Thoughts on an Emerging “Web 3.0″…05.29.09

29 05 2009


I thought Allan Cho‘s thoughts on the emerging “Web 3.0″ insightful and worth pondering further:

“In the Journal of Social Computing, Peter Sweeney argues that whatever we call Web 3.0, it is going to be a the automation of tasks which displaces human work. Our information economy is ultimately in the midst of an Industrial Revolution. He makes another excellent point:

Billions are being spent worldwide on semantic technologies to create the factories and specialized machinery for manufacturing content. Railways of linked data and standards are being laid to allow these factories to trade and co-operate. And the most productive information services in the world are those that leverage Web 3.0 industrial processes and technologies. Web 3.0 is a controversial term, as it confuses those who are just only beginning to feel comfortable with the concept Web 2.0 and those who are embracing the Semantic Web. Web 3.0 disrupts these traditional, safe thoughts. It not only blurs the terminology, it also offers business advocates an opportunity to cash in.

But I see Sweeney’s arguments as a multidimensional argument that transcends nickels and dimes. He makes an excellent point when he argues that many dismiss Web 3.0 as a fad; however, when we think of the Web as a manufacturing process, that is a disruptive technology — very much like the Industrial Revolution — then we can begin to understand what Web 3.0 represents.”

FREE Webinar – “Technology Stewardship @ Your Library”…05/29/09

29 05 2009


This is WebJunction‘s description of the FREE June 10 webinar with Nancy White:

Mark your calendar on June 10 for this free WebJunction webinar with Nancy White, co-author of the forthcoming book Digital Habitats: Stewarding Technology for Communities (with Etienne Wenger and John E. Smith). Nancy is recognized internationally for her research exploring online communities today, and in her work as a technology steward, designer and builder of online interaction spaces.

In this webinar, Nancy will focus on librarians as community technology stewards. She will offer practical steps for you to begin to understand your community, assess the technology needs of your community, and how to select, configure, and support the online technologies your community uses. Here’s a sample of her well-stockedslideshare account to give you a taste of her passion and commitment to building relevant online communities. The definition of ”technology steward” (slide 9 & 10 ) sounds so much like our work in libraries, that I’m sure there are many of us in libraryland who are eager to change our job titles!…”

Register now for the webinar »

More Video on Google “Wave”…05.29.09

29 05 2009

Social Media Challenges – “Doing Social Media Right in 2009″…05.29.09

29 05 2009

“Friending Libraries: Why libraries can become nodes in people’s social networks”…05.29.09

29 05 2009

“Lee discussed Pew Internet’s latest findings and why they suggest that libraries can play a role in people’s social networks in the future. He described the reasons that people rely more and more on their social networks as they share ideas, learn, solve problems, and seek social support. And he explored how libraries can act as ‘nodes’ in people’s networks.”

NEW ONLINE Library Conference for ALL Librarians – OPALESCENCE…05.28.09

28 05 2009


NO FEES – NO DUES – NO TRAVEL —- Just Right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OPAL (Online Programming for All Libraries) is planning something special:

Thursday, August 13, 2009 beginning at noon Eastern Time, 11:00 a.m. Central, 10:00 a.m. Mountain, 9:00 a.m. Pacific, and 4:00 p.m. GMT:

    OPALESCENCE: A Free Online Conference for All LibrariansHas your travel budget dried up? Still want that conference experience of fresh ideas, lively conversations, and networking with colleagues? Participate in OPALESCENCE, a free online conference for all librarians and fellow travelers. We’re planning a series of interesting and informative presentations and discussions spread over a two-day period. Watch this space for more announcements.

    Host: TAP Information Services Schedule of Events:OPALESCENCE Conference Schedule (coming soon)

Mundane But Crucial Phone Job Interview Tips to Remember…05.28.09

28 05 2009


Here is a great excerpt from Phone Interview Tips for those searching/interviewing for a position from emurse:


Know your comfort zone. Some people perform best in a quiet room, while others prefer to pace around. If sitting still is your style, a room free of distractions is best. If you are the type of person that likes to walk-and-talk, consider determining a predefined route. This will help ensure that there are no outside noises or unexpected distractions like sirens. Make sure it is a leisurely walk so you can maintain calm breathing patterns.

Smile. Negativity or a uneasy attitude can easily show itself over a phone call. Before the interview, consider spending a few minutes listening to your favorite song or watching a funny video on YouTube. Make sure you are in a good mood.

Disable call waiting. If for some reason you are not able to disable call waiting, absolutely ignore it if someone calls.

Enforce a dress code. Believe it or not, properly dressing in at least a business casual attire will make a big difference in your ability to focus on the interview. Wearing the right clothes and taking a serious approach to the call will help you maintain a professional attitude regardless of your surroundings.

If you are taking the call on a cell phone, make sure there is no wind in your vicinity. Wind noise will prevent you from hearing the questions and make it harder for them to hear your answers.

No chewing gum, cigarettes, food or other things that may interfere with your vocal chords during the interview.

Listen. Without the visual communication of an in-person interview, it can be tough to know when to stop talking. If your nerves are high and your blood is flowing, you can easily make the mistake of saying too much. Make sure to speak slowly and articulately. When you have answered the question, allow for that possibly uncomfortable moment of silence. This will let the interviewer know that you are through, and then they will proceed. Listen and wait for them to finish with their next question, and then proceed. Consider taking notes on the key aspects of each question.

Stand up. Stretching out your torso will allow you to have the full strength of your lungs. You will be able to speak more clearly and powerfully.

Practice makes perfect. As with all interviews, practicing before hand helps you prepare forcommon interview questions. Remember to ‘play in practice as you will in the game.’ It will make a huge difference.

If you wear earrings, remove them before the call. Many people tend to adjust the phone’s headset during a call. Chances are that the earrings will rub up against the mic creating an awkward, distracting noise for everyone on the call.

No speaker phone.

Make sure to ask for your interviewers name. Follow up with a thank you note…”

E-Reader Plastic Logic Demo…05.28.09

28 05 2009

2009 and Beyond – MegaTrends…05.28.09

28 05 2009


From Russ Dawson’s The MegaTrends of Technology, Business and Society:

“…Exponential Drivers. The most important technological drivers are all exponential: increased bandwidth, greater processing power, more storage, and the development of richer man-machine interfaces. These are driving a wide variety of fundamental shifts, not least an intensely connected and increasingly interdependent society and economy.

Commoditization. Almost all business drivers are resulting in the commoditization of most business activities. Vastly greater information access, accelerating speed to copy competitors and get to market, global markets, and an ongoing drive to squeeze out inefficiencies all result in an exorable drive to commoditization. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be massive value creation moving forward. The two spaces that escape and transcend commoditization are relationships and innovation (which itself is driven by relationships). A polarized economy will develop with on the one side commoditized products and services and on the other high-value offerings based on rich economic networks.

Expectations. Across all sectors of society, greater expectations are driving change. The poor have increased expectations for their quality of life, driving the emergence of another billion into the middle class globally. The affluent are seeking ways to spend their wealth, and are driven by increasing refinement in their lives. The rise of Web 2.0 technologies are helping to create an expectation of participation in every domain of society and government. Not least, we have increased expectations from our institutions, in terms of transparency, accountability, and their impact on the environment and society…”

See the accompanying presentation in the next post.

“Profiting from Accelerating Change” – MegaTrends…05.28.09

28 05 2009

Google Wave – Coming Later This Year…05.28.09

28 05 2009


TechCrunch reported today in their post Google Wave Drips With Ambition. A New Communication Platform for a New Web which is excerpted here:

“Yesterday, during the Google I/O keynote, Google’s VP of Engineering, Vic Gundotra, laid out a grand vision for the direction Google sees the web heading towards with the move to the HTML 5 standard. While we’re not there yet, all the major browser players besides Microsoft are aligned and ready for the next phase, which will include such things as the ability to run 3D games and movies in the browser without additional plug-ins. But Google wants to take it one step further with a brand new method of communication for this new era. It’s called Google Wave.

Everyone uses email and instant messaging on the web now, but imagine if you could tie those two forms of communication together and add a load of functionality on top of it. At its most fundamental form, that’s essentially what Wave is. Developed by brothers Lars and Jens Rasmussenand Stephanie Hannon out of Google’s Syndney, Australia offices, Wave was born out of the idea that email and instant messaging, as successful as they still are, were both created a very long time ago. We now have a much more robust web full of content and brimming with a desire to share stuff. Or as Lars Rasumussen put it, ‘Wave is what email would look like if it were invented today.’…”

Here is some of what Google is saying About Google Wave:

What is a wave?

A wave is equal parts conversation and document. People can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.

A wave is shared. Any participant can reply anywhere in the message, edit the content and add participants at any point in the process. Then playback lets anyone rewind the wave to see who said what and when.

A wave is live. With live transmission as you type, participants on a wave can have faster conversations, see edits and interact with extensions in real-time…”

Some key technologies in Google Wave

Real-time collaboration Natural language tools Extending Google Wave

Concurrency control technology lets all people on a wave edit rich media at the same time.

Watch the tech video

Server-based models provide contextual suggestions and spelling correction.

Watch the tech video

Embed waves in other sites or add live social gadgets, thanks to Google Wave APIs.

“Ambient Findability and the Future of Search”…05.28.09

28 05 2009

Although this is not a new video, I would recommend a viewing.

Peter Morville is president and founder of Semantic Studios, a leading information architecture, user experience, and findability consultancy.

He is widely recognized as a father of the information architecture field, and he serves as a passionate advocate for the critical roles that search and findability play in defining the user experience.

Peter’s latest book, Ambient Findability, explores search, wayfinding, marketing, information interaction, literacy, librarianship, authority, and culture at the crossroads of ubiquitous computing and the Internet.

Peter is also co-author (with Louis Rosenfeld) of the best-selling book, Information Architecture for the World Wide Web (over 100,000 copies), named “Best Internet Book of 1998″ by Amazon and ‘The Most Useful Book on Web Design on the Market’ by usability guru Jakob Nielsen…”

Learning – Personal Knowledge Management…05.28.09

28 05 2009


Here is an excerpt of the clear, interesting,  and useful description of personal knowledge management by Harold Jarche from his post Sense-Making With PKM:

We may learn on our own but usually not by ourselves. People learn socially. In looking at how we can make sense of the growing and changing knowledge in our respective professional fields, I see two parallel processes that support each other. One is internally focused, as in ‘How do I learn this?’ and the other is external, as in ‘Who can help me learn this?’.

We constantly go through a process of looking at bits of information and trying to make sense of them by adding to our existing knowledge or testing out new patterns in our sense-making efforts. The Web has given us more ways to connect with others in our learning but many people only see the information overload aspect of our digital society. Effective learning is the difference between surfing the waves or being drowned by them and PKM (personal knowledge management) can be your customized surfboard.

Here is an internal process based on repeating four activities:

Sort Categorize Make Explicit

& Readings

Tag, List, File,


Write Look-up as/when


These can be combined with three external activities:

  1. Connect – with others via various platforms and extend my reach
  2. Exchange – ideas and observations
  3. Contribute – to conversations

In a connected world it is getting much easier to contribute, whether it be with words, pictures, music, or actions. Not only that, it may be our social responsibility to be contributors to our common knowledge.

How else will we be recognized as professionals in our fields unless we actively contribute to them?

OS = open source
Aggregator Bloglines

Google Reader







Making Explicit



Micro-blogging Twitter

Jaiku (OS)



Making Explicit



Blogging Blogger


WordPress (OS)

Making Explicit Contributing
Photo-sharing Flickr

Photo Bucket



Making Explicit





Elgg (OS)

Making Explicit Exchanging


What I have found out over several years of using PKM methods and tools is that I have been creating a powerful resource…”

How to Share Your Social Media Identity…05.27.09

27 05 2009

Excerpted from Mashable!‘s 5 Ways to Share Your Social Media Identity:

“…RetaggrRetaggr reviews is a really well put together utility that lets users create a social media profile card, which not only displays links to your other social profiles, but includes a bio, picture, and other vital information. Most impressively, though, profile cards are interactive. Retaggr profile cards have built in widgets that let you display some of your social media content – blog posts, recent photos, tweets, etc. – directly inside your card. That means that not only can the profile cards point people toward all the pieces of your social media identity, but in many cases people can actually view your social media content without having to navigate away from wherever you’ve embedded the card…

Geek Chart offers a unique spin on social media identity sharing. Rather than just make it easy to display links to your various social profiles, Geek Chart puts your social media use in perspective by letting you show exactly where you are most active. The site lets you create a clickable pie chart of your social media profiles that depicts your use of each site over the past 30 days — if you haven’t used a site in 30 days, the chart will not include that profile…

The Karma badge from alternative search engine DuckDuckGo is easily the most simple widget on this list. Essentially, Karma only displays social media links for sites that have some sort of ranking system, such as followers, points, or friends. It requires no sign up to create and works with 15 different sites…

If you want a profile badge service that supports that obscure, niche social network you’re active on, then DandyID is likely for you… Once you’ve added your services – a process made less daunting by DandyID’s clever use of the Google Social Graph API, which finds and suggests your profile links after you’ve added the first couple – the site can generate JavaScript or image-based embeds to share your social profile links more easily, and also gives each user its own profile page, similar to Retaggr…

FriendFeedFriendFeed reviewsoffers a lot more than just the ability to create and embed social profile information – but they do offer that service, so they deserve a place on this list.

FriendFeed supports 58 social media services, and their embeddable ‘FriendFeed Badge’ widget lets you share links to your profiles on all of them, as well as your activity on FriendFeed… One of the great things about FriendFeed’s widget is that you can fully customize the CSS to make it match the look and feel of wherever you plan to embed it. Rival lifestreaming service Profilatic offers a similar badge widget, as do many other lifestreaming services…”

Learning and the “Influence Landscape”…05.27.09

27 05 2009

Harold Jarche’s recent post A Landscape of Influence highlighted “more exciting pattern and sense-making from Ross Dawson, this time with the Influence Landscape Framework Beta v. 1:


(Click on image for larger version)

This adds to other conceptual frameworks to inform us on how we can look at learning, work and especially communication in this era. The comment on influence networks echos of connectivism (just replace influence with learning):

Influence flows through networks – it cannot be understood as a linear mechanism focused on individual influencers. There are a number of key aspects of influence networks that need to be addressed to tap the power of influence.

I view the influence mechanisms as sources that one can tap when creating a personal knowledge management system. The landscape graphic also enhances the framework of wirearchy, showing that influence is dynamic and non-linear, as our working relationships must become in a networked environment…”

How Libraries Should Use Facebook…05.27.09

27 05 2009


I thought Stephen Abram‘s post today Facebook and Libraries has some important points about libraries using Facebook:

“There’s some emerging consensus on how libraries might use Facebook. I am no expert but, as usual I have an opinion.

You have a choice. You can create a regular Facebook Page or a Facebook Group (sometimes called a Facebook Fan Page). Simple really. What would work best in which situation?

As other’s have noted (here and here), it can be very problematic if you use a page for your library institutional presence. (‘Facebook ties a page to the account of the person who originally created it and I quote’ and ‘the original creator of the Page may never be removed by other Page admins.’ So, if your original creator leaves under a cloud your organization is at risk.)

Groups let you own your presence on an institutional level and allow the creator to be removed and assigned to others. For comparisons of pages and groups see this and this.

Of course the creation of a Facebook Group for your library does NOT absolve staff from having individual Facebook pages. Staff and management are individual experts and the key competitive advantage your library has against the generic search engines. If they’re not marketed well, and marketing themselves and building relationships with their key user groups then your library is just vanilla.

So, my opinion is that the library and it’s important segments have group pages and that librarians and key staff have their own pages. Try it.”

Explore the Vast Reaches of the Twitterverse…05.27.09

27 05 2009

Thanks to Michael Stephen’s post pointing out Preview: The Twitterverse v1.0 by @BrianSolis & @Jess3 (Click on picture for larger image):



In Brian’s own words: “Twitter connects people through a rich and active exchange of ideas, thoughts, observations, and interests in one, highly collaborative and promising ecosystem. The Twitterverse advances micro interaction and connections through an expanding network of applications, engendering the potential for macro reach and resonance online and IRL.”

“Futures of Learning”- “Digital Media in Community Libraries”…05.27.09

27 05 2009

Here are some intersting highlights from the important post  Digital Media in Community Libraries, Part 1: Mobile Media from the Futures of Learning project funded by the MacArthur Foundation:

“…According to a report by comScore, as of January 2009 some 22.4 million mobile phone users were accessing the mobile web on a daily basis, and this usage had doubled since one year prior (Burns, 2009)…

Mobile technologies clearly allow libraries to expand the range of forms for distributing content…many libraries have begun offering e-books and digital audio books for download. For example, since 2005 cardholders of the New York Public Library have been able to download audio books from the Internet any time of the day or night simply by going to the library’s website and entering their card number and a PIN (… The New York Public Library and thousands of others use OverDrive’s technology, and OverDrive’s website allows users to search for libraries offering free digital downloads ( Libraries have also begun offering not only digital content, but also the means by which to use it. As Ellyssa Kroski (2008) discusses in her recent report, On the Move with the Mobile Web, institutions such as the Thomas Ford Memorial Library in Western Springs, Illinois ( allow patrons to check out iPod Nanos with audio books loaded on them.

QR codes could have multiple uses in libraries. As librarian Lex Rigby explains, currently in libraries while conventional barcodes are used to link an item to its catalog record, the information is limited and it can only be accessed by scanning the barcode at the check-out desk. On the other hand, QR codes could be used to store descriptions, images, useful links, etc. for all types of library materials. A library patron could use their mobile phone to scan the QR code to access this information ( The library at the University of Bath is at the forefront of using QR codes to link to their catalog ( This expanded range of information available at the click of a (camera phone) button is obviously time-saving and efficient. Thus far, however, the use of QR codes in public libraries in the U.S. does not seem to be widespread although such two dimensional barcodes have been generated for the web spaces of each branch of the Brooklyn Public Library (

text messaging (or SMS – short message service) is an obvious means of inexpensive and efficient communication, and several public libraries have implemented message options for their cardholders. Orlando, Florida’s Orange County Library System ( allows patrons the choice of receiving text message reminders about upcoming due dates for materials and start dates for courses (Kroski, 2008). The Skokie Public Library in Skokie, Illinois offers such alerts as well as updates on holds placed and the option of renewing items via SMS ( For similar purposes, some libraries are also using Twitter (, a micro-blogging service that allows users to send updates (tweets) to their ‘followers’ and receive tweets from those they signed up to follow. Posts can be viewed on a computer or an Internet-enabled mobile phone.

In addition to using mobile-enabled messaging, many libraries are designing their websites to be mobile friendly, which involves making the information concise, limiting the number of links, using descriptive icons, and including ‘home’ and ‘parent-link’ icons (West, Hafner, & Faust, 2006). At the current moment, however, there are still issues with display quality across different devices (Liston, 2009). Again, among community libraries the Skokie Public Library emerges as an exemplar as the library has designed a version of its website specifically for viewing on the small screen of a mobile device. The library catalog can also be browsed using a phone or PDA (with AirPAC, a mobile version of OPAC). In a recent presentation, Megan Fox (2009) has outlined numerous types of library friendly applications designed for the iPhone and other smartphones. Such applications enable users to find public libraries, organize notes, and conduct mobile searches. For example, the Washington D.C. Public Library has an iPhone application specifically designed to navigate its services. Some libraries also provide audio tours via mobile phones ( A final mobile service deserving mention is the WorldCat Mobile pilot project (, which enables users to search for library materials as well as libraries, maps, and directions…

…As library professionals participate in Google groups (, blogs (Gerry McKiernan’s, and conferences ( dedicated to exploring mobile libraries, the future promises to bring more ways that mobile phones and PDAs can be used to serve the library’s mission in terms of expanding content, services, and outreach…”

Mobile Library Services in 2009…05.27.09

27 05 2009

Mobile reference

Here is an excerpt from Tom Peter’s Summer of Mobile Library Services post on ALA Tech Source:

“…2009 seems to be shaping up to be the Summer of Mobile Library Services... Many projects, services, conferences, and other groovy happenings related to mobile library services seem to be ramping up and rolling out this summer…

InfoQuest, a collaborative six-month pilot project to deliver short answer reference services to mobile phone users, will begin in July. The website is at  Sorry, the number to send text message reference questions to is not yet ready to be announced.  Altarama has generously provided access to their SMSreference service (, training, and tech support for the pilot project. About three dozen libraries and library-related organizations have agreed to participate in the pilot project.  Even a few solo librarians are participating…

There are scads of mobile library services being developed, tested, deployed, and evaluated.  One of the larger pilot projects is the WorldCat Mobile pilot project ( OCLC has partnered with Boopsie to test a system where you can use your mobile phone to look up a book, find a library near you, map a route to a nearby library, or even (gasp!) call the library.

…over at my old stomping grounds, Western Illinois University, you can send a text message to your cell phone containing the call number of that interesting book you just found. It’s part of a larger initiative spearheaded by the CARLI library consortium.  The WIU press release and embedded promotional video are at here

The growth of the mobile library movement has spawned a host of conferences.  In late June in Vancouver there will be a mobile libraries conference (…

On July 30 and 31 the Alliance Library System in Illinois and Learning Times will hold the first Handheld Librarian Conference, using the Adobe Connect webconferencing system...

a Mobile Libraries blog over a t  There’s also a Google Group, a Facebook page, and a gaggle of other 2.0 groups.

…check out the July 2008 issue of Library Technology Reports by Elyssa Kroski, On the Move with the Mobile Web:  Libraries and Mobile Technologies.  An open access version of the report is available here. You can also check out Elyssa discussing her work on this blog here. Several books of contributed chapters have started to appear, such as M-Libraries:  Libraries on the Move to Provide Virtual Access [based on the presentations given at the first M-Libraries Conference in Nov. 2007], edited by Gill Needham and Mohamed Ally.

M is the new E. The lingo of librarianship is catching up quickly.  We now have m-libraries and MOPACs (mobile OPACs)…

Microsoft to Launch BING Search Engine Today in a Big Way…05.26.09

26 05 2009


Advertising Age reported today in Microsoft Aims Big Guns at Google , Asks Consumers to Rethink Search:

Microsoft has used attack ads to go after Apple, and now it has Google in its sights.

The software giant is set to launch an $80 million to $100 million campaign for Bing, the search engine it hopes will help it grab a bigger slice of the online ad market. That’s a big campaign — big compared with consumer-product launches ($50 million is considered a sizable budget for a national rollout) and very big when you consider that Google spent about $25 million on all its advertising last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence, with about $11.6 million of that focused on recruiting. Microsoft, by comparison, spent $361 million. Certainly Google has never faced an ad assault of anything like this magnitude…”

SEE the Bing Video

VISIT Bing on Facebook

FOLLOW Bing on Twitter

OPALESCENCE – NEW FREE Online Library Conference…05.26.09

26 05 2009

Redux: Important NEW and FREE Online Conference OPEN TO ALL


Cool – you don’t have to join a club :-)

NO FEES – NO DUES – NO TRAVEL —- Just Right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OPAL (Online Programming for All Libraries) is planning something special:

Thursday, August 13, 2009 beginning at noon Eastern Time, 11:00 a.m. Central, 10:00 a.m. Mountain, 9:00 a.m. Pacific, and 4:00 p.m. GMT:

    OPALESCENCE: A Free Online Conference for All Librarians Has your travel budget dried up? Still want that conference experience of fresh ideas, lively conversations, and networking with colleagues? Participate in OPALESCENCE, a free online conference for all librarians and fellow travelers. We’re planning a series of interesting and informative presentations and discussions spread over a two-day period. Watch this space for more announcements.

    Host: TAP Information Services Schedule of Events: OPALESCENCE Conference Schedule (coming soon)

Libraries and Next Gen Mobiles…05.26.09

26 05 2009

Here is an excerpt from our Aussie friends at Libraries Interact:

“…How do you think these may affect librarianship? How can library staff use them? How can we offer our services to our users with next gen mobiles? Do you have a favourite app that you use and would recommend to others?

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • In February, Kenley Neufeld listed his Top 10 iPhone Apps for Librarians .
  • Aaron Schmidt from the DC Public Libraries has released the code for an iPhone App that allows library users to search the catalogue, place holds and find opening hours ,DCPL iPhone application ready for download
  • The University of Bath Library has added QR codes to records in the catalogue so that users can scan them using free software that will then show them the author, title and location of the item, QR Codes in the Library.
  • The Abilene Christian University in Texas has produced a video showing a fictional account of what could happen if the entire campus of students and academics were connected using a next gen mobileConnected

E-Learning iPhone App “Educate”…05.26.09

26 05 2009

Educate is described by its creators as:

Educate is an iPhone/iTouch application designed to support teaching professionals in schools, universities and colleges. Featuring inbuilt lesson planning, student tracking, teaching strategies and eLearning tools, Educate provides teachers with a holistic approach to engaging students in 21st century learning environments…”

E-Reader Comparison Kindle DX & Sony Reader PRS700…05.16.09

26 05 2009

Here is the conclusion of a comparison of 2 popular e-reader formats from Sony Reader Vs Kindle DX:

“…The Kindle DX actually comes across as a clear winner over the Sony Reader PRS700. The higher price and unknown release date are two disadvantages – However, the sheer number of other advantages (larger screen, better readability, whispernet, free internet, better selection of new book titles, etc.) make the DX the better choice.

If you’re focused on portability and lower price then Kindle 2 Vs Sony Reader PRS700 becomes the more relevant comparison. Which is not as clear cut (people focused on touchscreen or pdf and epub support might choose Sony while people who prefer convenience of whispernet 60 second downloads, free internet, and better selection of books would pick Kindle 2).

Sony took a gamble with the touchscreen and it didn’t pay off. Sony is rumored to be working on a new large screen model and hopefully that avoids the ‘touchscreen messing up readability’ blunder.

It would be cool if the new, large screen Sony Reader has some cool cutting edge features that motivate Amazon to further ramp up the speed at which they are improving Kindles.”

Making Sense of Twitter Grammar…05.26.09

26 05 2009


Here is a potentially useful excerpt from a TechCrunch post today titled RT: @Microsyntax Sets Out To Make Sense Of #twittergrammar:

One of the side effects of Twitter’s 140-character limitation is that users are coming up with their own microsyntax and abbreviated Twitter grammar to make their Tweets more expressive. If your are merely retweeting someone else’s tweet, for example, you acknowledge that by placing a ‘RT’ at the beginning of your micro-message. If you are replying publicly to another user or just referring to them, you indicate that with an ‘@username.’ You can even add hashtags to a tweet so that it shows up in searches for specific topics (please use ‘#twittergrammar’ if you are going to RT this post).

New conventions pop up every day. To make sense of them, and develop new ones, Stowe Boyd is launching tomorrow…”

Wolfram Alpha Search Update as It Zeros In on 100 Million Queries…05.24.09

24 05 2009

This is an excerpt from the Mashable! post Wolfram Apha Approaches 100 Million Queries by Ben Parr:

“…I recently had the rare pleasure of chatting with the founder of Wolfram Research and the man behind the Wolfram Alpha engine and its algorithms. For 45 minutes we discussed the concept of Wolfram Alpha, the difficulties of parsing language, how social media helps filter information, and even the ability to analyze multimedia. Dr. Wolfram also revealed that Wolfram Alpha is set to exceed 100 million queries. Below is an analysis of the interview. If you’re interested in the full audio, we’ve provided it at the end, embedded via Yahoo Media Player…

It’s clear that Dr. Wolfram is fascinated with how users interact with the Wolfram Alpha system. Beyond discussing some ways users have used Wolfram Alpha in unanticipated ways (6 mins, 30 secs), Dr. Wolfram helped define why Wolfram Alpha is not a search engine:

‘At a practical level, it means that it doesn’t make a lot of sense to cache things because you keep on getting new and different things you’ve never seen before; it kind of reveals the fact that [Wolfram Alpha] really has to compute stuff.’ (8 mins, 40 secs)

Because Wolfram Alpha is designed to parse natural speech and natural language (full sentences and questions), Dr. Wolfram and his team have had to address and understand the difficulties of creating a web tool based on natural language. This becomes difficult when people are trained to use online input fields and search boxes in a specific way:

‘People see an input field and they think search engine and they think two or three or four words…the main point is that they’re saying let’s search for a concept, not let’s try and get a specific answer for a question that we actually have.’ (16 mins, 20 secs)

In the end though, it seems that people are quickly grasping better and more effective ways to interact with Wolfram Apha – in fact, quicker than Dr. Wolfram expected. People are finding diverse and unique ways to find the answers they seek via Wolfram Alpha…

There are several important lessons and takeaways that we can take from the Dr. Wolfram interview:

- First, that human language is deceptively complex and that analyzing it has been a challenge. In fact, Dr. Wolfram wondered if it was even possible many times during the process.

- Second, that there is a necessity to provide people practical access to this type of computational information. This may be part of why Dr. Wolfram and Wolfram Research built this engine, and even why they decided to live stream the launch.

- Finally, that social media is a vital tool for filtering information and opinions. It’s useful to the Wolfram team already for understanding what users want, and may be useful later on as actual data points for the Wolfram Alpha algorithms.

Wolfram Alpha is simply a project we’re all going to have to watch (and use) in the coming months. It’s not a search engine nor is it a social sharing tool like TwitterTwitter reviews, but we still haven’t seen this much excitement for a new web product in a long while.

Because we just love multimedia, we have embedded the interview in its entirety here. You’re also welcome to download it, stick it on your iPod, and listen to it while you’re on the road, on the train, or just relaxing. Dr. Wolfram’s insights and analysis are rare gems that you should not miss.” 

Wolfram Alpha Mashable Interview (43 minutes, 48 seconds)

Questioning Library Neutrality: Essays from Progressive Librarian-“The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”…05.24.09

24 05 2009


I hate to draw attention to something as foolish as Questioning Library Neutrality: Essays from Progressive Librarian but I couldn’t refrain myself after reading the introduction on Memorial Day weekend. What a piece of drivel! –  Ok, it is “professional drivel”.

As a proponent of free speech, their right to publish and promote their “work” is unquestioned.  However, the content in a mishmash of “politically correct” nonsense.

I just hope our other professional peers aren’t afraid to stand up to this kind of “progressive” tirade against the “Library Bill of Rights” and genuine freedom under the guise of scholarship.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

“Social Networking Literacy Competencies for Librarians”…05.23.09

23 05 2009


Thanks to The Resource Shelf for pointing out the recent paper Social Networking Literacy Competencies for Librarians: Exploring Considerations and Engaging Participation by Joe Murphy and Heather Moulaison from the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) 14th National Conference, Pushing the Edge: Explore, Engage, Extend at Seattle, Washington on March 14, 2009.

From the Paper:

The social networking literate librarian possesses the skills necessary providing services in and with online social networking sites

Social networking sites are extremely popular across age groups and are central forums
for accessing and sharing information. Librarians are responding to the popularity of social
networking sites and their expanding role in the creation, use, and sharing of information by
engaging them as a central medium for interacting with library patrons and providing services to
meet their information needs.

Librarians need a new branch of skill sets specific to utilizing and leveraging social
networking sites to provide quality services and maintain their role as information experts in a Web 2.0 world


E-Book Reader Buyer’s Guide…05.22.09

22 05 2009


Wired today has a Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose an E-Book Reader now online.  Here is an excerpt:

“E-books are the ‘it’ gadget of the year. But picking an e-book reader is more difficult than choosing a brand of cereal or a bottle of shampoo. Every other week, a new reader is gussied up in the factories of Taiwan, ready to make its debut. At last count, we estimated at least 12 different e-book readers on the market or close to release.

How do you know which one is right for you?

All e-book readers promise to do one thing well: display text, especially for books. But there are a few more basic requirements: It must offer long battery life, be easy to carry, have a screen that doesn’t strain the eyes and can be easily read in all environments including bright sunlight. Fortunately, most e-book readers for sale today meet that basic criteria.

There are many devices to choose from, and there’s also a lot of homogeneity in looks, style and function. Almost all the e-book readers available are paperback-sized and sport a display sourced from E Ink, the Cambridge Massachusetts-based company.

So should you buy the $360 Amazon Kindle (after all, it’s the most widely known e-reader and is backed by the Amazon brand) or the $250 upstart Cool-er e-book reader launched just a week ago?…”

FREE Online Conference for ALL Librarians – “OPALESCENCE”…05.22.09

22 05 2009


Cool – you don’t have to join a club :-)

NO FEES – NO DUES – NO TRAVEL —- Just Right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OPAL (Online Programming for All Libraries) is planning something special:

Thursday, August 13, 2009 beginning at noon Eastern Time, 11:00 a.m. Central, 10:00 a.m. Mountain, 9:00 a.m. Pacific, and 4:00 p.m. GMT:

    OPALESCENCE: A Free Online Conference for All Librarians Has your travel budget dried up? Still want that conference experience of fresh ideas, lively conversations, and networking with colleagues? Participate in OPALESCENCE, a free online conference for all librarians and fellow travelers. We’re planning a series of interesting and informative presentations and discussions spread over a two-day period. Watch this space for more announcements. 

    Host: TAP Information Services Schedule of Events: OPALESCENCE Conference Schedule (coming soon)


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