Thursday, June 10, 2010

The dust can settle like crop circles on the ground

I do not collaborate. I dictate. I tell. I lead. Inspiration is the only thing my colleagues get from me. And they get it in spades. If and when I work with someone on something it will be with someone from the Bush Dynasty or Jesus and it will probably be on something grandiose like World Peace or reuniting Brad Pitt with Jennifer Aniston. But, in the name of not being difficult, I shall break with tradition. I shall tell my story. But to weave this tale, we need to go back to the beginning. Back to a time almost forgotten, one could say a time that should be forgotten. Because on that day a mould was broken, a legacy forged. Fasten your seatbelts because I shall paint a museum of pictures for you. A lyrical masterpiece, a tapestry of imaginary colours, dipicting the day that I, Smokey Thebandito, collaborated on a wiki.

I was a young boy, on the cusp of entering puberty. I had yet to see the country side of my native lands let alone travel the world. But I was an excited young boy. My parents, Ma and Da Thebandito, had come to me with an offer. An opportunity. I was old enough to to escort my younger brother Wispy to the Northern Cities. Our uncle was a Chancillor there. And Wispy was yet to meet him. I knew the way, I had studied geography and orienteering as a little child, finishing 114th in my class. We were to travel alone, Uncle Palpatine would charter a plane for us back home from the Northern Cities. The morning arrived, I helped Da saddle our horses. Ma tied Wispy down so he could not fall and we rode off. Looking back, those were not only my first steps on the journey north but my first steps out of boyhood. My first steps towrds becoming a man.

Our first stop was a inland fishing village called Taihape. Taihape was a rough town, a dangerous town to stop. But Wispy and I had riden non stop since day break. We needed nourishment. We hitched our mounts and treaded into the central Tea Rooms on Main street. We were new in town, did not know the customs, or what to order. In an attempt to sound casual I asked for the specialty of the house. When this was persented to me, even though it was early in the morning, I was struck with stars. A massive bowl was glistened in front of me. A giant meat pie in the middle. A giant meat pie that was floating. In a sea of rich, dark gravey.

Fast forward many years later and I was working in a library. Strolling through the internet, familiarising myself with a new technology I came across a site called Wikipedia. I marvelled at the information this site held. I could look up all the places I had been. I could revisit Taihape. Revisit my one and only experience with The floating pie. But there was no mention of this invention! I hurridly logged in, became a member with editing rights and went forth to collaborate. I wrote about the floating pie, how I had tried them in other places but none were as magical as this first one from Taihape. I published and sat back, proud. There was my work, in black and white, describing something dear to my heart. But upon checking the next day my contribution had been deleted by the admin! Not deemed worthy enough. Or deemed falsified, made up even. I was heart broken, destroyed. On my knees, with only the driving rain to keep me up, I screamed. I cried. How? Why? I vowed then and there, that it'd be a cold day in Wellington before I ever collaborated on anything again.

There are now many different wiki's out there on all sorts of subjects. Useful information under many different genres. Inforation can be shared. A wiki represents a collective, a hive mind. Remember at the end of Starship Troopers when Neil Patrick Harris was confronted with the giant bug that controlled all the other bugs . That was a wiki. It has the potential to be a definititive source of information, not from one being, but from a collective, a burden of knowledge shared, from one person to the other. Wikis could be the future.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Online Tagging. Is it offensive or just plain usefull? Also, mashed potatoes are awesome mixed with Avocado

By now you would have noticed my friend to the right. The little fellow filled with covers from magical books. I am Smokey Thebandito, therefore this little midgetwidget is 'Thebanditos Stash'. It is a collection of my favourite books. It is a collection that will definitely grow. Popular to contrary belief I have actually read more than 8 books in my life. At last count the notches on my bed post stand at 729. And that doesn't even count the books I read in the living room, or at work. It is supplied to me, in partnership, from a new acquaintance I like to call This is an online library! You can create an account to formulate your own personal library a la Thebanditos Stash and tag what books you like, what genres you would apply to them and even your favourite cover to use. It is akin to an online popularity contest for books filled with warm fuzzies. Groovy.

Something else I looked at is the website formally known as, it has now changed its name to to appeal more to the mainstream market. It has sold out to the man if you will. This site really didn't appeal to me. I gave it a cursory glance and found it similar to a precocious, contemptuous version of Google. It's did you mean feature even managed to came across as a pretentious upstart where google's seems quite polite and unobtrusive. But I am very judgemental. Both websites definitely have a future for research assistance. But are they just glorified, more personalized versions of a catalogue and a browser? I will address these issues and more. But only in my mind. Here you will have to settle for a couple of sentences. Librarything could become an amazing tool for Libraries and even library systems as a whole. Imagine a future where you can log onto your RSS feed and find out the 12 most popular books from the entire Auckland regional library system. Definitively answering once and for all the question 'What is Auckland reading?' Yes, the answer will actually be either 'nothing' or 'we have finally worked our way up to Lynley Dodd' but it'll be interesting nonetheless.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Usain Bolt - Strong Will Continue

Photos, are there more of them in this world than there are playing cards?

Flickr. It is a website. A website for photos. People can sign up for a basic account for free and put upload their photos! They are able to tag them, share them, make them private, copyright them, change and edit them! Technology, what a wonderful thing. I managed to play around with a lot of the tools they offer and it was rather marvellous. You can search through Flickr for photos you would like to use as well. I found more photos avaliable through google images but the ones on Flickr subscribe to the quality over quanitity theory. Quite noticably so. While we are talking about images lets move further onto 'moving photos'.

These have been around for about a century or so and today represent a massive industry worth hundreds of billions of dollars all around the world. It has got to the stage where people can create their own moving photos and put them on the internet for people to watch. There are several sites that people can use to do this. There is videojug (totally useless), vimeo (slightly useless) and youtube (totally legendary). I found the most totally awesome video (for me this week anyway) on youtube so I shall imbed it in a new post after this one. Enjoy it and its shear awesomeness.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Magic happens when you think of celery

So things are picking up speed. I have been instructed by higher powers, voices from the top floor if you will to look more closely at something called RSS. How it works is that you find a website or a blog that you like and blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah and then you open a new window and just go and find a tutorial on youtube. Its really that simple!

It is a very useful invention. Instead of being stuck in the dark ages when you'd have to go instantly from one website to the other to have a look at all your favourite information, photos and naughty images you can now just (after creating an account, customising your page and remembering another login and password) sit on one screen all day and let new posts and news items come to you from selected sites. Very handy as it totally revolutionises and speeds up the procrastination process. I now follow (or do they follow me? not really sure if it works that way...) ten different webpages. Thats ten different information feeds on Xbox and Football. Talk about finally........ hmmm whatever. I think thats enough for this post. See you soon Polly!

On a rainy day the sun will find you

I am blogging. Admittidly I am just typing while I rewatch season one of Flight of th Conchords. But technically blogging none the less. For some reson I have decided to review two blogs about libraries in New Zealand. I work in a library. That library is in New Zealand. Which makes the commute easier. So it seems semi logical that the next step is to find blogs that might be similiar to mine. Well, I'm off but I'll be back in the next paragraph to let you know what I find. Ta ta.

Hi again folks. Well I have had a quick look out there and there are many blogs being set up by differrent libraries. Definately the best one out there (that I have found) is Wellington City Libraries Teen Blog. It is hip and cool and is tailored so that today's generation of teens find it interesting. Which is no mean feat considerng what most of todays generation of teens are like. Another blog out there pertaining to New Zealand Libraries is the Christchurch City Library blog. This seemed mostly about books. Books and writing. But there was a book that had a big picture of Ryan Nelsen and the Football World Cup on the front so that was cool. Definant winner with the world cup coming up really so its either good timing or a great coincidence. Good work Christhurch City Libraries.

I have reviewed two blogs and I am getting a strange compulsion to think of five blogs that I like. Generally I don't like blogs that aren't mainly funny pictures but there are a couple of funny ones with words out there so I'll list those. A blog by Barny Stinson from the TV show 'How I met your Mother' Self explanatory really. This is very similiar to the previous blog listed. Some subtle differences. about passive aggressive notes.

Well thats five blogs done and hence the end of my first post. Thank you for reading (even though I am the only reader and thats only cause I proof read all my works...). Bye.