Archive for November, 2008

23 Things- Images- Graphs

November 29, 2008

Not another images post I hear you groan.

And I wasn’t but these are NEW TO ME. And I can see that this is going to be so useful.

Thanks to Sue Waters from Edubloggers (and WA TAFE fish guru) we now have a couple of graph generators to play with. See her posts Creating Equations Using An Online Graph Creator and Using Online Tools To Create Simple Graphs for Blog Posts.

I am off to play and work out the two tools that she points to Crappy Graphs and GraphJam. Dont wait for me to post the results- just go play too.

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#Mumbai

November 27, 2008

I woke this early this morning to the horrible news from Mumbai. I first heard about it – not on the radio- but on my iPhone via Twitter. After all the radio only has scheduled news times. Twitter is instant and constant … and quick.

I had recently started following @BreakingNewsOn who were covering it but also there were also several people in my stream retweeting people who were in Mumbai. There was one person @Vinu who was in the immediate area who twittered his experiences AND very quickly uploaded his disturbing photos to Flickr . Someone else pitched in and bought him a Flickr Pro account just as he was about to run out of space. 

Also, very quickly, everyone Twittering about it started tagging their tweets #Mumbai. Anyone can use that tag to see a constantly updating stream of the news via search.twitter.

And here I am (very quickly) blogging my impressions, not of the event itself, but of the impact of social networking and social media on the way I recieved the news. 

It’s just another reinforcement of Mark Pesce’s notions of hyperconnectivity, he wrote of after the China earthquake in May. I am wondering whether its more mainstream (after all CNN rang Vinu) or am I just more used to it?

PS Twitter is really becoming mainstream now that the likes of Malcom Turnball, Kevin Rudd, Richard Branson and Telstra (or their PR staff) are all using it, some more effectively than others.

On play and dithering perfectionism

November 19, 2008

Jessamyn used the term “dithering perfectionists” on Twitter last night in reference to a library she was in. It resonated strongly with me this morning probably as I have spent the week trying to convince colleagues that they are allowed (nay – required) to play with our WordPressMU installation

I think that it is dithering perfectionism that we are trying to get away from in our 23 things explorations and the “library2.0” movement. As librarians attention to detail and perfectionism are highly regarded traits. But perfectionism that stops us from exploring and trying new things out is hand in hand with fear of failure, leads to dithering perfectionism and hinders innovation and growth.

In Helene’s 23 things programs the trait that is desired is playfulness. A desire to try and tinker and learn from mistakes and not worry about getting things right or perfect.

We all know rationally that without the possibility of failure there will be no innovation. And I am certainly not the first one to point this out in the biblioblogosphere recently. The trouble is knowing it rationally does not overcome our inate dithering perfectionism. We need to practice our play regularly.

Browser wars

November 5, 2008

I have written before about how my broswer is very important to me and the way I work.

At my place of work we cannot have IE7 (or IE8) installed on our PC’s as some of our inhouse systems do not play nicely with anything but IE6 (or havent yet been tested).

Thankfully though our work machines are not locked down and we can install and try anything that we like. And Firefox comes installed by default.

Despite Firefox being installed plenty of my colleagues and clients do not use it.

However I LOVE tabbed browsing. I extol the benefits of being able to run a search and keep the search results in one tab and examine likely prospects in other tabs whenever I can. The productivty of using of a web based RSS reader is multiplied when combined with a tabbed browser. Even Microsoft recognized this key feature by including it in IE7.

Firefox has plenty of other advantages including its extensibility through plugins and other addons. I don’t use many- currently I have Zotero, Toodledo, Delicious, Snagit, Ubiquity (I keep forgetting that its there) and Evernote.

I think its part of the skills an “Information specialist” ought to have, to be aware of the differences between browsers and why some things don’t always work in all browsers. Especially as our clients could be using anything. I also have Google Chrome installed and Safari but I haven’t played with it much yet. I very much like Chrome but it doesn’t yet support the addins that I have in Firefox. Its easy enough to remember to light up IE6 for those times that I need to use it.

I have enough web dev people in my online social networks to know that IE6 is not web standards compliant and many web pages do not display as they should in IE6

Having said that I got caught yesterday. I was helping a colleague set up one of our in house current awareness blogs and she was saying that one of the standard pages that I had set up was not displaying the right sidebar correctly. I was puzzled for a while as it looked fine to me. Of course the answer was that she was looking at it in IE6 and I was looking at it in Firefox. I had completely forgotten to test the page across the browsers.

It’s not an important problem as the theme we are using is temporary. However I WILL be extensively testing the new theme in as many browsers as I can.