Friday, April 30, 2010

Remix and Wikipedia

I like and respect Wikipedia, have for years, it has articles about subjects that no sane person would expect a serious and accurate, neutral point of view article about,  Eve Dallas, a fictional person, a list of books that have never been written , viking methods of torture using simple household equipment.  It has some odd gaps, there is no article on the Old Y Center for Community Organizations, it has some weak entries, not inaccurate but not good enough like the one for Calgary Public Library.
Remix; making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy by Lawrence Lessig is about music copyright law, a subject about which I know very little and care very little.  Lessig makes me care more than I did but it's the other subjects that he touches in passing that intrigue me. Why people contribute to Wikipedia, how it achieves that accurate, neutral point of view and it's history.
Lessig is a law professor who writes for law journals and blogs, he is very funny about the difference in readership and makes some interesting points about the value of blogging, not to the reader but to the writer.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Spinning at Ecopalooza, CPL 2.0

Between high tech and low tech, the picture is me spinning on an Ashford Traveller Wheel using merino wool produced in Alberta, slow clothing locally sourced from very renewable resources. The display behind me is .
The blog entry is created by Google Blogger directly from inside Picassa, one of the best Google programs and it's free. Using a digital camera, mine is a Canon, computers for picture storage and display using things like Web Albums, that's a very green change in how we all live that doesn't get mentioned much as a paper saver.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Wild Quaker

I am trying blogging from Picassa. Don't like it.  But it's easier to find and post the pictures and then edit the blog than compose the blog and insert the images,  that could be just me,  I always have trouble finding my pictures.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Raverly Post

I have to write a blog, and one of the first entries is about why, my employer a large public library wants me to. And they are willing to let me do some of it, the part that they require while I am at work, so it's quite fair.
But it leads to a rather mixed and thematically confused blog. Web sites reviews, including one of Raverly, book reviews, my musings on doing blogs and private journals, and my knitting and spinning. I am going to try to title entries so that if a reader is only interested in the knitting they can avoid me going on about Lucy Maud Montgomery and her journals. But she was a knitter, so maybe knitters would be interested.

I plan to write about what interests me at the moment, and for the next 12 weeks what interests my employer, I'd like to be read but it isn't the only reason I am doing it.
I just posted this to a large social site called Raverly mostly to find out if it would work.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Public and Private Journals

One of the many definitions of blogging considers it to be a public diary or journal, Pepys on the Internet. Pepys is on the internet and I think he'd love it. But he intended it to be a private diary, one that no one would read. Other famous diarists intend their journals to be published and read but after their deaths. Lucy Maud Montgomery's 5 volume set of her journals is an example. They were her trusted confidante but she edited them and she shaped them for publication especially the last volumes. She wanted her version of events to be published, so she deprived herself of the benefits of a private journal. Queen Victoria wrote a diary which had the potential to be an astounding book if published, one of her daughters Beatrice spent 30 years copying out the parts that were published and destroyed the two thirds she thought unsuitable.

I've read a lot of journals and books about how to keep a journal, most of the diarists are very ambivalent about having their journals read. There are coy protests about it being boring but mostly we hope it's scandalous, and worth reading. I think I have some things to say that are worth reading, almost everybody does. And this leads me to a blog, a public journal. It's some of the good bits, I bother more with grammar, try to express myself clearly, check facts. I looked up Princess Beatrice, if I had been writing purely for myself I would not have found the details about it taking her 30 years and that she destroyed two thirds, and I enjoyed that.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

How much is to much, soft ware and the brain

How many software programs and web sites can one person be reasonably expected to be able to use, to know how to use?

This blog was begun as part of an educational program for Calgary Public Library staff, for details go to , I mention this for people if any, who come to this blog because of the knitting or the book reviews or because they are members of my family. The program is designed to train staff in a number of social websites, the internet 2.0 so that we can help the public. It's a version of .

I started to think about this question because I don't like, don't use well, and don't really want to put the effort into learning to use well a site called On my ToDo list are a number of items that boil down to "learn this", I use a number of sites and programs that I don't use as well as I would like, and that list is getting longer not shorter. Getting an avatar on my social sites has been on my ToDo list for about 2 years.

What do I already have in my elderly brain?

The Cpl circulation program, the Cpl homepage the catalogue and my account, Windows Internet Explorer, Google, Gmail, Google Maps, Yahoo mail, and 2 versions of Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, both the 03 and the 07 versions, Quick books, Quicken, Quick Tax, , Windows Photo Gallery, Flickr,, and Blogger. That's just the ones I use and/or teach regularly. Some of these programs I love, some I dislike, some are not my own choice, but there they are in that gray mass.

What's your list like?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

CPL 2.0 week 3

What ever happened to the pleasent, easy to use, alphabetical CPL best Web sites, it got replaced with a complicated and ugly, hard to use but trendy,

About 5 years ago the web site that delicious developed from was marketed at a way to carry one's favorite's list around to all computers, trade lists with friends, recommend sites to others, I used to have a site with a list of the 10 best sites for Calgary Not for Profits, and put it's address on the back of my business cards, 10 sites not 400.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Blogs and journals, books of one's own

I have kept personal journals, on and off since I was in my twenties, and I have most of what I have written in various formats, never reread it all though I'd like to. This blog is going to be an expansion of those journals, the parts I am willing to have other people read and that I am willing to put enough effort into grammar and spelling that they are fit to read, maybe not interesting.

Personal journals vary as much as people do, Thomas Mallon's collection of journals, A Book Of Ones Own divides them into 6 categories and is an excellent guide to how and why people keep journals. He keeps a journal himself. His father is a good example of an unwritten journal:

"My father never kept a diary, but he never threw away a canceled cheque either. When he died a few years ago I came across thousands of them in perfect order in a series of shoeboxes. Amidst stacks of others that took the family from the children's milk through his own bifocals, I found the one that paid the doctor who delivered me. My father knew they didn't audit you for 1951 in 1980: he kept those checks for another reason."

Page XV, introduction
A book of one's own, people and their diaries
Thomas Mallon

This book came out in 1984 and without going though all my handwritten books I don't know when I read it. Now I use a differnt format for my journals,  a computer program called The Journal I highly recommend it.  There is a one month trial, and then a 50.00 or so charge, buy a flash drive and install the program and your files on it, another level of security and you can carry it with you and use the calendar.  I like the word processor better than Microsoft Word.