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.