This summer has been a challenge in a number of ways but SLA has provided at least one fun challenge that has also been useful in my personal and professional life.  By being encouraged to explore the use of blogs, wikis, etc. I was forced to look at tools that I would not have normally looked at and in the process learned some of the value and potential of them. 

Here are some examples:

  • I’m now using tags [SLA_KINF] to turn the Information Futurist Caucus web page into a dynamic web site that is updated simply by tagging a new resource!
  • I’m also using Flickr to add photos of the Information Futurist Caucus tour at the last ALA Annual in Seattle [SLA-KINF].  I’m also using PhotoBucket to create a photo slide show for my church’s web site.
  • I’m exploring how to use RSS to add dynamic feeds from other sources – not just news but calendar feeds, discussion list topics, etc.  I’m especially looking at how to add RSS to the ALA Federal and Armed Forces Libraries Round Table (FAFLRT) web site that I maintain so that it dynamically shows any ALA press release that is related to Federal Libraries.
  • I’ve switched the National Research Library Alliance (NRLA) to a wiki-based web site so that the group can have an easy to maintain presence on the web.
  • I’ve expanded my thinking about how to use Web 2.0 and want to dive in to create some not only interconnected web sites but have them interdependent!
  • I’ve played with YouTube for a while (one of my favorites is “Introducing the Book“) but it wasn’t until this exercise that I actually tried to upload videos.  I uploaded a trip report from my recent trip to Peru on a similar site call GodTube.
  • I’ve expanded my use of FaceBook and am looking at creating a group for use by the Caucus.  I’m also playing with a Google Group to help explore a wide collaboration encouraging more librarians to get into federal service.
  • I’m even working out the logistics of how to catalog my personal collection of books and videos into LibraryThing!

I’ve maintained web sites for over a decade but the wealth of free tools and resources, I can clearly see that the age of personal publishing is clearly here for everyone!  It is also raising the level of possibilities for web developers like me, pushing us a step closer to a Semantic Web that Tim Berners-Lee envisioned all those years ago!