Tuesday, March 31, 2009

#14 - Technorati

Now that I've been using the RSS feeds for a couple of weeks, this Technorati site may become more useful than I previously had thought. At first I didn't think I would have a desire to search out more feeds, being more or less content with the ones I had, and knowing I could add further feeds as I discovered them. But the bloglines account has made things easier than I expected, so I have more time to spend or waste on additional blogs. Huzzah!

That said, I've only spent a short amount of time looking through the popular blogs and searches on Technorati. Instead I've been looking more at the stats and other info on there about the blogging world. It's pretty phenomenal just how pervasive blogging has become. I kept a personal blog on my old Myspace page that I pretty much abandoned quite a while ago, but have thought about restarting on Blogger. It was pretty much a pointless exercise in narcissism, which I imagine many blogs are, but that sure didn't stop me, mainly because a handful of people actually read it. I may have to give it another shot, if I can find an audience (which very well could exist, judging by the huge number of blogs with some amount of 'Technorati Authority').

Monday, March 30, 2009

#13 - Delicious

This site could have a lot of potential as a work tool, perhaps as a Ready Reference tool in Hotline. I threw together a handful of readers advisory tools just to get started, and will probably add more later.

I noticed that every time I entered the tag 'readers advisory', it split the phrase into two separate tags, which was kind of strange. I just changed them all to 'readersadvisory' instead. I thought maybe it would allow me to then just search a portion of the word (so that if I typed in readers, it would pull up entries that had the full readersadvisory tag), but that was not the case, so I guess I'll have to keep that in mind. Of course, I only have 4 items on there right now, so it's not like I'm going to lost in a sea of tags any time soon.

I did this first look at the site from one of the service desks, so I didn't add the browser button features. Can we do that on our workroom PCs without Admin permission?

Friday, March 27, 2009

#12 Rollyo

Put together a couple of searchrolls, one on home improvement stuff and the other on movies. http://www.rollyo.com/kleinkid7/

Maybe if I have enough resources at hand, I'll finally start some of the work on my house that I've been putting off.

Seems like a pretty handy tool.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

#11 librarything

Turns out I signed up on this site about 3 years ago, but it looks like that was about all I did with it. I'm pretty sure I've got long abandoned Shelfari and Goodreads accounts too. These sites are interesting, and several times I have thought that it would be beneficial to keep a journal of what I read, but it never seems to happen. Maybe one day I'll get on the ball and maintain one of these accounts.

I do like the Librarything site though. There were a handful of books on my page from my initial delve into it, and I added several more after digging it up again for this exercise. About half of them are selections from a book group I'm in. Some of the members of my group may be interested in this site, so I'll have to pass it along to them at our next meeting.

Here's the widget, I hope.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

#10 - image generator

Other generator results:

If I were a bacteria, I'd be Coprothermobacter Alkalibacterium

My Mole-man name (courtesy of John Hodgman) is Mr. Jonas Rough-Right-Palm-Smooth-Left-Palm, A Cornersman

And my Sarah Palin Baby name is Meat Notgay Palin

This is still considered work, right?

#9 - RSS cont.

I'm not really all that interested in seeking out new feeds just for the sake of having more stuff to add to my account, so I just gave most of these sites a cursory look. The sites that I've subscribed to are those that were already of some interest to me before. If I stumble across another interesting one, on my own or from someone's recommendation, I might go ahead and it, but if I went searching for news just for the sake of having them, then I'd probably never leave.

If I were seeking out additional feeds to add though, of the sites given in this exercise, I would probably go with bloglines or technorati. They seemed a little more coherent to me. Syndic8's setup didn't make much sense to me, but that may be my fault, being new to the RSS world.

Monday, March 23, 2009

#7 post for real

Okay, here's my legit entry for item # 7. I should preface this with a disclaimer that this post is largely conjecture, and I have no economics or sociology background, so it may very well be nonsense. However, it has to do with Web 2.0, so hopefully it still counts.

Last week I was watching something on Hulu and an ad came on for a website that allowed consumers in the U.S. to conduct business almost directly with third world artisans. I can't remember the name of the site, but it seemed to be similar to Ten Thousand Villages

It got me thinking about how the internet has changed the world of commerce, not just in that many companies now have their products online, but that other forms of trade are gaining larger crowds. With the emergence of eBay and other auction sites, average people without any company to represent have become independent salespeople and retailers. Classified ads sites such as Craigslist have pages in which people offer goods or services in exchange for other goods or services, with no cash changing hands, creating a barter system.

This article from Business Week Online talks about the lack of innovation in online shopping in recent years, and offers some suggestions on how companies can make their customers' shopping experience more convenient or more enjoyable. It speaks of new upstarts leading the charge, since most of the established big guys currently seem to be resting on their laurels. But I wonder if, especially in these bleaker times, perhaps a growing number of people are looking for different ways to shop via new avenues rather than better ways to shop via the old ones.

While I realize that neither eBay nor Craigslist are new and both are extremely popular already, I imagine there are many people who have yet to give them a try. American culture is often criticized for what many see as rampant consumerism, but now that so many consumers have watched their buying power take a dive, they may be looking for other forms of commerce in order to meet their needs and wants. When your spending power is limited, second hand items that can be obtained through auctions or barter (or even better, absolutely free) start looking much more attractive. I wonder if these sorts of sites will see (if they haven't already) a major upswing in traffic as people leave the major retailers for cheaper deals. Recent history has shown us that Americans may not be especially smart when it comes to saving our money, but we do love a good bargain when we spend it.

So what does this have to do with that Hulu commercial? Well, maybe not much, I'm kind of winging it here, because the commercial had to do with free trade and assisting those in underdeveloped parts of the world, and that's not really what this entry is about, but it did get me thinking about the varieties of online commerce. If the eBays and Craigslists and Freecycles out there do become an even more powerful element of our economic structure than they already are, and more and more people become used to a world of shopping that exists outside of department stores (whether online or at the mall), this might encourage more business not only for the swaping of secondhand goods, but also an increased trust in and market for smaller companies or individual artisans, farmers, or whatever. People may love and trust established labels, but with all the news of taxpayer funded bailouts, the major companies that own those labels could lose the loyalty, and the cash, of the average shopper. This article indicates that a lot of major brand names, even those from supposedly safe or recession proof companies, are having trouble. The emerging culture of sustainable living, with its emphasis on support of local businesses, is pulling some customers away from grocery store chains and toward independent markets. Could this also happen with manufactured goods? Seems possible.

This may all be old news, or not really even news at all. Like I said, I'm no economist, so I don't know. When the web was first emerging, we were all amazed at our ability to communicate with people halfway across the world. If a change in the way we buy and sell and barter is in the works, then Web 2.0 is going to play a huge part in how we do that not with people around the world, but also in our own backyards.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I can't find Mr. Furranklin Cuddleston III

Oh, thank God.

On an unrelated note, despite the fun that can be had in flustering Cara, I plan on posting a more legit blog entry for Thing #7. I know my readers (all 2 of you!) will be waiting with bated breath.