Why do all good things come to an end…?
… but do they have to?
an homage to my group.
Final exams are right around the corner and the assignments are fulfilled.
But does this mean that we say goodbye to blogging and the subject of IT?
surely not. Our group of 6 members gained a lot of experience through blogging which will definitely form a base for a lot of challenges and tasks which are still ahead of us! To vary from managerial skills and organization to fine and informative writing… we covered it all by:
Hands-on experience as a team!
The start-up period:
We formed our group not really knowing what was ahead of us. Eventhough everyone had an idea of blogging, the task in a dynamic and periodical manner was a new, exciting and maybe a bit intimidating thing to deal with and to discover. But one thing was clear, everything works better in a team. Knowledge and skills add up, there’s always someone to talk to who might have the same questions and problems to be solved.
Distribution of tasks:
A team is built by it’s individuals, right? And all those individuals contribute to the whole and support eachother with the help of their skills. Or some reassurance. Or just with a good idea.
All duties of webmaster, groupleader, tagger and mapper were identified and divided amogst us, we started discussing possible subjects, lay-outs and helpful writing style and… we stepped up to the plate:
Are you ready ? Attention ! GO!
Full creativity demanded. Interesting, informative ideas need to be found and discussed. The first blog maybe took 5 hours of our precious time, but after some weeks of continuous blogging we all found into our workflow, our writing routine. Contents became more informative, more appealing…more professional? We managed to keep our blog up-to-date, which means that we tried to post every day of the week. After a short time we figured out that a fixed day for each blogger would be the easiest way to deal with the question of continuity. Sonja posted on fridays, Yannick on saturdays, I posted on sundays,… and we swapped days if someone struggled.
And here just some things we learned and internalized:
I guess that we all agree on this one. We learned how to smoothly keep our group work going, how to work as a group in general, creating something big, something amazing with the help of all of us. Management was a significant part of our assignment, but also web design, the efficient use of web content, links and videos,…we made big steps forward to a professional mode of work, to more professional and informative writing.
And now… dear group members… let me tell you something.
Thank you guys, I enjoyed !
(and hey…maybe we can keep this blog alive ?!)
After two months of blogging and intensively researching the web about topics dealing with IT I will now post my final blog entry stating how I overcame my fear of technology.
Yes- I have to admit, I am among the people with a natural (understandable) fear of technology. And I cannot say what this fear is about; it is not a general distrust, rather the complexity of technology that sort of scares me. I found this really appealing quote on a website addressing people over 50 fearing technology (kind of sad since I am 21 and thus supposedly part of the geeky, technology fascinated generation): “As Yoda once said, fear leads…to hate. Conquer the fear, get educated, and experience the freedom, power, facilitation and imagination that being tech savvy provides.” Sounds good to me and after all technology can be simply turned off, so there is nothing to lose.
Feeling all motivated and encouraged to approach the numerous topics we were given in our BusApps course such as plug-inns, CSS, and templates the first step for me was to find out what actually stands behind those terms. I quickly came to the conclusion that the topic that aroused my interest the most was the Google reader. And I am telling you, it was a good choice! And here is why:
Google Reader-Why you need it
Google Reader is a single site that constantly checks your favorite websites, such as a blog or some online newspaper website, and informs you when they are being updated with new content. In other words, there is no need any more to visit each site independently, looking for updates and new content. One can simply open the Google Reader website and then either visit the website and take a look at the new post, or simply read it inside Google Reader itself. Summarized and according to their website GR helps you to (1) stay up to date, (2) simplify your reading experience, and (3) discover new content.
How to Get started
1)The first thing to do is to get a Google account. Chances are good though that you already have one-like me. Otherwise you have to hit ‘Create an account’ and then simply follow the instructions.
2)The second step is to add subscriptions to sites such as our ITineraryforvision blog. There are different ways of doing so: One is to simply hit a subscribe button (the orange button on the picture); you are subscribing to a RSS Feed. The other is to go back to the GR website and hit ‘Add a subscription’ and paste the URL in there. This is what it looks like:
So far, so good. Those were the basics, but of course there is more to the Google Reader. What is really cool is that you are able to share articles or sites with others. Here is a picture of how to do it:
This is also very helpful if you are having problems to come up with websites that you would like to subscribe to. Now all of a sudden you read all those cool articles that you would otherwise not bump into that easily. I found this article called ‘The world’s craziest basketball court is in Munich’ which I thought was fun to look at.
I must say that the Google Reader is a really helpful tool to me; it is an easy way to keep up with new information. It is as easy as checking your mail. Additionally it was fun to deal with it and play around. It feels good to work through something all by yourself that seems to be complicated at first. We shouldn´t be scared of exploring and discovering new tools . Nowadays there are so many video tutorials on the web that explain how to do things. At the end it feels good to conquer the fear, learn something new and profit from thenew knowledge and faciliation.
I can’t really say that I completely overcame my fear of technology at the end of this course. It’s like with math; when I see complex formulas or simply too many figures, my first instinct is to strain away from it and let others do it, or, like Johanna described, call Daddy when technological problems arise.
When I got the task to install a new program like Wamp that I had never heard of before, I haven’t been too thrilled of the idea of having to deal with it cause I could already picture the difficulties with installing such a program and handling it.
As it turned out, installing it wasn’t really hard, but getting along with how this program works in all its complexity is a different matter. I can honestly say that I was able to create my own blog post and edit it on my Wamp server, thanks to group work with my wonderful class mates. I was yet struggling with importing my WordPress files on my Wamp server. I tried to gain help from the youtube tutorials but it is frustrating when the guy in the video says‘ click here and this window will appear’ but if you try it a completely different window appears.
To get started I read something about Plug- ins in general on Wikipedia and some blogs. I realized that I actually installed a couple of them as Java and Flash Player without even knowing what they really are. Of course, I knew the term plug-in but it was new for me that it meant open source created by just anybody out there in the world.
Before I thought a plug-in was some kind of a tool-set provided by the Firefox-guys itself. Again I was impressed by how much the web benefits from smart volunteering people who just like what they do and give it away for free.
Then I stumbled upon the Plug-in “Firebug”. I installed it, not knowing at first what it was good for. After having skimmed through some advice on different web sites I started to get an idea about how firebug works, and by the way how many websites are structured and designed. Read more…
The time has come: After two month of continuous blogging we finally reached the point to say “good bye” to our fear of technology. In the past weeks we learned about so many amazing things technology offers that it finally has become possible to try and get rid of the sound scepticism many of us beard against IT.
Actually there are so many things that can even make our lives so much easier if we only allow them to be part of our (online-) life.
I mean can it be coincidence that 85% of all Firefox users statistically utilise at least one Add-On?!
Well if you search the World Wide Web for a while, the answer is quite clear: It is not coincidence! Personalised Firefox-installations seem to be quite common, which the number of approximately 60 million Add-On installations per day proves. Add-Ons are free of charge upgrades to the “normal” version of the Firefox internet browser. Up to now there are around 5000 different Add-Ons available for download, which can perform a wide range of different “extra” functions. Good examples for pretty common Add-Ons are Toolbars, themes or search engines that help customers carry out everyday activities much faster and much more efficient.
I say goodbye to my fear of techology!
“Daaaaaddyyy, could you please…”
…this sentence was the furthest I went when it came to new installations, applications and all general problems concerning IT.
BUT: those days are past. Moving out from home means getting independent.. and it means no daddy present who can solve all computer problems and who keeps the system up-to-date…
But: Never fear! Let’s face up to the facts.
It can’t be that hard. Step by step I start discovering the domain, gain self assurance and loose my doubts and fears regarding my ability to deal with technologies
Let’s discover something new… all on our own:
Firefox add-ons / plugins! Read more…
… And hello to my fear of decision making!
Now I went through Dr. B’s power point presentation for the 8th time and finally decided on a topic. At first I had no idea at all what CSS zen garden, Plug-ins on Firefox or the box model stand for. After watching youtube-explanation-videos, checking wikipedia and forums I found out more about these topics. All seemed to be quite useful for me, but I wasn’t sure which one to install and use. Here is my way of decision making:
- Because zen garden CSS really looked beautiful, I wondered why not to explore it. But then on the webpage they said: “Please join only, if you’re a professional designer”. Sorry I am not.
- Ok, why not using css4you to make my blog posts look better? I downloaded all three versions but couldn’t open a single one on my computer.
- So what’s about creating an own website? That would be really fun and useful! I already came up with a cool topic I had in mind for a long time ( a network for cat owners) but even though thesitewizard.com is a wonderful and well explaining page, I couldn’t find a free homepage supplier and I was really afraid of becoming victim of a black sheep and paying a lot.
- When I got really desperated I decided on simply installing the Google reader. To me it seemed a nice tool for following webpages like our groups’ posts and I wondered whether it could be useful for facebook, too.
First I opened the Google reader. After reading the definitions and explanations on Wikipedia, I simply started and tried to add Facebook my so called “subscription”. Facebook didn’t work, so I tried Spiegel-online and yes it worked. After this I added all groups’ blogs including Dr. B’s page. So now I can be up-to-date with our class-work.
Then I started thinking: How else can I use this application? I counted all the websites I use: Facebook, Wikipedia,…what else? Actually, all the pages I visit, I need for a special reason like booking a flight, buying something, and so on. So I don’t need updates all the time.
Menawhile I was thinking about this, google reader already updated so much. When I tried to suggested some pages to the publicity I found what others published and it was so interesting, that I was stuck for half an hour.
Thanks to google reader explanations I figured out how to suggest pages and I immediately did it with our blog. Now I hope that lots of people will see it! This is a way to make a blog more popular!
Then I liked some articles on Spiegel-online and also published a comment on Dians blog about Optimization.
So I can for sure say that this google reader is a cool invention, especially when you work in an area where you have to follow a lot of web sites. As I am still learning and exploring it’s really fun and I hope to find more and more useful applications! First I will use it as an overview when entering the internet!