Second Life Sarah

Just so that this blog doesn’t get overtaken with the kudzu of Second Life posts, I’ll be keeping track of my progress with the Law Librarians in Virtual Worlds seminar on the blog “Second Life Sarah.” I’ll also be posting stuff to the class wiki, but I’m having trouble getting Wetpaint to do what I want it to do right now and I want to get this stuff down before I forget it.

Of course, I didn’t really get to put too much on the SLS blog because I had to actually answer reference questions. Funny how that works out. But hopefully tomorrow I’ll get to work on it some more. And I definitely want to take another picture for the header. Dang SL pictures are addictive….

Second Life tour

As part of the Law Librarians in Virtual Worlds workshop I’m participating in, I took a tour of some sights around Second Life. Here’s an album. ETA: LINK FIXED.

That album in a Power Point presentation converted to the web by Calameo. It’s a nice alternative to Slide Share. I can’t seem to make in embed, but that might be a WordPress problem.

Mapping Anthropology

I really dig maps. No, I REALLY dig maps. One of these days I will figure out an idea for a Google Maps Mashup that my library can use. Until then, I will admire UC Berkeley Anthropology Library’s mashup of their collection of Anthropology dissertations completed at Berkeley 1901-2002. If you’re not good at coming up with test searches, here’s a link to a dissertation whose research basis was Kentucky.

It appears that the Berkeley Library community is doing an system-wide innovation program called “New Directions.” You can check out the blog or wiki for more information. I found Mapping Anthropology by scanning the “Nuggets of Innovation” section on the wiki.  As I said during the UK Libraries faculty meeting earlier this month, a big part of Blue 2.0 ( and Web 2.0) is sharing what you learn with others so that people like me can steal your ideas and use them for their own nefarious uses and personal advancement. People laughed, but I totally wasn’t kidding.

Gabbly

Discovered a new chat service thanks, once again, to my Twitter list.   It’s called Gabbly and it works by putting a chat frame around any webpage.  There’s no embedding, you just put your website URL after Gabbly’s.  So, if for some reason I wanted to host a chat with readers of my blog, I would send everyone a link to http://gabbly.com/https://technologicaltortoise.wordpress.com/

This isn’t permanent solution for a chat reference service, but I think it would be a great way to have a committee meeting with people across the country, especially if you’re working on planning a website or using a Wiki to collate notes.  Not sure if it could work with Google docs or similar servcies.  (Without going into too many details, I have some hearing issues that make phone conferences a chore, so I’m always looking for text-based ways of accomplishing these tasks.)  I’m not sure how it works with subscription databases, but just flipping around my blog with the Gabbly overlay, it appears that the Gabbly stays as you change pages.  So maybe it could be used to talk a patron through some web based research.

Yet another thing to put on my “play with this and see what it can do” list.

Google SketchUp

It’s funny the ways one learns about new things….

I was perusing my twitter friends list while waiting for inspiration to strike on a travel grant essay I’ve been trying to write all week.  (It’s amazing how my opinion of twitter has changed so dramatically in the past two weeks.)  One of my contacts linked to this story about a Unicycle-Motorbike-Segway hybrid.  One of the quirks of twitter is that everything is transformed into a tinyURL, so I had no idea what the link was until I clicked and honestly, had I known, I probably wouldn’t have clicked on it.

It’s actually not an article that really interests me, as I am not really that much of a gear head.  However, one line did catch my eye: “Ben designed the 120-lb vehicle himself, using Google SketchUp to help with the plans as he couldn’t afford professional software.”  Google SketchUp?   What the heck is that?

So I, well, Googled “Google SketchUp” and discovered it’s a free 3-D modeling program.  I have even less artistic skills than technical skills, so I’m pretty excited about the possibilities for this.   One idea that immediately comes to mind is that one could do a library tour/map out of it.  After creating a model, users can make “movies” out of the models which I’m guessing could be somehow embedded in a website.   Administrative types may be able to use it for presentations to higher-ups about library redesigns.  Those are just two ideas off of the top of my head.  There’s also a searchable database of already existing models (3D Warehouse) that I need to peruse and which may provide some inspiration.

Sprout

As I say repeatedly, to anyone who will listen, I am not a techie.  (Nor a trekkie, but that’s another story.)  Don’t ask me to fix your computer because all I will do is unplug it and walk away.

So, this is why I love Web 2.0 (and will probably also like Web 3.0) .  It makes it really easy for people like me to create decent looking content for the web/SNSs.  That’s pretty much my only goal in life: to connect with other people and to not look like a schmo whilst doing it.

Today I discovered Sprout. It allows anyone to create a webpage or SNS widget with no more technical knowledge than the ability to drag and drop.  I’ve been playing around with it for the past hour or so and it really is easy.  I’m not posting any examples here yet, though.   Why?  Because I can’t think of any content that doesn’t suck right now.  And that’s one thing Web 2.0 will never cure.

Second Life Question

When does the novelty of taking pictures of yourself in Second Life wear off?

Here I am visiting the Alliance Library.