Such a disappointment this week to find that it’s the last week and there’s nothing new to discover! It’s been such good fun and I’ve learnt so much.

At the start I didn’t know what to expect, I was apprehensive but full of enthusiasm. It knocked me slightly though to discover that I couldn’t do what was needed in an hour, I wondered if it was just me but it was a relief to find out, by reading other 25 thingers blogs, that I wasn’t the only one with timing issues! Once I decided that I was better off doing this from home I never looked back.

I looked forward to each Monday morning, excitedly awaiting the next batch of ‘Things’ to discover, learn about, and play with. All were interesting although some more than others. I loved the creative ones especially mashups and image generators.  I’d never heard of Twitter, but spookily after week 8 it popped up all the time on the radio and the newspapers, and thanks to 25 things I knew what they were on about!

On the good weeks it was particularly disappointing when I ran out of time (timing issue again!) My intention each week was to get to grips with each thing, to understand it, and to use it in an example, but this meant that there was no time left to explore further.

Some were less enjoyable. Perhaps it’s an age thing but I didn’t like Facebook , and RSS feeds were hard work but at least I now have an awareness of these.

And some I will definitely continue to use. I wouldn’t be without my Del.icio.us bookmarks. It has made working on my own P.C (home & at work) and the Ask a Librarian desk so much easier.  And my experience of using a blog has helped me understand what I an doing when I add messages to the Electronic Resources wiki.

The help from the ’25 Thing’ Team has been invaluable. Inevitable I found my self at some deadends but their quick responses to my requests for help soon got me back on the right track.

More importantly though was the help and support I received from my fellow 25 Thingers, in particular Dandelionflower. It really helped working on the 25 Things with someone else.

I found adding the weekly updates to my blog a bit tedious. It took all of the allowed hour (and some!) just to do this, but I realise now that I have a really good record of my journey through 25 things so it was worth it.

Is there another ‘Thing’ that I would have liked included? I don’t know, but I have discovered a great web site that brings together 100’s of Web2.0 sites (http://www.go2web20.net/) that I would love to explore when I can find a spare moment (there’s that timing issue thing again!)

I’ve looked at videos on YouTube before, but only in response to links from Grapevine so this was my first time at exploring the site. It was interesting to find a mix of amateur clips alongside those from major broadcasters. I came across a few gems (see below) plus a lot of rubbish! It needs more time than I had to look around so something else to go back to when I have more time (the list is getting longer!)

I tried adding a a clip from YouTube by copying & pasting the code in the embed box but I wasn’t  happy with the results. Clicking on the link worked but I couldn’t find a way of hiding the programming gobbledygook! So I e-mailed Dave! It turns out that all I needed to do was switch to the HTML view before pasting the link to my post. Thank you Dave, your a star!

Next I took a look at podcasts.  It was interesting to see that these can be stand alone of part of a series, full shows or just commentary from fans. I already have an account with iTunes, although I’ve never accessed a podcast,  so this seemed the logical site to start with.  I enjoyed looking through the wide variety of podcasts from news bulletins to updates on my favourite football team, but I couldn’t figure out how to link one to my blog? Which in a way was a good thing because it encouraged me to look at some of the other suggested podcast sties. I found the Podcast directory easy to navigate and found an entry for a radio show that I enjoy listening to. 

http://podcast.com/show/29566/Fighting-Talk/

Moving onto Gabcasts. I listened to a couple of these, I wasn’t too impressed though as all they did was tell you how many listeners they had and to thank their listeners over and over again for listening!   I probably just picked the wrong ones though as the idea of recording audio messages and making these available over the web sounds like a good way of communicating – the content just has to be good.  This is easier said than done as I found out for myself! The link below (episode 2) is to a recording of my experience of Gabcast. As you will hear, technically and vocally (I’m no Dame Judy Dench!) it was a challenge.

GABCAST

I tried to add a single Gabcast recording to my blog but it would not accept the ‘mp3’ file format. I’ve since learnt from ‘Dandelion Flower’ that to add ‘mp3’ files you have to first purchase a ‘space upgrade’!

‘Online image generators’ sounded like some thing out of Dr. Who so I was pleasantly surprised to find that they are an aid to creativity as they allow you to ‘manipulate images’.  These were great fun! I tried out the ‘Happy face’ one first, and spelt my name in happy faces. I then spotted a link on the screen to more options, including the following…..

casino

 

 

I then had a play with ‘Image Chef’. Lots of possibilities! I tried adding a message to one of the moving image options but I couldn’t save it so I had to settle for the following instead:

samp6b05c9b33b0e75a1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving onto ‘Google Documents’ – I like the idea of being able to store documents on the web and being able to access them from any P.C. So I created a document on my P.C. and uploaded it onto Google Documents., then added the e-mail address for a ‘collaborator’. I had problems again with the security on my P.C. but I’ve got used to this!

I watched a short clip on ‘Library thing’. I can imagine it being the Holy Grail for all bookworms – unfortunately I’m not (even though I work in a library!) I still set my self up with an account and had a look around. It’s a good way of keeping track of what you’ve read and suggestions for future reads. The site was also very easy to navigate.

Already a week behind and playing catchup again! So what have I looked at today? Well I watched a video clip on Social Networking which left me with some reservations – It’s a good way of keeping up to date with what is happening in peoples lives but only as long as your friends use it as well. Anyway I took the plunge and set myself up with a Facebook account. I had a lot of trouble confirming this as the security on my P.C. wouldn’t allow pop ups! It only worked once I cut and pasted the URL into my browser. Thank fully finding and inviting a friend was more straight forward. I also browsed the groups set up by staff & students at the University but the ones I found interesting were closed groups. Better were the ‘become a fan’ groups – definitely something to explore when I’ve more time. 

I found Microblogging a more interesting prospect. A kind of lazy/in a hurry person’s diary/blog. I like the idea of brief to the point entries, easier to read than a blog,  more about activities than thoughts, so after watching the video clip I set up an account with Twitter.  I don’t really feel inspired to microblog myself, although it is fun to read someone else’s, I’ve already paid daily visits to the ones by William Shatner &  Stephen Fry (the best of the two).

I watched the video clip on twittervision but it gave me an headache watching it flit from one new twitter entry to another!

Catchup time!

The last few weeks have been hectic, what with Christmas shopping, wrapping presents, Christmas, and a bit of partying along the way! There’s (unfortunately) been no time for ’25 Things’! but it’s time to put that right now!

So today I have watched a video clip on Wikkis and how useful they can be – especially if I ever decide to go camping! Which to be honest is very unlikely as tents don’t come with star ratings! But exploring Wikipedia has opened my eyes up to the possibilities of Wikkis. I have used Wikipedia before but only to find answers to trivia questions so using some of the functionality has been interesting. I’m not sure about the ‘Random Article’ link though – it’s a great thing if you have nothing better to do and want to impress your work colleagues with a ‘fact a day’ but it can be addictive as you strive for that elusive best article! One that did catch my eye was on the ‘Asymmetry of life nature of aerodynamic lift gervations by the rotor blades of a helicopter’ – I didn’t understand a word of it but then I expect no one else has either as there were no comments listed under the discussion tab!

The current events page lists a good variety of news items – something to interest everyone. The one that caught my eye was the discovery of a bed of dinosaur fossils near Zhucheng in Shandong, China believed to be the world’s largest fossil site!

 After accepting my invitation to join the 25 Things Wiki (on the Webpaint web site) several weeks ago it was good to finally take a look at the ‘Guide to Huddersfield’ and in particular the section on Netherton. I’ve only lived there for 23 years and I never knew about the disused railway tunnel (I hope it doesn’t run under my house!)

 I’m not sure what to make of Google Maps. I enjoyed looking up where I live and where I used to live:

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?sourceid=navclient&hl=en-GB&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4DKUK_en-GBGB270GB271&q=hd5%209pz&um=1&sa=N&tab=wl

but I was disappointed with how old the maps were – they were at least 4 years old.

I was impressed with the ‘Get Directions’ option.  Only 20hrs 14min to drive the 1268 miles to Madrid! but I  couldn’t get it to work with a UK destination via public transport.

I looked at each of the ‘off shoot’ sites and was taken by ‘Google Moon’. What a fab site! I watched the video clip on creating  personalised maps (a good idea to use when planning a trip maybe?) I then downloaded ‘Google Earth’ onto my home P.C.  (It took a while, at least half an hour, and it didn’t tell me when it had finished!) Worth it though – I didn’t have much time to have a play with it but it does look interesting  especially the 3D  feature.

So this week started off with another fun video clip, this time on ‘Social bookmarking’. I very much like the idea of being able to access my ‘favourites’ from any P.C. and I can see that being able to share other peoples ‘book marks’ can potentially save me time when looking for tried and tested sites on the net, although I know that a lot of my ‘favoutites’ were set up years ago and haven’t been clicked on for a while, so I expect other peoples will also include entries for defunct/out dated sites’!

I’m not sure how good ‘tagging’ is- tags are subjective. I tried a few searches but the results were disappointing – No hits!

I then set my self up with a Del.icio.us account and copied over the favourites from my home P.C. I still have to do this for the ones on my work P.C. It will be interesting to see how this works.

Moving on to ‘Technorati’, I couldn’t get the videocast to play, but I read the blurb on the home page. I’d always wondered how you ‘found’ a blog, and now I know! I suppose Technorati does for blogs what Google does for web sites. As suggested I tried some searches on the Technorati site and also on the Google equivalent ‘Google blog search’. I was impressed by the 100,174 search results for Google compared to 4706 by Technorati although I don’t know the reason for the large difference? Can someone tell me? I chickened out of registering my blog with Technorati – it just doesn’t seem worthy enough! But I did have a go at tagging some of my posts on my blog – it is easy though to get carried away and too many!

Finally I read a bit on ‘splogs’ or ‘spam blogs’, I haven’t come across any as yet, but I’ll now recognise them for what they are, when I do!

I’ve enjoyed this week. There were only two ‘Things’ to do but this meant that I could spend more time on each one (rather than rushing from one ‘Thing’ to another!).

So this week I watched one video clip on RSS, which was very amusing and informative, and another on how to add feeds.  I really like the idea of RSS feeds and it started me thinking about how they can be of value, whether it be when new articles are added to the online journal sites I read or an update on the ‘What’s on’ list at a theatre.

I set up an RSS aggregator in Google Reader and subscribed to a few newsfeeds/web sites by clicking on the RSS icon – although at first I couldn’t understand why the entries were not appearing on my Google Reader page. I ended up added then by copying and pasting the URL. And then I noticed that they were being added to a default ‘Reader’ already set up on my home P.C.! 

Of the two I’d say I prefer Google Reader to Bloglines, it looks better, and it is much easier to organise your news feeds.

I then had a go at searching for feeds using the search tools Topix.net and Syndic8.com. They appear to be web sites made up of RSS feeds. Syndic8.com I didn’t like at all, it was difficult to use, but I was more impressed with Topix.net.