One does not need to look at mounting statistical data to confirm this one fact: social media sites are now the rage and firmly entrenched in our psyche. It is not unusual for social mediaites (this blogger included), as part of our daily regimen, to log in to these all pervasive and highly addictive social platforms to connect, create, communicate and collaborate with each other. The list of tools is lengthy and the number of users continue to boggle the mind, Facebook (900 million ), YouTube (800 million), Twitter (490 million), LinkedIn (161 million), Google+ (100 million), Pinterest (10 million) (July 2012 figures based on Alexa ranking).
As a regular user, what I have discovered is that these sites have unleashed an inner desire to discover more of the same. I solved this inward yearning (somewhat), by publishing The Cybrarian’s Web An A – Z Guide to 101 Free Web 2.0 Tools and Other Resources, a one-stop print guide for finding web 2.0 tools beneficial for libraries and other working environments. But what of the other 101+ tools that have been developed since the book was published? I solved this conundrum by maintaining a companion website The Cybrarian’s Web to the book, and now thanks to this books blog developed by the ITI folks, I have found another forum to share new tools I have discovered with you.
To start, here are two tools created by technology juggernaut Google which can be easily promoted to library patrons:
Google+ was created as a social networking service to rival Facebook. This tool integrates existing services such as Gmail and Google Profiles into one easily navigable user friendly platform and introduces innovative services such as Stream, Circles, Hangouts, Sparks, Events and +1 (similar to Facebook like button used for recommending sites). Google+ is available on mobile devices.
Google Onscreen Calculator:
Released in July 2012, Google’s virtual calculator allows users to view and use an onscreen calculator while performing simple and complex mathematical calculations. To use this nifty tool, simply type in a calculation (simple 4+6 = or complex 5*9+(sqrt 10)^3=) into the Google search box found on Google’s homepage. A huge on screen calculator appears above the results allowing you to perform more calculations if needed. Standard buttons including trigonometric functions are available. The calculator works well with mobile devices and has a voice activated command function.
This is the first of three postings where I will provide a brief overview of top trending web 2.0 tools which are not covered in the book. Please feel free to e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) similar tools you have discovered which are useful for libraries.