Wiki lover

Let me begin by saying that I love wikis. I think they're easy, quick, informative, and I love that they can be created for virtually any topic or institution. While I always keep in mind the fact that any person can edit or add to a wiki, thus calling the contents' validity into question, I check Wikipedia at least once a day for any number of things: bios, definitions of words, tv show episode guides, historical information, ANYTHING. It's my go-to site for getting informed quickly on the basics of whatever I'm interested in. But I also use the Lost wiki (http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page) to check for spoilers and recaps and theories. And I've also used the World of Warcraft wiki (http://www.wowwiki.com/Portal:Main) when I was geeking out over the story behind it and the history (I love reading fantasy, so I was very excited to say the least when I heard that it had orcs and elves and stuff in it). Both of these wikis are easy to use and readily accesible. You can even search the World of Warcraft wiki right from the Google search results page.
It's a good thing, I think, for libraries to use wikis, provided that they can either control the content a little bit from the outset or have someone on staff to monitor the content that the patrons post. I looked at the Princeton Public Library's Book Lovers wiki, and really liked it. I like reading book reviews, and that's basically what the content of this site was. Unfortuntately, this wiki hasn't been updated in almost a year, but the book reviews are still up and available for searching. I think this is a great way for libraries to use the wiki. Customer reviews are some of the more reliable ways that I find for people to decide which books to read or which books they might like. I consult the book reviews on Amazon before I purchase any book from them; I've come to believe that as long as most people like the book, I figure it's probably good.
I also checked out the Library Success wiki, and found this one really interesting. What a great way for libraries and librarians to learn and discuss different methods, programs, and policies that are being used anywhere to make their libraries more efficient and user-friendly! One of the benefits of specialized wikis like this one is that all the information on a particular subject is in one place, which makes searching for particular items easy and allows for happy accidents of browsing other pages of the wiki during a search for something specific.
Overall, I think that wikis are an excellent technique for sharing information--as long as the content can be monitored. The one weakness of wikipedia is that the content for some of the more popular culture items can't always be trusted. It looks like the Library Success wiki tries to monitor their content from the beginning by requiring registration before someone can edit or enter information. In reality, I think the only way that you can be sure no one is posting or removing inaccurate or relevant information, respecitively, is to have someone available on staff who can check up on the updates made and make sure that nothing suspect is going on. If that can be handled, there's no reason why wikis shouldn't be a go-to, reliable source for everyone.


Delicious, Technorati, and Library 2.0

So, I started out this week by getting acquainted with Delicious (I can't remember where the periods go, which, incidentally, throw me a little bit. Why are they there?). I liked it. I imported all of my previously existing bookmarks without realizing that the system also imported Firefox's previously installed bookmarks too, which I either don't use or have bookmarked on my own not realizing they were already there. So when my bookmarks were imported, I had to go through them all and delete the dupes...took me a little while. After I spiffed up my bookmarks, though, I was able to appreciate how convenient delicious is. It makes using the internet a lot easier for me. I'll definitely keep using it.
Technorati was interesting. I tried finding some blogs that I know (including this one) but couldn't. I'm not sure that I did everything right, but none of the blogs I looked for came up. Granted, since it seems that Technorati "spiders" blogs based on tags and I am pretty bad about tagging my posts, I'm sure that's one reason that my blog isn't on there. But in further investigation, I thought that it was really involved and allowed for many different search words to find blogs that might interest you. I don't think I'll keep using it, but in theory it was a really cool site. 
I was interested in learning more about how libraries are incorporating Web 2.0 into their services. I was reading Michael Stephens article on how he uses Web 2.0 principles to make his library more user-friendly and user-centric. It was this last idea that really struck me; that he seemed to invite his users and patrons into his processes of basically every area of his library. I think that because libraries really exist solely for the patrons, looking to them for their input and trying to implement those things that they think would make their experiences at the library more comfortable and successful is smart and lets the patrons know that they have some control (however limited it might actually be) over the environment and tools that exist in their libraries. However, I do think that it's necessary to curb some of the suggestions or ideas from users or the technology industry put out for libraries to latch on to. Not using technology for the sake of technology just streamlines the whole library experience, and makes sure that what technology is available in the library is exactly what they user needs, nothing more and nothing less. More, I think, would be overload and confusing; less, obviously, would be disappointing and lacking. I found Michael Stephens' points the most reflective of my own.