Sunday, December 6, 2009

the tao of tweeting!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

evaluating websites

Shelfari is a site designed for social networking aimed at booklovers - all kinds of books for all kinds of people although probably mainly adults. The site has groups, forums, discussions or you can just read about what other people are interested in. The purpose is books and the audience, people who like books. Amazon acquired this site which means a person using Shelfari can feel confident that the site is authentic. It is free ( although Amazon would hope to sell some books, no doubt) easy to use and has a wide range of titles. They also feature reviewers from well known papers such as the New York Times.
The other site I looked at was Encompass the Global Bookclub. While initially the site does not appear very dynamic it has some lovely navigation features designed to appeal to their intended audience; i.e. readers of all ages from all countries. The links are divided into 3 groups - children, 12-18 and then adults. Navigating through the links is easy and fun with interactive graphics that help you define the topic of the book you are looking for. The site is run by the British Council Arts Group and seems to have been developed to instill a love of reading and a way of encouraging people to explore different fields in the arts.

Monday, November 30, 2009

an author's perspective

The Paris Review is an excellent source of interviews with different authors.The one I chose was not a podcast but a PDF file interview from 1968 with Jack Kerouac.While I have read different books on the life of Kerouac it was interesting to read an interview with him. I learnt that after his first book where he was edited without his consent, he took complete control of his writing. From then on all his writing was published exactly as it was submitted by him. The Paris Review has a great archive of interviews with many different writers and is worth looking at.
Nick Cave, from the Australian band Bad Seeds, has written a second book called The Death of Bunny Munro. I listened to a podcast interview on the Guardian Book Club. He speaks well and draws you into a story that would not necessarily be one I would choose to read. However, he talked about the difference between writing a novel and a song; saying the novel was easier as often a line in a song painstakingly written could, when set to music in the studio, sound ridiculous. The book has also come out in audio form which the author particularly wanted. He has written music for the audio book. The cover looks cute but the topic is not!

readers and booklovers

After looking through some of the book groups Shelfari was the one that I decided to search my latest reads. The two titles were The Book of Unholy Mischief, which I read a few months ago and enjoyed. The other book was The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - the final in a trilogy. Happy to be able to recommend as I loved the first book, a little disillusioned in the second( although still good) but the 3rd was excellent. Shelfari gave me some new future reads by using their tags which I found good. For both books I went on to the Top 200 tags connected to each book. In both cases I chose the country, clicked on Venice and Sweden which gave me lots of books to track down and hopefully read over Xmas.
The other site I really liked and have subscribed to in my Bloglines account was Bibliotravel( started by 2 librarians) - there you can search for non fiction and fiction through country and then more specific areas in that country. A good site for people who enjoy travel books or fiction set in exotic countries!

file convertors

It's been a long time since I tried this and it was good to be reminded of how to do it. The process is simple but very handy to know how - when I first received the attachment and clicked on the 'open as a Google document' there was a cheerful yellow smiley person but when I saved it to my desktop and then uploaded, the smiley face had gone. However, the rest of the document was basically the same.
A good exercise and will keep the file convertor notes in a safe place so that I can play with it later and try some more.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

specialist search engines

Google Book search is fantastic and it is something that would be great to use - especially when looking for material from older books. The magazine search is really useful although limited obviously to what they have there. I searched Old House Interiors and looked through a 2005 issue. How handy to be able to find articles or photos from a magazine that is out of print or withdrawn from the library. A great information tool for finding material related to hobbies or more general topics.
I have never looked at Blinx before and really liked it. While I often search on youtube it is messy with lots of added bits that are not related. On youtube I looked for the TV programme 'The Wire'. It came up with 77,500 hits, many of which had nothing to do with the programme. The pages on youtube have so much on them that you need to hunt around to find the right links. Blinx, on the other hand is really clear and straightforward. When I repeated my search for 'The Wire' immediately there came an overview of the programme with clear links to the different episodes.