Wednesday, February 6, 2008

#1: Create a blog, add a posting and an avatar

Well, I think I experienced just a small fraction of the frustration our patrons face every day. In order to create my blog, I had to first create a google account. Then, in order to create my avatar, I had to create a yahoo account. I already have 2 email accounts and numerous other accounts (expedia, facebook, travelocity, retirement system, amazon, etc, etc.) and now I have 2 more to try to keep straight. I suspect by the end of the '23 Things' I will have several more. My aging brain remembers reading something about account management - I think it's time to look into that...

Anyway, I could really identify with the frustration some of our patrons feel when they come to use a computer at the library. It reminded me of the guy who came to the library to apply for a job at U-Haul. All he wanted to do was drive a truck. But first he had to get a library card. Then he had to get logged onto our computers. He didn't type, had never even touched a computer and probably never would, again. Yet he had to apply for a truck driving job on-line and of course, that also required an email address. For someone who'd never even used a mouse, those two tasks were almost unsurmountable.

And even more frustrated, are all the non-native speakers who have to navigate government websites to complete immigration forms, and the newly unemployed who now have to apply for unemployment on-line. Today, I felt just a small fraction of that pain. For me it was just an inconvenience, but it did help me to understand our patrons a little better.

The actual mechanics of the blog was surprising simliar to Word - very intuitive. And creating my avatar was very addicting. It was almost like playing Barbie dolls, except I didn't have to actually do any of the work. Too much fun!

I'm starting to understand how our patrons can spend HOURS on the internet doing what looks like the same thing, all day long. This stuff is addicting.

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