Tag Archives: #23mobilethings

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?

Moving to the beat #23mobilethings

This is hands down my favourite topic so far for #23Mobilethings. The transformation of portable music across a range of technologies has had a big impact on my life.

I longed for my first Walkman© when I was a teenager, desperately saving up to have my own portable music machine. I eventually format-shifted to a Discman©. Then received an iPod© as a birthday gift a few years ago. I marvelled at the time that the my 60GB iPod was technically bigger but physically smaller than my 30GB laptop of the time. “A world of music in my pocket” was a pivotal light bulb moment for me. At present, I don’t own a TV or a radio & my car stereo only plays CDs, so my tablet & my laptop & my iPod are all technologies that allow me to connect, discover, share, collaborate, and these technologies are my current source of all things musical.

I’ve played around with a few different services for mobile music, but my current choice is Pandora. Cue up an artist, listen along, rate songs, and subsequently discover new ones. I don’t mind the adverts in the free version, I find it less intrusive than commercial free-to-air radio. I also love being able to live-stream different radio stations from all over the globe. The days of listening to crackly BBC Worldservice broadcasting over an old wireless are over folks. Well, as long as you have an internet connection that is. I don’t ever need to think about my answers to “Desert Island Discs” again, because it’ll be there in my pocket.

In terms of libraries, I am actually not a fan of libraries creating their own playlist, stations, or whatever else they decide to do. I don’t think it is sustainable as we never actually support staff with enough time or energy to curate interesting services like this very well. I think the real value of mobile music opportunities is showing people how to do it, where to do, and letting them loose to create their own playlists, connecting with other lovers of similar music. So, what if … we ditched *all* our music budgets (get rid of the old technology) and moved those $$ into supporting staff to demonstrating how to find all of the music elsewhere?

So while I discover more cool music, I am lobbing the conversation back to Sally, talk to me.

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?

Clocking up achievements #23mobilethings

So last week, Sally asked me, is time your master, or are you a master of your time?

In reality, I could have titled this post – the art of life hacking using mobile technology.

While I don’t currently my mobile device for tracking productivity on project based work, at least not yet, I’m liking the concept of using mobile tech for life hacking instead.

I’ve previously used the Pomodoro technique (using the free pomodroido app) as a way to focus my professional development reading – after I read about it on LifeHacker.com. Periods of focussed concentration followed by regular short breaks. Works for me. I’m also using the app while I write this blog post. In a library context, I could see this type of productivity app used in an unconference setting, or in a team exercise identifying & implementing solutions, or perhaps to create time limits for holiday programme events.

I’m also a fan of the paper version of the Action Method from Behance, so am going to give the mobile version a go to see if I find it just as user-friendly & effective. It’ll be an interesting exercise to switch from my paper experience to a mobile solution.

What I am curious & intrigued about, in a world that seems increasingly focussed on multi-tasking & hyper-productivity, is the rise of new devices that aren’t smart phones or tablets, for example, FitBit and UP by Jawbone. While smart phones can be used to manage the whole of people’s lives, using an ever-expanding range of apps, there are still plenty of users out there who favour a single focus device, such as a dedicated SLR camera over a smart phone camera, or a FitBit over the RunKeeper smart phone app.

Am I slave to the clock? No, but the tick tock of a clock can be a useful tool to make me focus!

Over to Sally, back to the clouds for you, convince me that file sharing is the only way forward. What would Trinity do?

Living in the cloud. Yeah right. #23mobilethings

Last week Megan asked find it, collect it, keep it, cite it, share it – how does it suit you to be living in the cloud?

  • I’m curious and like to see what happens when I poke, prod, push or play. I’m always looking and exploring in everything I do whether that’s talking with others, reading, or browsing online. Do I ‘find it‘? Yes, all the time.
  • When I was a kid I used to collect stamps. Not because I liked stamps but because I liked imagining the stories that these stamps told; of the country they came from, the person who purchased them, and the parcel or letter they were affixed to. Do I ‘collect it‘? YES. I collect stories and connections – books, notebooks, newsprint, post-its, Pocket and Evernote.
  • As you may have noticed, I prefer paper-based keeping methods. I find it easier to connect content to each other (and visually see those connections) and I can use the page in anyway I want – colour, shapes, doodles etc. I don’t keep everything on Pocket or Evernote because they are so linear and it’s difficult to connect one story to the next. Tagging content is laborious when it would be so much easier just to draw lines between connected content.  Do I ‘keep it’? I’m definitely a keeper 🙂 But I do struggle with online keeping methods.
  • Do I ‘cite it‘? Rarely. The last time I wanted to cite something I asked a friend if they’d do it for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a strong advocate for acknowledging sources, but I can’t be bothered with formatting them according to some pedantic rules.
  • Sharing is what I do. What’s the point of finding, collecting, and keeping if you don’t share?

Although I often dream of blue skies and sunny days, I’m firmly tethered to Mother Earth and all her riches. I don’t live in the cloud but I do visit regularly.

A question for you Megan, Is time your master, or are you a master of your time?