I have long had an account at bloglines, which I use sporadically. I sometimes get too busy to keep up with my feeds, and then I just go down the blogroll at Library Garden as my shortcut to keeping up.

When I first became a convert to RSS, I was too eager and added too many feeds so that my bloglines became bloated and often overwhelmed me. That is one of the problems when you first dicover RSS, you just subscribe to every little feed you find and then you are in a feeding frenzy and on overload.

One of my goals for several months has been to set up some must read feeds in Google Reader — to be smart about it and only add the feeds I really care about. Time has always gotten in my way, until this last week when I made it a priority for this challenge. I am proud to report that I have my Google Reader all set up with my favorite feeds — it’s as if I have gone on a diet. I will be consuming less, but thinking more about what I consume. So, I am going to consider the RSS portion of the challenge complete.

On a related note, I took the Pew Quiz that describes what type of user you are of information and technology. I was not surprised to find out that I am an omnivore — even though I am not young or male… Here is the description of an information omnivore:

Where do you fit?

Your Results

 

Based on your answers to the questionnaire, you most closely resemble survey respondents within the Omnivores typology group. This does not mean that you necessarily fit every group characteristic.

Omnivores make up 8% of the American public.

Basic Description
Members of this group use their extensive suite of technology tools to do an enormous range of things online, on the go, and with their cell phones. Omnivores are highly engaged with video online and digital content. Between blogging, maintaining their Web pages, remixing digital content, or posting their creations to their websites, they are creative participants in cyberspace.

Defining Characteristics
You might see them watching video on an iPod. They might talk about their video games or their participation in virtual worlds the way their parents talked about their favorite TV episode a generation ago. Much of this chatter will take place via instant messages, texting on a cell phone, or on personal blogs. Omnivores are particularly active in dealing with video content. Most have video or digital cameras, and most have tried watching TV on a non-television device, such as a laptop or a cell phone.

Omnivores embrace all this connectivity, feeling confident in how they manage information and their many devices. This puts information technology at the center of how they express themselves, do their jobs, and connect to their friends.

Who They Are
They are young, ethnically diverse, and mostly male (70%). The median age is 28; just more than half of them are under age 30, versus one in five in the general population. Over half are white (64%) and 11% are black (compared to 12% in the general population). English-speaking Hispanics make up 18% of this group. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many (42% versus the 13% average) of Omnivores are students.

What typology are you? Take the quiz and let me know!

I have been really quiet on this blog lately due to a really hectic month speaking at Conferences (both NJLA and CIL) and also because of a really big project that I spearheaded at MPOW for National Poetry Month. With the help of Evan Klimpl (a tech aide), we mounted the PPL Poetry Podcast Blog. This is the first time that I have been involved with a large scale podcasting project and I learned so much as a result (as did all involved). The response from the public far exceeded our expectations – over 5,200 visitors to the blog in a month! I had hoped to maybe have one to two thousand visitors and when our numbers climbed to that amount in the first weeks I was both shocked and ecstatic. Best of all, we did this project for no cost except staff labor and the price of a good mircrophone (about $35).

I posted more about this over at Library Garden in a post called Plogging for Poetry Month you want to read up on it!

I am preparing some presentations for CIL2007 and the NJLA Conference, both of which happen in April. One of the talks is an update to the Fantastic Freebies presentation that Bob Keith and I have created. Here are two of the new favorite freebies I will debuting:

Cozi -free family calendar, shopping lists, messaging, and photo screensaver

SplashCast — a media syndication service that allows you to combine photos and video clips and a whole lot more.

If you want to learn more, you will have to catch me at the conferences!

I am a flickr fan — I have had an account for over a year and use it regularly. My personal account only has a small portion showing of what I have uploaded to my flickr stream. I use flickr as a back up for photo storage and about 75% of my photos are set to strict privacy. One of the misconceptions about flickr is that everyone in the world can see all of your photos all of the time and this is what seems to make a lot of people nervous about flickr. If you look carefully, though, you will notice that you can set the privacy level of each individual photo.

I teach a class at PPL called Fun with Flickr and it is quite popular –and also one of my current favorite classes to teach. There is so much that one can do with flickr and so many great 2.0 concepts that can be explored just by learning about flickr. For instance, I use flickr as the opportunity to talk about Creative Commons and copyright issues in the digital age.

I have been challenging myself to new things with flickr. I have ordered a set of moo cards to have on hand for personal use (just because they are so fun) and also have been playing around at fd’s flickr toys quite a bit with making posters and mosaics. One of my all time favorite flickr toys is the trading card maker — I even played along by making my own librarian trading card a few months ago.

I created a flickr account for PPL, but have not found time lately to update it. That will be on my list of things to do this week (I hope). I did learn how to insert the cool flickr badge that you see on this blog a a result of the challenge.
Everyone taking the CJRLC challenge should join the New Jersey Libraries group that Connie had me start last summer and then post a few pictures to it!!! Now THAT would be fun :-)

I spent a fair amount of time this morning playing with my Bloglines account. I set it up about a year or so ago and put in my top feeds that I like to read and I do log in almost daily to scroll through and see what is new… but I never spent the time to organize or customize it the way I want. Now I have folders so that on the days I only want to skim my fave libraryland blogs I can or on days that I only want to read “fun stuff” I can skip the heavy stuff.

I have also been brushing up on my RSS knowledge in general this week in preparation to teach a class on RSS to the staff and patrons at PPL.

Many of the staff at Princeton Public Library will be  taking part in the challenge — I think at least 10 of us. We are going to do this as a team. Perhaps other libraries will consider doing the same.

Today I played with a FundooWeb, a 2.0 search engine that I discovered thanks to Steve Garwood via a post made by Robert Lackie on Library Garden. This is what 2.0 is all about — sharing and collaborating. Actually, it is also akin to Six Degrees of Separation library style. Steve shared a new resource with Robert who in turn blogged about it so that I could find out about it and now I too am blogging it about and so on.

Actually, the resource that Steve shared was not just a linke to FundooWeb, but to a list of the Top 25 Web 2.o Search Engines. It is a great list and there are at least 10 sites on there that I have to hear about or explore. So, to challenge myself further, I will try to explore one new 2.0 engine every week and blog about it here.

In terms of the utility of FundooWeb it was about 7.5 out of 10. The search results were sometimes not what I would expect and I found it a little irritating that more photos were not shown at at time for flickr. I am not sure how often I will use this site at this point. I am going to put it through its paces a few more times before I make a decision.

I have already completed a lot of the items on the CJRLC Challenge list, so I have decided to create additional challenges for myself so that I continue to learn and keep pace with new sites and tools as they become available.

My challenge for this week was to set up an account at SplashCast and create a little slide and video show to embed in my new challenge blog. It took me longer than I expected and it is far from perfect, but I have to get ready speak at Rutgers tonight to a group of library school students so this is it for now.

We just got back from skiing. Here is a short SplashCast that shows Alex learning to ski.

[splashcast QUDS6662BC]

I also use ClipShack to host videos. I can’t embed the player here, but follow this link as it is a better demo of Alex going down the hill:

Alex skis some more!

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