I imagine that my anxious attitude to learning new computer technology is pretty common. I know I am not alone, so what I describe may sound familiar to some of you.

As I approach the glowing new text, my behaviour is marked by fear, low self esteem and low expectations.

The very sight of an acronym  makes my eyes roll back a small bit and I have to frown in order to concentrate. If I can’t understand what the author is talking about I read the same sentence numerous times,  letting it flow by like a river in the hopes that some of it will catch on a twig in my mind.

Then in desperation I might read the sentence aloud and focus on what the words mean. And this is coming from a person who enjoys reading and writing.

Once I begin to understand the text I relax somewhat. I tell myself, this is information that I can understand! Phew!

I approached Angela Jowitt’s article on “Creating Comunities with Pod Casting”  this way, and have come out of it victorious. She is a clear and concise writer and now I know a bunch of things I did not know before.

For example, I thought Pod Casts were short video messages, and, in my mind, I always pictured a person sitting in a pod chair and swiveling about, as Number One does in the excellent old television show, The Prisoner.

Apparently Podcasts are simply learning tools that are can be audio, but obviously benefit from video technology. It is pretty straight forward, really.

Once I am over my fear and anxiety, I am charmed by the language that techies use. Pods sound cool, and podcatchers sound really cool ( although they are simply RSS aggregators).

And wait just one minute,  did Jowitt just say that RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication? Does PB wiki stand for Peanut Butter Wiki, because it is so easy to use?

I am sort of curious to see what Wiki stands for. But at least I know what WSYSWIG stands for now. ( although, to be literal, is that not, What See You See What I Get?)

I do feel empowered by my knowledge now, and I can see how a wiki’s form is different than a blog. A wiki would be beneficial for a library project in  which many different departments need to collaborate. Also, it has more of a flexible structure than a blog.

But, it is more complicated to set up, and may need more site support.

I just got to the section on’ metawiki searches’  and I need a tea. It is not that I don’t know what meta means, I get it, information about information. And spiders is just another really cool image for crawling about collecting information!

The information about blocking or directing searches with the XRobot sounds very useful and I need to really concentrate again. I am frowning with sheer mental power as I go off to boil water.

 

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