Saturday, September 1, 2007

Program Summary

This has definitely been an interesting experience. I've always believed that putting knowledge to practical application is the best way to learn. I'll admit that I may have had a head start on many of these things having seen or worked with them before. Even so I've learned quite a few things and I hope I've at least given a few people something to read. Now that this is done I'm considering connecting a blog to my own personal web site. I'm always trying to learn something new when it comes to technology so I have had fun going through this.
I suppose the important question about all of this is how can we apply these tools for use in the ITS/Library environment? I encourage everyone to think about how you can do something to promote this technology and perhaps even implement it. Remember that as a person providing solutions to others, it's important to allow the people you serve to drive the technology. We are here to show what can be done and what is needed to make it happen. Students first!
Good luck everyone.

Friday, August 31, 2007


Did you know that the term "pod" when used in relationship to an iPod is copywrited by Apple? In recent months Apple has gone to some trouble to have certain websites remove any use of the term "pod" since it possibly refers to your iPod. Hmmm. As a result, websites have been taken down or had to change domain names in fear or legal retribution. The term that was supposed to be adopted to mean the same thing is "Netcast". It's not too popular as yet.
I do belive that using Netcasts for education is a great idea but only when used in addition to other instruction methods.  iTunes U from Apple is designed to host Netcasts for higher education. As is true for many of these types of things, I think that a cool idea doesn't always translate to a finished product. The hard work is actually creating the content that is appropriate and usable.
I have used Podcast Alley to find podcasts and also VOTE for your favorite podcast. This is good for the creators since the more popular casts get advertising money and sponsors to support them.
Something that is very important for creating your podcast/netcast is the use of good equipment. Many times you'll download a netcast that looks good and sounds interesting but the quality is so poor that it detracts from the experience. It's important to use a good microphone and good quality recording software and hardware. Good podcasters also edit their material so that anything that is not supposed to be there gets deleted. "This Week in Tech" is a show where they have a variety of guest speakers and many of them participate from other locations. They use an application called Skype to have participants "call in" from where they are at. Sound is transmitted over the internet but the quality of the sound on Skype is very good so the show doesn't sound like a bunch of guys on the telephone. It's attention to things like this that make a good quality program.

YouTube and videoconferencing

Here's a funny little YouTube video I came across. As I listened to his version of the song I just had to laugh since it all seems so familiar!
As far as what YouTube can do for us in Libraries or IT, I would say that it is an excellent tool for training. Showing examples of good or bad ways to do things is so important.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Web 2.0 Winner!

My choice for the web 2.0 winner was PlusMo. This is an application that is loaded on your mobile device in my case a blackberry. It provides you with content of your choosing that you can view on your mobile smart phone. This is funny because I had recently been trying out Viigo which is a similar application that provides mostly RSS feeds to your mobile phone. PlusMo seems to have more features and the addition of what they call Widgets. I'm currently trying it out to see how well it works but they seems to be able to provide a lot of good content which is what is most important in this situation. Nobody is going to spend all day looking at their mobile phone to read the daily news but perhaps some small entertaining articles would be good from time to time. I'm also thinking about weather forecasts and that type of thing.
How can this be useful in a library or ITS environment? Well, I thought that what might be done is for UVI to create a "Widget" that would be provided through this service. Students, faculty and staff could then subscribe to a UVI News feed or even educational material feed class by class so students could info on their mobile smart phones. How about a UVI feed to display class schedules? Hmmm.

Zoho Writer

I've done up a few docs in Zoho Writer the web application from Zoho Wiki. I was a bit surprised that they've been able to cram in many of the features that programs like MS Word have! I had a few problems getting the blog publish options to work for some reason. I'll have to figure out why that is. As word processing applications go this sure looks like a great alternative to have the software loaded on your computer and taking up space.

Wiki favorites

I've added my blog to the Summer 2-0 Wiki on PB Wiki and added my favorite books and some other things so check it out! It only reminds me that I need to get out more.
One thing that I have to say about the wiki site format is that it always seems to be unfinished. By this I mean that it is not at all flashy or eye catching. Perhaps that's a good thing? I've visited a few wikis for other things I've looked for and each seemed to need a bit more organization or direction in order to make things easier.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Web 2.0/Library 2.0 thoughts

Obviously I have knowledge of what these technologies are and I've had experience with their predecessors as well. As someone who has designed web sites for people and looked closely at WHY you would want to put you or your business out there, I think that Web 2.0 technology is a mixed bag.
One of the main attractions to the average person seems to be that it's quick and easy to get yourself out there on the web. Prior to this you would have to create a web site from scratch complete with layout, graphics, navigation and even embed any tags or search engine features you might need. With this technology, all of that is already prepared for you and it's easy enough to fill in the blanks. On the other hand, many of the blogs and social networking sites you find on the web look very much alike. They are meant to be cookie cutter simple so that anyone can do it. Not very unique or customizable. A few years ago web designers were talking about how a web site is all about CONTENT. You can have the prettiest graphics and wild animation and sound but what is your site without some good material inside? The result: loads of content in Web 2.0! It's almost nothing BUT content. The key to the whole thing now seems to be finding and sorting through all of that content which is where many of these tools we are looking at come into play. Now obviously there is good content and bad content. Who decides what content is put out there? Nobody! That's right, it's a free for all. So anyone with a connection to the internet can post all day long about Paris Hilton's prison hotel room. They can even be joined by millions of others who share the same interest. Scary! Thankfully we can control what we are looking for but I believe that slogging through too much irrelevant junk when searching for something important is a big turn off for most people. When it comes to research and using Web 2.0 for library purposes, this might be a big obstacle to overcome. After all the quality of the results are what is most important in that regard.
I have something for you to consider: Why are almost all of these Web 2.0 tools, blogs, youtubes and similar services FREE?


Blogs, posts, and quickview results for the "web 2.0" search yielded a lot of the same results. Of course blogs are made up of posts so there were many more posts than blogs. The quickview tab seemed to give a quick overview of blog posts, videos and pictures so it really was a quick scan of the MOST relevant items in those catagories. I think that of them all, I preferred the "blog" results since that seemed to focus attention on complete blogs related to my search topic.
As for popular searches and blogs... WOW. The things some people will go out of their way to look for simple amazes me. LOL. There seemed to be a good selection of blogs but also results for movie searches and celebrities. I wasn't a bit surprised to find the iPhone as one of the most popular results for blogs and posts. The top videos section was much like a popularity contest for YouTube videos. As long as I can narrow down my searches to the things that I find interesting then I will find that Technorati is a useful tool.
I think that something of note here is that blogs and the tools that catalog them are all written by people like you and I. Much of the articles and news you see on the web in the past has been published by news agencies and other professional sources. The difference between the two is something that I think sets this apart from what we've seen in the past.

All about bookmarking things that are interesting or important to you. One thing that seems pervasive when learning about all of these services is that you had better be prepared to "put yourself out there". If you don't want people worldwide to know so much about you then you won't want to be putting your information in places like this. However, if you want to find people and sites that share similar interests, then this is exactly how you would go about it. One of their guidelines is that you should bookmark or tag every site that you find interesting or relevant to what you are looking for. The more you do this, the more everything seems to come together and almost focus it's attention on you. The same can be said for Technorati and some of the other similar services.
Originally when designing web pages, you would have to put tags or "metatags" embedded in the sites HTML code so that search engines could "crawl" the world wide web and find your site and then catalog it for others to find more easily. This is just an evolution of that same process that gives non-technical people an easier way to do the same thing on their own.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Bloglines account

I've created my bloglines account. I've subscribed to the Slashdot and Engadget feeds which are technology oriented as well as the Dilbert comic strip feed. :-)

Online Image Generator

There is an online image generator at
This will take an existing picture that you have and actually CREATE a mosaic image of it from other images. It's very interesting and I guess if you are looking for that kind of thing it's pretty cool. I've uploaded two images to my Flickr gallery that show the before and after pictures of this process.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Flickr and photos from erikcpattison

On the right you will find an RSS feed entitled photos from erikcpattison. These are my photos that I have put on my Flickr account.


Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Tasty sweet and sour meatballs with pineapple.
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
dash pepper
2 cups water
1 pound lean ground beef
1 egg, well beaten
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 cup sliced celery
1 red bell pepper, cut in strips
1 green bell pepper, cut in strips
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 slices pineapple, cut into quarters
In large mixing bowl, combine bread crumbs with minced onion, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup water. Add ground beef and egg. Shape beef mixture into 16 meatballs. Brown slowly in a large skillet over medium low heat.
When browned and cooked through, remove meatballs from skillet and set aside. Cook celery and pepper strips in skillet for about 5 minutes. Add remaining water, vinegar, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Mix cornstarch with a little cold water then add to skillet; stir well and cook for about 4 minutes. Add meatballs, pineapple slices. Cook until heated through. Serves 4.

Welcome video!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

RSS Feeds and blogs

Link your blogs into the RSS Feeds in Outlook 2007.

With Outlook 2007 you can display RSS Feeds. RSS stands for

Really Simple Syndication and it's a way for you to automatically collect information from the net and bring it to where you want it for easy viewing. On sites such as blogger, you can subscribe to the RSS feed and anytime the information is updated you will also be able to see it in your RSS viewer such as Outlook.

ITS Web 2.0

This is a result of setting up Microsoft One Note included with Office 2007 to automatically post and show blogs. I want to find out how dynamic this is and if it is a useful tool. Apparently MS Word is the editor used when creating a blog entry. EP.

Excercise 1 through 4 complete

Ok. I've completed excercises 1 though 4. Bethany should now have the link to this blog.

The 7 1/2 habits

Good day!
After viewing the presentation on the 7 1/2 habits, I realized just how much of a lifelong learner I am. I hope that we all are! I really do find that I am always trying to learn something new and preferrably fun and/or interesting.
My answer to the question about what is the habit listed that I find easiest is "Viewing problems as challenges". It's almost a life philosophy of mine. I believe that people can do anything with the right attitude and maybe a bit of hard work.
If I had to pick something that I was not very good at I would say the "playing" part. I really need to learn to take a break once in a while or enjoy something instead of continuing to push myself.

Hello Blogosphere!

Hello everyone! Welcome to my blog. I'm creating this as part of the University of the Virgin Islands ITS Summer Web 2.0 project. Although I am very familiar with what blogs, wikis and the like are all about I have never really put them to any use. I sincerely hope that actually creating such things will encourage me to put them to some kind of practical use :-)
Until next time, take care!