A Serendipitous 12 hours.

This is kind of like the “day in the life of” except it is a “night in the life of.” I can’t remember the times, but consider that most of this stuff happened between 8pm last night (Tuesday) until I posted the final blog post today.

  1. I logged onto Meebo for fun.
  2. I chatted with Amanda Etches-Johnson. Mostly, to tell her some feedback I received from a co-worker who saw her presentation at Access.
  3. I asked her for help in speaking to Medical librarians, because I expect to be doing that when CHLA comes to Halifax.
  4. Amanda mentioned that her audience really enjoyed playing with an online screencasting software. It turns out that a co-worker of mine just started using Captivate, and I was thinking about whether or not I needed to put in a request for myself.
  5. I found the screencast-o-matic software to be pretty easy to use, so I create a test screencast to show people on the Halifax Public Libraries Learning 2.0 blog. The topic was adding an RSS feed to Google Reader.
  6. While I was doing the screencast, I saw a blog post by Helene Blowers about Michael “The Machine is Us/ing UsWesch‘s latest video about the information revolution. And then another one, which is just as interesting about what students are thinking.
  7. I posted the screencast late last night.
  8. I watched the movies.
  9. This morning, I asked a co-worker to look at the screencast. He is technically more competent than I am, but he didn’t have his Java plug-in updated, which caused some interfacing issues for him. Fortunately, he knows enough about Java to upgrade the plug-in and see the cast. Goes to show how important architecture still is, even for website administrators.
  10. The co-worker with Captivate dropped by and I showed him the screencast I made.
  11. Jeremy later came into my office and told me, “oh yeah — I forgot to mention that there’s a product out there called Wink that available for free, but creates Flash films instead of Java. You might want to check it out. It’s not Web 2.0 though.”
  12. I thought that the screencast is an interesting artifact showing serendipity happening to me via Web 2.0.
  13. Lunchtime came along and I decided to post this experience.

I can’t explain how many times that this sort of thing would have happened to me after I decided to login to a collaborative tool, whether it be Twitter, Facebook, Meebo Rooms, any number of Web 2.0 websites.

There are serious learning benefits coming from Web 2.0 — most of the time I don’t even realize it. This time I did — probably because I managed to record my information discovery in a screencast.

And when those medical librarians ask me what they can do to convince their IT departments that these tools are important, I may just tell them about this experience. I don’t know if it will work — but it might just affirm their suspicions that, yes, stringent policies blocking Internet sites for so-called “productivity benefits” is just wrong.

Not only did I learn a heckofalot in just 12 hours. I shared that information with a potential 400 staff and, hopefully, another potential 400 people who read my blog regularly. Loss of productivity my big patootey!

3 thoughts on “A Serendipitous 12 hours.

  1. Great post! It’s so cool to see how people actually keep up, network, and use the information they find while keeping up. 🙂 I have gotten so much inspiration from blog posts, IMs, etc. I have stopped IMing at work (other than with patrons), but I think you have convinced me to get on Meebo more often; it really does have positive effects on my work. Keeping up is actually in my job description, so it seems reasonable.

    BTW, if you want to see the best use of Captivate EVER in my opinion, check out the tutorials created by the Calgary Public Library http://calgarypubliclibrary.com/library/tutorials.htm. If you want a really polished product or you want to have interactive components to your screencast, Captivate is a great tool. If you just want a really simple tool to demo something for staff, then Wink is pretty good. I haven’t tried Screencast-O-Matic yet, but glad to hear it was easy-to-use (tho I hate anything that uses Java).

    Camtasia is also a nice option; it seems like libraries are split 50-50 on Captivate vs. Camtasia.


  2. Serendipitous, indeed! I am a little behind on my blogroll, but I just worked on a similar project myself and was looking for some open source screen capture software, so this is lovely.

    I posted a short “what I did” over on my Library 2.0 Ning blog (it’s the url in my name) with a few questions about other pieces of the process, if anyone wants to provide more learning moments for me today.


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