Talking Tech Friday – Anali’s apps

In my last post, I asked for suggestions of what people would like me to cover.  Mary wrote: “I would love to hear a summary of the top sites you use daily and how you use them…it would be good for me to know what you find the most useful everyday for work but also for your personal life.”  It occurred to me that perhaps I should occasionally expand this column to more than just tech reviews.  In any case, ask and ye shall receive!


I use Digsby to manage most of my social networking: it aggregates all of my IM accounts (Google Talk, Yahoo! IM, and MSN IM), notifies me when I get new emails in my web accounts (2 Gmail accounts, one of which is for MCLC Tech Talk and Hotmail), and keeps track of my social networking sites (MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn).  I love Digsby – it’s probably my #1 favorite application!

I’m not very active on MySpace any more – most of my friends have migrated to Facebook, and I have followed suit.  I do still pop in every couple of weeks to see what’s going on.

I don’t do much with LinkedIn at all, except to make updates when necessary, or if I get a connection request.

I use to update my statuses on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. allows you to post updates using an IM client, which I do using Google Chat on Digsby.  I know, that’s kind of convoluted, but I can post a status update without having a browser open, which I like.

Regarding Twitter, Mary asked “Do you twitter for work, and if so do you read other library’s twitter tweets?” and the answer is no – I don’t twitter for work. It’s purely personal, though I may link to or tweet about work-related things.  We do have a twitter account – the Library Channel, but I do not manage that.  I do follow that, as well as a few other ASUrelated twitter accounts, but I don’t follow many other librarians, mostly just my friends and a few other accounts that are of personal interest.  For me, I like the short updates on Twitter for people I know.  I’m not really interested in what Michael Stephens had for lunch, for example.  I find I prefer to keep up with librarians via their blogs, since what I”m really interested in is their long-form thoughts rather than tweets.  That’s just a personal preference – I tend to keep my personal and professional relationships fairly separate, which has actually been a bit of a struggle for me on Facebook.  Luckily, a recent update to Facebook allows you to create friends lists to which you can assign different permissions, which has been very useful.

Just as an aside, much of this has to do with the nature of my specific job responsibilities.  I actually have little to no contact with our library patrons – I am not responsible for marketing or outreach in any way, only do chat reference 1 hour per week, and only do instruction on a voluntary basis.  I do, however, function often as an internal liaison between different departments within the ASU Libraries, and partially because of that I have a large number of Facebook friends from work – but that’s also because I like most of the people I work with!  If my position were different, it’s likely I WOULD Twitter for work, or create a Facebook group, etc.  As it is, I mostly use social networking sites for just that – my own, personal social network.


I use Google Reader for my blog subscriptions, which I visit every day – usually for my lunchtime reading.  I subscribe to 83 feeds: some are friends’ blogs, some are just interesting (like Lifehacker). Most of them are library-related blogs – this is where I keep current on library issues and trends, as well as information directly related to my work interests and responsibilities (such as issues in scholarly communication and open access).   This number does fluctuate – I recently weeded out some blogs I don’t enjoy reading as much, and I sometimes go on subscription binges (especially during elections!).  I do try to keep my subscription load such that I can manage it on 90 minutes a day.   My success with this varies.


I use Netvibes for a work dashboard.  I have a Remember the Milk widget for my to-do list, and I post note widgets for reminders, project lists, notes, etc.  I think it’s really useful, since if I telecommute from home, I still have access to a virtual version of my desk.

I have a lot of personal tabs on Netvibes as well – a bookmarks list, a music tab (with a Pandora widget, as well as an embedded KBAQ webpage for when I’m streaming KBAQ for my music fix), and a few random tabs for things like Evernote (which I use for recipes and book lists, mostly), Project Foodie (for recipe searches), and (which you all know about).

I’d say that’s most of the websites I use on a daily basis.  There are a few others I use occasionally.  I do use Friendfeed to aggregate my own content, but I’m not particularly active in befriending or following others.  I use both Library Thing and Goodreads to keep track of books I’m reading – I really only add new books as I start reading them.  I often use Google Docs and Presentations for work, especially for group projects (I detest emailing attachments back and forth).  I use both Picasa Web Albums and Flickr for photographs, mostly Flickr.

I recently got an iPhone (a first generation one), so I’m figuring out how to work that into my life as well. And I have a Dell Mini 9, which I love (just as a quick geeky note – I’m a PC person, and I’m just fine using Microsoft Windows and other products).


Mary asked if I still play World of Warcraft – which I do.  I’m am not a hardcore player, though – I play at maximum 6 hours a week, and some weeks much less than that.  I mainly play with my husband, family, or friends and only very rarely play with people I don’t know in real life.  I don’t play any other MMORPGs right now(!).  Most of  my friends and many of my family members are gamers, so not only do we meet up in WoW, we also play games together using the Xbox Live.  We play games online with our friends probably 3-4 nights per week (we have both an Xbox360 and a Wii, though we rarely play the Wii).  We also play board games and roleplaying games in person a few times a month – I know that’s not technology-related, but I think it’s relevant.

I guess I could also mention that we do have Netflix, and Xbox Live allows us to stream movies, both through the Xbox Marketplace and using our Netflix account, so that’s how we consume movies.  We don’t subscribe to any cable or satellite TV, nor do we have a DVR or even a DVD player other than the Xbox.  We rarely watch any TV at all, in fact, so if you’re looking at my time spent gaming above, you should take that into account.  Considering that the average American spent 4 hours and 35 minutes watching TV in 2006, my gaming pretty much substitutes for that, and I’d say it’s closer to 3 hours per night that we game.  I still do read many physical print books – there’s not yet an ebook reader that has convinced me to switch.  🙂

I hope you found this useful.  What do you use on a daily basis?  Any suggestions for me?

~ by Anali on July 3, 2009.

2 Responses to “Talking Tech Friday – Anali’s apps”

  1. […] IGoogle (I don’t really use this, I just tried it out. My heart belongs to Netvibes) […]

  2. […] think one of my best posts this year was Anali’s Apps, where I describe all the tools I use on a regular basis.  I’m still pretty happy with it […]

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