Saturday, October 15, 2005

blogging play-by-play

Getting in under the wire with my weekly blog posting. Procrastination is one of my weak points and I am finding blogging to be no exception, I never get around to writing letters or sending cards either. This week though I have had some welcome diversions as an excuse. Namely, the pennant push by the Sox and the ILA Conference in Peoria.

Having just watched Game 4 of the ALCS, we'll start there. My awareness of blogging prior to this class was practically nil. The pennant push led to my most exciting blogging discovery to date. Stuck at work on one of the nights the Sox were playing the other Sox, I looked around on the computer to see how I could watch it, since I don't usually follow sports through the computer. I was chagrined to find I couldn't watch it or listen to it on the radio through the computer unless I was willing to shell out a few bucks. I settled for the Yahoo Sports version with the page automatically refreshing every 30 seconds. I also found MLB GameChannel which has a graphic of a baseball diamond that updates when something changes but couldn't get it to load.

After the game I was curious to see how quickly the local papers would put up articles about the game and discovered that the Chicago Tribune had Rahula Strohl, a guy in a cubicle stuck at work like me, watching the game and blogging a play-by-play. Hilarious comments came from all over the country, a certain Bartman was commenting quite frequently but didn't seem to be in the Sox corner. The play-by-play was excellent but the bonus was the commentary on the commentary, I always find the sportscasters to be somewhat inane and Strohl and the commenters showed them no mercy. I attempted to post a comment but the board closed before I could get mine up. To see Strohl's blog on tonight's game, click on the Game 4 link in the previous paragraph.

I would never have guessed a blog would be used in that way but, if you read the comments, you see it really worked, it seemed as though all the people following the blog were watching the game together, interacting about plays that had just happened. People are coming up with all sorts of blogging applications and I think we have really only seen the tip of the iceberg.

Okay, now on to library stuff. I had said I wanted to go to Peoria but was regretting the decision on the drive down there very early, say 5:45 a.m. early, on Thursday morning after I had stayed up to watch the Pierzynski controversy game. My library could only afford one night at a hotel so I had to make the most of it and get there at 9:00 a.m. I consider the hotel a step up, since at my previous job as a legal aid counselor whoever had a free place to stay in the conference city got to attend the conference.

I attended some very good sessions. None of them were specifically on technology, though some were offered I had to attend what I thought would be most helpful for me in my position at my library. There was a very interesting session, however, by some foreign librarians who are at the Mortenson Center at the U of I. Presentations were given on customer service innovations in seven foreign countries. A Japanese librarian spoke about patrons using their cell phones to access the library's catalog and said that they see patrons walking along the stacks with their cell phones looking for the books they have pulled up on them. She gave statistics about the prevalence of cell phones capable of accessing the computer in different countries and Japan was ahead of us but I definitely think that younger patrons especially will start to use the library in this way.


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