Saturday, May 17, 2008


I am now officially a college graduate!

I had a fantastic day, and tomorrow morning I am off to Peru. Hopefully I'll blog while I'm there! I'll be back on Tuesday the 27th.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Brewster Kahle 1, FBI 0

Rock on, Brewster Kahle:

Online librarian from S.F. wins his fight with the FBI

"Brewster Kahle, who runs an online library in San Francisco, was appalled when his volunteer lawyers told him in November that the FBI was demanding records of all communications with one of his patrons as part of an investigation of 'international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.' ...

He was allowed to speak publicly Wednesday under a rare settlement in which the FBI agreed to withdraw its letter and lift the gag order."

Tag Cloud

I did a tag cloud (thanks to based on the text of all my blog entries from 2008 (excepting super-common English words and words built into the Blogger interface), and this is what I got:

created at

I love my tag cloud. Library and people stand as the most common words, which I think is a fantastic reflection on my values. Books, digital, photos, and USF are runners-up. Some common words reflect my mediocre vocabulary (lot, really, something, things). I love the sequence in descending size, "library literacy lot love" (with a tiny "life" sticking itself in there).

Clearly, most of my posts have been related to my Digital Literacy class, but my blog entries have rarely felt like assignments (at least not in the burdensome sense). I've had a wonderful time doing this blog and this class. I'm happy that I've created something that I like and find interesting.

This class was never about telling us what to do - it was about encouraging us to do something, to use these technologies in ways that work for us. For me, that was a lot of announcements about things happening at USF, random interesting resources or information, work I was doing in other classes, and personal reflections.

As the semester comes to a close, the question remains, what will become of this blog? I'm definitely going to continue blogging here, but I expect the common themes will shift as my activities shift. Over the summer you can expect a lot about service-learning, and starting in August you'll hear about JVC and worker's rights issues. I'm sure I'll still talk about digital literacy sorts of things, since that's such a big interest of mine, and of course I'll continue to post about any other random stuff I want to share with the world.

I'm excited.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Photos of the World

One of our final assignments for Digital Literacy is to come up with a concept, and ideally an implementation, of some sort of ongoing blogging project. The idea is that we start something knowing that we will continue to add to it over time. An example is David Silver's "gone" posts. Every time an evil leader (my words, not his) is fired or arrested or quits, he posts a photo with the word "gone." He also has a Flickr gallery of these entries.

One of the wonderful things about the Internet is how global it is. It can do a lot to break down artificial barriers we've built between groups of people. With the help of Flickr, I'm going to start posting photos from around the world.

Since I'm traveling to Tacna, Peru in a few weeks, here is the first photo, from Tacna:

"la dueña del pan"
by arcketipo

How to Post Photos on Your Blog

Something that's come up in our class is how to best get Flickr photos onto a blog. We went over it a bit in class, but I'm going to put instructions on here.

The easiest way is if you have a Flickr Pro account and you're working with your own photos or the photos of someone who has given others permission to use their photos through a Creative Commons license.

At the top of every photo, if you have a Flickr Pro account, there is a menu that includes "all sizes."
Click on "all sizes" and choose the size you want to include on your blog (probably small or medium, depending on your blog and the photo).

If the photo belongs to you or has been licensed for sharing, scroll down and you'll see something like this:

Assuming you want to link back to Flickr, copy the HTML from the top window into your blog post window. Note that if you're in "Compose" mode in Blogger, you don't have to go into "Edit HTML." I copied and pasted it in, and voila:

Lago de Atitlán

But! What if your situation is not so straightforward? What if you wanted to, er, borrow photos without permission? (Because clearly that person didn't know how to put a Creative Commons license on their photos, right?) Or, what if they are sharing their work, but you don't have a Pro account? Or what if you're using a photo that's not on Flickr?

What you do is find your photo of choice in your size of choice (if applicable), then control-click (Mac) or right-click (PC) and choose "Copy Image Location" (or the equivalent). Then use this HTML code:

<img src="http://imageurl.jpg">

But, what if you want that photo to link back to the page you got it from (or some other web page)? Go copy the URL for your desired page and use this code:

<a href=""><img src="http://imageurl.jpg"></a>

But but, what if you want it centered? Do this:

<center><a href=""><img src="http://imageurl.jpg"></a></center>

You can put those <center> </center> tags around your code copied and pasted from Flickr as well.

What if you want to insert your photo via the Blogger add image tool (if you have the image on your hard drive), and you want to add a link (to Flickr or wherever)? Click on this icon:

Browse to find the photo on your computer, choose your preferred size and alignment, and click to upload. It will put the image at the top of your blog post. Super annoying. You can click on the image to select it, then cut (Mac: command-X; PC: ctrl-X) and paste it in your desired location.

To make that photo into a link, find your desired URL, select the photo (still within your Compose window), and click the Link icon:

Paste your URL in there, and it will link-ify your image (you can check in Preview to make sure it worked). You can also go into Edit HTML and work from there, but if you're not familiar with HTML it's a little scary looking.

If you have any questions or problems, please feel free to ask in the comments, and I'll do my best to answer.

Update: I realized that even if another Flickr user is allowing their photos to be used by others, the HTML code to copy and paste isn't there unless they're your own photos. So if you want to use someone else's photos, use the code I provided with the photo URL and page URL.