Google CSE for Corporate Social Responsibility

I’ve made a custom search engine that searches 33 Dutch, Flemish and English languages sites (mainly .org) on the topic of corporate social responsibilty (CSR) or maatschappelijk verantwoord ondernemen (MVO) in Dutch.

You can try it out by following this link:

Corporate Social Responsibility

Ariadne Magazine published a piece by Phil Bradley on Custom-built search engines, in the april 2008 issue which reviews the tools available and how to put them to use. Recommended reading!

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.

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, <= 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 INSANE!

shaman king

ouran high school host club

the melancholy of haruhi suzumiya

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 . 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.

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)



=9 (yummie)



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. (very cheap webhosting, see for yourself 😉 ).

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

Megumi hayashibara

Ayumi hamasaki (that’s her full name but her fans just call her ayu)

Aya hirano.

Yuna ito.

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.

Flying start

SPOETNIK is a great way to make a flying start with interacting with the Internet. It’s been set up by people who work at the Library of the Universiteit van Amsterdam. SPOETNIK is based on the Learning 2.0 program developed by Helene Blowers at the Public Library of Charlotte Mecklenburg County, USA.

The SPOETNIK program consists of a series of hands-on practical exercises that can be completed in 12 weeks.

My life motto is “better late than never”, so even though the course started at the end of January 2008, I decided to join the people at the Library of the Universiteit van Amsterdam in their quest.

The exercise in week 1 was to set up a Gmail account. The instructions given by the UBA Sputnik crew are plainly written and easy to follow. Thanks guys.

The next step, sending the details of the Gmail account to the UBA Sputnik moderator, was quickly accomplished. I had a reply within an hour! My Gmail account is listed on the UBA Sputnik blog under the tab ‘Deelnemers’. You have to let your eyes drop to near the bottom of the page to the list of ‘Niet UBA-deelnemers’ (non UBA participants). I’m there listed as ‘hoigagarin’

I must admit I’ve had a little practice recently. The ‘Meet the expert – and make your own Hyves profile’ workshop organised by the NVB-WB at the University Library in Leiden got me started on the 17th of January. I set up a Google account with Gmail for use with Hyves – to keep track of my scraps and social messages. The Google account allows me to upload videos to YouTube, which I can then show as ‘Gadgets’ in my Hyves.