Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Finished! Thing 23.

I finally trudged across the finish line today.
What have I learned? More than I expected. At least three of the 23 applications have become part of my standard repertoire. Flickr. com, podcasts and YouTube are all standard operating procedures for me now, and I expect that will continue. Other applications seem less useful to me, but at least I now know what RSS feeds, social networking sites and social bookmarking entail.
Biggest surprise of the process? Finding the hitherto unknown branch of the family on Facebook(if indeed the Hansburgs of Arkansas are an African-American twig on the otherwise Jewish family tree) . In fact, that was almost worth the entire 23 things altogether. It has such a delicious 21st century aspect to it. I've always suspected that one of my sons will marry a girl from another race. Time for some hybrid vigor in the family bloodlines, I thought. But who knew that we were already more multicultural than we had imagined!! It's a good time to elect a half-Kansan, half-African president. He's our kind of people.

Thing 22

October 27, 2008
I really enjoy DOING my job, but I'm not fond of blogging about it--still less, reading other people's blogs on the topic.
Nothing personal, librarians, I'm just not interested in anyone's blog for the most part. Exhibitionism combined with diary keeping--combining the worst features of both pursuits, it seems to me. If that sounds overly harsh, well, perhaps it's because I'm such a long-standing diarist myself. Maybe I'm just reacting badly to technological innovation, but I suspect it runs deeper. I REALLY like (no, depend on) the complete privacy and freedom of self-expression to be found in my personal [non-digital] journal. I just can't get my mind around sharing it with the world. Ever elitist, I like to think of "my reader" (aka chere lectrice--assume the accent grave) as the One and Only who waits for me across time and space. Is she my unborn granddaughter? Will I ever meet her?
Speculations that run far afield of today's topic.

Thing 21

Well, I tried Gather. A website for MPR members is the way they bill themselves. Adults! Great! The trouble is that I already have a real-world (as opposed to a virtual) social network. I'm maxed out. I don't really want any more online friends. I have a hard enough time keeping up with the people I know in real life.
For people my age, the Internet is a great social tool for strengthening and maintaining the ties we formed at an earlier stage in life. When I think of increasing the volume of those ties (more emails, more "responding," more kids' names to remember, anniversaries to congratulate) I feel mostly fatigued.
Well on my way to achieving the curmudgeon status I've always aspired to, I guess.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Tning 20B

One week on Facebook and I've already become a snob about MySpace.com. Inferior in all respects, it seems to me. I gave it a fair shot. Tried my long-lost relative search, tried to find a group I wanted to join. (No luck in that respect, particularly. What do I have in common with a member who regards the keywords "jane austen" as a tag for an indie rock band?)
Must be the ivy tower connection. (Back in the dim, dark past, "facebook" was the name for the freshman picture galleries that male undergrads used to pore over, checking out the incoming 'talent' from a purely carnal viewpoint.)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thing 20 Part II

October 23, 2008

To my amazement, when I checked my facebook account a week later (as per instructions), I found that two people had asked to be my friends (or whatever the formula is). Who knew that middle-aged people use Facebook?

Even more interesting was that I found a hitherto completely unknown family that bears my (most unusual) Russian-Jewish maiden name. The really interesting part is that the family is African-American and they live in Arkansas! Will wonders never cease? Perhaps there's more to modern technology than I had imagined.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thing 20 Facebook

Well, now I'm a Facebook member. To my delight, I found one of my younger acquaintances online. The redoubtable Andy Granger has a complete, fully decorated facebook page (if that's what it's called.) He had posted his latest news --dental surgery a few hours ago. I hope I shocked him by turning up unexpectedly in a stronghold of youth like Facebook.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Thing 19 Podcasts

I've finally come into my own with these last two things. Finally, a Thing that I know fairly well.! Thanks to my iPod and my indefatigable exercise walking regime, I am an enthusiastic (and omniverous) consumer of podcasts from Public Radio. I've been known to turn off the radio during favored broadcasts like "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" and "This American Life" so as not spoil them for later podcast enjoyment during my daily walk.
While I generally download my podcasts automatically (and, for free) from the iTunes website, I didn't realize that there were other sites like podcast.com and podcast.net. I'd like to compare offerings between the various sites, but I'll have to do it on my home computer, since the library's machines don't have iTunes software loaded.