Opera Mini Browser is Out of Beta!!!!!

Seen on Bill Drew’s blog – Opera just realeased their Opera Mini Browser that installs on most cell phones (Bill installed in on his Cingular phone)!

And like Bill says – this isn’t WAP – it’s real, live HTML (via some crazy magic java thing). From the Opera Mini site “Instead of requiring the phone to process Web pages, it uses a remote server to pre-process the page before sending it to the phone. This makes Opera Mini™ perfect for phones with very low resources, or low bandwidth connections.”

OK – we all know that cool pricey smart phones like a Treos, PDA-enabled things, and Blackberrys get web. And some cell phones… but Opera? And not WAP? From this blog (the Toronto Palm OS Group) – “Opera Mini offers the same speed and usability as the renowned Opera mobile browser, and uses Opera’s Small Screen Rendering technology to provide access to the Web. It has all the features expected of a browser, and more, such as bookmarks, browsing history, and ability to split large pages into smaller sections for faster browsing. ”

If this works easily, and accesses the web quickly… we could be in for quite a ride in 2006.

David’s First Webcast Presentation

webcasting EquipmentI just finished my first webcast – it was a blast! The webcast was for the Education Institute, and was on creating library website subject guides. 

For those of you who might venture into doing a webcast sometime, a few pointers:

  • If possible, have a backup phone. See the nice Polycom conference phone in the photo? I didn’t use it because of some “ocean like” static. It worked great the day before… go figure.
  • Make sure you have a good internet connection.
  • Make sure to pace yourself – since you are, in essence, talking to yourself in an empty room (that’s what it feels like anyway), you might ramble on, rush through slides, etc – just pretend you’re in a room full of people. Not too much of a problem for me, since I’ve been a radio dj in the past – same concept.
  • Set up early. I set up everything about 30 minutes before, then went online about 15 minutes before the start of my presentation. Since I had “phone issues,” I had to call in about three times on different phones. Last minute testing, well, needs time! (which I had, thankfully)
  • Have fun!

Part of all Three Places

Have you familiar with the concept of Third Place? As far as I can tell, the concept came from the book, The Great Good Place, written by Ray Oldenburg. His concept is this: most people have about three places in their life that in some way define them – usually home, work/school, and one other place (ie., the Third Place). Third Place can be many things, including church,
a bar or coffee shop, etc.  

A Third Place can even be digital – here’s a cool article discussing MMOGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Games) as a third place, and even mentions a paper (currently under review) written by Constance Steinkuehler called “The New Third Space: Massively Multiplayer Online Gaming in American Youth Culture.” Wow.

Ok, so there’s a very brief Third Place background. Obviously, the physical library space can act as a Third Place for patrons – and that’s all well and good. But did you know that libraries can also infiltrate other Third Places, and possibly even people’s First and Second Places? Think about it – home and work/school. If you tweak your thinking about libraries, websites, and virtual services just a little, you can then start thinking about how a library can offer library services in people’s homes, at their workplaces, and at their schools – in essence, being available in people’s First and Second Places.

One way to get in those places, short of a physical Outreach Services type of thing where we physically take books to people, is to focus on our digital services. What digital services do you have now? Do you offer services like virtual reference, IM reference, phone reference, useful and usable web content, RSS feeds, etc? All those digital services get our digital foot in the digital doors of First and Second Places.

Just a braindump/thought process of going where your patrons already are – at their first, second and third places… libraries can be there, too!

Library 2.0

Interesting Job Ad

Has anyone seen this job ad? The job title is NextGen Librarian – wow. It could also be titled the “Library 2.0 Librarian,” I think. Look at some of the duties involved: 

  • provide leadership and vision for “transformative technologies” in the provision of library resources and services
  • Creates communication venues and distributes content via digital tools such as blogs and wikis for the library system website
  • Develops and delivers library instruction through podcasts and multimedia webcasts
  • promotes community via new technologies within the library and virtually via IM and other emerging communication mechanisms
  • enhances the WSU Library System web presence with current content and methods for distribution such as RSS
  • investigates and implements new technologies that may enhance the Library System’s web presence
  • provides training and support for other librarians on new technologies (this is gonna be a big one, I think)

And some of the qualifications:

  • working knowledge of blogs, wikis, online gaming environments, podcasting, RSS and other Web-related technologies

Just… wow. What a completely interesting job! I think hiring one person to tackle Library 2.0 is certainly one way to do it. Hopefully, the library ALSO plans to work on their mission, their strategy and goals – otherwise, one person won’t make much of a dent.

Either way – should be a fun time for the person who gets the job.

Library 2.0, web 2.0

Rocketboom linked to me

rocketboomSome of you will get a kick out of this. I just got a mention on Rocketboom, a techie, newsie videoblog (an extremely popular one, too).

Remember those Blogging Delivered billboards I posted about a day or two ago? The Rocketboom folks also found them interesting – and included one of my pics in their January 10 videoblog! They linked to my flickr account, too.

My wife just chuckled, and accused me of blogging about a videoblog that blogged about my flickr feed blogging billboards… that I blogged about… (ahem – sorry – just a little giddy with squeamish videoblogging delight).