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#18 Cloud Computing

January 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Computing in the Cloud


Created by Sam Johnston using OminGroup‘s OmniGraffle and Inkscape (includes Computer.svg by Sasa Stefanovic

What is Cloud Computing?

The principle behind “the cloud” is that any computer that is connected to the internet is connected to the same pool of computing power, applications, and files. Users can store and access personal files such as music, pictures, videos, and bookmarks or play games or use productivity applications on a remote server rather than physically carrying around a storage medium such as a DVD or USB stick. Almost all of us who use the internet may be using a form of cloud computing though few of us realize it.

If you regularly use the Web, then you have probably already been computing in the cloud through your use of common “cloud” or Web-based applications such as Gmail, Hotmail, Flickr, Myspace, Facebook, and Google Docs.

Although the term “cloud computing” has recently become a big media buzzword, the concept has been around for quite some time. In his “Cloud Computing for the Masses” article, Greg Cruey provides this definition: “The concept of cloud computing is one of a user sitting at a terminal taking advantage of services, storage space, and resources provided somewhere else – on another computer, through an Internet connection.”

For this “thing”, you should explore not only the general concept of cloud computing, but also that of cloud computing applications and cloud computing as it relates to libraries.


  1. Explore some cloud-based productivity tools by logging in and playing with one but preferably both of these popular cloud-based application suites:

                        Google Docs (and, while you’re logged in to Google, why not explore some of the other Google applications that are available?)

    • Zoho (note: you can log into Zoho with your Google account information, saving you from having to create a separate Zoho account)

Additional reading

  1. Read Greg Cruey’s “Cloud computing for the masses” article (if you haven’t already).
  2. Read Doug Johnson’s Blue Skunk blog post: “Could you live in the cloud?”, and please read the comments left by several readers.
  3. Read  What is cloud computing and how will it affect libraries?
  4. Read Libraries and Cloud Computing

Update Your Blog

  1. Share your impressions and thoughts regarding online productivity tools and cloud computing by posting to your blog.  Some jumping off points for your blog post might be: How do you feel about these tools and concepts? Do you see great benefits for use in libraries? Overall, would you say that you are more excited or more cautious/skeptical about cloud computing?
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