Friday, 16 March 2012

A social lunch

The Cambridge Libraries Brown Bag/networking/journal discussion lunch on 4 April will be at the Faculty of Classics.  Inspired by Andy Priestner's Twitter for Research session, which he has summarised in his blog, I have chosen an article on Social Media and set up a little survey to gauge your twitter usage. 

The article for discussion is:

Nicholas, David, et al. "Social Media, Academic Research and the Role of University Libraries", The Journal of Academic Librarianship, v.37, no. 5, 373-375 available via ScienceDirect. 

If you would like to read more the first reference in the article is an interesting CIBER report on social media impact on research.

As a little added extra for those of you on twitter I have put together a form where you can analyse the contents of your tweets.  I have given options for recording them for one day, one week or having a guesstimate or just summarising what you do if you don't have time to check all your tweets.  I have followed some of the headings devised by G. Veletsianos in his research project on twitter usage by academics in the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning.

I thought it might be interesting to summarise the results at the lunch and get the debate started.  Even if you can't come to the lunch do please fill in the form - remembering that this is for fun so don't agonise over the questions!

Finally the venue details : the lunch will be in room 1.11 at the Faculty of Classics.  Room available from 1.00, bring your lunch, and discussion starts at 1.15 finishing at 2.00.   Will try to live-tweet using #cambbl for those who can't make it but would still like to join in.

Hope to see some of you there.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Extra Thing 9 (missed in week 5) : dropping the box

I realised I had missed out this thing back from week 5.  Mainly as I was not on my usual computer and you have to install a program.  I have now done this and copied a file into my dropbox account.

I find myself a bit ambivalent about this thing. I did all the installation and I dropped a file in and I opened it again on another computer but all the time I was thinking - I could have done about 5 in google docs by now.  This is one of those things which I think I would find more useful in a home setting than at work. At work all my files are backed up on a network and I have access from any pc that I login to.  We also have shared file areas where all staff are able to access and edit files.  At home I am notoriously bad at backing up my files and so this may be a solution as I find google docs easier if the file is created within it, but if I already have a file I might want to dropbox it to maintain the format.

As for sharing files via dropbox, I don't see it as being that useful.  In order to share it you need to have friends who also use dropbox, so I would favour google docs which anyone may view.  Perhaps we all need to have online profiles that list all the sites we are registered with so people know whether they can share things via that site!  The profileration of sites that do similar things just seem to make life more complicated rather than simpler.  Apologies for twee photo - I am not a cat person but it seemed appropriate.

Now I really have finisehd all the extra things - time to celebrate...

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Extra Thing 8 (week 13) : who shot QR?

QR codes are appearing everywhere.  I downloaded a QR scanner onto my phone and I have now started zapping away.  I haven't yet scanned anything where it was actually useful but then I haven't had the scanner long enough.  I created a QR code for our library (although one of the presentations on QR codes said that they should link to active pages and not just a web link!) and it worked.

I think this is definitely worth exploring especially for providing links to ebooks and online guides etc.  Something to add to my TeuxDeux list!

Extra Thing 7 (week 12) : what's TeuxDeux

Things to make life easier - what could be better.  I have tried various online to do lists over the last few years but usually give up as I forget to login or find it takes longer to keep it up-to-date than to just scrawl the list on a bit of paper.  I was registered on Remember the Milk but by now my milk will have turned sour as months since I went on and I am not even going to attempt to remember my login.

So in the spirit of trying new things I gave TeuxDeux a try before my holiday and filled it with all the tasks I needed to do before I could go on holiday.  I really liked it.  It was quick to add stuff and to get rid of it.  The really useful feature is the way it carries over your "to do" items to the next day if you don't complete them.  So there is no chance of forgetting anything!

Previously I used the task list on the google calendar but that has a habit of not always working and also, as it  just sits there everyday, it becomes part of the wallpaper and I don't register that I have something important to do.  I have now converted to TeuxDeux (despite the name being a bit irritating) and added the link to my webpage toolbar so I remember to login each day.

Extra Thing 6 (week 11) : visualising that data

A thing on making things look pretty - or really presenting your data in a clearer way.  I had a go with wordle - I am not a big fan of these images created from word frequencies that crop up on lots of sites now (including library catalogues).  The dominant words don't always seem that relevant because context is not taken into account. I tried to create a wordle on my blog and removed the common English Words and it was dominated by "also" - is that not a common English word???  I couldn't see a way to remove individual words so following a colleague's suggestion I gave tagxedo a go instead.  Apart from the option to have lots of different shapes it also allows you to skip words to make the result a bit more relevant.  So here is my tagxedo - it includes the blog posts from 23 things last year as well as the new Extra things (I was pleased to see that Extra did feature high up).

I chose an umbrella as it looked a wet miserable day.  This was a good choice as the sun then immediately came out!

I had a quick look at Gliffy which did look useful for floor plans and diagrams although I didn't have anything I needed to create at the moment.  Definitely something to return to when producing documents.

Extra Thing 5 (week 9) : Getting creative and common

Last year on 23 things I looked at flickr.  I can't remember if I set up an account, certainly didn't use it so I have had another go.  I did use lots of images from flickr, though, with creative common licenses which are very useful.  So I thought I would load some of my own images on flickr and then try out ImageCodr on my own photos.

So here goes with a sunny afternoon in Cambridge punting down the river.

Punting in 2011 by lettylib28, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License  by  lettylib28 

Or let's go further afield to the Pantheon in Rome...

Or some childhood memories with my rag doll, Katie, made for my 1st birthday so now too old to mention and a very well loved teddy bear.

I can see this becoming very addictive.  ImageCodr is so simple to use and makes adding photos to your blog really quick.  An excellent tool.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Extra Thing 4 (week 8) : tumblr(ing) into posterous

A chance to try a couple of new blogging sites. I had come across tumblr before (excuse to use an image of tumbling water - it was that or a glass tumbler!) from reading other blogs but never posterous.  I set up a test site on tumblr and it was very easy to do once you picked a URL name that no-one else had used.  It is a bit like when you are trying to set up a free email account and you work your way through every combination of name, nickname and dates that seem possible but someone else got there first!  

I need to spend more time trying out the themes and posting something but it does seem an easy site to use.

As for Posterous, it is an example of the changing landscape of social networking. Just since the blog back in August it has now become "Posterous Spaces" and is focussing on being a social network site and not just a blog site.  Definitely useful for group and I may try setting up something for the book group I am in.