Miss Letting-Go-Getting

Fun with Wordle and the State of Our Union: 1993-2008
June 23, 2008, 7:52 pm
Filed under: Fun Stuff, Web Resources | Tags: , ,

Praise Jeebus!

Never again will we be forced to listen to another State of the Union from our reigning idiot president. In celebration of that, I copied and pasted the text of all nine of his lame State of the Union addresses into Wordle, a fun and free text cloud generator. Just enter any text you want, choose the maximum word count, layout, font, color and presto (Click on the image to enlarge):

Just for fun, here are Bill Clinton’s State of the Union addresses in text cloud form:

Bush (top 15): America, American, Americans, Congress, country, economy, freedom, government, Iraq, nation, people, terrorists, weapons, world, year/years

Clinton (top 15): American, Americans, children, Congress, country, crime, give, health care, insurance, jobs, people, system, world, work, year

Very interesting…


Miss LGG


“Looking for the Mouse”
June 2, 2008, 2:27 pm
Filed under: Life, Videos | Tags: ,

This talk given by Web 2.0 guru Chris Shirky is absolutely brilliant. Essentially he asks the question, what could we do with the cognitive surplus that has been masked by the hundreds of millions of hours of passive television watching we Americans do? He makes the argument that it was gin that masked the cognitive surplus leading into the industrial revolution and the sitcom that is masking the next one.

Where do people find the time to participate in this new collaborative Web 2.0 world? What could we do with even 1% less television watching? Hmmmm. He puts it into perspective:

  • 100 million hours of human thought that make up the information in all of Wikipedia
  • Americans spend approximately 100 million hours a weekend watching television ads
  • Americans spend approximately 200 billion hours a year watching television.


He closes the talk with the story of a friend’s four year old daughter who while watching a movie one evening went behind the television in desperate pursuit of the mouse. Four year olds already know that “media that’s targeted at you but doesn’t include you may not be worth sitting still for.” I love that. Imagine what these four year olds will do.

How do we deploy the cognitive surplus? Stop being passive!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be all high and mighty here, I love my television (and my gin). In this crazy world we live in it is so necessary to zone out on the couch every once and awhile. I refuse to give up my Top Chef and my Lost, but perhaps I could do something better with the other hours I spend passively watching reruns of shows I’ve seen a gazillion times? Perhaps.

Try it. Watch just a little less television today and see what you come up with.


Miss LGG

Part 1:

Part 2:

Post #2: Do the Mash!
October 6, 2007, 3:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

In my humble opinion, mashed things are pretty fantastic. Mashed potatoes, the Monster Mash, M*A*S*H the t.v. show and movie, and last but not least, my favorite Web 2.0 technique the mashup. Mashups, to put it simply, enhance, combine or manipulate existing web applications (APIs) to create a completely new thing. For example, do you love shopping on Craig’s List, but hate having to click on each post to only find that the coffee table is definitely not the one you’re looking for? Listpic is a mashup using Craig’s List images to create a visual Craig’s list search. Feeling indecisive and can’t decide where to go for lunch, spin the Wheel of Lunch! Looking for a new apartment, but don’t want to live next to another crazy neighbor, take a gander at Rotten Neighbors.

There are thousands of mashups on the web, ranging from the incredibly useful and informative to the completely fun, ridiculous and purely entertaining. Mashups are built on applications such as Google Maps, Flickr, Amazon, E-Bay and Yahoo (just to name a few). David Berlind, executive director of ZD.net gives a great explanation of mashups in this Youtube video and states that at a rate of 10 new mashups per day, they have become the fasted growing application ecosystem online. Even better, with just a little bit of know how and a great idea, anyone can develop a mashup and put it on the Internet. If you’ve got a few minutes check out what Mr. Berlind has to say…

Libraries can harness the power of this really cool and creative Web 2.0 technique to enhance catalogs, to get where patrons are on-line and last but not least to make the on-line library an exciting and visually stimulating experience. What do you think? Have any mash-tastic ideas for your library?

More about Mashups:

Mashups and Libraries: Resources, Articles and Links

Mashups, a little bit of this a little bit of that

Programmable Web

The Library 2.0 Mashup Gang: Podcast

Examples of Library Mashups:

Hot Titles Info mashed with Syndetic Book Covers

Book Delivery Route Info mashed with Google Maps

Go-go-google-gadget (winner of the Talis Library Mashup Award)

Post #1: One-half Librarian Trading Card
September 20, 2007, 3:00 am
Filed under: Fun Stuff | Tags: , , ,

deck71587531.jpgTrading cards rule!