One last thing…

23. Summarise your thoughts on the 23 Things @ Oxford programme

I started the 23 Things programme back in February, and  I am quite pleased with how it has gone. The web tools I have experienced as part of the programme are: 

  • iGoogle

    Word cloud from

  • Blogging
  • RSS feeds & readers
  • FlickR & Picnik
  • Delicious
  • Podcasting & Youtube
  • Facebook & LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Wikis
  • Google Documents & ThinkFree Office
  • Widgets

I think the most useful of these, and the ones I am likely to keep using in the future, are blogging, Twitter, Google Docs, and perhaps the iGoogle page.

I think a blog is a great way to keep track of what you’ve been up to, and to be reflective about it too. Blogging about these Things has helped me get the confidence to start blogging properly; if I feel I don’t have anything interesting to say, I can fall back on doing the next Thing on the list! (Perhaps I’ll start doing 23cpd just to carry this safety net on!)

The same can be said of Twitter, really. I used it before, but not nearly to the extent I do now. As for Google Docs, I can see it being very handy indeed for group work during my MA.

It has been interesting to compare my thoughts and views of the web tools with the other trainees, and to read back over the past participant’s blogs too. I think at the start I was expecting to know everything straight away about the tools, but I actually learned a lot of new useful information about them. I’m glad I took part, as even if I don’t use all of them that often, at least I have a ground knowledge of them, and will recognise when they might just be the perfect thing to use.

Thing 21 & 22: Widgets

Widgets are very similar to what we used to personalise iGoogle. I already had a few added to my blog, but for this Thing I have experimented with others.

Thing 21: FlickR

I added this widget, and it was really easy to do. I just had to drag a box into my list of existing widgets, and add my FlickR photo stream URL. However, it looked pretty bad – I’ve only got test photos from when I set up the account, so I didn’t keep it.

Thing 22. Delicious bookmarks on your iGoogle page

I haven’t used my iGoogle page in ages, so I didn’t really do this one. Instead I added my Twitter messages to my blog, and a picture of myself.

The widgets make a blog look more personal, especially with things like photos and Twitter streams. I think that’s important if you want people to keep reading your blog. It’s also a good way to link it to other parts of your online presence, such as Twitter, so people realise it’s you.

Thing 19 & 20: Office 2.0

Office 2.0 refers to internet-based Document applications. These are internet-based, so can be accessed on any computer online; they are part of the ‘cloud’

Thing 19: Create a Google Document

I have heard a few people refer to Google Docs, and it seems like a brilliant idea for group work or ongoing drafts. I tried out a couple of the document types, and they were very easy to use.

I signed in with my Google account, which appears to be a very useful thing to have. I think every ‘Thing’, except maybe Youtube, has been accessable through this account. It’s a shame I signed up with my Oxford email address, so I’ll be updating my account before it expires so I can keep all my accounts.

Some of the people I know who use Google Docs are Library School students, and they find it useful when they are contributing to group work. Not only are these documents available to you online, it is possible to share them with others, and they can also contribute. It does make a lot more sense than emailing work back and forth, and you know it is always the most up to date version.

I have used sites online before to store documents, but never to store and create/update. I think I will definately be using this tool when I start my studies.

Thing 20: ThinkFree Office

ThinkFree Office  looked a lot more like Microsoft Office, but took a bit longer to set up. Only slightly though, which involved installing it through Java. The site was a bit more swish than Google Docs, but they essentially do the same thing.
The look of this site would probably appeal more to some people if they are more familiar with Office, but personally I preferred Google Docs, for simplicity as I imagine I would be using it for drafts or taking notes in seminars at university.

Thing 5 & 6: RSS Feeds

Sign up for GoogleReader and add the RSS feed from the 23 Things blog

As I had already put a few blogs into my RSS feed, and since I haven’t used it in a while, my GoogleReader was quite full.

Find some more feeds to subscribe to

I added the 23 Things blog to it as well, and found a couple of blogs about libraries and librarians too. I highly recommend Screwy Decimal!

Things 1 – 4: iGoogle and Blogging

Set up your Google ID

I had already set up a Google ID from a previous WISER session, so had pretty much got the page set up with some basic stuff. I had, however, almost forgotten about it!

Customise your iGoogle page so that it contains at least 5 gadgets

On my iGoogle page, I added a calender, calculator, and the weather forecast. Not the most interesting of extras! I had previously, however, put on an RSS feed, with some blogs which sprung to mind. In total I have about 6 gadgets on the page, but I don’t think I will be adding any more.

The SSL actually has it’s own iGoogle page, so I use this really frequently. It has been in place for quite a while, so has a lot of the most useful things I would need already on there. For example, term dates, or a big long list of useful bookmarks that we will often need to answer the varied and tricky queries readers bring to the issue desk!

Create your own 23 Things blog and make your first post

Pretty self-explanatory!
Register your 23 Things blog and explore others

The other trainees’ blogs can be found here