As you’ve learned, Flickr has become a great resource for finding images on the web.  Sharing and tagging photos is one of the great applications of web 2.0. Flickr can also be rather overwhelming when searching for that one right photo.

There are two sites that are effective and visually mind-boggling when searching FlickrCC (if you are not aware of Flickr CC, i.e. Flickr Creative Commons, it is the way content on Flickr is licensed for use at no cost to the user.  Go to http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/ to learn about the different licenses and how to use them) and TagGalaxy are two ways to graphically search flickr.

FlickrCC uses a keyword search to bring up a window of pictures tagged with that search tag. Click on each picture gets you the proper attribution link, editing link and different sizes to move directly into your presentations and websites. All of the images are copyright with Creative Commons licensing, which encourages sharing.

Tag Galaxy lets you visually search Flickr. Yes, visually. You can then filter down through refined tags to get to your desired image. Some images are not shared with Creative Commons licensing, which you should be aware of before using them in your presentations or on your blogs and websites.

Here are both sites searching for the Flickr tag Church:

First FlickrCC:

And Tag Galaxy:

And Tag Galaxy with CHURCH selected:


1) Check out both FlickrCC and Tag Galaxy by searching for the same keywords on each site.
2) Did you find similar or different results? Which method of browsing pictures worked better for you? Did the images you find match your expectations?
3) Try using the photos on your blog, website or presentation.  Is one easier to use than the other?


The availability and use of online productivity web-based applications (think word processing and spreadsheets) has exploded over the past few years and for good reasons! These powerful applications provide users with the ability to create and share documents over the internet without the need of installed desktop applications. Some experts speculate that this emerging trend may mean the death to Microsoft Office and other software-based productivity tools, while others think web-based applications have their place, but not in the office. But no matter which side of the office suite platform you side with, on this both sides seem to agree: web-based apps have their place.

One large benefit to web-based applications it that they eliminate the need to worry about different software versions or file types as you email documents or move from PC to PC or Windows to Mac! You can create a document at home, but work on it anywhere that has an Internet connection. Another bonus is that they easily accommodate collaboration by allowing multiple users to edit the same file (with versioning) and provide users the ability to easily save and convert documents as multiple file types (including HTML and PDF). And, you can even use many of these tools, such as Zoho Writer and Google Docs to author and publish posts to your blog. It’s this type of integration with other Web 2.0 tools that also makes web-based apps so appealing.

For this exploration exercise, participants are asked to take a look at Google’s version of web-based word processing, Google Docs, create a simple document, and then write about your discoveries in your blog.

With Google Docs and other web-based applications, think of all the different possibilities and benefits! :)

Discovery Resources:

We will be using Google Docs for this Exploration Exercise.  Feel free to use Zoho Writer, if you prefer, but this exercise will focus on Google Docs.

  1. Common Craft explains Google Docs as only they can:  
  2. Take a tour of all the features of Google Docs, including spreadsheets, saving and storing documents, and sharing your work.
    1. Create a free account for yourself in Google Docs. If you already have a Gmail account, you automatically have access to Google Docs! (But you probably knew this, right?)
    2. Explore Google Docs and create a test document or two. Experiment with the word processing features (similar to Word), speadsheets (similar to Excel) and presentations (similar to PowerPoint).
    3. After you’ve created some test documents, select one and then choose “More Actions.” See how you can publish, or save your document as a PDF or other version.
    4. Create a blog post about your discoveries with Google Docs. Try to answer these questions: How could online applications such as Google Docs help you in your day-to-day work? How could libraries incorporate and ultimately benefit from these tools?
  3. Discovery Exercise:

    OPTIONAL: If you want, share one of your test documents either on your blog or by linking to it online. (*Note: the important part of this exploration is to play with Google Docs and learn. If you don’t want to put your document in your blog or link to it, you do not have to, just make sure you blog about your experiences.) :)

Even if you’re not sure what tagging is, you have probably done it already. If you’re participated in the first part of WLS Learns, you had a chance to play around with tagging when we covered LibraryThing and Flickr. Tagging is an open and informal method of categorizing that allows users to associate keywords with online content (webpages, pictures & posts). Unlike library subject cataloging, which follows a strict set of guidelines (i.e., Library of Congress subject headings), tagging is completely unstructured and freeform, allowing users to create connections between data anyway they want. The art of tagging by folks who are not librarians or catalogers, is called “folksonomy.”

As I mentioned, we’ve already explored two sites-–Flickr and LibraryThing–that allow users to take advantage of tagging. This week, we’re going to explore tagging even more with the popular social bookmarking site called del.icio.us (typed in as http://delicious).

del.icio.us is a social bookmarking manager which allows you to bookmark a web page and add tags to categorize your bookmarks. Many users find that the real power of del.icio.us is in the social network aspect, which allows you to see how other users have tagged similar links and also discover other websites that may be of interest to you. You can think of it as peering into another user’s filing cabinet, but with this powerful bookmarking tool each user’s filing cabinet helps to build an expansive knowledge network. To get a better idea of this awesome tool, here is another great Common Craft video:   

So… for this discovery exercise, we’re going to take a look at del.icio.us and learn about this popular bookmarking tool.

Exploration Exercise:

  1. View the 8 minute del.icio.us tutorial to get a good overview of its features.
  2. Check out the Getting Started section on del.icio.us.
  3. Explore the site options and try clicking on a bookmark that has also been bookmarked by a lot of other users. Can you see the comments they added about this bookmark or the tags that they used to categorize this reference?
  4. Log in using the user name and password for I sent with the notice of this new posting (3/23/09) and see what bookmarks I’ve collected.  Add some of your own that you think colleagues would find useful.  Tags Too!
  5. Create a blog post about your experience and thoughts about this tool. Can you see the potential of this tool for research assistance? Or just as an easy way to create bookmarks that can be accessed from anywhere?
The word podcast is used to refer to a non-musical audio or video broadcast that is distributed over the Internet. What differentiates a podcast from regular streaming audio or video is that the delivery method for podcasts is often done automatically through RSS.In 2005, “podcast” was named the “word of the year” by the New Oxford American Dictionary and with the growth of podcasting over the last few years, it’s easy to see why. To some, podcasting is old news now, but it still has very relevant uses.

Podcasts take many forms, from short 1-10 minutes commentaries, such as the one with this post, to much longer in-person interviews or panel group discussions. There’s a podcast out there for just about every interest area and the best part about this technology is that you don’t have to have an iPod or a MP3 player to access them. Since podcasts use the MP3 file format, a popular compressed format for audio files, you really just need a PC (or portal device) with headphones or a speaker.

iTunes, the free downloadable application created by Apple, is the directory finding service most associated with podcasts, but if you don’t have iTunes installed there are still plenty of options.

For this discovery exercise, participants are asked to take a look at some popular podcast directory tools. Do some exploring on your own and locate a podcast that is of interest to you. Once found, you can easily pull the RSS feed into your Bloglines account as well, so that when new casts become available you’ll be automatically notified of their existence.

Discovery Resources:

  • To find out more about podcasts, let’s start with another awesome Common Craft video:
  • There are many, many podcast directories and finding tools out there. Here are three that you can look through:
  • What? You want to learn how to be a podcaster too?
    (Optional Resources for those who want to learn create podcasts)

    Discovery Exercise:

    1. Take a look at one or two of the podcast directories listed above and see if you can find a podcast that interests you. See if you can find some interesting library-related podcasts here like book review podcasts or library news. Can you find other libraries that podcast on a regular basis?
    2. Add the RSS feed for a podcast to your Bloglines account. (Remember that Learn & Play uses Bloglines, not Google Reader, so if you use Google Reader and have questions, you might need to find someone who is also using it.
    3. Create a blog post about your discovery process. Did you find anything useful here? Can you see how your library might use such technology to promote programs, events, or other things?
    4. i-tunes is the most frequently used source for podcasts.  Check out their resources page for basic information and their tips page for a better understanding of how it works.  Using i-tunes does not mean you need to have an i-pod or use any apple products.  They host hundreds of free podcasts.  If you do not already have i-tunes, you can download it for free here .