Monday, March 31, 2008


Love tools like Goodreads and LibraryThing for tracking your books but wonder about your Music collection, DVDs or games? might be the solution for you! This online cataloging tool allows you to catalog DVDs, musics CDs and video games in addtion to your books!

You can add items two ways, by dragging a bookmarklet to your tool bar that allows you to add items as you're browing Amazon or by typing them in manually. You can also import your library from LibrayThing.

Like so many of the online catalogs you can add tags to your collection, write reviews and see who else owns them.


Monday, March 24, 2008

12. Google Maps

Google Maps deserves it's own lesson - it's a Google application, true, but it has spawned more mashups (2 sources of data "mashed up" into one useful application) than any other application out there. Google recently released a personalized version of the Maps application that lets you very easily create a new map with your own data in it as well. I created this one:

View Larger Map

in about 10 minutes on the last night of my recent vacation. Other people have created maps that take a source of data (gas prices, for example) and combined that with Google's Maps to create Gas Buddy, as one example of a mashup application. There is a directory at Google with all the popular maps available for the US (or whatever geographical area you have in the screen).
There are at least two blogs that track what new mashups are being created with Google Maps as well.
Creating your own mashup, as I did above, is very easy. Go to and click on the My Maps tab. If you are already logged in, you will see a "create new maps" link. Click on it, title the map and add a description in the sidebar on the left side of the screen. Once that is done, find a place of interest on the map on the right, either by clicking and dragging to the location or doing a location search, and click on the 2nd icon at the top of the right frame (the blue "placemark" icon) and click on your location. You can then add a name and description to your place. Do that for all of your locations, and your map is done! I added the images into my map descriptions by copying the image address from the Flickr photo page, using the "rich text" editing in the description of the placemark and clicking on the image icon to paste the image address in and make it show up on the description of the map.

Monday, March 17, 2008

11. LibraryThing Revisited

I know many of you enjoyed our lesson on LibraryThing in Learning 2.0. There has been a lot happening at LT since that post so I thought we'd take a look at it again.

What's the same?

  • Costs $25 for a lifetime membership. Really not that much
  • Can catalog 200 books for free
Some stats:

  • Over 313,000 users have signed up
  • Over 20 million books have been cataloged
  • Users have applied over 26 million tags to their books
What's new or what we didn't cover last time:

LibraryThing for Libraries - basically it allows you to mine LibraryThings wealth of information for your Libraries' catalog.

What does LTFL do?

LibraryThing for Libraries enhances your catalog in three ways:

  • Book recommendations - these show high-quality "recommended" or "similar" books.
  • Tag clouds - tags are descriptive terms about the book, and function as descriptors and points to search from, which is more powerful and flexible than searching using an OPAC alone. ?read more about tags?
  • Other editions and translations - links to related editions and translations of the same work (a "FRBR-like" concept).
Basically rather than relying on your patron base to tag, review and rate. Libraries get access to the collective input from LibraryThing users. Examples of Libraries using LibraryThing for Libraries

LibraryThing Local - If you've been using your LibraryThing account you might have noticed a new tab recently - "Local" This new service kicked off March 3rd and as off writing this post (3/8/08 10:30 am central time) over 13,000 venues and over 1,100 events have been added.

LibraryThing Local is a new sub-site devoted to finding, mapping and describing the world's bookstore, library, book fair and festival—as well as all the readings, signings, lectures and other events they host.
Go take a look at your account. I've added MRRL and our major upcoming events, see if you can find it and "favotie" it. What other ways could Libraries use this?

LibraryThing on your Cellphone - if you have a cell phone with web browsing capabilities this little feature lets you access your account from your phone. Handy if you're like me and have a want to buy list of books a mile long and can't remember which one you've actually already bought when you're standing in the bookstore.

Some more links:

Monday, March 10, 2008

10. IM Safety

Instant Messaging (IM) has grown to encompass more than just traditional "chatting" via AOL or Yahoo!. It is built in to many of the social applications (MySpace, Twitter, Gmail, etc.) that we use every day. Because IM is now so common, I wanted to be sure to discuss some of the ways we can keep safe while using this very handy tool!
  • Client - the software program you use to chat via IM
  • Server - the service (AOL, Gmail, Yahoo!, etc.) that provides the IM services
  • Log - record of your chat (transcript) that can be saved, printed and shared

Personal Safety
  • Never give out personal information! If you are uncomfortable with the direction the conversation is going, use the "blocking" tools in each IM client to make sure that person can't contact you again.
  • Never agree to meet someone offline that you only know through IM
  • Set your IM client to automatically set you to "hidden" or "invisible" when you first log on, so you can see who is online, without anyone else being able to see you. Check your contact lists during this time to see if there are any mysterious contacts you don't know and get rid of them if there are.
  • Keep your personal IM screen name private. Many services connect your email address and your IM screen name, so if people have one, they can get the other!
  • Remember your "netiquette" and be nice!

Computer Safety
  • Never accept files or click on links from people you don't know and trust. Most IM clients don't have any sort of virus protection built in - yet.
  • Know how to save copies of your conversations to your computer's hard drive. All clients have this ability!
  • Do not use the automatic login feature that comes with most programs if you share your computer or use a public computer - that just gives others access to your data!
  • For your IM session to be secure, your computer must be secure - don't forget to update your virus protection and keep it current.

Monday, March 3, 2008

9. Pandora - It's a new kind of radio

Pandora is a new way to listen to music, but not just any music, music that you choose. You tell Pandora a song or artist you like and it plays songs for you passed on your recommendation. You can even rate the songs as it plays them to narrow down the music it plays!

So how do you get this great music listening experience? It's easy!
  1. Just sign up for an account by entering your email and password.
  2. Pick and artist and a song and start listening!

You can also: