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Archive for the ‘Web 2.0 Tools’ Category

Health DATAbytes: A New Blog with Tips to Improve Community Health Using Data

Health DATAbytes is an online conversation featuring health experts and advocates providing examples of using data to make healthy changes to benefit communities and address health disparities. The blog postings are designed to help people with a wide range of data expertise to better understand and use data to seek funding, plan and evaluate programs, or advance public policies to promote healthier communities. In addition to the expert commentary, Health DATAbytes provides data tips and tricks, and links to upcoming data training sessions. Blog postings reflect a broad range of health topics. Recent listings include the health effects of living near major roadways, neighborhoods lacking healthy food outlets (food deserts), and the effect of state budget cuts on support services for the elderly and disabled.

Health DATAbytes is a new initiative from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, as part of its Health DATA (Data. Advocacy. Training. Assistance.) Program. The aim of this program is to make data easily understandable to a wide variety of public health and health advocacy personnel, as well as members of the general community. Another goal of the program is to increase capacity of these groups to locate and present credible data related to particular health programs.

Tools to Build a Free Website

The “Free Technology for Teachers” blog lists 10 tools that allow you to build a website for free. The posting explains, “websites are good for providing a static resource of information, blogs are good for frequent updates and communication, and a wiki is great for collaborating on the creation of a reference site” and then lists 10 tools for website creation.

Free Technology for Teachers Blog

The blog “Free Technology for Teachers,” at http://www.freetech4teachers.com/, provides online resources and ideas for teaching with technology. Some of the posts are specific to K-12 education but a number of posts are useful for education across the educational spectrum. You can read the blog from time to time or subscribe to their RSS feed to receive new posts.

Report on Twitter Use

The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project reports on Twitter users. According to the report, 8% percent of the American adults who use the internet are Twitter users. Some of the groups who are notable for their relatively high levels of Twitter use include young adults, African-Americans and Latinos, and urbanites. See the full report at http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Twitter-Update-2010.aspx.

Social Media and Disaster Response

The March 2010 TEDxNYED talk, “The New Volunteers: Social Media, Disaster Response And You,” was presented by Andy Carvin, Senior Strategist at NPR. In this talk, Andy gave an overview of the way the Internet and Social Media tools have changed over time to create a new set of tools and resources for responding to disasters. See http://acarvin.posterous.com/video-of-my-tedxnyed-talk-the-new-volunteers.

Create QR Codes Easily with Google URL Shortener

You can now easily create QR codes with Google’s URL Shortener (http://goo.gl/). To create the QR code, append “.qr” to the end of the shortened URL in your brower’s URL bar. You can then copy the QR code image from your browser.

If you’re not familiar with QR codes, see a previous discussion of QR codes in NewsBits, see http://nnlm.gov/psr/newsbits/?p=687.

Health-Related Widgets For Your Web Site

“Widgets” or “gadgets” are small programs that you can place on your web site or blog. The federal government produces freely available widgets related to health: see http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Reference_Shelf/Libraries/Gadget_Gallery/Health.shtml. Widgets are available from the FDA, CDC, and other government agencies. Topics include H1N1 flu, drug safety, and general health. To use a widget in your web site or blog, copy the code provided into your site.

Social Media Policies

Are you curious about the social media policies of other institutions? Take a look at the growing list at HLWIKI:

http://hlwiki.slais.ubc.ca/index.php/Social_media_policies

It includes links to policies for health care institutions.

How to Present with Twitter (Free Online Book)

Have you thought about using Twitter to engage the audience during a presentation? If so, you may wish to download a free, online book on how to use Twitter in presentations. The book discusses benefits in using Twitter in your presentations. Sections include how to “survive the experience” and how to respond to the audience. To download, see http://www.merlot.org/merlot/viewMaterial.htm?id=433746.

Evaluating New Social Networking Services: Google Buzz and Foursquare

Two new online services have made the news lately:  Google Buzz and Foursquare.

Google Buzz is a good example of why it’s not always a good idea to immediately go out and try a new service.  Give it a week and let the “dust settle.”

At first, Google Buzz seemed like a great idea:  Facebook-like interaction with your contacts integrated directly into Gmail.  Unfortunately, reports of privacy issues and too many “automatic” features began almost immediately.  For instance, users reported that all their Gmail contacts were now public for everyone to see.  Google has now been forced to admit it made a mistake and to try to fix the system.  See this blog post entitled, “Google: We Screwed Up with Buzz, Stay Tuned” for a summary.

Meanwhile, a mobile service called “Foursquare” has been getting a lot of attention. Foursquare is a “geo-location” app for mobile phones.  People can share their location with their friends and offer “tips” about particular places in their city.  The Krafty Librarian has an interesting post about the service and whether it has any application to libraries.  For now, it appears to be mostly a “fun” application but it’s worth keeping an eye on for future library applications.