Thursday, February 12, 2009

Jump Ship, This One Over Here Does It All! or Should I stay or should I go?

Okay here goes, a personal reflection on my experiences this week using Diigo and Picnik. Frustrating, that is the word. Not in the sense that the applications were difficult to manipulate, but rather in that the more I learn of web 2.0 applications, the more I realize that for the foreseeable future I will be exposed to new, better, and more powerful programs, as well as the same unanswerable question: Should I stay or should I go?

I have used Delicious as a social bookmarking application since July 06 and have grown accustomed to how the application works, so much so in fact, that I find I tag without realizing it. Now I do not mean to imply that I use all the power that Delicious has to offer, nor do I always tag and bundle as I should, but I know where everything is on my toolbar and that is a comfort. This week working with Diigo I explored the basics, enough to have imported my Delicious boo
kmarks, tagged some new sites and setup a Webslide, complete with audio. But is it better than Delicious? I do not know at this point.

The story of Picnik echoes that of the Delicious saga above. I find Picnik to be comparable with the majority of online photo editing tools available. Lucas King has put together a fine list of open source applications, complete with annotations. Yet again the question surfaces; a what point do I turn my eyes from the twitters announcing the latest, greatest, “my, you have to see this application...”.

Without doubt, these applications can and do have real value in the classroom. I use Delicious with my high school classes to great success. I look forward to those
times when students start sharing their bookmarks, and realize that other classmates have different resources tagged. The whole “Wow, I do not have to find everything by myself” ahha moments...why we teach sometimes.

Online photo editing applications are also of increasing value, as the cost of site licence based programs can be prohibitive to some school districts. So the question is not one of benefit, but rather one that asks how does one know when to change applications? Yes, sometimes there is no choice but to search out a new application, as the favourite standby has disappeared, or worse yet, become one of those 'upgrade to get the good stuff' sites.

This frustration will no doubt last for some time to come. To migrate to
another app or stick it out and be content without all the newest bells and whistles heralded by the next generation of up and comers in the web 2.0 world.

Preference is a consideration indeed, but to make an informed decision one has to invest time and brain power to learn a new program, and these commodities are in short supply here. Yes, I wish I knew what others feel about this issue. What do other web 2.0 users think of the newest offerings, is there a strategy in place, did I miss a memo again?

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