SPOETNIK review

Today is the 31st of march. I started SPOETNIK on the 4th of March and have enjoyed every minute of the course. I’ve learned a lot in a few short weeks and am looking forward to the next exercise appearing on April 7. This seems to me a good time to look back on what I’ve learned and see where this new knowledge had brought me. Which are the applications I’m using and finding useful, which have I tried and put aside?

Gmail is a winner, not only do I have lots of room for messages and photos, my Gmail log-in is also my Google Account for YouTube and lots of other Google goodies, such as Google Talk and Google Docs.

Blogging with WordPress. WordPress have made it really easy for me to write and present a blog. Even the spam filter is built in. WordPress is easy to use and the instructions are very clear. As you can see I’m still using it! The encouragement and inspiration from other SPOETNIK bloggers was a major factor too. I was a little late starting the program but I felt welcome from the start. I also learned from the comments made by others following SPOETNIK. Thanks also to Brughagedis who thought up a why to show us a diverse selection of SPOETNIK blogs in I-frames.

RSS feeds in combination with Netvibes. This is a winner too. I’ve made the upgrade from Netvibes Coriander to Ginger and am currently thinking about how to furnish my public universe. I’ve experimented with the country settings to take advantage of the preselected information resources available in the Netherlands and in Australia. A page of my netvibes is devoted to SPOETNIK feeds. I’ve got RSS for Ubaspoetnik posts and comments, for my own blog, and for the feedjumbler mix made by Klijt Berroo. I’ve been dropping hints about how I like Netvibes to my colleagues at the EUR, trying to get a few people interested for a Netvibes Universe for Economics and Business Administration and Management. Here’s one of the netvibes universes I’ve found that I’m using as an example to get the subject specialists on board. It’s written by Jason Welker, “a 21st century teacher using the collaborative tools of Web 2.0 to teach Economics to international students.”
http://www.netvibes.com/welkerswikinomics#Welcome Jason Welker also has a blog, welkerswikinomics

Chat using Google Talk and Meebo. Google Talk was really easy, at least once I’d invited all you SPOETNIKers to chat with me, before that I was feeling pretty shy and lonely. Do teenagers feel like that too, if they have no ‘contacts’ to chat with? Meebo was more difficult to get the hang of. I put a meebome widget on my blog, expecting to be replying to visitors directly on the blog page, and was confused when this didn’t work as I’d expected. It was good to have help on this matter from ubaspoetnik via Google Talk.

LibraryThing. I can see how people can like LibraryThing. My daughter, Bonny, loved it for tracing Manga series but I’m a little to set in my ways to use it much myself. By the way, Bonny also loved what AmazType did with the title word ‘Manga’. Thanks to Schwitter for this tip.

Flickr is great. Playing with Flickr was a lot of fun too. I’ll continue to use Flickr and Picasa for sharing photos on the web.

Del.icio.us. I was luke warm about del.icio.us at first, but since I added del.icio.us to my FireFox browser, I’m finding it quite easy to tag and add new favorites to my collection. It sure beats sending e-mails to myself when I want to remember a link that I want to add to my personal favorites on another computer. I’ve also started searching del.ious.us for links to interesting sites. I can see myself making collections of links and sharing them with others.

Google Docs is perfect for working collaboratively because it’s simple to use. So what if it doesn’t have all the features of Office? If you really want these features you can do a final edit in a word processor later on. Anyway, the simple version works better with blog software. I can see myself using Google Docs in the future too. I like how it’s possible to see the versions between revisions.

New LAVA Font

Easter was cold this year. On Easter day Bonny and I took a trip to the Hague to visit the Museum voor Communicatie. I’d seen a flyer for the expo: Eye opener – de kracht van beeldtaal and was also hoping to take part in the workshop: Ontwerp je eigen lettertype met ontwerpbureau Lava We’d been lucky to squeeze into a full tram going to Scheveningen just before the snow started to fall. Then we walked through the snow from the Javabrug to the Museum in the Zeestraat. It was good to get indoors and warm up again. We were on time to sign up for the workhop before it was full and to have a look at the exhibitions. The Museum voor Communicatie used to be called the PTT museum. It still has great stuff like a post sorting machine, telex, switchboard, and old telephones that you and your children can play with. The Eye opener expo was great, it really gets you thinking about the power of advertising, propaganda and anti-advertising. We’ll have to go back for another visit because we didn’t get to see everything before the workshop began at 2pm.

The workshop was given by two graphic designers from Lava, Jeroen and Jorgen. After a short PowerPoint presentation to get us inspired, they put us to work thinking up and sketching our own letter designs. The idea was to create a new font, upper and lower case letters, with stencil letters drawn by the 22 workshop participants. We did our best but didn’t manage complete sets of upper and lower case letters. We finished up with a full mixed case alphabet and a few bits of punctuation. We drew the best designs (2 of my letters were voted into the alphabet!) onto marquette carton and then cut out the stencils. Jeroen and Jorgen carefully spray-painted the stencils onto a white canvas. They made two copies, one for the museum, one for Lava. At Lava our font will be photographed and digitally reworked into a workable font. The museum is also taking photos of our work to be published on Flickr. I’m looking forward to seeing the completed font in about 2 weeks. Bonny had a great time and so did I. I can recommend this museum to anyone with Kids.

This workhop is one of the Open Studio workhops organised by the museum this spring. The workshops are free, you just pay the museum entry fee. You can’t sign up in advance for a workshop, it’s first come first served, so get there early to avoid disappointment. If you’d like to visit the museum for free and attend a free workshop, then you could go on Sunday the 6th of April in the national Open Museum Week.

Interview with Bonny

A couple of weeks back I told my daughter Bonny, about LibraryThing. I wasn’t all that excited about LibraryThing at the time but Bonny took to it like a fish to water. She leaned right over my laptop and started typing, searching for her favorite Manga. She really liked the option to choose your favorite cover. Pretty soon she’d discovered other Manga fans with similar collections. As she was searching I started to talk to her about what I was doing in the UBASPOETNIK course. When I started talking about web 2.0, she asked, “What’s that, web 2.0?”
That’s when I realised that for a 14 year old there is no web 2.0. It’s just “the web”.

In week 8 of the SPOETNIK program, I was introduced to Google Docs. The main exercise was to create a shared document in Google Docs. I didn’t have to think long for a subject. I asked my daughter if she’s willing to do an interview using Google Docs. She said yes.

I’ll be asking the questions and she’ll be providing the answers. One of the advantages of Google Docs is immediately apparent, we can choose to work synchroniously or asynchroniously. As she is at school and I’m at work I can start the ball rolling by typing up my questions for her. She can start on her answers once she’s finished with her homework!

Interview with Bonny (tip: adjust your sound settings)

Q. I’m your Mum, so I know who you are, but can you say a few words about yourself to introduce yourself to the SPOETNIK crowd?
A. I’m bonny, 14 years old and a huge anime-fan =3. I have been blogging/designing/watching anime for a few years already; still can’t get enough of it :9. I draw manga. See some veeery old drawings at my website.

http://www.artistic-wings.nl

Q. Bonny, how long have you been using the web?
A. 4/5 years..?

Q. What do you use it for?
(You can give as many examples as you like! You may have to do a bit of explaining (or linking) to tell us about your hobbies.)
A. I have a few websites,
artistic-wings.nl <= my portfolio, anime

digitalsheep <= site of me, and my friends.

I often use youtube to browse for new anime to watch. I may start an animeblog. Anime is the japanese style of animation. I’ve been watching an enormous amount of anime in the past few years. My favorites are:

when the higurashi cry http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeeJxefijoY INSANE!

shaman king http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30e3l1VnkzU

ouran high school host club http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLvCsesbtRI

the melancholy of haruhi suzumiya http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zBXoMYCgXc

Q. Can you tell us where you find this anime?

A. humm.. heh. Youtube? Some of it’s illegal but good. You could have a look at www.anime-eden.com . There’s lots of downloads and stuff.

Q. What have you learned from using the web?
A. Uhmm.. japanese xD

Q. How do you learn Japanese on the web?

A. By watching anime with english subtitles, and I use a website (but can’t find it at the moment).

Q. Is the web useful for your schoolwork?
A. hell yeah =D.

Q. Has using the web changed the way you make friends?
A. Yes, it has. I’ve got what they call “I-friends”. I have their msn so we can chat with each other. If you want to meet up, we have to do it at a safer place like on chibicon, abunai or animecon 2008. These are conventions for anime/manga. People dress up as their favorite character and play an act or enter the cosplay contest.

http://www.chibicon.nl

Q. What’s not safe about meeting up?

A. If you just go and meet a person on your own, that’s not safe. If you’ve met one person in real-life, they have met others in real-life, so these are people you can trust.

Q. Do you have any tips for us oldies?
A. Use japanese smileys! They’re much more fun!

Some examples:
^_^

^_^”

._.

>_< (sad)

^w^

=3

=9 (yummie)

>=D

D=-

Q. The other day when I was telling you about LibraryThing, you had a few tips for me. Do you want to share them with the other SPOETNIKers?

A. www.webhelpje.nl

www.ebuddy.com

www.startje.be

www.hosting2go.nl (very cheap webhosting, see for yourself 😉 ).

www.youtube.com

Q. What’s your favorite J-pop song & singer?
A. ughe. I placed a link with an example behind each singer.

Megumi hayashibara http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUmalHRKK98

Ayumi hamasaki (that’s her full name but her fans just call her ayu) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xw7g8hUG814&feature=related

Aya hirano. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9iYpAnJwMw

Yuna ito. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNmOjNnQzm0

Q. Would you like to make your hobby your work?

A. I would really like to make drawing manga my work.

Thanks Bonny, for the interview, and for helping to create my first shared Google Docs document. I’ll let you get on and watch some anime now.

The interview with Bonny is closed now. She answered the questions I’d prepared in advance and a few new ones that I popped in when I needed a little more clarification. Bonny and I were working on the document together so she could see when I typed in a new question. To bring it to her attention I typed the new questions in like this, NEW QUESTION. For Bonny it was just like chatting to one of her I-friends. We were finished in about half an hour. Next I posted the interview to this blog by using the ‘publish’ tab in Google Docs. To do this I first had to fill in the details of my blog, eg, blog name and password. It took a couple of minutes to load. Now I can do a last edit in WordPress before finishing. I’ll check the links that Bonny has included as well. Yep, a couple of the YouTube links were wrong, but Bonny has corrected them and I’ve copied them into this post.

Social bookmarking, seriously

Q. What makes del.icio.us social?

A. Everyone who tags is sharing metadata and it’s possible to link up through del.icio.us with other users to share links.

Q. Why would you want to link up and share links?

A. It could save you time searching for relevant pages. You could make new friends who share your interests.

Q. Is it useful for my work?

A. An information intermediary or subject specialist can use del.icio.us to share subject related links with students, teachers and colleagues.

Gelato del.icio.us

I’m not sure what to think of social bookmarking. I uploaded my bookmark folders from my laptop at home to del.icio.us. It took about half an hour for del.icio.us to give everything a place. I’d used capital letters to name the folders in my browser so the tags that del.icio.us assigned were also in capitals. Does this mean I’ve created ‘flaming’ tags?

After I’d chucked out the non-work related stuff I had 51 links left. The first thing I noticed after this clean-up was the added information on how many other users had noted the same bookmarks. I took this in with a feeling of ‘so what’. It doesn’t surprise me that other people have the same bookmarks. There are a lot of people out there using the web. I’d had a similar reaction to the numbers of other readers of titles I’d read in Library Thing. I’m trying to work out if this has any relevance at all. The links in my list that were saved the most by other del.icio.us users were the browser related help pages. That’s logical isn’t it?.

When I had a closer look at my list I noticed that the links that no one on del.ious.us had saved except me were the ones not in English. Del.icio.us appears to have a bias for English language sites. This calls for some remedial action. If you love gelato, then make this link is one for your del.icio.us favorites:

http://blogdolci.com/category/gelato/

I’m still testing out the possibilities of this web 2.0 tool for week 7 of SPOETNIK. I’ll write more later.

Light through old windows

AF Beaune Dijon 2007 074

My name in lights!

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