October 13, 2008

This is the End - My only Friend the End

I really liked this course. And I am not just pandering. Some of this stuff was completely new to me, and I needed to get filled in on what it is and what it is about - like Wikis and RSS. On the other hand, a comon thread with my blogs has been how I will use the info. I already have one of the official blogs on AgBuzz.com, so I know a that I will use that. I also have long contemplated puting together podcasts of my weekly radio shows, and I expect to do that too. On the other hand, I do not think that my clientele is ready for things like Wikis and Webcasts and IM. I can see more internal uses for these. As a county Educator, I am not frequently in the position of innitiating anything that would use these technology, but I can envision using them when innitiated by a state specialist or an administrator, so in that way they were valuable.

As Porky Pig used to say. Dbba, dbba, dbba,tbba, tbba, that's all folks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Web Conferencing

This was much easier than I thought it would be. I expect to use this internally. As with most of this, though, I am not sure that my usual audience is quite up to the technology.

IM too blunt for IM

I think that it would be best for me to not use this technology with anyone but those that know me very well. I just have too much of a tendency to be blunt, and if you do not know what I mean or how I react to or address things it would come off wrong and do no one any good.

I think that the other obvious downfall for this technology for many of us is that we are not at our desks constantly, and therefore it would be nothing more than email, which we already have.

County IT department = Nazi

This session on social networking was practically useless, as the Steele County fun police have blocked any web site that they have heard of people using for non-work purposes. I think that the bigger issue here is not what the implications of social networking sites will have on work in the future, but how IT departments will learn to co-exist with how technology is used. I believe that many of these people take their jobs way too seriously, and they are like the security guard that likes to behave like a police officer. They have little authority, but they agressively over-extend what they do have. I think that there needs to be some serious discussion within this profession as to whether they exist to assist people with their jobs or to act as a supervisor by proxy to determine how people are using their time and whether it is appropriate.

Productivity Tools - key word is productivity

I checked out nearly all of the productivity tools mentioned. I guess that it is beneficial to know about them from a technology literacy standpoint, but I do not see them being of much use. The web based Office type stuff, I don't see the point. I guess that if you were stuck doing something from a library, or on vacation in Europe you might need to resort to them, but otherwise nearly every computer that you use to access these will already have MS Office on it. Some of the other ones seem of trivial value, that could be more easily accomplished by email than setting up these types of file sharing or polling etc. I use UMCal, but I guess that I don't see myself using many others of these.

Wiki

I think that a Wiki has limited use for the public that I serve at this time. I keep going back to the simple request for farmers to give their email address at meeting sign-ins and witnessing a large percentage of them pulling slips of paper out of their billfolds remind them of what it is. I would maintain that if they can not even remember their email address, they probably would not use this technology either.

One great use of the Wiki would be an internal one for us to post commonly used information like: recent hay prices, calculating yields, or determining the volume of a grain bin or silo. This could be a way to finally get the often discussed, but never followed through on "new educators guide" accomplished.

October 10, 2008

Podcast - for farmers????

I currently have a weekly radio show. OK, it is not just currently, I have had it since I started in 1994, but it is five minutes long, and is at 5:40 AM on Fridays on KDHL AM in Faribault. I receive a lot of comments about it, which is surprising, because I find it hard to believe that anyone is actually listening at this time.

The radio station moved into the digital era about 8 years ago. We have discussed making my radio show available as a podcast, 1) because it is already in digital format, so it would be easy, and 2) because it would allow for greater access rather than having to get up a 20 minutes to six on a Friday.

It all sounds fine, except for two things. First, the radio station has not moved into this type of service for their listeners. I could easily see that many of the ag news reports or market reports would be of interest, but they have yet to put any time or thought into offering it on their web page. I have brought it up, but they shrug their shoulders as if to say "ehhh, sounds like work." If it was to happen I would probably need to find a different host. The second problem is that the show is really geared towards farmers (mainly do to the time that it runs), and I realley question the extent to which farmers would seek out information as a podcast.

One of these days I am just going to try it and find out.

October 8, 2008

Flickr is Great

I was quite surprised that I had an old Yahoo account from about ten years ago when they still were competing with ebay for the online auction business. They lost, and their auctions evaporated, but I guess that your Yahoo account never goes away. Anyway, I was able to log on to Flickr with my old screen name: County_Agent. I uploaded three photos that I took for my Soils Management For Greater Grazing Productivity publication that came out this summer. The three photos are ones that were not used, but they are good in my opinion.

The only problem was that it was overcast that day, and they lack brightness. I have had many problems with using photos from the web for work purposes, as they frequently are not big enough to have the resolution needed for PowerPoint. I am not sure whether the files on Flickr will be useable in this way, or if you will still need to contact the photographer to get the original file.

October 7, 2008

Bloglines = Confusing

I think I get what Bloglines is supposed to do, but I do not much like the format of their page. I don't really see how to add feeds to my list. When I first went on it gave some of the most popular adds of the day, so I clicked Dilbert - who doesn't like Dilber?, but then I did not find how to add additional blogs. My favorite blogs on the internet are Lavelle Neil & (Faribault native) Joe Christiansen's blogs on the Twins from the Star Tribune web sites. I couldn't figure how to get bloglines to review their blogs and email me when there is something new. I guess that I will need to play with it more.

Blog Brad - It's Not Just For Breakfast Anymore

I will use this more in the future, I am mainly completing this course as a requirement for taking the Brazil trip. Although I am very much interested, I might not have taken the time to complete the course, so I guess that it is good that Tim required it.

As I already have a regular Blog on AgBuzz.com, I am more interested in some of the other topics than this one. I am beginning this course quite late, but I hope to get most of it done in the next week.