Monday, December 7, 2009

Thing #21 - Wrapping Up

Guess what? It's the end of the 2009 OCL Web Challenge! In the last ten weeks, you have learned about new technologies that are changing the way people are using the Internet (and libraries).

The great (and sometimes frustrating) thing about the Internet is that it is always changing. Technology companies and bloggers are already working on a definition of what Web 3.0 will be.

The OCL Web Challenge Committee hopes that you enjoyed the Web Challenge and will continue to be a lifelong learner. We are hoping to host an advanced challenge sometime in 2010, too. Thank you for playing!

To complete Thing #21, write one last blog post:

This is your last required blog post, so make it a good one. What was your favorite thing you learned about? Conversely, what did you like least about Web 2.0? What areas of Web 2.0 do you think the library should get more involved in? What Web 2.0 services have you shared with your friends and family?

Advanced Optional Exercise
Look up Web 3.0 and predict what you think it will be.


The drop-dead completion date for the 2009 OCL Web Challenge is December 31 at midnight. You must have completed all 21 Things by that date to be eligible for a prize. You will be hearing from the committee by the middle of December letting you know your progress so far. Good luck and have fun!

Thing #20 - ListenNJ

Digital audio books are similar to the audio books that the library circulates. Instead of picking them up at the library, you can download them on your home computer. Once you have downloaded the audio book it can be listened to on the computer. Some titles can transferred to an MP3 player or burnt onto a CD.

The Ocean County Library offers its customers digital audiobooks through

ListenNJ offers a wide variety of audio books for customers to access from their home computers. Topics include fiction, biographies, business, children’s literature, current events, history, mystery, romance, suspense and more.

To access digital books at
ListenNJ you will need:
* A valid Ocean County Library Card
* Access to the Internet
* OverDrive Audio Book and Windows Media Player 9.0 software (both are free and available to download from ListenNJ)
* An MP3 player (OPTIONAL)

To complete Thing #20, download and listen to a book from ListenNJ. Here's what you need to do:

FIRST: Read Ocean County Library’s instructions for ListenNJ downloading.

You'll need your library card number to use ListenNJ.

If you have an MP3 player already, great. You'll download a book to the player and listen to some of the audio to make sure everything worked. If you don't have a MP3 player or don't want to download a book to your MP3 player, that's okay. Use the instructions above.

Go to ListenNJ and download a book of your choosing onto your computer (use a PC Plus computer at work) and listen to some of the book to make sure everything worked.

Hint: To make it easier to find the downloaded file, download it to the desktop. Once you're done with the exercise, delete the file off the desktop.

Then, write a blog post about your experience. Do you see yourself using this for audiobooks in the future?

Thing #19 - Podcasts

One of the greatest buzzwords in the Web 2.0 world is podcast. But what is a podcast, really?

A podcast is downloadable audio programming that you can listen to on a variety of topics. They are created by your neighbor, your coworker or large media companies like ESPN, CBS and the New York Times. Best of all, the majority of podcasts are free.

When we said that anyone can create a podcast, we mean anyone. All you need is a microphone, a computer and some simple recording software to create a podcast. The number of podcasts grows daily and there are podcasts on virtually every subject. From sports to cooking to gardening to video games, you can probably find a podcast about anything you can imagine.

So how do you listen to a podcast?

The old way to get podcasts was to check the website of your favorite podcast frequently for updates. Once there was an announcement that a new podcast was available, you could then listen from the website or download it to your computer.

Web 2.0 makes listening to podcasts easier. Remember way back to the beginning of the challenge when we talked about RSS feeds? Podcasters now use RSS feeds to distribute their podcasts. People use programs called podcatchers to subscribe to their favorite podcasts. Once they subscribe to a podcast, the podcatcher will automatically download new podcasts for you.

There are a variety of podcatcher programs available. The most popular is Apple’s iTunes. Below is a video that shows how simple it is to maintain your podcast subscriptions with iTunes. Most other podcatchers work similarly.

Doesn’t that look easy?

Once you have downloaded a podcast, you can listen to it on your computer or transfer it to your portable media device, like your iPod, Zune or other mp3 player.

With newer portable media devices like the iPod and Zune having video features and home digital video editing equipment becoming easier and more affordable, some podcasters have stepped up their game and gotten into video podcasting. It works just like regular podcasting, but instead of producing audio they are making video programming, or vodcasting.

To Complete Thing #19, here's what you have to do:
1. Explore a podcasting site like or Odeo. (or iTunes if you have it at home)
2. Search for a podcast on a topic of your choice and listen to it.

3. Write a blog post about your experience. Did you like the podcast you found? Was listening to a podcast easier or harder than you expected?