Monthly Archives: November 2012

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Twitter 2


What is Twitter… 140 characters or less?

Twitter is a microblogging tool for sharing, tracking and conversing about topics of interest in short bursts of text no more than 140 characters in length.        Continue Reading →

Pipes 2


What are Pipes?
Pipes are mashups.  Sounds messy, doesn’t it?   But, in fact, mashups are an efficient way of selecting and aggregating the flow of information that you want to take in and perhaps present to a wider audience.

Yahoo Pipes is an extremely intuitive software that makes it easy for you to specify and consolidate sources of information on a specific topic.

Why use Pipes?

Let’s start with an example:  Food blogs.  I love food blogs.  They are more than a bit addictive!  I can recapture some of the time I expend on my food blog habit by being efficient in the way that I follow them.   On a time efficiency scale, I can:

Here is what my Yahoo Pipe for my 12 favorite food blogs looks like:

And here is it’s output as an image and text mashup:

Easy!  Efficient!  My Yahoo Pipe gives me the latest blog entries from 12 different food blogs in one view.  I can just click on any of the images listed at the bottom and, boom!, I’m at the full blog post.

But Pipes are not just for food blogs!

You can consolidate and customize, with surprising specificity, blogs, news sites and image sources of all sorts.   In your library, a custom Pipe might be used to:

  • Capture the breaking blog posts from student blogs for book clubs, literature circles and Sakura Medal Brainbowl Teams.
  • Generate an image or content mashup for the 2nd Grade Insect Unit.
  • Follow popular author blogs
  • Track Iditerod news stories.


1.  Find 3 blogs that you’d like to experiment with and have their RSS Feeds handy.

Don’t know any blogs to follow?  Have a snoop here at the 2012 Weblog award winners and runners up for best blogs of 2012.  [Hint: See the gray panel on the left for links to categories and the years along the top to see previous year winners.]

Want to know more about RSS feeds?  Read more about them here:  RSS Explained

2.   Go to Yahoo at  If you already have a Yahoo account, log in.  If you don’t, scroll down and punch the Create New Account button.  Fill in the necessary information and, voila!, you have a Yahoo account.

3.  To create a pipe, go to Yahoo Pipes at and sign in with your Yahoo login in the upper right corner.

4.  Once you are logged in, hit    along the top.

5.  Now you are ready to build a pipe.  This video [4:39 min] will show you how to do it.

6.  Post your Pipe’s URL on to the your participants’ blog.


This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what Yahoo Pipes can do.  If you want to get more sophisticated with Yahoo Pipes, please explore these links:


Please post about your experience this week with Yahoo Pipes:

  1. 1 group reflection to the group blog.
  2. At least one individual micro-reflections to your Twitter account using our #C2Iasij hashtag.

Wondering what to write about?  Here are some suggestions:  Can you see any applicability for Yahoo Pipes in your library or in your personal life?  How is it an improvement over how you gather/track information now?  Was it tricky or easy to wrap your mind around Yahoo Pipes?


This Learning 2.0 module was originally designed and implemented by students in Dr. Michael Stephens‘ Transformative Literacies class in the Fall of 2012.  This class is part of San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science curriculum. It was authored by Ruth Larson Bender for The American School in Japan. It is available for use for other libraries or institutions.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


It’s time to explore Week 3’s topic: Dropbox.  This module will guide you through using Dropbox to manage your files.  Let’s go!

What is it?
Dropbox is a free online service for storing, syncing, and sharing files. Whether you’re at home, the office, or on a mobile device, with Dropbox, if you’re connected to the internet, your files are just a click away. Continue Reading →

Microblogging (Mostly Twitter)

Welcome back to your Learning 2.0 Playground! In the last module, you bravely jumped into blogging and shared a bit of yourself through a post. Now’s your chance to experience blogging on a smaller, faster scale: microblogging.

Microblogging is a quick, short variation of blogging that lets participants easily share tidbits of content, including text, links, images, audio and video. There are many different microblogging tools, each one unique in its own way. Here are a few examples: Tumblr, Dailybooth, Friendfeed, identi.caPosterous, Rememble, and Plerb. Various microblogging tools have come and gone over the last seven or eight years, but in recent years, the most familiar microblogging platform has been Twitter, and this is the tool we’ll play with here.

Continue Reading →

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