Thing 25: Blogger's Toolkit

This step was worth it for the link to 20 Usability Tips for Your Blog alone.  I would have left the Archives widget in because it came with the theme I chose as a default but this post helped me to think that topics are much more important than date in a blog like this.  It saved me from wasting valuable space.

Feedburner was another one of the 20 tips I acted on because I have seen the bloggers that I read use it and I wondered what  benefits it provided.  I learned that it is really helpful to track your subscriptions and also helps you to more easily distribute your content. I don’t expect this blog to have a large readership but I do want to experiment with this tool.

One of the reasons that I chose WordPress as a blog platform was because it already has SnapShots embedded.  It saves your users time because they can preview a link before they commit to loading the full page.

The photo and audio features are also useful.  I have used many of the photo items before but I hadn’t used PicApp. Since I am in Minnesota, I found a hockey image to get into the spirit.

The audio tools would be nice but my webcam went on the fritz and I have no way of recording my voice.  Alas.


Thing 24: Refreshing Blog

It is a pleasure to begin this new learning journey.  Earlier entries reveal my minimal efforts to follow a previous 23 things program and I am glad to enter this one with a new resolve.

My last theme was one I really liked so it was hard to switch.  After wrestling with my inertia, I decided to take this as an opportunity for a fresh start. The new theme has a crisper look and allowed me to add a custom banner.  I wanted to keep the two column look becuase it is both simple and appealing.

I had never taken the time to create an avatar and it was fun to play with Image Chef.  Ultimately, I decided to upload a head shot and smile out to my readers.

Kent's head

Kent's head

I look forward to learning with you all.

Effect of Mobile Technology on Library Service

This article from First Monday is a very good overview of the effects that mobile technology has on the types of service libraries provide and the overall shift in how people access the Internet.

Clips from the article and my comments are below.

  • Dempsey, Lorcan. “Always on: Libraries in a world of permanent connectivity” First Monday [Online], Volume 14 Number 1 (30 December 2008)

      • Good to find ways to collaborate positively and support common goals. – post by kgerber
    • “(a physical place to meet, a toolbar, a set of services in the course management system, a FaceBook application, a set of RSS feeds, office hours in a school or department, and so on).”
      • Many ways the library can be percieved by a patron. – post by kgerber
    • “For example, in his book about VLEs (that is, learning or course management systems), Weller (2007) talks about the changing, and sometimes politically difficult, relationship between the library and e–learning developments.”
    • For this reason, developments in the consumer and retail space will increasingly outpace those in enterprise or educational contexts, and many enterprise or educational services will have substitute or rival products in the consumer space (Stokes, 2008). Think, for example, of what is happening with e–mail, where people may use their Gmail account in preference to an institutional one…The university, library, or work environment can no longer expect to provide a more sophisticated digital environment than that which is available in the general consumer space.”
      • Highlights how some users have familiarity with applications that are not yet available or of less quality within business and academic institutions. Library can be informal or formal support because we pay attention to new and useful trends – post by kgerber
    • “From a conceptual point of view, the widgetization adopted by Facebook, iGoogle and netvibes weighed strongly on our initial thinking. We wanted to build the foundation and DNA of the new site in line with the ongoing trend and evolution of the Internet towards dynamically generated and syndicable content through technologies like RSS, atom and xml. This trend essentially abstracts the content from its presentation and distribution, atomizing content into a feed–based universe. Browsers, devices, etc therefore become lenses through which this content can be collected, tailored and consumed by the audience (Titus, 2007).”
      • Essential consideration for Web design. Must think beyond the desktop. – post by kgerber
    • “Rave Wireless ( Boopsie indexes content from providers and makes it available in mobile–friendly ways. Rave Wireless provides services to meet communication needs across whole campus populations through various infrastructure services. These include alerting, security, and various information services (video, shuttle bus locations).”
      • Saw Rave this at the Maryland Web 2.0 conference. Still had issues implementing system but students did mention that they liked it. – post by kgerber
    • “An institution cannot necessarily rely on one vehicle — e–mail or texting, for example — to reach everyone in a timely way.”
    • “Second, recent discussion of social networks has highlighted the importance of ‘social objects’: the shared interests around which people affiliate, such as photographs, movies, music, and holiday destinations”
      • Think about using these items in classes or training to motivate and build a cohesive unit. – post by kgerber
    • “This attention scarcity is apparent also in the academic environment where a bouncing and skimming style of consumption has been observed (Nicholas, et al., 2006). Palmer, et al. (2007) talk about actual ‘reading avoidance’. Researchers may survey more material, but spend less time with each item, relying on abstracts and other content clues to avoid reading in full.”
      • Websites should reflect this because it already supports the conventional wisdom that content on a Website should be short. – post by kgerber

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Journal TOC Current Awareness Tool

The ticTOCs Journal Table of Contents Service from Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) provides the Table of Contents from over 11,000 journals for free.  Faculty who want assistance in keeping up with new research in their field would appreciate this service.  The notification is through RSS only limting the usefulness to those who use RSS.  Librarians could email the contents of feeds for those who are less tech savvy as a service.

Thanks to Richard Ackerman of Science Library Pad for bringing this service to my attention.