Friday, April 6, 2007, Technorati, and LibraryThing. Three things that just about made my spell check explode.

In one fell swoop, I shall discuss all three aspects of this week’s section of our Learning 2.0.

First off, the tasty
I think that this has a lot of promise for our work in libraries. I can see how this could be a great collaborative tool among staff, though I think it will take work to make it extremely useful. I think that it is more likely an interesting tool for personal use. Then staff who use will be able to use this together. The challenge will be to get people to keep the links updated. It is
definitely worth a try.

Now on the Technorati:
Looks like an interesting search tool, but other than that, I don’t see a great deal of usefulness. This may take a little more investigation, but I’m a bit under whelmed thus far.

Finally, LibraryThing:
This is my favorite project this week, and perhaps in all of the Learning 2.0 program. It was easy to set up and I quickly put together a list of 12 books to post on the list. I set it up and then posted the random widget onto my blog. Nice. I can see the usefulness in the Web 2.0 environment, specifically by linking it to the STABlog and MySTAB. I can also see how I can use this in my personal life as well. Very exciting. Very exciting, indeed. So exciting, in fact, I added the LibraryThing widget to my blog. Wahoo!

PS. Folksonomies:
Are driving me crazy. I like the idea of people doing informal cataloging, but without some kind of authority I fear the chaos that will inevitably ensue. I think that it is possible that this can fill in holes that are left by traditional cataloging methods. However, without some kind of way to focus and organize these tags, I think that we will still miss an awful lot out there.

Monday, April 2, 2007

How Brian Michael Bendis stole my baby. Or what I learned at Emerald City Comicon.

To begin with, the title is completely inaccurate. I didn’t learn anything at the Emerald City Comic Con (ECCC). No, wait. That part is right. It was that Bendis didn’t technically “steal” my baby. It was more like I tried to trade her for a comic, but he didn’t wouldn’t take her.

But more on that later . . .

So, back to what I learned:

1. Bring a baby stroller with you so you have a place to put all the stuff you buy.
Gail and Brendan were out of town, but I was fortunate to have Aidan with me so I didn’t have to just bring an empty baby stroller to throw stuff in. Cuz’ I’ve done that before and it looks creepy. You can also use the stroller as a battering ram to get to the good stuff and break the blockades around the artists/creators.

2. Bounty Hunters take too many breaks.
I swung by the the 501st Legion’s booth to have my picture taken with characters from the Star Wars movies. However, the magic of the event was somewhat diminished when “Darth Vader” whipped off his helmet and talked about how he couldn’t breathe. (I thought he had some kind of mechanism for that kind of thing in that big old can on his head.) So, Aidan and I stood in line to have our picture taken and I was very pleased because one of my favorite characters from the Star Wars films was there, Boba Fett. However, as they leant me a light saber (I left mine at home) and a Jedi robe I noticed that Mr. Fett had gone away and he was not to be found. I hated to be a pain, but I asked if it would be possible to find him or we could wait. They did a quick search, but couldn’t find him anywhere. But that was when Darth stepped up.

3. Darth Vader isn’t such a bad guy and Storm Troopers are pretty friendly too.
Darth asked if a Strom Trooper and a Darth Vader would work for the picture. “Sure,” I said. So off we went. I figured Darth was kind of mean based on the movies, but I guess that is just another liberal media ploy to vilify the Empire. The Storm Trooper chatted with me while we were waiting for Darth to put his helmet back on. I asked him why he was wearing desert gear in Seattle and he said that he wanted to be prepared. It makes me curious as to whether or not the Boy Scouts and the Storm Troopers share training techniques.

4. Comic book writers and artists don’t want to trade their wares for kids.
Usually I’m not a geek when it comes to meeting famous people. I give them their space and just admire their work. Plus, I never have anything interesting to say. But there is something about being at a comic convention where you just let your geek out. And so I stood in line to have some artists and writers I admire sign some books. One of the individuals signing was a guy named Brian Michael Bendis. He is currently working on a series at Marvel called Civil War. Anyways, I was grabbing one of his books to sign and I said something to the effect of “Do you mind . . . ?” while shifting Aidan on my hip. BMB jumped up and said “Sure” and gestured for Aidan. “Uh. OK” was my sterling response as I handed over my child. He then started to make googly eyes at her which was actually really cute. Aidan seemed to be pretty happy with the arrangement. I almost asked if he wanted to watch her while I wandered around a bit more, but he had a line. Maybe next time.

5. Bounty hunters like to shop for toys.
On my way out, I was wandering by a booth and found Boba Fett shopping for action figures. So I had to stop and ask if we could have a picture. I thought, “Hey, he isn’t pointy like the Tuscan Raider” (pictured above), “Why doesn’t he hold Aidan?" However, when I tried to hand Aidan over, she started crying. Apparently, Aidan must think she has a price on her head. (Which she doesn’t as far as I know.) Regardless, we got our picture with Boba Fett.

6. It is always more fun to hang out with someone else at a costume competition.
Aidan and I made one last stop at the costume competition on our way out. We were accompanied by one of my librarian co-workers, Dawn. More than two-dozen people showed off their creativity at the competition. However, as Dawn and I noted, some people were perhaps “too creative”. When designing a costume, one should refrain from highlighting parts of the body that cellulite can, uh, collect in unpleasant ways. Plus, thigh high boots and hot pants may look good in a comics, but may not look so good in real life. Also, in my opinion, flesh colored tights can cover a multitude of sins.

All in all, it was a good bonding experience between a father and daughter. Remember, it is never too early to introduce your younglings to nerd-dom.