An online diary

lørdag den 7. november 2015

Things 23: Making It All Work Together

Going through alle 23 Things has been a very interesting and rewarding journey. 

I have worked through things I already knew of and use regularly, LinkedIn or presentation tools, and I have had a look at things that I only knew about in theory, podcasting or video. It has left me with a wish to use more of these tools both privately and at work to stay up to date - but it's so time consuming! It would only be realistic to spend more time on the tools if using them had a real purpose and I would gain quite a lot of benefit from using them. Come time come opportunity, I'm sure.

For one thing I'll definitely keep Buffer in mind and check it out for when this course is over and I plan to become much more active on LinkedIn and on my professional blog. All the interesting and inspiring things that I find today are kept in a mess of browser bookmarks, pins on pinterests and even emails to myself with links! I'm sure it can be done a little smarter :-)

Flipboard was my choice of curation tool in Thing 8 and didn't go too well technically, so I've given it another try. It sounded appealling that I can follow my social accounts in one place - I tend to forget to check them all out on a regular basis. And it works! There's quite a lot of clicking and scrolling even to read tweets - but that may just be my miniature iPhone 4 screen! Anyway, thanks for pointing out that feature. As I flip my way through the feed I'll get to know the app better and I might end up having a new favourite.

Thing 22: Mobile Things

Thinking about the subject of apps I realized that I don't use any apps in my work life. I'm always in front of a pc and the nearest work-related app I can think of is LinkedIn - and I only use that for private career purposes.

My colleagues at the public library, where I work, teach different apps to our users - especially the e-lending apps providing books, magazines, films and music. With Zinio as the only exception they are all Danish solutions and hence not very interesting for others to read about.

I've had a look at Gum - A social network of things and the idea of using the app in a library context is great. Reader to reader recommendations are always popular. In my home I couldn't find any product with a barcode that had been scanned and commented on - not even a can of a popular soft drink :-)

I know the beacon technology and - middle aged as I am - I am a bit ambivalent. Fundamentally I don't like being disturbed by push messages all the time where ever I go. But on the other hand if I was notified about something I would really like to have known about and otherwise would have missed, that might of course be nice. But that's the classic dilemma with information technology: getting just the right amount of relevant information at any time.

lørdag den 31. oktober 2015

Thing 21: Creating Infographics

Infographics may not be as new as one should think. When I searched for free-to-use pictures on the web I came across this Canadian poster from WW1.

If only this meant that creating infographics were easy!
I may have the anaytical skills, but I feel I lack creativity to convey the data in a compelling and understandable way at the same time.

It's great with the free tools with lots of templates - I would never get there if I had to start from scratch with some complicated, professional graphic tool.

At our library we definately could use som infographic - one explaining how to use the photocopier, for example - because more and more of our users are foreign or not good readers.

I've used Canva to design birthday cards an so on just like we used Microsoft Publisher many years ago. (Whatever happened to Publisher?)

I would like to rework my CV into a graphic presentation to make it more appealing and easy to comprehend.

But for now I've had a look at the website of The White House seen through the Wayback Machine.
This is my first infographic and I know it doesn't make use of the many visual tricks I've noticed in the good ones. But infographics are much harder work than they look like - even if you have a template! I guess I'll only start one if I have something really important to tell :-)

Thing 20: Presentations

For the most part I use presentations when I teach or present our department (a business service within a public library) to potentiel customers or collaborators.


Mountain climber by Magnus, 8 years
It is very true, that you should start with the story, the idea, the purpose of what you're going to say.
And it should definitely be custom made to your audience.

One thing I've also learned is to reherse the presentation out load. Thinking in my head is no where near the same as actually saying the things as I'm planning to say them to my audience. It makes it very clear if something is unclear, where I get insecure etc. - and just as importantly, I get a real feeling of how long my presentation takes, so I can keep to my time.

I've used Power Point before but now prefer Prezi. Not that I'm very creative, but after I've got the hang of navigation in Prezi I find this tool much more flexible and inspiring.

Here's my attempt to attract tourists to my little country ;-)

lørdag den 24. oktober 2015

Thing 19: The Legal Side of Things

I discovered Prezi a couple of years ago as an alternative to Power Point. Apart from being a  presentation tool, Prezi is also a social media with a focus on sharing and collaborating.


I know we get to presentation tools Thing 20, so I'll briefly present Prezi as place to find stuff that you can use freely.


I have a public (free) profile, so my presentations are not only searchable and viewable to everybody but also reusable by default. Reuseable means that the presentation it's possible for anyone to save a copy and then reuse the content in a separate prezi.

I can't change these settings with af free profile - if I want my presentations to be protected from reuse or even hidden from the public, I need to upgrade to one of the paid accounts.
But public and reusable is fine with me. If I want to use other people's stuff, I have to contribute, too :-)

You can search for presentations on any topic and you can limit the search to ". It's very easy. If for example you search* for "teaching information skills" you get a lot of  presentations free to inspire you or reuse in any way you want.

When you find a presentation you want to save and maybe work with, you simply click the Make a Copy-button and it's saved into your own account.

Here's a really nice one by Kelly Grimmett - with embedded screen casts :-)

* A note on searching in Prezi's Explore section.
The search facility in Prezi is very unsophisticated. You can't do phrase searches, so depending on what you search for, your results may be full of irrelevant hits.
Instead I recommend another way in: do a Google Advanced search on your topic and limit to domain:
Unfortunately the Google Advanced option of limiting to Usage rights: Free to use and share doesn't work.

tirsdag den 20. oktober 2015

Thing 18: Communicating through Photographs

Our library has an Instagram profile, and I think it's a good way to present new and propably surprising angles on our services to all of our 409 followers :-)

Presentation of e-books in the pedestrian street.

I am familiar with Instagram, even have my own sleeping account, so I'm going to have a closer look at Flickr.

I agree that the fact that you have to open a Yahoo-account and give a telephone number seems an unnecessary hurdle to using the service.

I didn't try the app, but the website feels rather heavy to work with. To me it feels more like a semi-professional photo database than a social media. I would go there to find photos for a purpose, not just to pass time like on Instagram.

As tools for libraries who want to engage with their user, I can't decide one is better than the other. But I think it's important that libraries are present on the visual, social media - often pictures tell our stories much better and faster. And if the photoes are good and creative enough, they wake peoples' curiousity and that's what we need.

I found a couple of creative common photos of The Royal Library in Copenhagen, the building is called the black diamond.

søndag den 18. oktober 2015

Thing 17: Reflective practice

Going through every Thing and having to write about the tool and my experience with it has been daunting and time-consuming but of course very, very helpful.

It has forced me to think about the particular tool in two ways: how it was to work with and how it would be useful or not to me in my everyday work. Especially the last is essential, I think, and what makes all the difference.

Writing the blog posts helps me remember each tool better and hopefully use them if and when they (or other similar tools available) become relevant and useful. 

But looking for example at the different collaboration tools has made it very clear to me, that my job is rather solitary and introvert. I don't do much collaboration with neither colleagues nor custoumers/clients. This has made me think more about whether this is in accordance with my nature and something I'm happy with - or if I just ended up in a job like this by accident but in reality would prefer to work closer with others.

The tools are just that - tools - but learning about them put a spotlight om how we work whether on our own or with others and the tasks we have. Do we do it smart enough and do we do enough of the right things?

At the library where I work, we almost exclusively talk about service and what our users get from us. That is important, of course, I'm not denying that, but I sometimes miss time and space to talk about how we work and how we cater to our own needs for attention, encouragement, and inspiration. How do we learn from each other, exchange experiences and ideas in a busy work place? For example our intranet is totally outdated. It is visually unappealing and only suited for giving messages - it does not work as a social media at all. And our work documents, i.e forms, schedules, project descriptions, strategies etc, are still buried deep down in an inflexible and confusing file structure.

I think I'll on y own start by using more of the tools and try to organise my work around them - especially the Things that are presented after this reflective practice. I probably can't change the way my work place is organized, but I can definitely put more new energy into my own tasks