Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Google Tools -- Thing 29

Google has many fun applications besides just an A+ search engine. Actually I think Google Image Search has been the best invention that I have used. Before I could set up a "Google Alert", I had to set up a G-mail account because I am getting too much excess e-mail. I know it isn't entirely junk--so that's why I was happy to set up a G-mail account. I hope that I can change my twitter and facebook e-mail. At home, I have been sharing an e-mail account with my husband. Now I can start giving out my g-mail account. I haven't quite made the transition. I can't just announce that my e-mail is changing, because it isn't as far as many organizations and people are concerned. I will just be adding a further e-mail, so that means remembering to set up the address on new accounts and also more importantly to check it on a regular basis. I like the appearance of G-mail--I made mine into an ocean scene and the fact that it filters spam. I set up a calendar, but I'm not sure if I should make it public or not. There is a calendar feature in the e-mail that I use for ECRL, so I probably don't need another one.
I set up a google alert for "Yoga in Minnesota" and "Birding in Minnesota". I've gotten a few days worth, but the information seems largely happenstance or useless as though I accidently picked up something on the web that coincidentally had these words in them--like blogs or news stories or announcements. Not sure that this is useful. I think the "reader" feature is more helpful. I have the StarTribune set up, so I can scan the headlines and then click if I want to read more of the story. I had something set up during "23 things" that gave me only the health news in the StarTribune, which helped to filter things more. I still have to figure out how to get exactly what I want out of the reader and alerts.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Pageflakes - Thing 28

I have set up a pageflakes page over the past week or so. It is a personal homepage. I can make it into my homepage with just a click. I haven't yet because this computer is mostly used for the library. I did have fun working with pageflakes. I had many choices as far as background pictures and colors, so I chose a bright green and pink with flowers. I put my facebook and twitter account on immediately. I also added I was hoping to be able to add my blog, but I couldn't figure out how to do that. Maybe I need to have a google homepage to add my blog. I added the weather, CNN (default), to-do list, calendar and a sticky note. I was unable to figure out how to add my e-mail--perhaps because it wasn't yahoo or gmail. I have a flickr gadget of pictures of books and a quote of the day. I'm not sure what to recommend. I didn't dig extremely deep into the different choices. The beauty of the homepage is that you can set up the sites in one place that you visit often. It can be tailored to individual interests. I was frustrated that I was unable to figure out how to do some things such as add blogs, RSS feeds and my e-mail. Maybe this is something I should work on at my home cpmputer.