Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mobile Thing #2, Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Even though I thought I would use an iPad to do the Things, I realized my iPad is ancient and probably won't do all the cool things, so I am using my iPhone4, which unfortunately is also getting pretty ancient too.  I did download iOS 7 for it, so I decided to watch the video of tips & tricks for iOS 7.  Right away I learned I can't take advantage of Siri as I don't have the 4s.  Sigh ... maybe I will upgrade at the next opportunity, but I was still able to learn some things from the video.  I don't have dynamic wallpaper, but I do have a compass and looked at that briefly.  I learned my desk is not completely level as I couldn't get the display to read 0 and display green!  I also liked the discussion of how to disable apps from automatically updating in the background.  I can see how that would be very useful if you are trying to minimize the battery usage on your device, especially if say you are traveling and away from your charger.   There was a nod to us "oldsters" as we learned how to boldface the type under the app icons.  I could use that starting right now!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

I hope to get a number of things out of my participation in 23 Mobile Things - obviously I hope to learn about some new apps that I didn't know about, including those that will increase my productivity and efficiency in my day-to-day life and work.  Additionally I hope I can identify those that are good enough to tell others about, both my work colleagues and friends. 

On a higher level, I hope I can develop more skills in evaluation of mobile apps and which features, from a usability standpoint, are really good and which are not so good.   It should help my skills around learning new interfaces and functionality.  The more practice you get with different products, the quicker I think you can identify what works and what doesn't work. 

At some point, I would like to learn more about building an app myself.  I don't know that I will develop the skills to be able to do that in this self-learning program, but it may awaken my interest further and strengthen my confidence in attempting something like that.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thing 5. More with Flickr

It's good to be back working on the Things. I love the Spell with Flickr feature. It was easy to cut-and-paste the html from Erik Kastner's amazing site. I had difficulty figuring out how to adjust the alignment of letters, but it was really fun to choose different letters to display. This kind of display may be a little harder to read on the web, but used sparingly it really adds a lot of visual interest to a web page. I could see applications on library web pages to engage an audience that responds more and more to graphic displays of information instead of text. I also played around with the Clockr feature, but decided not to include it on my blog.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thing 4. Flickr

It isn't difficult to get photos into Flickr ... ah, but the myriad of features will take some time to explore and feel comfortable with. I was able to post a photo that I found on Flickr and then removed it when I realized I should really credit the person whose photo it was! This is a huge problem with the web, with the ease of file sharing. It was more difficult to use the Post to Blog feature from within Flickr -- it didn't work the first time, but then I searched the Help Center and found that I needed to select the BloggerAPI, instead of just Blogger and I was good to go then.

I am not sure yet how we will use Flickr in the medical library setting that I am currently in. I love the application that the College of St. Benedicts is using where they highlight photos of physical books -- sadly more and more of our books are e-books, so we probably wouldn't highlight our print collection in that way. We recently were a part of an evidence-based nursing conference and maybe we could use the photos that were taken for that and post as a slideshow for those who attended. I'm not sure how much value that has, but it would be cool.

On a personal note, my neighbors came together through Flickr last fall. We had a terrible wind storm that came through our street and knocked several huge old elm trees down. One of the neighbors took a bunch of photos of the block and posted them for all to see. We had left town the night of the storm before it hit and the street was cleaned up when we got back, so we never would have seen the devastation had Josh not shared his photos. I definitely want to explore some more.

Medical library
Originally uploaded by Pbutter2008

Monday, February 25, 2008

Thing #3 - RSS

I have had a Bloglines account for over a year now, but I haven't really used it a lot. Now that I am focusing on Google's services lately, (iGoogle, Blogger, Sharing Documents, Reader), I find that I will visit those feeds much more regularly from Google Reader as I am in Google anyway. I plan to do some more comparing between Bloglines and Google Reader, but so far I think the integration factor is going to win me over to Google.

One service I definitely think we could develop to our customers in a health care environment is a seamless way for them to subscribe to feeds of their favorite journals to receive Tables of Contents. I have helped many of them subscribe for e-mail updates from many of the publishers and for some titles we've set up saved alerts on specific journal titles in some of the databases. That only works if the database is updated very frequently and soon after the publication is released (this can really vary with some databases). Both of these methods involve getting an e-mail, and we all have too many e-mails in our accounts. They are also disparate e-mails, coming mixed in with all the other stuff one gets throughout the day. My goal is to develop this service from our intranet web page and collect the RSS feeds for the top journals and make them easy to subscribe to.

The other goal I have is to be an advocate for the use of feeds in the organization. Later this week, I have been invited to participate in a visioning meeting for encouraging the use of more 2.0 services in the organization, so I hope we are getting closer to the integration of 2.0 tools in the daily work flow. There is so much talk about evidence-based practice in healthcare (as well as in other industries) and in order to stay up on the evidence, we have to make it easier for people to integrate tracking new developments in their daily work flow. Private companies have had this down for decades with the various competitive intelligence efforts they use, alert services and news tracking of competitors -- now the tools are coming for the masses to start doing some of this and it is a really exciting time to see the technologies being offered for everyone.

In this exercise, I added a couple library blogs as news feeds, the New England Journal of Medicine current issue, an NIH press release feed, several library related feeds, and a local news and events feed. These were easy to find either on a publication web site or the list of library blogs that was provided.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Thing #2

Interesting article on the Web/Library 2.0. I especially like the idea of "radical trust" as part of Darlene Fichter's original definition of Library 2.0 way back in 2006. This is the component that is unique to the new use of technology ... the emphasis is on "open access," "sharing" and "taking risks"... all things that some libraries have always done, so they should be able to do now as well with a few changes.

I work in a healthcare setting and a recent article in Modern Healthcare talks about Healthcare 2.0. One example of this is the personal health record movement that allows patients to sign into and even contribute to their personal health data, when and where they want. I worry about privacy and safety of that personal health information as it will often reside on a commercial vendor's web site, not in a locked medical records area of a clinic or hospital.

I have attended a number of in-person and webinar conferences on the various 2.0 applications that are available for libraries to implement, but actually moving these into the work flow and political realities of a tightly controlled business environment has not been easy for the library in which I work. Many of the staff are using the technologies personally, but we haven't moved into actually using them to communicate and serve our customers. We risk missing out on their implementation in our organization if we aren't sitting at the table with the various information services and marketing people who will likely drive the use of these new tools. We want to be the drivers, but to make that happen we need to partner with the clinical staff, who are the real drivers in our setting. We know some of them are using blogs, wikis and other social software apps. through their professional associations , so they should be receptive to them in their exchanges with the library.