Thursday, 24 June 2010

Flickr as archive : The drug's don't work

Yes, this is where it all fell apart, and the fey skipping about had to stop.

It just so happens than an Important Personage had asked Miss Crail to kindly place some photos in an album, in Facebook. Some time this year would be nice. Sounds easy, sounds logical, but it turned out not to be, for a silly technical reason, and it's to do with the personal/professional split. Right, bit of an experiment - Flickr and Facebook, compare and contrast. No, Flickr cannot do exactly what is needed either, also related to the personal/professional split.

Thus yesterday was Meltdown Wednesday and not just for the heat and the football. Unhappily, toys-out-of-the-pram time coincided with some very young French interns hanging around in the library waiting for Pack Leader to show. Never mind, even if they are too afraid ever to set foot in a library in England for the rest of their lives, they will have learned some useful vocabulary. Sad to confess, Miss Crail scuttled past bleating 'Sorry! Sorry!' when she should have declaimed magnificently 'Ha! So you were wrong about the English and their bloody sang froid!'

Back to the point - sort of - Tried the help pages, the web in general, and even rushed out to the Public Library and come staggering back under a toweing pile of 'Facebook for Dummies' 'How to do everything with Facebook' et al. [Questions: How come, since these books are called 'How to do everything....' there are so many of them? And where's the chapter on 'Household chores'?] I can hear it - 'Books!!? Oh for goodness sake!'

Yes, it was time to call upon ... why didn't I think of it before? ... A Real Person!

Now, this could have been done on Twitter, but imagine all the football ... excrescences ... that would have to be ploughed through for anyone to find the question, and me to find the answer. So - the old ones are sometimes the best - a plea on ucam-lib-discuss, which the Twitterati would probably dismiss as down there with Wells Fargo. Within 10 minutes several lovely helpful people had replied, and none of that exhausting sifting and translating business. 140 characters would have been a bit of a challenge too. Sincere thanks are due to all of them, even though none could solve the problem, because what was asked to be done - can't! But those people certainly made Miss Crail feel a lot less stupid.

Flickr as resource : Walking on sunshine

[Image: Fifi Derangee]
Flickr is a playground where you can run amok for days, poking and prying, getting lost, having a whale of a time. Sat entranced by the National Library of Scotland photos - what a marvellous idea to have put them on Flickr, not necessarily the obvious first choice of location for a serious research resource.
And teeny bit naughty though Idlethink may have been, what a magnificent, beautiful, seductive set of photes Bookporn is. Doesn't it prove that, despite airy waves of the hand and declarations of 'Oh it's all on the web these days' there are still people out there who love books, and bookshops, dusty old ones too. Even more shock horror, there are people who appear to love libraries. Isn't that a happy thought?
And come ON, have we ever seen that grim dark UL corridor looking so gorgeous? I say fling down the gauntlet, and send Idlethink up to South Wing Floor 6, and let's see it turned into a golden palace.
As an artiste manquee, the concept of having a free exhibition space and possible publicity seems great, but ... allowing other people to effectively nick it...? That takes some getting used to. If it's crap I don't want anyone to see it; and if it's good - it's MINE!! As Uncle Bryn might say, 'Now let me get this straight. You mean I can poke around in your portfolio, and then help myself? Well, the things you can do these days!'
Flickr is almost as good as Disneyland ... And somewhere in there could be the Holy Grail - a colleague you don't much like in very ill-judged swimwear. They could very well feature on Facebook too, but they're harder to dig up, and there it feels like they're watching you watching them. Ah, now, if only I could find something to illustrate THAT

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Thing 8 part 1: What the....?

Right well this one will be going on to Flickr when I've done a spot of Photoshopping and thought of a more pretentious title. Working title 'Crail Minor's Bedroom as a Metaphor for Information Obesity'. She's going to kill me.

Monday, 21 June 2010

How I learned to stop worrying and embrace Gaga

Here we all are, worrying about how to market our library services. And here we all are, well some of us, fretting about user ed next term ... Problem solved, the answer was right under our noses, thanks to the Passion and the Fury!
Bet some of us were thinking of using 'Librarians do Gaga', hmmmmm? What a brilliant lead in, actually gives us some hooks.
Anyway, people, we can ditch the Twitter, the RSS feeds, the FaceBook pages, it's all redundant. Miss Crail has had a vision.
Knock 'em dead in user ed!
Start the vid, right? Start talking earnestly about how there will be a 2-hour session with a test at the end... Then OFF come the tweeds [I'm thinking Buck's Fizz .... And obviously one must plan to wear clean and moderately supportive underwear], ON goes the white wig, and then ... we start to mime and do the moves.
Imagine their little faces!
Doesn't matter if we're crap, in fact crapper the better. Doesn't matter if we collapse in a drunken heap part way through [and god knows, most of us will need a few gins beforehand] - so much the better! I'm serious.

Kevin Spacey. American Beauty. That perfect line -
'Something tells me you'll remember me this time'

....Oh oh uh-oh-woh, oh oh uh-oh-woh....

[Apologies to those who don't get the Buck's Fizz reference. Eurovision Song Contest, 1981. Britain's finest contribution to that famed pantheon of the Arts. Say no more. And sorry there are no more appropriate pictures. Flickr's not quite apposite here. But probably best you use your imagination anyway.........]