Archive Page 2

North Texas 23: Thing 16 – LibraryThing

LibraryThing is terrific!  I opened an account last year, but had not done much with it.  It’s added several new features since I first signed up.  I like the concept that LibraryThing exists for books, not to sell books.  ThingLang, ISBNCheck, and MARCThing are clever applications that let people use the information that exists on their books to add detail to their libraries and listings.

Librarians Who LibraryThing was very interesting, and I See Dead People’s Books is a clever way to let people see what influential members of society (past and present) read.

I can see LibraryThing serving perhaps as the catalog for a very small start-up library, or a one-person library.  I was once in that situation, and LibraryThing would have been a great tool!

If I had more time, I would add more of my own books to my profile.  I definitely intend to use it to find recommendations for future reading.

Web2Access does not review LibraryThing at this time, but if that changes, I will post an update.

North Texas 23: Thing 15 – Digg

Digg is an interesting site.  I browsed in several categories – World and Business, Science, and Lifestyle.  I found the items similar to the news items that are on my browser page when I first open it.  I already subscribe to several news sites that have the same type of contemporary information, so I didn’t open an account.

As a librarian, I am used to evaluating news sites for reliability and quality – the fact that a site ranks news items only by popularity with those whose credentials I’m unacquainted with is not a recommendation.

Digg would be entertaining if I had a half-hour to spend in a waiting room, but I don’t see that its service is uniquor particularly necessary for me.

Web2Access doesn’t review Digg at this time. However, if that changes, I will post an update.

North Texas 23: Thing 14 – delicious

Delicious (http://delicious.com/) is one site that I will certainly use.  It used Captcha, which took two tries, but otherwise, it was easy to sign up.  I often want to access my websites from other computers and this could be very helpful, since I have several groups of websites, associated with several e-mail addresses. My delicious page is: http://delicious.com/MaryDen

I can understand its utility in library settings, as well as for other social groups and activities.  It seems like a very helpful site with many applications.

Web2Access  is very positive in its evaluation of delicious  (http://www.web2access.org.uk/product/97);  however, since it uses Captcha for log-in, it did not a 100% evaluation for those with blindness/severe visual impairment.  The rating for blindness/severe visual impairment was 94% and for partially sighted/visual acuity and visual stress it was 67%.  delicious was rated at 100% for those with hearing impairments, however.

North Texas 23: Thing 13 – Tagging

After reading the Wikipedia article on tagging (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tag_(metadata) ),  I understand the concepts involved more clearly, although I understood the basics.

I first understood the utility of tagging on the Flickr project. For instance, a picture of a red rose against a red background of another shade might be important to some because the picture is a rose; the red background would be of little importance. For others, the important concept would be the illustration of the color red using a red rose on a red background. Both the tag “red” and the tag “rose” could operate as the most important term, depending on the searcher.

I think tagging is a useful addition to standard subject headings in a library environment.  They can be very useful.

Web2Access does evaluate the tagging feature on some sites  (http://www.web2access.org.uk/activity/9/) but not on my blog site, WordPress.  The activity on Web2Access is called “Keywords Labeling Data.”  That may change, and I will post an update.

Web2Access rated Wikipedia (http://www.web2access.org.uk/product/6) as fairly accessible, overall, saying that  “On the whole these web pages tend to be screen reader accessible and navigable with a keyboard. The registration may need an e-mail to the administrator.”  The score for those with blindness/visual impairments was 73%, and for  partial visual acuity and visual stress, 78%. They  were lowered because any user may add content, without oversight as to whether or not the content was accessible.

North Texas 23: Thing 12 – Twitter

Creating an account on Twitter was fairly easy, although it used a supposedly more accessible version of the annoying Captcha, called Re-Captca.  This is discussed on the Web2Access site in their review of Twitter (http://www.web2access.org.uk/product/70/). There are two additional products:  Accessible Twitter (http://www.accessibletwitter.com/) – Twitter optimized for users with disabilities, and Jawter (http://randylaptop.com/software/jawter-2/2/) – a plug-in for Jaws, the popular screen-reader from Freedom Scientific (http://www.freedomscientific.com/).

Web2Access rated Twitter very highly (http://www.web2access.org.uk/product/70/).  It received a rating of 94% for those with blindness or severe visual impairments, and a rating of 89% for those with partial vision, or who experience the effects of visual stress.  Accessible Twitter  (http://www.web2access.org.uk/product/160) rated the same, at 94% for those with blindness or severe visual impairments, but rated much more highly at 100% for those with partial vision, or who experience the effects of visual stress.  Accessible Twitter uses the same log-in utilizing Re-Captcha as original Twitter;  thus its score for those with blindness or severe visual impairments did not improve.

Both Twitter and Accessible Twitter received scores of 100% for those who are deaf/hard of hearing on Web2Access.  An application that offers difficulties or challenges to one group of people with disabilities may offer positive outcomes for those in another group.

My user-name on Twitter is MaryDen2, if anyone cares to follow.  I didn’t have any difficulty using the hash-tag #ALA2009, and must admit, I had been curious about the term, and am glad I now know what it means.

I’ve had a negative impression of Twitter, simply because it is “everywhere.”  I watch CNN, and it’s annoying to watch Rich Sanchez read one “pro” Twitter post on a topic, and then read one “negative” Twitter post on topic, thereby accomplishing his version of  “fairness” in journalism. His account, along with those of other celebrities was the subject of some malicious hacking (http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/01/05/twitter.hacked/index.html) and a phishing scam. My favorite Twitter commentary is Conan O’Brien’s Twitter Tracker feature on the NBC Tonight Show, which demonstrates how inane silly short messages can be (http://www.twitter-tracker.com/).

Twitter is a current sensation, but doesn’t seem that different from IM.  If I were required to use it, I would, but it doesn’t seem to meet any particular need for me at this time.

North Texas 23: Thing 11 – Instant Messaging

Since I already have a Yahoo ID, I decided to sign in on Yahoo Messenger ( http://messenger.yahoo.com/web/)      on my computer without downloading more software.  My user name is:   mbfamsearch.  I have never been involved in IM or texting, but would use it if necessary.  Email serves me well, and since most of my text communication requires the expression of concepts or topics with some complexity, it seems more compatible with my daily activities.

Apparently, from reading the tutorials, the web application doesn’t have as many features as the downloadable client, but your contact list is always accessible.  I would enjoy that feature.

Since I didn’t want to download a group of  IM clients, I created an account with Meebo (http://www.meebo.com/) – user name MaryDen,  again because I didn’t want to download more software.

I think knowing about the abbreviations used in IM is entertaining and the Webopedia site (http://www.webopedia.com/quick_ref/textmessageabbreviations.asp) is interesting, and I will add it to my bookmarks.

None of the IM sites or computer-based IM sites are listed on Web2Access (http://www.web2access.org.uk/), at this time, but I will add comments if that changes.

North Texas 23: Thing 10 – Ning

Since Ning exhibits such poor business practices (http://www.chartingstocks.net/2009/03/ning-exposed-tech-company-ning-scams-its-clients/), I’m really glad we didn’t have to sign up for an account.  I logged on and explored the site as directed, but didn’t find any unique features to recommend it.  I am enrolled in several Yahoo! groups which allow e-mail communication post-by-post or through digests.  Users can (and do) post pictures galore, and other features are offered.  I’ll stick with Yahoo! groups.

The scores for Ning on Web2Access (http://www.web2access.org.uk/product/145/) ranged from 70% for those with blindness/severe visual impairments, to 78% for those with partial visual acuity, with a similar 78% score for those with issues with visual stress.  Unfortunately, its login uses Captcha.