So the first of the two 23 Things tasks for Week 1 have been posted and as I am home from work with an evil bout of a chest infection, I thought I’d do something remotely productive whilst coughing.
Today’s first task is setting up an iGoogle account and then building an iGoogle page. Now I must confess, I’ve been pretty reluctant to use Google products. I have a really great friend who works for Google in Washington DC and so I probably should already have a bit of support for the company through that connection yet I’m still wary. I suppose the librarian in me is suspicious of their massive project to create an online free library where people can access complete texts without any need for copyright etc. This has caused legal issues all over the place and as a supporter of the rights of authors and of course library access, this potential infringement of many different copyright rules has made me back away from the whole Google brand. Saying that I use their search engine on a daily basis, so I’m not exactly 100% free from their products!
Anyway, as this is an educational exercise, I thought “what the heck”, and gave it a go. Setting up an iGoogle account was as straight forward as setting up most online accounts, whether its for an email account or for getting onto Facebook. The hardest bit was probably finding a decent name that hundreds of other users had already taken! Once logged in, I was offered the chance to set up some basic parameters for my page by ticking some “Interests” boxes, selecting a snazzy background theme and setting my global location. Having done that, I was left with a page that had lots of editable boxes called “Gadgets” that reflected the “Interests” options that I had ticked. I decided to delete a few of them because they were slightly irrelevant to me, but I did like that fact that by setting my global location, I had local weather information and details of local gigs and other such things.
Once having messed around a bit, the next bit of the task was to add a COPAC (Academic and Specialised National Catalogue) gadget. So I clicked on the “Add Stuff” link, searched for COPAC and added the gadget with a quick mouse click.
I was then directed to create a separate tab entitled “Library Stuff” and then to move the COPAC gadget into this separate tab. It was quite a nifty way of keeping themed gadgets together without clogging up my main iGoogle page, so I could look at my entertainment and news stuff and then switch to work-mode by selecting the “Library Stuff” tab, without the more procrastinator-ish gadgets distracting me from any library work that I would need to get on with.
All-in-all a very good first task which allowed me to get to grips with something that I had initially been a bit cautious about, but actually found to be very handy and I can definitely see the potential for its application for more efficient work and communication.