Final Post

It seems odd – to be perfectly honest – to be writing this final post for my final class.  Indeed, this will be the last thing I write for my MLIS degree.  I wonder if this is a common thing: a distance class was the obvious choice for the fifteenth class after co-op.  It is a nice way to end the experience.

That said, finishing the degree with a class on social media, evades any notions that I have closed the book on my information education.  As was noted in Prof. Neal’s final post – social media evolves amazingly fast.  I think I should be seeing this final class more as a springboard into these technology possibilities, rather than some kind of door closing.

My perspective on what social media is has transformed significantly.  Certainly I did arrive at the class with some appreciation.  However, concepts introduced in this class has added considerable depth to how I will approach electronic information.  For one (really recent – I just finished an article) example is mashups.  Mashups were probably something I took for granted, until I was made to realize what was electronically happening behind the scenes.

I am also interested in urban spaces, so I was keen to watch this Salon series on walking: http://www.slate.com/articles/life/walking/2012/04/walking_in_america_how_walk_score_puts_a_number_on_walkability_.html

The most interesting part of this article was the link to a walkability site.  You can enter your neighbourhood and the site will determine – through different mashuped data sources – how walkable that neighbourhood is.  Social media meets my corner.  Here’s mine:

http://www.walkscore.com/score/spadina-ave-and-richmond-st-w-toronto-on-canada

I love this.  And it only demonstrates the potential for what we can achieve with better understanding of how interactive social media works.  If anything, I love how social media works with the physical library and expands it outwards.    This understanding is crucial and I am glad to have this first taste.

 


The Mobile Web

So I was hoping to have my first podcast attached to this post, but so far, little success.

Some thoughts….

I think the first challenge was how to decide on what application to use.  I think one recurring (if perhaps largely unspoken) theme is how many options and tools exist to engage social media.  We have explored many of the more heavily utilized tools and applications (like Twitter or Facebook) but as we dip into less used methods like podcasts, there is SO MUCH to research and understand.  For this podcast I decided on “Recorder Pad” for the Ipad.  I was close to using the Garageband (the tool most recommended for Ipad users) but balked at the $4.99 price tag.

Recording the podcast – after a few initial false starts, was relatively easy and I have been able to play the file back, email it and export it from my iPad to my computer.  However, posting the thing has proven frustrating.  The file is a .caf file – something that is not supported by servers that I wish to publish on to.

These issues are due to my tool choice.  I will have to select another application and get back to this.

My reflections on QR Codes and the Federal Court Library will have to wait!

 


Cloud Computing and Privacy

This week I planned to skip a post on the cloud computing (having an assignment due did factor into this decision), but I have been doing a little more thinking – particularly since our last skype session.

I have especially considered privacy issues.  Of course, storing data within the ‘cloud’ may expose unwelcome scrutiny or proprietary concerns.  However, secure access and ownership are concerns outside the internet as well.  Heightened vigilance over these issues should be important, but sometimes I wonder if we lose focus as we talk and talk about whether kids post too much personal info on Facebook.

In the discussion, Prof. Neal asked if anonymity is important – at least as information professionals.  It appeared that a lot of the consensus landed on privacy protection, with much of the emphasis within the context of online over-sharing.  While this may be a worry with personal information, I wonder if  we should be more open professionally.  I suggested as much in the discussion, but was a little disappointed that there was little followup.  (This was late in the hour, so I do understand the reluctance or disinterest in exploring the issue further).

I think ultimately, as information professionals, we must understand what we can about privacy.  This understanding should rise above nicknames and anonymity.  We are professionals and should be unafraid to put our professional names out there.