Tag Archives: facebook

The Magical World of Google

1 Nov

As many of you know, I am a huge Google fangirl (Yes I realize that I have a WordPress blog instead of blogger. That is because I prefer WordPress and I don’t like to choose something based on the name alone…).

With that being said, Google has some pretty awesome things going on. A fellow classmate of mine presented on Google Doc this past week and I thought I would share what I know, along with what I learned! I am narrowing this down to things that will help you do group work and whatnot. So I hope this is beneficial for you!

Google Drive (Formerly Google Docs)

Drive has some great features for students (really anyone who needs to do group work). For instance, if you don’t have Microsoft Word you can use Drive and create a ‘document’. It can be saved in .doc or .rtf  formats (there may be others but I am not positive). You can also create presentations, spreadsheets, forms, and use a “Paint” like program. The best part of all of these things is that they are easily shared and edited by groups. Here is how:

  1. Create Document
  2. Input data
  3. Hit “File” then “Share”
  4. Then choose how you would like to share (Email, social media, etc)
  5. Change how the other users can use this document (e.g. Can they edit or just view?)
  6. Hit “Done”
  7. Now all the other users can view and edit the info!

 

Google Plus

HANGOUTS! Yes Hangouts! This feature is amazing! Oh yeah, the other stuff is good too but I am pretty sure you have tried playing with the typical G+ stuff like creating circles and posting info. I personally prefer G+ over Facebook but sadly all my friends are “used to using” Facebook and don’t want to make the switch. Which is fine because there are tons of “professionals” using it (Like Librarians and my super geeks!) so it isn’t too bad. I digress.

The hangouts are awesome for several reasons.

  1. It’s free
  2. You can live stream the info through YouTube (Google owns YouTube in case you were curious)
  3. You can use it on your phone (so for you Apple people, it is like Face Time if you have a forward facing camera on your phone)
  4. You can chat face to face with up to 9 group members

Here is an example of how Librarians are using Hangouts. American Libraries has created a Live event with 9 episodes planned over the next year on various topics ranging from “Landing your ideal library job” to “Digging into new databases”. Check it out! I looks quite promising!

But G+ isn’t just about Hangouts, it has other great features. There are too many to cover in one post so I may just slowly add them to the blog throughout the year. Maybe I will even make tutorials for you…who knows. 😉

Google Calendar

I love the Calendar feature. Like all things Google they allow you to share your calendar with selected people. For instance I share a calendar with my husband so that we can both see what the other has planned for the day. This way his dental appointments or my volunteer hours don’t sneak up on each other.

It also allows you to set reminders via email or text for any event. I like to have a reminder sent via text 1 hour before any meeting I have so that even if I forgot about the meeting I can still make it no matter where I am in town. Or I set a 1 week notice for presentations I have to give and really the list can go on.

 

Do you have any Google features that you love? What are they and how do you use them? I would love to hear about it! Comment away!

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Some Helpful Readings on Social Media

28 Oct

My course on Social Media is turning out to be way more informative than I originally thought it would be (not to mention I am actually learning about Research Methods in this course more so than other courses I have taken…including a separate course on Research Methods. But that is neither here nor there).

So I thought I would share some of the readings I have found most helpful so far:

Google Speaks: Secrets of the Worlds Greatest Billionaire Entrepreneurs, Sergey Brin and Larry Page

by Janet Lowe

I learned a lot more about Google than I thought I would ever know! 🙂 However this book did inspire me to try out some new things using Google. I am pretty sure I NEED to work at the Googleplex (Preferably the Dublin, Ireland location! *Ahem* Google I can send you my CV!!!).
I tabbed a lot of the pages to come back to later and bookmarked webpages that I can use later on (like www.bananaslug.com). However, because Google is so fluid in their side projects, several of the items mentioned in the book were already removed from Google Labs by the time I read the book (which was published in 2009). Otherwise, it was very interesting to see how our Gracious Overlord was born. 🙂
It is definitely worth a read if you are in the information business. 🙂

This Book is Overdue: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All

by Marilyn Johnson

I have had this on my “to read” list for a while (if I am completely honest, it is because I love the title and the cover, CYBRARIANS! You really can’t do wrong with a Librarian with a cape and an e-reader flying off to save people…).

 

First let me say that this is a book written about Librarians by someone who is NOT a Librarian. So seeing the profession from someone else’s viewpoint was refreshing! I might, however be biased, as the author does love us! She also has great quotes like, “Are Librarians obsolete in the Age of Google? All I can say is, are you kidding? Librarians are more important than ever. Google and Yahoo! and Bing and WolframAlpha can help you find answers to your questions, sometimes brilliantly; but if you don’t know how to phrase those questions, no search engine can help provide answers.” (p. 20). I think that is brilliantly phrased! Another favorite quote is, “And Librarians aren’t programmed to say, ‘We have no idea’ The words feel like chalk in their mouth” (p. 39).

I have learned a lot about the Alternative Librarians. And what I mean by that is, the Librarians who have created Libraries in places like Second Life, blogging Librarians, those promoting Radical Reference, those using various Social Medias, and the list can go on!

I am still reading it (I am about 70% through it) but I have learned so much about new ways Librarians are creating or using to “step out of the building” (p. 105) and creating a presence online. And let’s face it, that is where a bulk of our patrons will seek us out!

A great must read!!

The Facebook Effect

by David Kirkpatrick

This book highlights the birth and life of Facebook starting from the halls of Harvard through present (well 2010 at least). There really isn’t much to say about this book. But it is worth reading if you would like to see how something as small as University’s paper facebook handouts can spark a multi million (billion?) dollar company. Check it out!

Articles

And lastly, here are links and citations for some of the articles I have read (most of which were assigned class readings) but are nevertheless very interesting and worth a quick read.

Web 2.0

4 Oct

I have been in Grad school for over a year now, and I keep hearing the term “Web 2.0” in regards to internet technologies. So I wanted to dig a bit deeper and figure out where the term came from and maybe even catch a glimpse of where we are going.

The concept and term Web 2.0 was coined in early 2000, supposedly between Tim O’Reilly and MediaLive International. But what is Web 2.0? In short it is a new way to visualize and use the internet. Prior to the dot com bubble burst in 2001, the internet wasn’t nearly as interactive as it is today. Things were still being figured out and people weren’t quite sure what the “World Wide Web” was capable of offering. Web 1.0 consisted of information that was only available through ‘standard’ means such as email, visiting a website, and similar activities that didn’t allow the user to alter or personalize much of anything (remember how exciting it was when AIM first allowed you to personalize your font and personal icon in the IM software?).

There were so many options becoming available during this time, that people were beginning to wonder if that was all the internet was good for, cheap tricks and mild entertainment. However, there was a shift in thinking that spawned a new era of services. The idea of a static web was replaced with the notion that web users wanted collaboration, and Web 2.0 was born. Sites such as Flickr, Napster, and Wikipedia began to surface where users were able to contribute information, and the internet we know today was shaped.

After using a collaborative internet for so long it is difficult to imagine it being any other way. We now have Facebook and Twitter; ThePirateBay and Wikipedia; and we upload an unbelievable amount of data to the internet daily (see infographic below). Which brings me to my next thought, is there a Web 3.0?

If Web 1.0 was considered a “platform” (O’Reilly, 2005), and Web 2.0 is the interactive web, then logically Web 3.0 should be … Who knows! HowStuffWorks thinks that it will be a glorified personal assistant, stating that you could type in complex statements into the browser and it will give you immediate results (Their example is you type in that you want to see a funny movie and then go out for Mexican food. The browser then sorts through all the possibilities and gives you a result that is best suited for you). Others, such as W3C, have stated that it will be a ‘semantic web’ allowing for further collaboration as well as greater amounts of data being process directly and indirectly by computers.

There isn’t really a good answer as to what Web 3.0 will bring. But it is certain that it will be exciting. So brace yourselves! The internet is about to get more interesting.

My Feelings on Social Media

9 Sep

So as a “twenty something” social media  is rather central to my life, not only personally but academically and professionally as well.

Social Media (SM) is many things. It is a way to network for jobs, stay in contact with friends and family, find new friends who have interests in niche topics, a way to express yourself and your beliefs, and I could go on. I think that SM is different for everyone and that everyone molds it to their needs.

Facebook

For instance, I use my Facebook account to stay in touch with friends and family. I post all of my personal pictures and stories there so that the people I love and follow what is going on in my life as it happens (It really saves a lot on phone bills). I am on Facebook daily, typically I just open it in the background and use the chat feature to get quick messages back and forth from my colleagues as well as family.

I also use the smart phone app so that I can upload the pictures I take from my phone easily.

Twitter

I use Twitter more to follow people and companies and get up to date info on new gadgets, ideas, software, etc. Following companies like G4 (@g4tv), Tekzilla (@tekzilla), and This Week in Tech (@TWiT) have helped me stay on top of the tech world and learn about new hardware and software, gadgets, and really everything, that is coming out. I find this to be very helpful! Especially when you don’t have time to surf the web daily and look this stuff up by yourself. I typically try to check my Twitter account 2-3 times a week, which is not as frequent as I would like, but I am very busy. However the accounts that I think are very important like Tekzilla and TWiT I have sent to my phone as a text.

LinkedIn

I use LinkedIn to network professionally. It also has a news feed that you can post updates to (very similar to the Facebook feed) where I post job related posts and things that I think my colleagues might find helpful or interesting. I check this account maybe once a week if that. I update my CV frequently and if I am trying to apply for a job I look up the people on my contact list so that I know who I am dealing with. I figure they are doing the same thing to me so it is ok. 🙂

Google+

Google+ is good for me for both professional and social interactions. I find that there are a lot of tech and Library related people on this site and so I follow them and have learned a lot from their postings. I check G+ maybe twice a week. It is linked with my email account so all notifications go there anyway. And because not very many people use this service the updates for the week only take half an hour to read through. So it is quite manageable, which I like.

Pinterest

I also try to play with pinterest for keeping projects I want to try in one place. I very rarely use this service. I think it is cool but I haven’t really found a use for it other than organizing the hours upon hours of crafting I plan to do once I graduate.

Goodreads

The one site I might use above all the others is Goodreads. I read a lot and this platform allows me to create a virtual library where I can list all the books I read and review and rate them. I am also able to view other people’s ratings and such. I like that they create a place for people to join book clubs as well as host book giveaways daily. So I am on this site at least once a day! But again I think this might be more personal site than a professional or academic site.

Flickr

My husband and I love to travel and do some pretty awesome things. I am also pretty sure that my husband was born with a camera in his hand, so we have several external hard drives full of pictures we have taken over the years. So when Flickr opened to the public instead of just photographers we were thrilled! It is $20 a year for unlimited storage (the only SM we pay for) but it is worth it. You can upload your pictures to be shared publicly or privately and you are also given copyright options. In fact a few years back we were contacted by a hotel to use one of our images for their website. So that is awesome. I generally only upload photos here to share with my friends and family as they don’t distort images like Facebook does.

Klout

I just started using Klout maybe a month ago. It is a website designed to show you how influential you on in various social media platforms. You are given a score, I believe from 1-100, and it even breaks down where you get the most and least attention and gives you tips on how to improve your score and make yourself more visible to the people you want to market to. I login here maybe once a week just to see how my score is changing. I think this is a good service for small business owners so that they can see how their marketing is working.

Brandyourself

This site is very similar to Klout in that it helps you boost your info to the top of search results. It shows you where to put information on your various sites so that it is found by the Google Bots. I am currently ranking well on page 2 of Google 🙂 It is free to use but you are limited to the number of things that you can do unless you pay for a premium account. For me personally it is not worth it, but I think a small business or library might benefit from it! I very rarely logon, only when I get an email telling me that something on my account has changed.

I am sure I have more SM accounts, but I am at a loss as to what they are currently. I may update as I remember!

Basically, each SM platform has a market that it works best for.

And because I use so many sites I try to also use an aggregator.

Tweetdeck

Tweetdeck is good for Twitter and Facebook as it allows you to create ‘columns’ for specific things. You can have one column that updates you on one specific hashtag (#) or a column that updates you on just direct messages you have received from others, and so on.

Alternion

However, I like to use Alternion. It is in its second round of beta testing so they are still working on the bugs, but it is pretty awesome. Last I checked they allowed you to link 202 SM sites to your account. The home page has two viewing options, one that resembles the Facebook layout, and the second resembles the pinterest layout. The news feed pulls all the info from all your other accounts and places them on one screen, so that you don’t have to sign in to 18 different pages to check your social media accounts. And when you want to post something all you have to do is post it on Alternion and then hit a button that says ‘post to all accounts’ and then send. Then that update is on all accounts! Easy!

Again, they are still working out bugs, like posting to Google+ and notifying you of messages and such from outside networks. But it is work checking out in my opinion!

And, as a fun little extra, here is a tag cloud for my blog! 🙂

Here is a pretty awesome tag cloud I made on Tagxedo.com. This might be the best interface for creating tag clouds or word clouds I have used yet.

Week 2, Social Media for Information Professionals

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