things #15 & #16: wikis

14 10 2008

Wikis: always a lurker/consumer, rarely a contributor.*  I am a web 2.0 lame-o.

Maybe it’s because I think wikis are generally lacking when it comes to design?  I am girl who judges the book by its cover, so if it’s not pretty, I’m typically not having it.

However, I really like it when wikis get used like this.  The session proposal wiki is awesome!  So much so that I kind of pondered heading off to Chicago somewhat last minute.  But then I slept on it and changed my mind.  Looking at the attendees list, I would be one of the few girls going.  Hmmm.  Not sure how I feel about that.  Plus, I would probably just feel more dumb rather than more empowered about Drupal.  And we must not forget that the economy is in the crapper these days; probably not the best idea to burn fossil fuels and tax payers’ dollars in order to get out there.

*But now thanks to this wiki, I am becoming less of a lurker and more of a contributor.

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drupal: the elusive solution

5 09 2008

At CML, we are beginning the long, arduous process of transitioning our sites to Drupal.  Long-term, am I happy about this?  Yes.  Short-term?  OMG Drupal is going to drive me to drink!!!  I don’t even really know what to ask nor what to look for.  Development of a skeleton of our site is coming along quite well, but I’m still in the dark.

Here’s the problem:  I’m not a developer/programmer/web designer.  But, as my non-techie husband fondly calls it, I’m certainly no World W Internets dummy either.  I am stuck in the tragic middle.  And where is the peer group for that?  I’m having trouble finding one.  Forget about finding a group like this that also has a library bend. (I almost typed “liberal” instead of “library” there…politics on the brain much?)  Grrrrr.

I think part of the problem is that because I work for a large, urban public library, my job is so specialized.  Consequently, I haven’t had as many happy accident opportunities as I would like.  Never out of necessity have I had to learn programming, web design, etc.  I am like the doctorate person who knows “everything about nothing” but I don’t have the cool letters at the end of my name.  And as far as I know, there aren’t any other large, urban public libraries using Drupal.  Again, where’s my peer group?

I’m hoping that help will come from my own backyard.  Along with one of my colleagues who actually does do programming, we are going to pick the brains of the IT team at one of our partner libraries.  They’re small, but they’re local!  Their soon-to-be new site is built in Drupal.

Maybe by the time I’ve crested the huge learning curve, I will be able to pioneer the creation of a peer group that focuses on Drupal for non-developers/non-programmers/non-librarians/yet not a stranger to technology by any means in library settings.  First, I’ll need to work on a better name for such a group.