Filled Head, Tired Body. SXSW Interactive.

Relaxed chaos. That’s how it felt when I arrived at the Austin Convention Center for SXSW Interactive 2010. It is completely different from most librarian conferences that I attend. In this case, rather than being in the middle to younger demographic, I am in the oldest 20% (and I’m only 42). Laptops and smart phones abound. Everyone is looking at a screen while walking, talking, and participating.

The other odd element is that I really don’t know anyone here except a handful of people. A few more I know virtually but haven’t met in person. This leaves a lot of space to explore and flow. Though I’m not always 100% confortable being social, I do reasonably well and did meet a few people on my first day out.

Registration was smooth. The swag bag was monstrous. The schedule manageable and easy. The tech omni-present. I’ve did a video of the scheduling tool from The Social Collective because I think it is awesome and the iPhone app makes it even better. I am loving the competition happening between Gowalla and FourSquare. Both have made tweaks and customizations just for SXSW which makes it even more fun.

Continue reading “Filled Head, Tired Body. SXSW Interactive.”

I Am Not A Gadget: A Buddhist’s iPad Dilemma

Apple iPadNext month the iPad will be unleashed on the world and I want one. First question, how can I justify the cost against a household with a fixed budget. Second, balancing the desire to reduce consumption and the need to stay current with technology. Third, the balance of ubiquitous computing and family harmony. Finally, the environmental cost of technology.

When is enough enough?

Though I definitely don’t own a great deal of gadget technology compared to many others, it still feels like quite a bit. Specifically, I own a 2004 iPod Click Wheel, a 2008 iPhone 3G, a 2009 Flip HD, and a 2009 MacBook Pro. What does adding an iPad to the mix create?

Each piece of technology comes with its own environmental impact in the production, ongoing use, and ultimate disposal. Aware that I am only one consumer, collectively we consume and waste a great deal. It seems that we often consume without thought or awareness and we easily succumb to desire through marketing and possibly an underlying unhappiness. Continue reading “I Am Not A Gadget: A Buddhist’s iPad Dilemma”

Foursquare, Libraries, and Librarians

About a dozen attendees at the 2010 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston used a location based social network from foursquare (launched in March 2009). In some ways, it felt like the first time Twitter reached the ALA scene a couple of years ago. Pushing the boundaries and testing new technologies is one of the things I enjoy. More importantly, I enjoy discovering new ways to engage with my customers.

Foursquare is a combination of Twitter, gaming, and Yelp (in fact, Yelp launched it’s own similar product while in Boston). Users “checkin” at venues using text messaging, web site, FoursquareX desktop application, iPhone, or Droid app. Continue reading “Foursquare, Libraries, and Librarians”

Where are we going with social software?

On my drive from Ojai to Fresno last night I listened to the recent Library 2.0 Gang episode on Social Software in Libraries. A great conversation well worth the 45-minutes.

Further, this week I’ve been setting up a WordPressMU and BuddyPress installation at classes | kenleyneufeld to be used for online instruction and my new course on Social Networking and Social Software.

First the “ouch” from the library gang. The realization that not enough assessment of our social services has taken place in the library environment. There has been anecdotal success but nothing concrete has been reported. In the past several years I’ve simply thrown stuff up to see what stuck and seemed a functional service. It’s worked reasonably well but as a Library Director I see a greater need for assessment. Assessment is Goal #1 in the coming year.

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Mobile Blogging

Today I downloaded the new WordPress 2 app for the iPhone. This blog entry was created on my iPhone. The app is super easy and functional.

During the past few months I’ve been doing my mobile blogging using Posterous and autoposting some entries over here on misc.joy. What I’ve liked about Posterous is the ease. Send an email. That’s it!

Now with this new WordPress app I have another option for mobile blogging.

If you have a WordPress blog and an iPhone, give the app a spin. If not, check out Posterous.

Building a Social Library

Today I had the privilege to speak with 40 high school and community college librarians about building a social library. The event took place at the Powell Library at UCLA at the invitation of Esther Grassian.

Though I created a Keynote Presentation (below) and demonstrated how one could use drop.io with groups, the majority of the presentation just came from the 75-minute conversation. All the relevant links are at the bottom of the post.

Continue reading “Building a Social Library”

Are you an edupunk librarian?

It’s risky business…talking about limited money/funding when you still have some money/funding. Some might suggest, based on this exploration, that if you can do without the money then we’ll take away what you have already. This discussion is more of an exploration in planning. Planning is important for leaders to consider, especially with the potential for limited funding and possible obsolescence.

Over the past week, I’ve been reading the latest issue of Adbusters (#85); the entire issue is a “book” on economics. The economics of moving beyond our current established paradigm of economic thinking and theory. The premise is to kick over the neoclassical economics bucket because it is not sustainable in our global system.
Continue reading “Are you an edupunk librarian?”

Files, Files Everywhere

Dropbox HomeThis is about ubiquitous file management. Do you work on multiple computers, maybe even on different types of computer platforms? You may carry a USB drive or email files to yourself, but there are slicker options available. Dropbox is a tool for storing your files on your local machine and in the cloud. It is a free service, up to 2GB of storage, but also has premium accounts for additional storage needs. I have been happily using Dropbox for about nine months and find it meets my needs of ubiquitous file management.

I typically work on two Apple Macs, two Ubuntu systems, and one Windows XP system (plus my iPhone). How can I keep all my files in sync and also available on my local hard drive (for when I’m without internet)? Dropbox.

Aside from providing access to your files anywhere, even from your iPhone (viewing only), you can also save files securely, share any folder with a specific group, or put items into a public shared folder. Other features.

The first step is to download the Dropbox application. Second, copy your files into the Dropbox folder on your local computer. The files will automatically be uploaded to your Dropbox account online. If you install Dropbox on another computer, all files in the online account will be copied to the new local machine. Your files are now located in three places: original computer, online, and second computer. If a change is made on either of the computers then the file will automatically sync with the cloud and the other computer. Keep in mind that if you are uploading/downloading a huge number of files, it may take a while the first time but then only files with changes will sync. Continue reading “Files, Files Everywhere”

Ubuntu Rising on Two Dells

Wubi
Image via Wikipedia

In all it took about 6-hours to install Ubuntu on its own partition on my two Dell laptops and most of that time was unattended while running defrag on the Windows machines. The process is simple and I find the speed and power of the Ubuntu system to far outweigh my Windows environment. For now, I have kept Windows installed on the system because there are a couple applications I’d like access to and I’m not sure how well they will work in a virtual space. Perhaps at some future point I will recoup the Windows space too.

Here are the steps I took to install:

  1. Download and create Ubuntu CD. Just follow their simple directions for creating and testing the installation CD (1-hour).
  2. Remove any unnecessary applications from my Windows environment to free up space. Useful step on a smaller hard drive systems like mine (30-minutes).
  3. Defrag Windows environment (4-hours).
  4. Restart computer and boot to Ubuntu CD to begin install (30-minutes).
    1. During the install, I manually created three new partitions (2 GB swap, 10 GB root, and 10 GB home) from the Windows partition.
  5. Reboot and choose the OS to launch (Ubuntu or Windows).

That’s it! The Ubuntu install comes with Firefox, Open Office, Email application, and many other software options.