email != domain name and other gaffes

You know how there are people who like to act like they know what they’re talking about, but sometimes don’t really know what they are talking about? This happens with technology issues a lot. I have students who will report to me “And then I clicked on the Microsoft and the Internet turned off and I got an error saying ‘Can not find it’ but then it started to go again.” They sincerely believe they are communicating their tech support issues to me, but to my ear they are speaking gibberish. I can usually untangle the meaning with a few well-placed questions however. This is also the case with the ALA press release hyping the 2006 election and the electronic voting procedure they are forever refining. I am concerned that neither the person who wrote this press release, nor anyone else who read it before it was sent out and posted on the web site, knows the difference between an email address and a domain name.

15nov Buy, Hack, or Build: Optimizing your Systems for Your Users and Your Sanity

Sadly, I have a conference budget of zero and I’ll be returning from a five day trip, otherwise I’d be all over this NEASIS&T panel next week: Buy, Hack, or Build: Optimizing your Systems for Your Users and Your Sanity with a bunch of smarties including Casey Bisson, OPAC hacker, whose libdev blog has been added to my sidebar. Free books to attendees. [thanks rich]

lessons plan clearinghouse for tech training

Who owns the lesson plan I gave to the Google Librarian Center? Obviously the link goes to someplace on my own server, so I guess the answer is “me” but what an interesting use of Google. Last night I started teachign a two week, eight hour basic Excel class. I had asked in an online forum I frequent what the best way to teach basic skills to adult ed. students was. Someone sent me a copy of the syllabus they used in their library Excel class and, using it, I didn’t have to reinvent the wheel. I love not reinventing the wheel. I know that the local nature of most libraries means that we feel like we need to tailor many of our offerings to our specific communities, but having a place to go where we can at least easily see what others are doing seems like a great place to get some ideas. Anyone want to try searching the ALA website to see if you can find something like this there? I didn’t think so.

why the wikitorial didn’t work, and why we knew it wouldn’t

I like wikis, it’s no secret. I also like Wikipedia. That’s one of the reasons I winced at the Wikitorial project because I knew in my bones that it would 1) fail 2) bring with it the “see? wikis suck!” crowd. I like this post explaining why it didn’t work [upshot: poor planning, lack of vision, lack of wiki understanding to prdict problems]. For some crazy reason, this made me think of fingerprinting patrons in libraries, or maybe RFID. [web4lib]