Monday, April 25, 2011

The iPad and the microwave

Here's a really interesting article comparing iPads to microwaves:

I thought it gave some really good arguments that explain the explosion of popularity in iPads.
Just wanted to tell you about the website - it has great info on things like cookies, malware & phishing, validating identities on line, etc. Check it out - I found it helpful.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Amazon to pilot lending Kindle eBooks through Overdrive

Given the superiority of the Kindle app to the OverDrive interface, this is wonderful news. I'm still eagerly awaiting the announcement that someone is going to compete directly with OverDrive in this space, though.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ejecting a CD from the Patron Computers

Hello Everyone, I just helped a patron who couldnot get her CD to eject from patron computer #11. After making sure everything was closed down, I right clicked on the eject CD icon on the desktop and then clicked on Open. Out popped the CD! I hope this helps the next time a CD is "stuck" Pamela Bagby

Is Giant Bomb the future of the internet?

When we talk about the future of the internet we often focus on social networks, and how entities like Facebook generate content simply by allowing user interactivity. As many victims of the web 2.0 explosion have learned, however, simply creating the opportunity for user participation very rarely actually leads to user participation.

This struck me a few weeks ago after some of the library’s teens recommended that I sign up for a website known as On the surface Giant Bomb is a fairly straightforward video game website, an outlet for news and reviews that’s been hybridized with a wiki structure. As with any wiki, most of the pages are available for users to contribute to and edit, and each page links to relevant discussion boards.

In other words, the site does a commendable job of allowing for user participation. But so does every other website. What sets Giant Bomb apart is its system for encouraging users to participate.

When you first create an account you are told that you are “level 1,” like a brand-new character in a role-playing video game. You are then given a slate of “Quests,” each of which is a different way of participating in the website. One quest asks you to link your Giant Bomb account to your Facebook page, another asks you to make a post on their forum.

Each time you complete a quest, you are given experience points, and your “character” comes a step closer to leveling up. There are hundreds of Quests available, and by the time you’ve completed even a small fraction of them and leveled your character up a bit, you have become (whether intentionally or not) an active participant in the website’s social structure.

For a bit of clarification, here’s the profile page of one of the site’s most active members: (You can see the "quests" listed here, although their descriptions might not work with the antiquated web browsers we use on our staff computers).

What’s particularly brilliant about this system is that it’s strictly Pavlovian. There are no actual rewards given to users, but every user feels rewarded for participating. It is a formula that game designers have used for years, and it’s very interesting to see it applied outside of games.

So what could we do with something like this? Well, it’s a bold and distant ambition, but I could see something like this being the structure of a Summer Reading Program. Or we could use such a system to encourage patrons to contribute reviews to the ALD website (“You reviewed three books! You’re a level 4 Library Patron!”). What are your thoughts?

Friday, April 1, 2011

New Gmail Feature

The next time you go to your Gmail acount, check out the video on Gmail Motion.  It looks intriguing and the actor demonstrating the motions is not to be missed.  Here's a direct link to the video: