I had my last online class yesterday afternoon and it was as much of a disappointment as the previous two. Or I should say three since I missed one while I was at CiL and he never got back to me about how I could make that up. Anyway, we learned about iGoogle and how to create our own custom search engines with Google.
I haven't done this custom search engine thing yet. I wanted to know more about how you could use this for reference since the class was supposed to be about new ways to do reference in the 21st century. I think this could have great applications for searching government documents in certain areas. You can also put the Google gadget on your iGoogle page, and perhaps find the code to put the search box on a subject guide Web site or in Moodle (our course management system).
Speaking of search boxes, I went out for wings with two friends last night. Lynette had read part of my blog that discussed widgets and wanted to know what a "widget" was. The definition of a GUI widget is in Wikipedia. They had to add "GUI" to it because "widget" apparently means many different things in the context of economics, beer, TV, comics, and law. Even within computing, it has different meanings. I know previously this and "gadget" (which even in the context I'm interested in can be used interchangeably) have also meant the same as "thingy," as in "oh, he sells some type of widget or other." I guess looking at the other meanings for this word, it is understandable why it is so hard to explain to people. It's all the more complicated when you are upto your wrists in Cajun chicken wing sauce rather than in front of a computer where you can pull up iGoogle and show a wide variety of widgets/gadgets.
We may be inviting one of the CiL speakers to come do a presentation to a local library organization on Web 2.0 technologies. One of the organizers was particularly interested in a speaker who talked about mashups at CiL. I did not attend this as something that seemed more relevant at the time was competing for that time slot. I am excited since I don't know the first thing about mashups and see that as probably the hardest Web 2.0 technology. I haven't been able to figure it out by reading about it on the Web or even by looking at examples. This won't be until October, but still. I also should get my chance to present a poster session as well.