Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category
Wednesday, June 20th, 2012
A recent post from RedWriteWeb provides an answer to the question “What is the point of: #Hashtags?” Part of an going What is the Point of Series, the hashtag topic is of interest for Twitter users as well as those who want to keep up with popular topics, events, meetings, or even have learning experiences through the use of social media.
Hashtags are a great way to label tweets and information when sharing with at group. Adding a hashtag to a tweet will label the information and allow it to show up in a hashtag search with other tweets containing the same hashtag. The hashtag adds metadata to the tweet.
Hashtags can be used for humorous purposes, networking, sharing information, and have even been used in emergencies. Using search tools on sites such as Twitter you can search for specific hashtags and check updates as new information is tweeted with the hashtag. Don’t forget that adding a hashtag to a tweet requires using the # symbol before the words or letters designated as the tag. Often hashtags are set up before meetings and events so that everyone attending knows the hashtag to use.
One of the growing trends with hashtag use is for information sharing and idea exchange. The Medical Library Association (MLA) typically promotes the use of hashtags at annual meetings so that users on Twitter can keep up with what is happening at the meeting. You can still find many tweets about the 2012 MLA Annual Meeting by searching for the #mlanet12 hashtag. You may also see some users are already talking about next year’s meeting using the hashtag #mlanet13.
Because hashtags are easy to search and follow, another use of hashtags on Twitter is in the form of chats. Using a hashtag users can tweet about the same topic and see real-time results from others using the same hashtag. In many ways a dialog can form, ideas or experiences can be shared, or questions can be answered.
Many library groups are already using hashtags to have successful Twitter chats. A list of 20 Essential Twitter Chats for the Library Crowd lists some of the more popular chats. On Thursday, June 21st, for the first time, medical librarians will have a live chat using the #medlibs hashtag. This is a first time attempt at an organized medical librarian chat on Twitter but continued chats are expected. Everyone is invited to join the conversation using the #medlibs hashtag.
Wednesday, June 13th, 2012
For years many libraries have relied upon Meebo as a tool to provide virtual reference services through instant message (IM) chat reference. The free service allowed libraries to respond to chat reference queries from a number of IM service providers including Yahoo Messenger, MSN, Google Talk, AIM, and many more. Earlier this month Google acquired Meebo and soon after announced that the service will be shutting down as of July 11, 2012.
Many libraries and librarians are now looking into alternative options to continue their IM reference services. While one solution will not work for all, the links below provide an overview of some of the options that exist for library chat and IM service continuity.
Some libraries are looking into paid services such as LibraryH3lp. LibraryH3lp provides chat reference support for libraries and non-profit organizations. Fees for use are based on the size of the population served. Many academic and public libraries are already using services through LibraryH3lp. The company also provides an additional package which supports SMS messaging for libraries that want to engage with users on their mobile devices. Free trials are available.
Another fee based service, LibChat, will soon be provided by Springshare, the makers of LibGuides. The company is currently suggesting that LibChat will work with other Springshare products and services. Pricing information is not currently available.
Additional free chat clients are still available. A few of the featured free services include the following:
Digsby: This service allows users to integrate and manage IM, email, and social networking. Support for AIM, MSN, Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk, and more is provided. This service also helps to manage multiple email accounts and social networking profiles. Download necessary.
IMO: A web-based option, IMO provides support for various IM services as well as social media sites. Download only necessary for mobile version of the service.
Pidgin: An open-source instant messaging client Pidgin has support for many of the most common IM services including AIM, Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger, and more. Download necessary.
For a full list of recommended services visit: http://www.ghacks.net/2012/06/10/with-meebo-shutting-down-here-are-some-alternatives/. Additional information on services provided at: http://www.multyshades.com/2011/09/25-most-useful-chat-widgets-and-chat-client-tools/.
Wednesday, June 6th, 2012
2012 marked the sixth Tech Trend Panel at the Medical Library Association (MLA) Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA. This year’s panel included a variety of speakers and new topics.
Gabe Rios: Google+. Gabe presented on the ins and outs of Google Plus also known as Google+. A show of hands from the audience indicated that most people in the crowd had at least tried to use Google+. Also of note for new users, if you have a gmail account, you can activate your Google+ account and start using it right away. Gabe mentioned the ease of posting to Google+ and the ability to share stories you post with specific groups or “circles” of contacts. Google+ also brings users the ability to host “hangouts” which provide users with group video chat services free of charge.
Google Plus Video
How to Start with Google Plus
Getting Started with Google Plus
Learn More about Google+
Emily Hurst: Tumblr. Emily presented on the ease of use of the microblogging site Tumblr. She pointed out that Tumblr is continuing to see growth and that with easy set up, even first time bloggers will be able to use Tumblr. The benefits of Tumblr come from the ease with which users can repost or reblog posts from accounts they follow. Tumblr can also be integrated into Twitter and Facebook for cross-posting.
To search Tumblr without logging in, try the following: Insert any word in the place of ‘library’ in this link, http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/library, to see results for posts tagged with that word. Emily cautioned the group on the wide variety of subjects that can be found in Tumblr.
Tumblr is a great way to share short form information with others. One of the benefits of Tumblr is that it makes posting multimedia very easy by using quick buttons for posting links, text, images, videos and audio. A drawback comes from the lack of commenting ability currently found in Tumblr.
New York Public Library Tumblr Feed
Mashable Tips for Marketing with Tumblr
Jerry Perry’s MLA President Tumblr Page
Kimberley Barker: Near Field Communication. Kimberley provided a great introduction to near field communication and even brought a fun toy to show off the technology. Explaining that near field communication is a subset of RFID (Radio-frequency identification), Kimberley demonstrated how the technology works using the Karotz bunny.
Using near field communication, the bunny can interact with you in many ways. It can be programed to communicate with you and even alert you to when your children arrive home. Kimberly also provided examples of how this technology will be deployed in healthcare and how it could provide for better patient care and safety in the future.
Delicious links about near field communication
Michelle Frisque: Big Data. Michelle spoke about the implications of the large data sets that we are seeing created today. Michelle mentioned that creating library spaces that are better suited to working with big data will be important. Having large LCD screens available for researchers is a great way for libraries to start opening their doors to big data researchers. Additionally librarians have skill sets for organizing data which can be beneficial for researchers working with big data.
Eric Schnell: Augmented Reality. Eric spoke about new advances in augmented reality and demonstrated new apps. He also invited attendees to play with some of this new technology. The iPhone/iPad app String allows users to create augmented reality environments and interact with them with ease.
Eric also demonstrated augmented reality programs that are helping medical students learn more about the human body and can even be used to show patients how their surgeries will be performed.
Augmented Reality and Libraries
Fatima Barnes: Web 2.0/Library 2.0. Fatima provided a brief overview of numerous web 2.0 concepts that have shaped library services. Included were concepts such as Flashmob Cataloging and managing online reputations with services such as Social Mention.
Wednesday, June 6th, 2012
Stay on top of the latest news from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) with this full list of social media links: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/socialmedia/social_nnlm.html Not only will you find quick access to Twitter, Facebook, and blog posts from the South Central Region, now you can find links to the social media sites and blogs from other Regions as well as the National Training Center (NTC), Outreach Evaluation Resource Center (OERC), and more.
For a comprehensive list of social media and news links from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) visit http://www.nlm.nih.gov/socialmedia/index.html
Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012
iLibrarian Ellyssa Kroski recently posted about the 5 Educational YouTube Channels for Librarians. Created in 2007 YouTube has taken off since the first video was upload. According to YouTube, “48 hours of video are uploaded every minute, resulting in nearly 8 years of content uploaded every day.” A lot of videos exist in YouTube and more are constantly being added. While many videos are fun distractions, a great deal of useful video content in YouTube is also educational especially for technology topics. How can librarians find and use materials from such a large database of videos?
Thanks to this list librarians can more easily explore YouTube Channels that provide relevant content for education, how-to videos, exposure to technologies, and ideas. For additional information visit the original post from iLibrarian.
- Mashable: Mashable is the go-to destination for social media-oriented tech news on the Internet. When it comes to video, Mashable’s YouTube channel delivers current events, trends, introductions to new cutting edge technology, and how-to videos about the most popular sites and products.
- Lifehacker: We’ve got a lot on our plates when it comes to managing our digital lives and balancing events in the real world. Lifehacker helps you manage the two, while showing you efficiency tips to expedite the whole process.
- TED talks: Yes, it’s common knowledge by now that TED is the place to go for some of the most inspiring video content on the Internet. Still, TED makes this list out of its tireless commitment to expanding our minds.
- TEKHD: TEKHD, or TEKzilla is one of the most popular tech channels on YouTube. With smart, punchy and entertaining videos, it’s easy to ingest their information at a junk food-rate. The channel produces helpful, cutting edge tips everyday, such as this video on how to make your Twitter into an RSS feed.
- Create Customized Channels: You can filter and sort the content from YouTube into recommended videos with a site called Frequency. The site delivers the best videos to you based on what’s popular among the public, your Facebook friends, and your Twitter followers. You can follow channels and highlight certain videos to build a custom YouTube viewing experience. One of my favorite filters on Frequency is the How-To section that pulls in the best instructional content on YouTube. Find the best recent videos without having to wade through all the spam and low-quality uploads.
Try these channels to explore YouTube and lean more about technology topics with ease.
Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012
The NN/LM SCR is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2012-2013 Technology Improvement Project (TIP) Award:
This award is intended to implement and increase access to high quality health information. Funded projects are designed to meet the health information needs of “under connected” communities and increase access to health information services within the community.
Recipient: United Gospel Mission, Dallas, TX
Project: Computers for a Homeless Clinic: Establishing an EMR to Provide Health Education during Patient Visits
The objectives of this project are to institute an EMR (electronic health record) at two homeless shelter clinics and to teach patients to access MedlinePlus and MedlinePlus Connect.
For more information about this or other funded projects visit the Previously Funded Projects page.
Tuesday, May 1st, 2012
The NN/LM SCR is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2012-2013 Mobile Applications Project (MAP) Award:
The purpose of this award is to provide an opportunity for Network members to provide access to health information utilizing mobile technologies.
Organization: Migrant Health Promotion, Inc., Weslaco, TX
Project: Promotores(as) Connect
Description: Migrant Health Promotion (MHP) proposes to increase mobile access to health information, including resources from the National Library of Medicine, by providing 12 Promotores(as) with smart phones and training. Equipping MHP’s Promotores(as) with smart phone technology – and training them to use it to access high-quality, accurate, up-to-date health information based on community members’ varying priorities – will result in more effective, efficient, and empowering service for residents of the Rio Grande Valley’s rural colonias.
Wednesday, March 28th, 2012
The Search Engine Use 2012 report also has some good statistics about the continual popularity of online search engines since 2002 as well as findings that show search engine users are more confident about their search abilities and happy with the information they are finding using search engines.
An alternative search engine that is gaining popularity and known for not tracking searchers and ensuring privacy is DuckDuckGo. Launched in 2008, DuckDuckGo is gaining popularity. Users are satisfied not only with results but also with their emphasis on protecting user privacy.
Monday, March 26th, 2012
Software developers are invited to join National Library of Medicine (NLM) data experts as they showcase NLM APIs and provide valuable information on how to find, use, and incorporate medical literature, drug, clinical trial, consumer health information, molecular biology, and other data into novel products.
The free webinar, NLM API Showcase: Using NLM APIs for Product Development, will be held April 10, 2012 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. (ET). To attend join via Adobe Connect. The webinar will be available to the first 500 people. There will be opportunity to submit questions. If you are unable to attend, the webinar will be recorded and archived at Adobe URL: http://webmeeting.nih.gov/nlmapis.
For more details, see Potash S. Showcase of NLM APIs – Free Webinar. NLM Tech Bull. 2012 Mar-Apr;(385):e1.
Thursday, March 1st, 2012
Launched in 2007 the microblogging site Tumblr has been attracting more users recently because of its easy to use posting interface and simple set up process. Once an account is created users can post various forms of content including photos, text, videos, and links to their “tumblelogs” (the word is a combination of Tumblr and blogs).
Tumblr is a free service that makes blog posting easy while also incorporating social networking and discovery features. Tumblr users can easily create an account, post their own items, and explore what other Tumblr users are posting. Users can subscribe to other users’ tumblelogs and see what they are posting. Social networking-like features make it easy for Tumblr users to “Like” and repost what others have already posted. Users can add additional text as well as tags to their posts making them easier to find in searches.
According to a recent article from Mashable.com, Tumblr experienced a 218% growth rate between June 2010 and June 2011. The site has also seen a dramatic growth in funding. While most Tumblr users are located in the United States, the platform does have a growing international presence and is available in multiple languages.
Tumblr provides themes and customizable templates for users’ Tumblr pages. Tumblr provides ways for users to communicate through messages but is somewhat limited when it comes to the ability to leave comments on posts. Some themes provide the ability to include RSS feeds making it even easier for non-Tumblr users to subscribe and follow posts.
Several libraries have turned to Tumblr as an alternative to meet their blog needs. In the South Central Region, we see the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio’s Briscoe Library is using Tumblr to post photos and updates about their library renovations: http://renovate-briscoe.tumblr.com/. The New York Public Library is also using Tumblr.
For additional tips about getting started with Tumblr, try A Complete Guide To Tumblr by Cameron Chapman.