Monday, May 24, 2010

Lobster Network, a TOS Crew Review

I own a few autism-related books, videos, and audio CDs. In the past, I have been generous to loan them to folks who needed them, and I've lost quite a few that way. Losing books has made me extremely reluctant to loan materials to friends. I rarely loan my materials these days.

I had no system in place to know what I loaned to whom. I have a good memory of what I've bought and what I've read, and when I want to re-read and re-research a topic, I know where to look, except when I've loaned a book to a friend and have forgotten which friend. Many times, I've sent e-mails and made phone calls trying to locate a particular book. How frustrating.

Lobster Network is a FREE service that addresses my problem. Members who register may create lists of their stuff, from homeschool resources to Nintendo games to autism materials to small appliances and electronics and everything in between. Members may keep lists private as an inventory or advertise items for loan or to give away.
The sign up process was simple. Lobster Network sent an e-manual to walk me through the data entry process. Lobster Network is open to suggestions for improvement; they listen to their users.

There are communities set up withing Lobster Network, so I am able to interact with people I know in real life or folks I know through groups online like TOS Crew. I control who sees my lists, and I am able to limit my loans to folks I know in real life if I choose to. I do like the idea of being able to give away materials to a family who is looking for what I want to get rid of. And I like being able to borrow or find materials that I need or would like to see more closely.

I'm not sure I'm ready to loan materials. I am still hesitant to do that. I would like to create a personal inventory. I have a big project ahead of me. Hopefully, I will accomplish some of it during the summer. I want to create a personal card catalog of sorts, to list my books about autism and my homeschool resources in my FREE account at Lobster Network. Maybe I'll loan items locally. And now, I'll have a place to record who borrowed what.

To read my Crewmates' reviews of Lobster Network, please click HERE.

As part of The Old Schoolhouse Crew of reviewers, I was asked to review a free account at Lobster Network. I am not compensated for this review and am not obligated to provide a positive review.

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