Blink. I am completely stunned. I can’t stop looking. Amazing. I haven’t had a lot of exposure to altered books (what I’ve seen thus far has been rather different) but I love how Dettmer gives us a new expression of the book. The object takes on a whole new life. Here’s an image I’ve lifted from Kinz, Tillou + Feigen. More images of Dettmer’s work appear on the gallery’s site.

I can’t help but wonder how this would be cataloged…

RSS leftovers

Not quite as filling as turkey leftovers, but just as satisfying…

I appreciated the related tags box that Technorati displays after you execute a search. This is something our library OPACs are getting better at. A basic search in Technorati pulls up A LOT of junk. An advanced search is somewhat more tolerable, but still not as relevant as the results found in Syndic8’s basic search. What Technorati doesn’t do that I wish it did: refine search options. I typed in “firefly” and it suggested the tag “serenity.” By clicking on “serenity” it searches only “serenity” instead of “serenity” and my original search term. To search both terms, you have to type them in manually. I am absurdly lazy- accommodate me!

Searches in Syndic8 seemed to retrieve the most relevant results when doing a basic search. Unfortunately, I could not find an advanced search option, perhaps because the interface is so busy. Busy or poor interfaces make me feel like my time is better spent elsewhere.

My first impression of Topix was that the site was chaotic but playing around made me more comfortable. What I did like: when you type in your search terms a drop down box appears below the search field, suggesting tags within specific genres before you complete your search. For instance I typed in “firefly” and Topix suggested “Firefly” under Entertainment. Are we paying attention libraries? What if our OPACS could suggest authority-controlled headings (in real-time) when a user types in a keyword (tag)? We could combine the power of search AND browse…

Feedster was unavailable at time of posting.

I am likely to use all of these tools intermittently, depending upon the kind of information I am looking for. I found the focus on news items to be extremely useful in Topix (the inclusion of polls and forums were also nice). Technorati is hard to ignore, being one of the most widely used of the search tools. In addition, Technorati has the benefit of a thriving developer community and so it has many periphery services like blog gadets and APIs.

Bloglines

On with the L2.0 exercises, this time on RSS and newsfeeders…

I’ve known about newsreaders for quite some time but I’ve never really gotten into using them. I do, however, depend on RSS feeds, which I usually pile into either my bookmarks toolbar or bookmarks folder in Firefox. Bloglines is pretty easy to use. The biggest advantage is that I can access my favorite feeds from anywhere (say, when I go to the UK next year and I’m paying by the minute in a cybercafe). It can be tiresome managing feeds through browsers on different machines.

Tech Happy

I’m posting once again for the L2.0 project- this time on three of my favorite add-ons for Firefox.

1. Cooliris Previews – mouse over any link and see a small preview of that page in a pop-up box. This is an excellent tool for scanning through google search results quickly!

2. Firebug – my new best friend. This is a web development tool that allows you to examine (and edit live) HTML, CSS and javascript in any webpage you are viewing. I used Firebug to tweak the new layout.

3. PDF Download – for whatever reason, opening a pdf file within Firefox occasionally locks up my browser. This extension gives you control over how a pdf file opens and/or saves.

What are your favorite Firefox extensions?

JenSpace and Flickr


Desk2
Originally uploaded by cursedstorm

I set up a flickr account over a year ago just to see what the fuss was about. I uploaded three photos and then promptly ignored the account. I am not a huge picture-taker. If you were to collect photo evidence of my existence between the years 2004-present, you would probably be compelled to file a death certificate. I’m that bad about taking pictures. I’ll try to work on this. In the meantime, who wants to chip in for a new digital camera? Takers?

A useful thing I learned today: how to organize my photos into sets. I have one set with a total of THREE photos (and all so originally titled). Nice. I was happy to see how easy it was to post to your blog directly from flickr by listing your blog in your flickr account. I’m not sure I liked how I customized the photos to post, but it’s easy to change later.

So above is a year-old pic of my desk. These days it is considerably moreā€¦ lived in (read: messy- a sure sign of productivity!).