Work and Play – Keeping up with Technology

Unbelievable that it has been three weeks since my last post here on misc.joy, but some of you already know that the Fall semester has begun and I am teaching two extra classes this semester. It has been a blast to teach the San Jose State class again, though the work load is high. I’ve also been working on several volunteer projects that have occuppied time. Namely, volunteering for the Ojai Green Tour on October 4, planning a Benefit Concert for the Ojai Library on October 11, organizing Bike Valet for Ojai Day on Ocober 18, presenting at Internet Librarian on October 19, planning Gold Coast Library Network Professional Day on October 24, coordinating an Education Forum at ALA Midwinter, and helping with the Thich Nhat Hanh 2009 Tour. You may have also noticed the Peace One Day icon on the web page and I will be giving a brief (5-minute) talk on peace and Buddhism at a multifaith event here in Ojai. Yes, it is too much and I am learning how to delegate and ask for help – Leslie has been a life saver on several fronts – but as you can see I still don’t say no. One thing I have learned though is to look for the joy in each of my activities and be fully present when engaged. The March 2008 post 12 Essential Rules to Live More Like a Zen Monk is helpful to read again.

Despite all the above, I’ve still had time to try and keep up with my Friendfeed and play with new tools like¬† 12seconds.tv, Twine, Chrome, and Ubiquity. What’s most promising? What am I finding most useful?

I’ve been playing with Twine since spring when I wrote about it here on the blog.¬† My intention is to talk more about this at my presentation at Internet Librarian, in relation to the semantic web. Twine has definitely improved since the spring as more users come on board. Twine allows me to follow stories, themes, people – similiar to what you might find with Friendfeed and an RSS tool.

12seconds.tv is a video micro-blogging site. Users are able to post 12 second videos from their computer or cell phone. Most are pretty unimportant and mundance, but I also remember how Twitter started out and how that has grown into a robust and useful tool. I keep searching for a “work-related” application for 12seconds, and I’m sure it will manifest eventually, but right now I haven’t found one. They have recently added the ability to leave video comments too; a big improvement to the service. Check out my channel to see what I’ve posted.

If you haven’t tested out Chrome, give it a try. It is a quick and easy web browser for Windows computers only. It is created by Google. It is fast and clean, but it is not a replacement browser for me. I did read a great article for the power user but I’m still not sold. I need my Remember the Milk list in gMail to survive.

The concept of Ubiquity is fantastic and I will talking about this at Internet Librarian too. The biggest weakness for this tool is having my brain remember to use it. When I remember, I love it! You can read more on the link above, but basically it is a keyboard shortcut tool to allow you to bring the web together. Reading something and you want to share it with a friend? Highlight, open Ubiquity, and type email to friend and it’s done. Amazing concept. It’s still in labs, so I’m sure many improvements will be on the horizon.

So, what have you been playing with? Have you tested any of these applications? What do you think; do they hold promise? I’m particularly interested in how your using Twine.