Packing Up and Moving

Yes, it’s true… I’m packing up and moving.. to a new location.  I decided that I really wanted to be able to customize my WordPress more… so I’m moving… to…. http:www.learningnuggets.com

Come join me!

Kindle

Woo Hoo!

I bought the best thing ever a few days ago. A Kindle. i’ve been looking at one for a while and thought it would be so nice to have, for several reasons. It wasn’t until I met up with Josh Bancroft a few weeks ago to talk about wikis that I got the chance to see a Kindle live and in person. It is so cool! You can have hundreds of books on your Kindle. You can subscribe to magazines, newspapers and of course buy books, load free books and so much more.

I just got the Kindle last night, plugged it in to charge it and then in a couple of hours started reading the Jun 16th edition of Time magazine. How cool is that? I also chose some books and had them loaded on my Kindle. It’s so super easy. I mean you just go tot he Kindle store, choose your book, etc and then it’s one click for purchase and then in seconds it’s sent to your Kindle via their wispernet system. I mean I didn’t have to subscribe to a wireless account or anything. I guess it uses the same technology that cell phones use. Basically if you’re in a location that gets cell service, you’ve got wifi access on your Kindle. Awesome!!

Honestly, I can’t even say enough about this cool toy. I love the idea that I can read magazines, books and more from one device. I love that I can jump from one to the other, leave notes in the book, etc. There’s just so much to say about this thing. I can’t imagine not having one if you’re an avid reader. I’m sure it won’t be long until we’re getting one for Eric. He loves reading too!

More on the Kindle to come later as I use it more!


“Kindle: Amazon’s New Wireless Reading Device” (Amazon)

Web 2.0 Challenges

I can’t even believe that it’s been so long since I last posted. I mean, where did the month of May go? I have found that blogging has become a challenge for me. I mean, I’ve never been one of those people that blogs all the time, or that has tons to say. I do enjoy blogging though. I like sharing what I’m doing with my life with my family and friends. I love learning from others and finding new, fun things from others.

Ok, I have to start this post by saying I LOVE Web 2.0 (yeah, I hate the term too!) technology but I’m finding it a challenge too. I am the sort of person that’s good at multi-tasking, but there’s so much. You’d think this would mean I would be great at reading blogs (yes, I use Google Reader), posting to my blog, and just generally keeping up with things. I feel like a “techie geeky girl” but then I feel at other times like I’m not even close.

So here are my challenges. I’m looking for ideas here on how to deal with things.

Challenge 1: Keeping up with blogs

  • I really love reading blogs and what others have to say. I just find the challenge in keeping up with it all. I want to, really I do, I just don’t know how. I’ve cut my rss feeds down to something like 200, which is pretty good for me. I have found that there are some posts I read throughly and others I just scan. I just have that, “if I don’t subscribe, I’ll miss something” feeling. I just want to keep up with the things I’m interested in. I think it’s important to keep up with my industry too and learn what others have to say about eLearning and instructional design. I have found I’ve gotten in the habit where the number of unread posts will get so high I just hit the “mark all as read” so I don’t feel like it’s staring me in the face, but at the same time I feel guilty because I’m sure there was something great in some of those posts and I missed them. Argh!!! I can never win.

Challenge 2: Writing to my blog

  • I have never been a writer. I mean, when I was a child I always wanted to journal, thought I should journal but I’d only get a few entries in and then I wouldn’t do any more for a LONG time. I’m finding that same challenge as an adult. I’ve tried to post when I have something to say and not put the added pressure on myself to always post once a week or some frequency.
  • I often find myself going through the day and composing a blog post in my head about neat things I’ve learned that day or something I want to share. Sadly, it doesn’t get put down and I find that it’s the end of the day and I can’t remember what I wanted to write, let alone do I have the time to write it.
  • Another issue is that I’m hypersensitive about my writing. Ok, what do I mean? Well, I know I’m not a great writer. English has never been my strong suit. I mean, I don’t care about dangling participles and things. I care about the message. Bad, I know. It didn’t help that recently, when I was interviewing for a job, the manager asked me this, ” I looked at your blog and noticed a lot of writing errors, is that an indication that you lack attention to detail?” I so couldn’t believe that. To me blogging is all about getting the idea down and sharing with others. I consider it more of a free writing space. If I was writing a formal article for a newspaper, or other publication, then my all means I agree that the write needs to follow English rules but a personal blog… I don’t know, maybe I’m missing something.

Challenge 3: Finding time

  • Who doesn’t have this challenge? I find it so difficult to make the time and find the time to read, write or post. I also find it difficult to keep up with all the places I am at. I mean, I have a Facebook account, a Linkedin, Squido, Goodreads, and more. I’ve often thought of making some sort of mashup that is a page that has all of these things I’m in, just so I can keep them all straight. I know, it’s crazy to be a part of all of these things but, at the same time, isn’t that part of social networking? I mean there’s a reason I’m part of each. Everything from having friends there to meeting people professionally in that location and more.
  • I do know that if I reduced other things, like scrapbooking and my hobbies I might have more time for reading, but i don’t want to do that. I love being creative, it’s really my outlet and stress reliever. I think I just need to turn the tv off more and read or something.

So there it is, my challenges warts and all. Does anyone else face these challenges? How do you deal with them. I welcome ideas and would love to chat more about fitting technology into your life.

Wikis

I know I’ve talked about it before but I have to say. I am so excited about the implications of wikis in the business world. I have been fortunate to participate in investigating wikis and their uses in the company I work for. It’s been so interesting to review the wikis that are out there for purchase, their pros and cons. It’s also very interesting to see the sample wikis that companies have steered me too.

While working on my wiki investigation, I found this article – 7 Strategies for Implementing Wikis - amongst my rss feeds. The article outlines strategies for implementing wikis as outlined by Industry Week.

These strategies couldn’t have come at a better time. I really liked the 7 points the author pointed out but I also felt it could be shortened and adjusted a bit. Here’s my list below.

  1. Integrate
  2. Understand
  3. Optimize
  4. Assign
  5. Recognize
  6. Value
  7. Encourage

Honestly, I think those 7 words say it all. I started thinking of those 7 words and tried to pick out “the one” action or behavior that has to happen for a wiki to be successful and honestly, I can’t pick just one. Good solid wiki adoption depends on so many things. It would be so easy to say that it just requires leadership support and some rules, but there’s so much more. Wikis thrive on people and not just the “big wigs” or the “people in the trenches” but all people. A wiki is the catalyst for collaboration, sharing of ideas, meeting people with like interests or ideas and much more.

For a wiki to be adopted by all you’ve got to address all aspects; everything from the new user of technology to the early adopter. You need to speak their language and really show the value of the tool. For many the wiki becomes a paradigm shift. I know for some it is hard to make the transition from writing a word document and uploading it to making a wiki page that IS the document.

I am just so very excited that I get to participate on the team working toward a wiki solution for our company. Every day I see new uses for it in our environment. I can’t wait for the day that I can say, we have xx wiki.

Computer Question

Ok, a question for those computer people out there.   I have a Mac Airport Extreme Base Station that does a great job of providing wireless internet access.  I love it, my husband loves it.  Here’s the problem.  My husband has an Xbox 360 and likes to play over the internet with his father.  Bad part is that the xbox doesn’t talk to the Extreme.  I’ve looked on the net and the only recommendation is to remove the 128 bit encryption, which we won’t do.  Is there a way to connect a router to the Cat line and then have two wireless routers out of it?  Any ideas would be great!!!

Food

Let me first preface this post by saying, this post has NOTHING to do with corporate training, elearning, etc.

I want to share with you an “ah ha” moment I had today.  I was hanging out in Powell’s over at the Cedar Hills Shopping center.  killing time until I could go home (Note:  We’re in the process of selling our house so Sundays mean an open house, dogs at daycare, me, not home).  Ok so I’m walking around checking out books of interest and I come across the Book “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan.  I  think I was attracted to the book because it was lunch time and the book has a giant head of lettuce on it.  In any case, I open the book and skim the front flap to determine if I’m interested.  The sort of it is that this guy was basically saying, “We need to get back to real food, you know, the kind grandma used to make”.  I stood there and that’s when I had the “ah ha” moment.  Not because the thought was something epiphanal but because here was someone that agreed with me, or I agreed with him.

I’ve often wondered about our food supply and the impacts of all the “fat-free, no calorie” sorts of things.  I know too that many people purchase processed foods for convenience and because for some reason they like American cheese (This I’ll never understand).  I’d rather grow tomatoes in my garden and them cook them into a wonderful sauce and freeze it for later than have a ton of processed stuff.  I know I’m a different person, because I love to cool and I LOVE to bake.  I remember the 70’s when my mom, as did most moms; canned fruit and vegetables, made make-a-mix stuff and did a lot more to make the prep time for a healthy meal a lot less.  It seems that in this day an age, it’s all about picking up something at the grocery store, throwing it in the oven and then the table.  By taking the “easy way out” a person increases their waste (e.g. plastic containers), consumes a product with less nutritional value and often spends more money for it.  Nuts, if you ask me.

Ok, I’ve digressed from the topic and my point.  Reading that flap made me think of all the things going on in the world today e.g. going green, organic vs. non-organic, etc.  It’s great to have the conveniences that we do with food but we have to know and measure the cost.  As with any technology or advancement there are pros and cons.  What will the impact of processed food and now cloned meat (I’m not touching that one)?  I mean, will these things be good for us?  Are we getting closer to eating like the Jetson’s, remember the little pill they took for all their food?  Is that a good thing?  What’s wrong with eating “real” food?

Here’s my final point, I think I need to buy this book and read it. Just reading the flap further encourages me to cook in a healthy way, with real food, like grandma and like my mom.

Woo Hoo.  I finally got my package today.  I got my copy of Office 2008 for the Mac.  I know lots of “true blue” Mac users will frown because I’m using something that doesn’t start with an “i” but honestly, Office is something I just couldn’t give up in my transition to the Mac.  Of course, I don’t use Office’s Entorage for email so that’s got to earn me some points.  I haven’t played a lot with the new version of Office but just looking at it, it’s different and cool at the same time. You can check here for more about the 2008 version of office, if you’re interested. Off to go play. Hope you all have a great weekend.

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