Friday, March 14, 2014

Thing 4 Keeping Up

Keeping up has been a challenge for librarians for a very long time.  Learning new techniques to make it a bit easier always appeals.  I approached this Thing 4 with that attitude. 

After a cursory overview of Flipboard and Zite, I spent a fair amount of time exploring Flipboard.  Using it to keep current with library blogs seemed beneficial.  I tried unsuccessfully to subscribe to Best of Publib, Doug Johnson's Blue Skunk Blog, LibrarianDOA, and  NYPL blogs.  I tried this several times.  Though my Flipboard includes 'placeholders' for each blog, no items ever loaded.  I checked several of these blogs directly, and there have been new posts in the week or so since I set Flipboard up.  Frustrating.

Since I am a new library trustee, I searched Google and United for Libraries (ALA)for blogs written by trustees.  Many libraries, library associations and library organizations have blogs, but I found just one post written by a young librarian who works in one library and serves as a trustee on the board of another.

I set up a couple magazines (Ports of Call, Potpourri) on Flipboard and also subscribed to various news, political and technology feeds as well as Facebook.

My conclusion: Flipboard adds one more layer, one more place to check for updates but not enough value to persuade me to use it to keep up. 

A postscript to Thing 3 Utilities...On a recent walk through the historic district in Beaufort, South Carolina, I admired a lovely old home that had a for sale sign in the yard and used RedLaser to scan the QRC code to see the price which was astronomical, of course.  An instant reality check.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Thing 3 Utilities

After exploring several of the utilities for iphones, I installed three and will experiment with all of them to see how useful they turn out to be.

RedLaser works easily.  Using barcode samples currently on my desktop, I scanned and quickly connected with Metronet's 23 Mobile Things site and  Shopping is not a major interest, but I will try using this app on a few shopping trips over the next couple weeks.

Wi-Fi Finder indeed is straightforward and easy to use.  It identified 6 free hotspots near my South Carolina location though not the one I use most often at a nearby cafĂ©.  In anticipation of future travels, I checked a few international sites, found hotspots in three cities and none at all on the Aran Islands which truly remain a wild and remote place.

GoogleSearch has so many options and features, too many to fully grasp in a brief overview session.  I read several online reviews, including one on C-NET which said the voice search feature alone made this a "must have" app.  I'll spend more time exploring this one.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Thing 2 Mobile Device Tips

I am fairly new to the world of smart phones, having purchased an iphone last summer to replace a very old, very tired and very basic Samsung mobile phone which had become so quaint that I used it only surreptitiously in dark corners for the last few months of its existence.

Before exploring Thing 2, I thought I had learned the iphone features of most use to me from friends who provided tips and from exploring an intuitive interface.  Now I realize I had barely scratched the surface level of knowledge.  I spent hours on this Thing, experimenting with almost all of the tips--and sharing favorites with friends.  Because I recently upgraded to iOS 7, it was an especially good time to learn about the many features available.  My favorite: turning text to Bold enlivened the appearance of the gray-ish text native to iOS 7 and made reading easier.  The various swipes for searching, easy deletions, editing and more truly are enhancements which I now use regularly.

All in all...time well spent.  However, I need to pick up the pace with Things 3-23 or the generous timeline for finishing 23 Mobile Things will elapse before I explore them all.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Thing 1

The Gilded Giraffe last published a post in 2008 which seems long ago.  It is a long time in chronological terms and also in the technology world.  I was learning then about 23 Things on a Stick and now am ready to learn 23 Mobile Things courtesy of Minnesota's multitype library systems and their directors.

First, I need to take a step back and refresh what I once knew about blogging.  Whatever skill I had has rusted (it has been 5+ years after all), so a quick remedial lesson is in order.