Tag Archives: 23 Mobile Things

My story #23mobilethings

Let me tell you a story. Well two stories actually. No, make that two versions of the same story. Below is my 23 mobile things story with a touch of Bowie.

Click on image for story.

Click on image for story.

Click on image to read story.

Click on image to read story.

Sharing horizons that are new to us, we’ve reached the end of 23 mobile things. From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere. Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.

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Don’t make me click #23mobilethings

We’re in the penultimate week of #23Mobilethings. It’s gone much quicker than I thought it might, and I’ve discovered lots of new things along the way. This is my final post, and Sally has asked me about vendor apps to access library content.

As a library customer, I use a range vendor apps depending on which library system I am using to access content (yes I do have multiple library cards!). Some apps are great, seamlessly allowing me to access content without endless clicking & navigating. Others are … well … downright frustrating & I only persevere if I *really* need the content. It’s almost as though no-one ever actually tested the app before they released it to the market!

So I turned my thinking to what kind of testing we, as libraries, do when considering vendor apps. How much time & energy do we actually dedicate to breaking, testing, tweaking, evaluating a so-called “fabulous new spangly app” from our vendors? And how many of us actually ask our customers to test & rate these apps? Not many, if any, is my gut reaction, but I would love to be proven wrong on that front. Getting testing done is hard enough in-house, let alone with non-employees. I know, it’s hard.

Could we develop better partnerships with vendors to make things better? Could we ask our customers to suggest which content they would like to see apps, or improved apps, for and work with our vendors to make that happen? I’d certainly like to try.

So to wrap up our #23MobileThings conversation, I am going to ask Sally to tell me a story.

No more fat fingers #23mobilethings

Last week Megan asked me to talk to her. I would have thought she’d had enough of my incoherent blather to last a lifetime. But apparently not. 🙂

Google Voice Search is pretty cool. It can search the web, send emails and texts, and get directions. And it gets it mostly right. Mostly, except with Te Reo Maori which is used quite a lot when you live in New Zealand. Searching for my place of work caused a bit of a giggle.

Waimakariri Library = way my kitty the library
Rangiora Library – running or a library

I also played with Assistant – Your very own customizable Assistant awaits your commands – answering your questions, performing tasks, notifying you about important events, and making your daily routine easier (and, often, more fun along the way).

Assistant was quite groovy for the first hour in which I customised the avatar (female named Sam), searched Google, tested her general knowledge, and voiced a couple of tweets instead of typing them. But after that Sam started annoying me. I’ve been busy learning some new games, trivia, and quizzes that I’m able to offer you from time to time. I like to call them Mental Push-ups. How’d you like to give your brain a little exercise right now? Or perhaps I’d like to add my friends birthday’s into her reminder calendar so I’ll never miss them again. Or perhaps I could speak to her more frequently so she can learn my patterns of speech. Enough already!

 I can see the potential for library customers who stab touch screens ineffectively, or who are tired of enlarging the screen to read it more easily, or just have fat fingers and hit multiple keys at once. But it takes a lot of patience and I’m not sure how many would persevere.

So Megan, guess what? We’ve nearly finished #23mobilethings. I can’t believe how quickly it’s gone and how much I’ve learnt. Next week is Thing 22; so I’ll ask you what apps do you use to access library content?

Risky business #23mobilethings

Last week Megan asked, “convince me that file sharing is the only way forward. What would Trinity do?”

Trinity lives in a GSCB and Prism world so file sharing comes with a whole lot of risks where forgetting your password is the least of your worries.

Megan, if you were in a tight spot like Trinity here what tunes would get you through?

Awesome ebooks … we’re not quite there yet #23mobilethings

So Sally thought she’d throw me this question : what would it take for me to say ‘Awesome!’ when borrowing ebooks?

Oh, how I long for the day when my reaction to ebooks is enthusiastic enough to say “Awesome!”. Unfortunately I don’t currently find the whole process of ebooks anywhere near awesome. I love the concept of ebooks, reading them on my own device. But I hate the reality of multiple platforms, multiple accounts, triple click processes, Adobe IDs, single vs multiple users. Ugh. I get that it is about making money for vendors, “my platform is better than your platform”, but from a customers perspective, the majority of ebook platforms are clunky.

So what do I want from ebooks?

I want one click. I want all ebooks to work on *my* device. I want to pay for it all using one account. I want an easy solution. I want easy access, easy payment, easy reading ebooks.

So, what would it take? Probably an app that doesn’t yet exist.

I’d like to be able to load all of my accounts onto my device – this is my Amazon account, this is my library account, this is my Kobo account, etc – and then I would use ONE app to browse the collections that I have access to, and I could have ONE platform that I could buy/borrow from, and ONE payment interface to deal with.

To end this post on a happy note though, I do want to however do a shout out for an independent ebook vendor – The Robot Trading Company – because they have books by authors that I want to read, their ebooks are DRM free and I have never sworn with frustration when I have bought a book through them. That’s as close to “awesome” as I have been able to get with ebooks so far.

Voila, back to Sally: find it, collect it, keep it, cite it, share it – how does it suit you to be living in the cloud?

It’s not one click – #23mobilethings

Last week Megan asked “Is an Adobe ID useful for anything other than ebooks?” and my heart sank.

I spend a lot of time talking our customers through the process of borrowing ebooks from our library, including getting an Adobe ID. Borrowing ebooks is such a convoluted process that can oh so easily be de-railed by ebook devices not playing nicely. It is frustrating and exhausting.

Requiring customers to create and remember an Adobe ID is just another step that makes our customer’s life unnecessarily complicated.

I hate Adobe ID and I don’t really care whether it’s useful for anything other than ebooks.

My question for you Megan is “what would it take for you to say ‘Awesome!’ when borrowing ebooks?”

Curation #23MobileThings

Sally asked me which role do you identify most strongly with: creator, contributor or collector?

I had a slight identity crisis over this question.

My immediate response was “oh that’s easy, I’m a …“, at which point I had to stop & reflect on what each role means to me. I am all of three roles.

All three roles can be individual or collaborative. All three roles can be private or public.

The key differences for me actually came down to mobility.

Collector – I capture lots of ideas & tag resources on the fly. I tend to use my tablet as my collection point, marking things to read later, to browse later, to re-use later. I use bookmarks, Evernote, as well as other cloud-based services. Most of what I collect is kept private. I usually use my mobile device for this.

Contributor – I share things on the fly & contribute to the wider body of knowledge (or just the general hubbub of interweb chatter if I am totally truthful!), and it can be either on my mobile device or my laptop (does a laptop count as a clunky mobile device … or an oldschool mobile device … well, not really).

Creator – It is a rare day that I use my mobile device to create content. In fact, it would be a never happening thing. It find that my creation moments need more reflection, a bigger screen, and a different layout, which has to take place for me on a computer (aka a non-mobile device).

So I play all roles, but the technology does determine what I am doing, how I am doing it, and often where & when I am doing it. Mobile devices have definitely changed the way these roles play out for me.

Back to you Sally. Is an Adobe ID useful for anything other than ebooks?