Sandbox: Adaptive Blue (& Greasemonkey)

Now that I’ve understood what Greasemonkey does for about two weeks, I’m still trying to find scripts and play with it. This Adaptive Blue seems like another page adapter.

Greasemonkey
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/748
Greasemonkey is one of the many wonderful Firefox addons. Once you load Greasemonkey on your browser you get a little monkey face in the lower right hand corner of the browser page. Once Greasemonkey is loaded, you can go load a bunch of java userscripts. The java scripts start adapting webpages. So far I’ve been heavily adapting my gmail interface. Of course there is a script to take out advertisements, but I also import my calendar, move the user window around, etc. However there are two things I know of (and actually Brian Ballentine at Computer Connections, at CCCCs this year) already mentioned it:

  1. take advertisments out of Blogger (if you are using that as a blogging tool)–self explantory as being useful
  2. have the WorldCAT lookup link show at an Amazon page. When you look up a book at Amazon and link on the particular page for the book, the little WorldCAT (world catalog) icon will show up on the page. You can then click on that link and the WorldCAT will show you what local libraries have that book in their holdings. How cool is that while teaching a research course?

There is one WebCT script, and two for BlackBoard. I can imagine asking tech people on my campus to write a script or two…if I knew what I wanted/needed.
Adaptive Blue
http://www.adaptiveblue.com/index.html
(found link from: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/makeuseof-extra-43-web-goodies-and-tips/)
I’m not quite sure how Adaptive Blue adapts yet. I’ll continue to play with it over the next week or two and blog again. The nice thing about this tool is that I can just right click on every page and see how/what/why it is going to adapt. I’m happy that it is giving options too bookmark. But it also give options to Bluemark and Bluelink. Humm…

Where’s the Beef?

I’m sure by this point you are probably asking yourself about the “real” reason I went to CCCCs, to learn from my colleagues. Or in other words, “Shelley, did you go to any panels?” Yes, yes I did. However, I’m not going to be blogging about the panels in my blog. Instead, I’m going to be writing reviews for the annual 4Cs Review. So if you really want to know what I learned while at CCCCs, check out Kairos sometime around/after May 15th.

Social Bookmarking, my dead horse

(beware…my frustration leads to the blatantly horrible mixing of metaphors)

I’m beginning to feel like my social bookmarking crusade is turning into the continued beating of a dead horse who sure as hell doesn’t want to drink the damn water. I was a huge fan of Furl for years. And as I got more interested in the “social” aspects of bookmarking, I’ve become a devote delicious user. And it seems like I’m always finding new and cool things (firefox plugins, greasemonkey scripts, etc.) that work with delicious. So after being rejected for the main line up of presentations at CCCCs, I decide to apply to present at the Computer Connection. Since I firmly believe that all scholars and students should have a social bookmarking account, I figured I’d try to spread the word to my rhet/comp brethren.

I copied Educause’s “7 things” series and made my handout. My audience…the other people from my session, and one person who stayed from the panel before. How am I supposed to convert the masses if they won’t come? At home I’ve been doing more general “web2.0” workshops, advertising blogs and wikis, and smacking the workshop participants over the head with social bookmarking. Maybe I’ll have to do that with my rhet/comp colleagues as well.

This does make me realize that the question for my multi-modal blogging at Computers & Writing 2007 http://englishweb.clas.wayne.edu/~cw07/cw07/ will be about social bookmarking.

I couldn’t figure out how to embed the PollDaddy Poll in the blog entry…so do click on “Take Our Poll”…

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Multi-Modal Conference Reporting

Well…I had good intentions. I got some pictures (notice, however, I’m not alone in cccc07 pics). Stacey got one video up to YouTube. But I didn’t do any audio recording. And that is what my Podcasting FPLC really wanted me to do! I think Duku’s speech during the opening session helped me to understand why I failed; I didn’t have focus! Duku talked about having a set group of questions she asked different CCCCs attendees last year in Chicago. Ahhh Haaa! A focused question, or questions, would help. And then I realized I also hadn’t prepared for dealing with permissions.

Therefore, I have a plan! (Don’t I always, the problem is I have too many of the damn things.) I’m going to pick a single question for each conference I attend. I can then have a focus point to ask people about. I will also come prepared with a clip board and permission slips that will have the whole set of audio, video, picture, etc. permission options. We’ll see how this plays out this summer…I’ve got a handful of conferences I’m attending.

The XY chromosomes have the golf course, we have…

…Sephora!

Susan, Deb and I made our second annual CCCCs Sephora trip. Honestly, it’s just an excuse to leave the conference hotel, see the city a bit, and buy some lip gloss. We missed Cheryl and look forward to her coming with us again while at NCTE this fall (who knows, maybe we’ll hit shoes, colored martinis and champagne as well).

We went to the 5th Avenue Sephora. Really, the only store we went into was Sephora. I swear! What blew my mind away was that there was an eye brow salon on the second floor of the store. All they did was eyebrows! Maybe next year I’ll check in advance and make appointments for us?!

As usual, I was overwhelmed by all the girlie products (if you don’t know, I generally don’t wear make-up). However, I found a few lip glosses I liked and called it good. Knowing we would be going, Susan gave me a Sephora gift card. That did help in deciding I might actually pay $15 or more for a tube of lip gloss.

And yes, these trips are also about “golf course talk.” We did do the networking thin–Deb is the editor of CCCs.

Eating and Ethics

I hope my colleague Richard doesn’t read this entry; he would be very angry!

Susan and I have giggled about how we barely have to spend any money on food at CCCCs. Between the various breakfasts we pay to attend (WPA, see later post & TYCA, oops, slept in this year) and the Textbook Company parties in the evenings, meals are pretty covered. So this year was the typical line up, with conflicting parties so that you can’t possibly attend them all. But I made it to Bedford/St. Martin’s party at the Tavern on the Green. WOW…that place was amazing. And then I felt so sophisticated when I came home and continued reading through my WitchBlade compendium (b-day gift!!!) and a scene took place at the Tavern. I also drank a few too many mohitos at Allyn & Bacon/Longman’s party at the Havana place (eek…forgetting the name, hopefully someone will respond and correct me). The coconut shrimp were divine. And this year I missed McGraw Hill’s annual Rock’n’Roll party because I was too busy hanging out in the Hilton’s bar, and then riding the subway with Dale to try to catch the live sing-a-long of the Buffy Musical episode. We were bummed, they were sold out when we got there.

But back to the title, ethics and eating. So, the textbook industry pays for some of my food while in NYC. In other words, those students buying the books we require of them…paid for our dinners. And folks, these parties are huge, hundreds of people, don’t think that I’m somehow in the “in” crowd. These parties must cost these companies thousands of dollars. With the increasing hub-bub about textbook prices, especially in The Chronicle and Inside Higher Ed, should we be rethinking these practices (and expectations)? But the Rhet/Comp field is not the only one doing this; last year at the annual nmc summer conference, we had two hum-dinger of parties thrown by Apple and Adobe. Adobe rented out the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame!

NewComers’ Welcome Booth

Joe and I “opened” the Newcomer’s Welcome booth at 9:00am Wednesday morning at CCCCs. Well, at least we tried. Since we didn’t have a booth until about 9:55am, we hung out, chatted, said “hi” to people we hadn’t seen in a year, etc. Once the booth got set up we spent the last 5 minutes (of course it turned into 20) trying to get the fancy banner up. We could either pay the hotel lots of money to do it…or…figure out something ourselves.

 

I think we did ok. Needless to say, the banner hung a little crooked. But hey…it had character!

 

Susan and I sat at the booth again on Thursday. This time we not only had a booth, with chairs and a sign, but cool notepads (I forgot to take a picture). These notepads were SO cool that returning CCCCs participants wanted them (even Cheryl Glenn, the 2007 conference chairperson…she says the notepad was for her sister?!?!). Since Susan and I had been told it was “ok” to share some with the returning folks, we decided to implement a “pay it forward” system. Returning folks could take a notepad if they promised to be nice to all the newcomers they saw. The newcomers were nicely labeled with little yellow ribbons on their name badges.

Hopefully all the newcomer attendees at CCCCs this year felt very welcome!

Technology is more than computers…

I know this. Really, I do. However, like so many people today I still get caught up equating the term “technology” with “computer technologies.” Or, I know that they are not the same; however, I am very guilty of saying “technology” and meaning “computer technology.” This last week in NYC, I had the visceral reminder that “technology” DOES SOLELY NOT EQUATE to “computer technology.” Because the conference hotel was ridiculously expensive, I stayed at a hotel on the upper West side. This meant that I took the metro/subway to get to my hotel as well as back and forth between the conference everyday.

Now, I grew up in the suburbs of L.A. I now live in the suburbs of Phoenix. Although this is not my first trip to NYC, this is really the first time that I hunkered down and really used the metro. I loved it. It is completely a different way of interacting with the people and the place. I have to admit, I felt very empowered figuring out the metro system. And although people talk about New Yorkers being abrupt, mean, or cold; I got nothing but sincere help whenever I finally conceded I was missing something and asked for assistance.

Back to my technologically mediated epiphany! On Thursday morning I was at Columbus Circle switching from the 1 to the B train. The tracks for these trains are on different levels. As I galloped along with the rest of the crowd, I had to pause mid-flight of steps (I did get dirty looks then). At mid-flight I could see multiple trains, on both levels, going opposite directions. These metro trains are the arteries and veins of NYC (and I think I could continue the metaphor to say the buses are the capillaries…maybe taxis fit in this metaphor as well—and this fits to well for someone else not to have already used it?). NYC is a cyborg city. And it has been that way a long time…long before my computer addiction; hell, long before I was born. And although all these systems have been updated with computer technologies to make them run better, faster, more efficient; these powerful technologies…and need to be remembered as such.

Day 2—CCCCs

I didn’t do much conference related stuff today. I was scheduled to sit at the newcomer’s booth from 9-10am. The booth didn’t get set up until 10am. So I sat and chatted with a colleague for an hour. I then helped hang the newcomer’s table sign with paperclips. Of course, I forgot to take a picture of the slightly crooked sign. I’ll do so tomorrow; however, I’m betting someone didn’t like it’s slanted nature and will have fixed it. We’ll see…

I think went to the NYC public library. However, I snuck in the back door; I guess I was afraid of the lions out front.

I sat and worked in the “reading” room for a couple of hours—finished grading and cleaning up email, etc. After working for a while I had to go to the restroom. Stacey took this video of me walking through the hallway…

 [youtube]6xWD9ph0MeI[/youtube]

I think went to this cool little restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen with Stacey. They had amazing milkshakes. I even saw the sticker for them being “yelped” about in the window. However, what really amazed me was that the restaurant couldn’t be more than 15 feet across.

After that, the back muscle that I pulled on the plane yesterday decided it was cranky. But I really did love running around on the subway…cool stuff. I think I’ve figured it out pretty well; my only problem is that I don’t quite understand how to look for/read the rush hour only trains. Last night I had to ask some nice locals because the train I wanted…wasn’t stopping. Oops!

Cyborg at the shoe shine

I wish I had taken a picture; however, I’m not sure I could/can. (Another to-do, what are the ramifications of taking pictures of people, posting them to flickr, and then blogging about them?). Anyhow, so I had just come through security at the airport and looked up at a white man in a suite getting his shoes shined by a Hispanic man. The business man was in one of those elevated shoe shine booth things and had…

  • A laptop in his lap,
  • (Bluetooth?) earpiece in his ear, and
  • Palm or Blackberry in his hand.

I think what struck me the most about this image was the visualization, or the embodiment, of what we already “know” to be true about the overlapping class, race, and digital divides. That moment was evidence of what I feel in my community college classes all the time.

Back to picture issue…I almost went back and took his picture; however, the embodiment of his class stopped me. I did think, what if he found it and sued me? But, I’ve been taking pictures of people at the workshops I’ve been doing without getting their explicit permission. Humm…definitely need to look into this issue.