Sunday, August 24, 2008

Kick-start your Monday with the Hi-Fi Sci-Fi Library

WARNING: this song will get stuck in your head. You are warned!!

This video is by Michael Porter and David Lee King, created for Michael's upcoming presentation to the Library and Information Technology Association (or LITA, a branch of the American Library Association). The full story of how this came to be is on Michael's blog Libraryman, and David Lee King talks about how it was recorded on his blog. The full lyrics and credits for the video are here.

My favourite part of the lyrics:
To prepare our libraries we must be informed, explore lots
and have fun learning how to evolve.
Learn about things like gaming, social software and being
just where our users are: that brings us HUGE Wows.
Look at open-source software and the creative commons,
look at netfilx and itunes and learn how
We can take competition, turn it into fruition:
It is also great to see lots of faces familiar to me from the library community around the world included in the video. Great job!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Six Random Things

Every once in a while a meme goes around the blogging world, and sometimes I play along while other times I don't. Just depends on the mood I'm in.

This weekend I was at a Niagara Podcasting & Social Media Meetup, and saw my podcasting friend Daniele Rossi. It was great to see Daniele, and now he tells me he has tagged me in the "six random things" meme. I am in a generous mood (could it be all that wine-tasting?) so without further ado, here we go:

1. I was once a late-night DJ on CFRU.
2. I am a pescetarian.
3. I got my very first iPod only this May. It a little Shuffle handed out as shwag by one of the vendors at a conference.
4. I only have podcasts on my Shuffle. I have not downloaded any music to it.
5. I am naturally blonde. The recent brunette thing is a dye job.
6. I belong to a book club that has been running for over 13 years.

Okay, that probably was "too much information!" I am tagging the following bloggers: Keith Burtis, Rob Golbeck, Kathryn Greenhill, Meg Kribble, Infobunny, and Kristina Lively. If memes aren't your thing, though, I won't be offended. ;-)


1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on the blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Connie Crosby's Day Off, or How Twitter Decided We Needed a Break

Funny things happen when I go off-line for any length of time. In the case of this weekend, I signed off mid-afternoon Friday to head for a workout and then meet a family member who was arriving in town to visit for the long weekend. While out I tried to send a message to my Twitter followers via my cell phone, but it didn't work as expected so I sent the "tweet" a second time. I had no idea anything had actually gone wrong until I logged back in the next morning.

It turns out my account had been deactivated sometime after I left the house Friday afternoon. Apparently about eight legitimate accounts were accidentally deactivated in Twitter's attempt to clean out spammy accounts, and mine was one of them. Ironically, I had been actively taking part in the discussion on the Twitter blog regarding their spam-fighting efforts, and we had warned them to take care in how they went about these efforts.

The first I noticed the trouble was in reading an email from Steve Matthews saying to let him know if I needed any help getting my account reinstated. I also had a message from Eden Spodek asking what happened. Uh oh. I had a look at my account, and all messages but my very last tweet were gone. All my 1500+ followers, too. The followers especially represented hours and hours of searching and selection over 18 months.

Looking more closely, I discovered several conversations in the blogosphere and on Twitter asking what had happened to me, and people contacting Twitter on my behalf. Blog posts were written. Private messages were sent to Twitter pleading to reinstate me. Meanwhile, I had been completely oblivious.

It was all so Ferris Bueller! In the movie, while Ferris has a fun day skipping school, all the kids in his school think he is home on his death bed. The kids start rallying and raising funds on his behalf. He has a great day and is completely oblivious to their efforts.

I was so amazed at what everyone had done for me--there is so much love and support from my friends on Twitter! Friendships I have developed both on and off Twitter which have been reinforced there are very real. Never was this so apparent to me as this weekend. These people really have my back when I'm not looking!

Here is just part of the discussion out there:

From Dave Delaney:
Help! My Twitter account has been suspended for no reason! (Aug. 1/08)
Suspended From Twitter Day 2: an update in as many characters as I like... (Aug. 2/08)
News from Twitter HQ on account suspensions ( Aug. 2/08)
My Twitter fiasco so far, for your listening pleasure (Aug. 2/08)
5 Reasons Why I Hate Twitter (Aug. 3/08)

From LawyerKM:
You Can Never Be Too Popular - except on Twitter (Aug. 2/08)

From P.F. Anderson, Emerging Technologies Librarian blog:
Twitter Banned Who???? (Aug. 2/08)
Twitter "Banning", Day 2 Report: Social Media Troubleshooting (Aug. 3/08)

From Dave Fleet:
Four Lessons from Twitter's Spam/Customer-Busting Episode (Aug. 4/08)

Twitter Customer Service Support:
Account Deleted/Banned with No Reasoning

There are also discussions floating around on Twitter, FriendFeed and Plurk. And of course you can't see all of the wonderful personal messages that have been sent to me in support. Wow!

I was fairly philosophical about the whole thing. This is the video comment I posted to Dave Delaney's blog last night:

Some things I have learned over my 20+ years online:
  • nothing is permanent - online communities do not last forever; people move away, drift out, tools are constantly changing or having glitches. You still need some contact with people outside the electronic forums to be connected with the world.
  • don't take technology glitches personally - those of us who live in the electronic world know that things go wrong when you least expect it, or when you are most inconvenienced by it. We have to take this in our stride, and make as many back up plans for the key information as we can.
  • if you and your friends are active in certain online discussions now, you will likely be active in online discussions in the future. Just because one tool (such as Twitter) goes away, there will be others taking its place. I have been in online discussions since long before the web as we know it today.
  • online tools keep evolving. I highly doubt Facebook and Twitter will be such go-to places in 5 years' time. There will be something else.
On the point of making contingency plans, Dave Delaney discusses it in his response to my video:

The good news is Crystal at Twitter has been in direct contact with me also and Jason has been trouble-shooting in the help forum. Apparently they have been working all day to get my account @conniecrosby back on its feet. It is partially there. In the meantime, I have started collecting some of my followers and tweeting from my business account @crosbygroup. Feel free to follow me at either. I am also active on FriendFeed as conniecrosby, and have had the account conniecrosby for a while although have not explored that yet. In Facebook I am (slightly) more private, not following quite as many people.

I can't tell you how much all the out-pouring of concern has meant to me! I appreciate all those who looked out for me, and hope to be back in full force soon.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Use That iPod! Latest Podcasts with Connie Crosby

Okay, I had the date wrong for the Law Librarians podcast in my last post. As recompense I have put together links to a few other recent podcast episodes that, coincidentally, I have been involved in:

Uncontrolled Vocabulary, Episode 52 - Uncontrolled Tech Support
Summary: group phone-in show discussing recent library news. I prefer to call this episode "Two People in Costumes With a Puppet" instead--you will have to listen to find out why!
Host: Greg Schwartz
Date: July 30, 2008

On the Log, Episode 29 - Look it Up
Summary: I am interviewed about the future of libraries. Recorded for a non-librarian audience. I discover a new verbal tick (can you pick it up?)
Host: John Meadows
Date: July 26, 2008

Discovr, Episode 6, Branding Yourself Online
Summary: Eden Spodek, Tommy Vallier and I talk personal branding at length with "teenage tech enthusiast" Michael Mistretta.
Host: Michael Mistretta
Date: June 19, 2008

Video StudentGuy - Episode 100 - Podcasters Across Borders
Summary: In June I attended a small conference in Kingston, Ontario called Podcasters Across Borders. It was the third year for the conference, and my second year attending. Paul interviews some of the presenters and includes comments from a number of the attendees, including me.
Host: Paul Lyzun
Date: July 17, 2008

I haven't listened to all of these yet myself! I think the On the Log interview in particular turned out well.

More podcast fun:
  • at the CALL conference in May one of the vendors gave out iPod Shuffles to attendees. Rather than listen to music, I immediately loaded it with library and business-related podcasts. I'm thinking of putting together a round-up of these and maybe some info on how to load your iPods with podcasts. Is that of interest?
  • Sneak preview: Eden Spodek, one of my fellow organizers at Podcamp Toronto 2008, digital communications specialist, and the woman behind the Bargainista blog, and I are working to put together a regular podcast focusing on community and social networking tools. If all goes well we should be recording our first episode this weekend and having something out soon. Stay tuned!
  • Looking for even more fun on podcasts and podcasting?? You MUST check out Canadian Podcast Buffet, the weekly roundup of podcasting news in Canada. Hosts Bob Goyetche and Mark Blevis are currently on a summer break, but they are posting recordings from the Podcasters Across Borders conference which they organize. I encourage you to take the time this August to explore the archives!

Law Librarian Podcast - Margie Maes is Next Week's Guest

Law library podcast The Law Librarian is set to continue recording next Friday, August 8th at 3 pm CST. The show is hosted by Richard Leiter and Brian Striman.

Today's guest is Margie Maes (some readers may know her as Margie Axtmann), Executive Director of the Legal Information Preservation Alliance, a committee of AALL. Margie is also an active CALL member; I first met her on a CALL Vendor Liaison Committee panel a number of years ago when she was serving on AALL's equivalent committee, CRIV.

Somehow I missed the recording of Episode 2 - Jim Milles was the guest. It looks like The Law Librarian is gearing up for regular broadcast, with shows scheduled the next few Fridays in August.

If you miss the live broadcast, it will be available for listening from the website afterward. I don't see it in iTunes--if someone finds it there, please let us know.

Date correction: I had the date wrong. Note it is actually next Friday, August 8th. Corrected above.

[Also posted over at Slaw.]