The 10 Lessons of Email

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I am amazed in this day and age we still have people who just haven’t learned simple nettiquette.   What I’m referring to is bad email behavior.   I also find it interesting when people say how swamped their inbox is – with so many technologies and options at our disposal why are we still even using email?  But be that as it may, email is probably here to stay all I ask is that we learn some simple nettiquette if we are going to use it.

Lesson 1 – When using work email to connect with customers, colleagues and vendors treat email just like you would a business letter.  That includes using spell check, punctuation and capital letters where applicable.  Just because the format is electronic does not mean you need to forego common niceties that make reading your message easier.

Lesson 2 – Do not under any circumstance use colored text or backgrounds.  I really don’t care if purple is your favorite color (it’s mine too) it is glaring on a white background and comes across as unprofessional.

Lesson 3 – Leave the quotes for the insurance companies and the famous authors.  There is no need to have 1,2, or even 3 quotes as part of your email signature.  To be honest who reads them?  No one!

Lesson 4 – READ.  Don’t respond to emails that say post-only  or no-reply.  More often than not your email will go into never-neverland and get you nothing.  If the email specifically says do not respond that what do you hope to gain by hitting the reply button?  Read the email there maybe an alternative email address or a link that they want you to use in order to communicate properly.

Lesson 5 – Always when addressing an email to multiple people who may not know each other, use BCC.   If Joe doesn’t know Susie he doesn’t need her email address.  This is especially important if Joe gets a virus on his computers because viruses love to hit email – once Joe has Susie’s email the virus can either use her as the sender of another virus or send her the virus.  Rule of thumb unless people know each other well use BCC when sending to multiple addresses.

Lesson 6 – Another good reason to use BCC is those folks who really love to use the Reply All button.  99.9% of the time you don’t need to use the Reply All button especially when you don’t have much to contribute to the conversation.  Replaying all to say “I agree” is not something all 36 people on the original email need to know only the person who sent the original email needs to know.

Lesson 7 – Real friends don’t let friends forward.  Those jokes that hit everyone’s inbox have ALREADY hit everyone’s inbox so don’t bother to forward them again.  Also if you absolutely must forward something, PLEASE remove the header info.  The part where it has everyone’s email address, the subject, date, etc – remember that viruses love email addresses and they’ll take them anyway they can.

Lesson 8 – Spam.  None of like it, none of us want it so do your part to avoid it.  Work email should be used for just that – work.  Don’t mix family business (e.g. jokes, pictures, etc.) with your work account.  Use a “throw-away” or web based email account for that (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.).  Make sure you use  BCC and don’t forward those jokes (because if you do from your work account you can guarantee that someone that you forwarded it to will forward it again and not remove the header so your email address will be there).

Lesson 9 – Urban legends and email virus hoaxes, just the facts ma’am.  Unfortunately there are still people out there that insist on writing programs that do some not nice things to other people’s computers.  But before you leap to conclusions do your research.  We all get those emails of “a little girl who is dying of….” or a warning saying a big virus is going around — don’t just forward that email to everyone in your addressbook, think a moment and do a bit of research.  For urban legends your best bet is Snopes.com.    For viruses try Internet Storm Center if that is a bit too techie for you check out the sites for AVG, Norton or whatever anti-virus software you  use.

Lesson 10 – Email isn’t the only game in town.  Everyone complains that their inbox is full – so do something about it.  Use Instant Messaging, use Twitter, pick up the phone, walk over to the person and speak with them directly.   Most importantly use rules 1-9 and your inbox should be lessened automatically.

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Before There Was Twitter…

…we had blogs, email or word of mouth.  None of these things have gone away it’s just that Twitter has taken the forefront when it comes to expressing our feelings about how presenters.   After reading Tom Whitby’s blog post about the effect Twitter has on presentations I was struck by the concern he had over Twittering during presentations.  I’m not condoning people being rude but some presenters really shouldn’t present.  Just because you may be an expert in your knowledge about ___ does not mean you are a good speaker.  But more to the point, those of us who have attended conferences have always had a way to express their feelings about a presenter – word of mouth.   Walk down the crowded hallway, stand in the lunch line or attend lobby-con after a particularly bad (or good)  speaker and you know what I mean.  Then in the last 10-15 years we added things like web-based email and more recently blogs.

Now grant it not everyone hears what say or reads what you have to written but the same goes for Twitter – not everyone is reading your Tweets.   I have been on the giving and receiving end of Twitter during presentations.  I presented with 2 co-presenters and it was great when you weren’t speaking to read what was being said about our presentation while it was still going on.  I’ve Tweeted while others have presented more as a way to take notes for myself (as I find live blogging a bit hard but twittering comes naturally to me).   I’ve read other people’s Tweets from conferences that are states away and I’ve found them helpful.

Okay, I must know all the kind, helpful people in the world and none of the nasty ones.  I’m sure that is true.  But I think we are all being a bit naive if we think our presentations are perfect and no one is out there saying anything negative about us (they are you just aren’t hearing it).  Maybe we need to hear it?  Should they be so mean spirited?  No.  Can we learn from it?  Well, maybe we can.  Depending on the comments being made you might be able to adjust your style.  Depending on the comments being made you may just have to consider the source and ignore it (just as you would if you walked down a crowded hall at a conference and overheard a nasty comment).  Maybe it’s a perfect opportunity to contact that person who tweeted and see just what they would have done differently.  You never know, it might actually turn into a productive conversation.  Maybe having to worry just a little about what is being said on Twitter isn’t such a bad thing – maybe it will raise the bar.

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Yes or No?

One Lightbulb To Rule Them All
Image by armisteadbooker via Flickr

I just had one of those lightbulb moments.  So often I hear the words “I’m SOOOO busy” utttered where I work.  I’m sure that other folks hear them too.  It is a bit of a pet peeve with me.  To me saying that implies that YOU are busy but I AM NOT.  Which is not the case at all.  One man (or woman’s) perception of busy is a day off to another.

With that aside, onto my actual lightbulb moment.  I was responding to an email from a colleague.  I had asked them to review some content on our Staff Intranet.  They offered to make a few changes themselves.  I was thrilled and immediately replied.  I started off saying yes, by all means please make the changes I then added a sentence about all the stuff I was going to have to do with the new Staff Intranet when it hit me.   She probably didn’t care if I was busy or not.  A simple yes or no was what she was looking for.  So deleted the sentence and thanked her for her offer.

Some of you might think, well d’uh.  I knew that deep down but this is the first time I was the one going on about how busy I WAS when I truly realized how it must come across to others.  Now I know why when I hear those words it rubs me the wrong way.  They are usually a response to a question instead of a simple yes or no.

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Friday and Payday, What’s Not To Like? – Day 5

TGIF!  End to a full, long, interesting week.  One thing I really love about my job is the variety it affords me.  I never really know what will come my way each day.  Since this is the last day for documenting I thought I’d try something a little bit different.

Day 5

  • Pulled into the parking lot and entered the building. Annotated video on YouTube
  • Unforward phones, swap out tapes in the server room, checked Twitter, email and Staff Intranet. Annotated video on YouTube
  • Went to get ice for my green tea, turned on lights for the building, checked reserves and visited my book display on 40th Anniversary of the Moon Landing. Annotated video on YouTube
  • Back to the office to get down to business. Annotated video on YouTube
  • Uploaded the aforementioned videos to YouTube since they were too long to use on Flickr
  • Consulted with co-worker who was doing the morning duties.  She was getting bounced back to beginning page of her account in HIP.  Tried recreating it on my machine and she showed me on the Day End machine – still wasn’t able to recreate it.  Chalk it up to computer gremlins.
  • Typed up my blog for yesterday – Day 4
  • Got a phone call from the Glenwood branch manager regarding the email I had sent out asking them to cleanup the branch notices on Staff Intranet.
  • Since my boss was out on vacation, I assigned the IT staff to their day at our Admin office for next week and posted the notice on our Staff Intranet.
  • Uploaded my photos of my 40th Anniversary of the Moon Landing display to Flickr
  • Deleted notices for Glenwood branch manager per email she sent me (after phone conversation)
  • Worked on bounceback email notices – since this is such a tedious mind numbing job I decided to blip some Robert Palmer songs on blip.fm while I did this.  Having great music to listen to helps!
  • Bounce backs make me hungry so I went and popped some 94% fat-free popcorn
  • Checked the helpdesk tickets and assigned on to fellow IT-er
  • Downloaded Adobe Flash CS3 Professional to my Windows machine
  • Got a call from our Network Administrator who is on vacation in England (visiting his wife’s family) – just checking in with us to make sure things are okay
  • Installed Adobe Flash CS3 Professional on my Windows machine
  • Emailed staff member who submitted a helpdesk ticket.  Needed more information so I could solve her issue.  Consulted with web programmer to see if he had any suggestions but agreed we needed more info before we could proceed.
  • Children’s librarian came to my desk asking questions about burning music to a CD for children’s classes.  I pointed her to the FAQ on our Staff Intranet with great instructions and screen shots.
  • Got a call from HR dept. regarding publishing an announcement on our Staff Intranet.
  • Wrote another post for my blog – not related to Library Day in the Life
  • LUNCH finally seems I’ve been eating later and later this week
  • Children’s librarian came back up for some assistance with burning cd – went down and showed her how to add songs, delete ones you don’t want and move them so you get the order you want.
  • Analyzed current navigation and started documenting what different departments use on Staff Intranet in hopes that this will help us set up better navigation for the new version.
  • Got a follow up email from the staff member in regards to her helpdesk ticket.  Solution was a simple one – she needed to log in with username/password to access forms list.  Emailed her back and closed helpdesk ticket
  • Saw a Tweet from @julie and realized I had missed T is for Training podcast.  Logged into the chat area for the last 15 mins or so of the show.
  • Got a call from hubby that severe storm had blown down 2 trees (turned out to be just very large limbs not the whole tree) onto our garage which houses his precious baby, a 1960 MGA.
  • Took personal leave to go home and document damage for any insurance claims.

Library Folks Have Real Lives Too (or Two) – Day 3

How ironic that last year when I chronicled my week for Library Day in the Life, I had to take my husband in for some testing.  Turns out this year wasn’t going to be an exception except this time it was my Mom.  She was scheduled to have a bronchoscopy.

Day 3

Woke up early because I was sleeping in a strange bed (at my parent’s house).  Went back to sleep and woke up again at 7:30 (which is sleeping in during the week for me so that was a treat).  Jumped in the shower and got dressed.  My Mother never listens – she is going to feed you within an inch of your life if she can.  I told her cereal for breakfast was fine (that is what I have at home) but of course she had peaches cut and a blueberry muffin in the toaster oven as well.  I humored her on the peaches (love ’em) but wasn’t hungry enough for the muffin.  Checked email quickly (both work and Gmail) before we left for Chambersburg Hospital.

Same Day ServicesQuick drive to the hospital from my folks house.  Walked into the Same Day Services area of the hospital and checked Mom in.  We found 3 seats (Dad, Mom and I) and proceeded to wait for her to be called.  Odd thing is they called my Father’s name instead.  Gee, maybe Dad would do the procedure for Mom instead?  Nah.  They went back to get her prepped and I settled in for a wait.  Pulled out my iPod and shuffled my tunes.  Grabbed my book, The Moses Stone by James Becker (picked it up at Heathrow) and didn’t get very far when my Dad came out.  They would allow me to go in the room with her (which was much better than waiting in the waiting room).

They wheeled Mom into the procedure room.  2 students were there to observe the procedure.  One student, Joe,  turned out to be a med student who had attended University of Maryland and had worked in Columbia, MD for awhile.  Small world!  The nurses couldn’t have been nicer and Joe and the other student were great.  Dr. Jamblin came in and asked if we had any questions (my Dad almost asked him where he had been as he was 30 mins. late).  We left to go wait.

I swear they were done in 15 minutes or so.  The nurse said that Mom was a good patient.  We went back into the room and the doctor told us how things went.  Unfortunately, we won’t know the results until Monday the 3rd of August.  Gee, thought the procedure was bad but waiting through the weekend might be worse.

After they took a chest x-ray to make sure Mom’s lung hadn’t collapsed they wheeled her into recovery.  She wouldn’t be released until her gag reflex returned.  It did as the numbing drugs wore off but so did the realization that a strange foreign object had been down her throat.  She said her throat was on fire.  Nurses said we could use Tylenol and throat lozenges to ease the discomfort.

Dad went out to bring the car around and I stayed with Mom.  Then off to get lozenges for her throat and lunch for all of us.  We stopped at Panera and I was really surprised – their Panera had a drive-thru!  Wish the ones here did.  Took all our goodies home and ate lunch.  Poor Mom probably shouldn’t have eaten as much as she did as she wound up getting sick.  All the stuff they gave her (and they warned us this can happen) just didn’t agree with soup and a salad.  So I shipped her off to bed.

This gave Dad time to play around with his new Blu-Ray disc player and for me to catch up on Twitter, Facebook, email and such.  Wound up writing my blog post from the previous day at my parent’s house.

Day and Night

Between the pouring down rain storms I managed to get outside and take a few photos.   A neighbor’s daylily had blown off it’s stem and landed in the road.  I liked the dark orange against the blacktop of the road.  Didn’t get to stay out very long as the next line of storms came through.  So I went back inside and fixed dinner for my folks.  Nothing big just leftovers from the birthday dinner I had taken up for my Dad on Sunday (lasagna and salad).

Then I headed home to Reisterstown.  Once home I was greeted by 2 very happy dogs.  Maddie, the English Springer Spaniel and my constant shadow, had missed me terribly.  But Dani, the Lab mix, was also glad to see me.  Dealt with dogs, downloaded and edited pics …. crawled into bed around 9:30.  Thought I was tired but wound up watching “Top Chef Masters” instead.  Actually never did see who was the final winner.

I would have much rather been at work than in the hospital.  But since she had to go through this I was glad I was there for Mom.  Let’s just hope the results are good.

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Home Away From Home – Day 2

Ah, day two and it should have started off better.  Knew I had to leave a bit early from home to drop my son off at his Dad’s new house.  Still trying to figure out best routes to and from his house.  This morning with the hazy fog it didn’t help and I was a few minutes late getting to work.

EntranceFirst one in the office this morning.  Dropped my stuff at my work space and scurried to get to the morning duties (I had switched days with a co-worker).  Unforwarded the helpdesk phone and then proceeded to swap the tapes on both the Horizon and Authority Works servers.

This was to be my IT @ Admin day so I needed to focus on the morning duties and get them out of the way.  Once logged into my Ubuntu and Windows machines I did a quick cursory check of email (no dire messages).  I then proceeded to do the morning duties (just like yesterday).

Once they were out of the way I checked the helpdesk tickets and assigned them accordingly to my co-workers (seems some days I get a lot and others I don’t – it all evens out in the end).  Opened Twirl so I can peruse Twitter (both my personal account – @mlibrarianus and the library’s official account @HoCo_Library).  Then I queued up a Tweet for the library’s account using TweetFunnel.

Our Network Administrator came into the office and had mentioned that we had a power outage (clock in the workroom before ours was behind).   PACs were showing red on PACMON (our own montioring system that our web programmer wrote) but luckily the Day End computer finished running Day End before the power outage (having to run day end in the morning before people start logging into Horizon is not a fun thing to coordinate).

I proceeded to work on the email bouncebacks.  I’m still amazed at how many we get.  Are that many people really changing their email addresses and not updating them with us or what?  Still trying to figure out the best way to ensure our customers get notified without this having to deal with bouncebacks.  It is a labor intensive process that should not be handled by IT.  Haven’t come up with the answer as I know that there isn’t a “one size fits all” solution.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw a tweet that made me chuckle.  I don’t normally follow the trends on Twitter but this one caught my eye #verydullbands.  Some were pretty good.  tumour seemed to be on a roll.  Time to head to our Administrative office in the East Columbia Branch and be the IT guru of the day (each of us takes turns spending a day at Admin helping with computer/software related issues that arise).

Home away from homeAfter getting my lunch in the fridge and things settled into the IT cubicle, I logged into the Ubuntu machine we have set aside for us.  Last time I was there I used Good OS – as if Google and Mac had a love child this would be it.  I really liked the operating system and having the Google gadgets.  Alas I was back to our staff desktop version of Ubuntu which is nice too.

Queued up another tweet for the library’s official account (which is approved by our Public Relations dept. and released to the Twitterverse).   Talked to a colleague who had heard I’d been recently to Spain recently and was thinking of going.  So I sent her a link to my photos from Espana on Flickr.

Consulted with fellow IT co-worker about iTouch and our collaborative software, DeskNow.  He had a Blackberry and wasn’t familiar with the iTouch.  Went around the Admin office asking staff if they had an iPhone or iTouch.  Found someone in Public Relations that had an iTouch who was able to help with the question another staff member had asked me.  I won’t mention my extreme jealousy of those with the iPhone or Blackberry (I soooo miss my Blackberry).

Helped another colleague with a PrintNow problem.  Think the delay was due to her Java update message wanting attention.  Once I clicked on that PrintNow printed the screen shot she needed.  Stopped by the cubicle of our Training Coordinator to discuss a request that had come up in my visits to the branches regarding our Staff Intranet.  She was open to the suggestion that the less formal “Lunch and Learns” be part of the training calendar as well as a notice on the Staff Intranet.

ITBack to my cubicle.  Checked on the Merlin site since I was playing admin while Nini Beegan was on vacation.  Cleaned up a bunch of registered users that were clearly spammers.

Consulted with web programmer and network administrator about the best way to get a new image onto our PAC screensavers.  The library’s unofficial (yet very professional and wonderfully talented) photography, Fritzi Newton, had taken shots of each of our 6 branches along with iconic views of our county and mixed them with photos she was able to obtain from Enoch Pratt.  She put these altogether as a screensaver for our public computers.  There was wording on each saying where the photo was taken.  After 2 years of these being out there for the public someone had realized that one of the slides had Maryland misspelled.  Fritzi corrected this and gave us the new image (with correctly spelled state) to use.

Realized I hadn’t really talked to our staff at Admin about the revamping the Staff Intranet.  I had been to all the branches to get feedback so I wondered around the office and talked to different staff.  Along the way I helped with a couple browser settings.  The one feature that I love on our Intranet was one that I pointed out to several folks.  Our web programmer had created a staff directory – the staff search box searches that directory.  So if you don’t know what branch, the phone number, the exact spelling of their email, what title they have, etc you can search for a person (last name or first name or full name) and see all of that plus a picture.  I convinced several people that using the staff directory search was 100 times easier than scrolling through the phone list.  This made me realize that this well used by many but missed by some box needed a more prominent spot on our Intranet.  So I moved that up further on the left hand side along with moving the Quick Links further to the top as well.  These are just temporary stop gaps until we revamp the whole Intranet.

LUNCH!

Assigned to myself and closed helpdesk ticket regarding receiving spam from old email address.  *sigh* The only 100% sure fire way to not receive spam is to not use email.

Played telephone tag with the editor of our reader’s advisory blog, Highly Recommended, regarding a few tweaks and a new idea that had come up in a meeting.  Then I went about interviewing more of the Admin staff about our Intranet and what ideas they might have.

Dealt with calendar settings for two people in Public Relations.  They didn’t have a box checked so the calendar invites were not showing up on their calendars the way they should.

Debunked an Urban Legend that was sent via email to IT.  I love Snopes.com.  I used to hang out on their bulletin board and I do miss the folks from there.

Discussed ideas with the Events & Seminars Manager about the use of voice recorders regarding local authors.  Getting them to read excerpts from their books or interviews with them as part of a podcast.

Answered an email from staff about the spam filtering option setting in our email.  Explained that we use Barracuda, spam filter, on the main email server so there is no need to use the one provided by DeskNow (if you do it actually creates more work).

Decided to make another change to the current Staff Intranet (that was brought up by staff at the branch) and managed to not screw it up.  Deleted code and things still worked properly.  Then I got a little too confident and removed some more – this time I did screw it up.  THANKFULLY, our web programmer who has the patience of a saint with me was able to figure out what I did wrong and fix it.

Way past time for me to go, so I turned off my machine and headed home.  I had to pack and drive to PA that night since I going with my parents the next morning to the hospital.  My Mother was having a biopsy of her lung done.  Here’s hoping it all goes well and the results are good.

A Day in the Life – Take Two

day in the life: and the colored girls sang do...
Image by emdot via Flickr

The 2nd Annual Library Day in the Life started today. Same rules apply – “whether you are a librarian or library worker of any kind, help us share and learn about the joys and challenges of working in a library.” So after a full day of work, walking of the dogs, mowing part of our 2 acres, fixing dinner and cleaning up I finally sat down to watch “The Hunting Party” episode of  season two of Lost while I put my notes into a blog post.

Monday July 27, 2009

Got to work just before 7:30 am to find that I wasn’t the only early bird this morning.  Julian Clark (who is also participating in this via Twitter – @julian2) was in before me and already hard at work.

  • Swapped out the backup tapes and exchanged last week’s set for the new set for both the Horizon and the Authority Works servers.
  • Put a new sheet up for the server room temperature sheet (librarian in charge has to record the temp once a day to ensure the servers stay cool)
  • Unforward the helpdesk phone line (gets forward after hours to one of IT’s cell phones)
  • Performed the morning duties for Monday
  • Headed to Staff Lounge to get a mug full of ice for my homemade green tea with lime
  • Settled into my desk – logged into both my Ubuntu and Windows machines
  • Checked voice mail – one call from the Head of Collection Services in response to a question about what we do when titles are no longer available from OverDrive
  • Checked email (both work and Gmail)
  • Checked to see if there any pending helpdesk tickets to assign (luckily there were none)
  • Using Twirl I Twittered about Library Day in the Life (smiled when armylibrarian retweeted my tweet about Library Day in the Life)
  • Sent email (per Central Library Manager’s request) to rest of the Howard County Library signage committee about the cool picture I found of Seattle Public Library’s call no. floor mats
  • Checked Flickr, Facebook and Twitter and rss feeds (social|median and RWW)
  • Dugg a couple of worthy articles
  • Updated Online Request a title for your bookclub form on library’s web site
  • Reviewed Si fStaff Intranet) for submissions that may need to be published  and cleaned up expired announcements
  • Went to our Miller Branch to take the last Library101 photos
  • Got back to Central Library about 15 minutes after we had opened (due to budget restrictions we are now opening at 10 am instead of 9 am) and got one of the few remaining parking spaces (we are loved!)
  • Worked on email bouncebacks notices (always a lot after the weekend) – remove the address from customer’s account, put block on the account asking for an updated email address
  • Responded to email from the Executive Director and CEO about how to get an important presentation to the architects before the 1pm meeting
  • Took call from librarian at the main information desk – problem with receipt printer and trapping hold – conflict between the printer and keyboard
  • Just got back to desk when the fiction desk called with a problem – not sure what happened as they said they couldn’t trap hold but when I was there had no problem (didn’t hear anything more from them about this issue)
  • Queued up several Tweets for the library’s official Twitter account – @HoCo_Library
  • Email to head of collection services about removing titles from catalog that aren’t part of Overdrive anymore.
  • Closed 2 helpdesk tickets regarding customer question and error message with OverDrive – one could have been found by looking through the help section
  • Finally some lunch and my guilty pleasure of playing Bejeweled Blitz on Faceboo
  • Answered IM question from librarian about OpenOffice and adding page numbers.   Found answer by Googling – gee, why didn’t the librarian do that?
  • Wrote another Tweet for the library’s official account
  • Edited and uploaded images I took at Miller Branch for Library101 video project
  • Wrote post for Open Source blog – waiting review
  • Sent email to staff that had pictures taken for library101 w/link to Flickr
  • Resized library101 images and uploaded to facebook
  • Updated email alias and closed helpdesk ticket – didn’t need to update – realized I forgot to update the mailing list (not just the group in Deksnow)
  • Worked on some AOL bounced backs – people forget that they sign up for email notices from the library then they mark us as spam
  • Closed another helpdesk ticket about OverDrive – seems like the problems come in batches
  • Fixed email mailing list so all names display on staff intranet
  • Investigated how we managed to have Maryland spelled incorrectly on one of our PAC screensavers for the last couple of yrs.
  • Surfing web sites to get ideas for navigation for our new staff intranet – using stumbleupon

After 3:30 pm so it’s time to go home.  WHEW, what a day.

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Mobile Tips, Research and Practices

103_0560Mobile Usability: Tips, Research, & Practices

Jim Hahn, Michael Sauers, Christa Burns

Michael up first

Things people don’t realize what they can do with their mobile phones. Believe it or not everyone doesn’t have a iPhone.

Christa has old fashioned cell phone a lot of users have it – Google SMS – send them a question they will answer back as a text message Google’s web site is wrong – take off the 3 or E

SMS via email – have patrons send you a text message but it goes to your email address – send you ref. question you can answer back – limit to 160 characters (20 more than Twitter),  other companies will send follow up messages so they get more than 160 charc. but depends on cell phone carrier, they texted but you received email.

Michael next – smart phone w/web browser of varying quality, make sure you have unlimited data plan, can text Amazon now – can pull up and confirm if book is cheaper at the store you are in or Amazon and order it if it is,  LibraryThing mobile – if you are in bookstore login and search your own collection to see if you own it, mobile wikipedia – full article reformatted, easy navigation so you don’t have to scroll – can jump, eBuddy – lite messenger – way to IM on smart phone, Google Maps – home screen you can have a Google Search bar – including street view of Google Maps (too cool) – driving public transit or walking views (wow love that), Barcode generators online – outputs jpeg – and you have a copy of your Border’s card, library card (self checkout), grocery, no longer have to worry when they wear out or rub off.

Jim is up – Mobile Informatics  ut oh he interacts with teens we adults scare him (not really).

Dual boot iPods – has Linux on it.  Cool!

Wannabee

103_0467I wanna be 2.0 Too! Web Services for Underfunded Libraries presented by Sarah Houghton-Jan (Track E101) @ #CIL2009. In these economic times we are all either smaller (downsizing) or underfunded.  So this will be my first attempt at live blogging.

10 Laws using LOLcatz

#1 Talk w/customers (email, IM, VOIP, chat widgets, video chat w/skype, aim, text messaging) no account required, point of service, always have fun with them

chat widgets at null results page – keep the frustration down by offering an option to contact a real person – where do they get the most angry – offer this – email, phone better than nothing at all

text messaging more popular than email

reference services as well as circulation notices via SMS

#2 Interact with Customers

comments on everything, respond like a human being, online book clubs with a mix of staff & customers – conversation, give you their opinions, LibraryThing

Blogs – like Highly Recommended – encourage staff participation – offer template w/tags and categories, welcome feedback/conversation from customers

equal footing – able to talk to them

#3 Be Engaged

EngagedPatrons.org

Events Calendar with online registration

Blogs,

Google Maps

#3 Be Social

interact on their own term – interact w/young crowd, Club Penguin, Tee Bee Dee,

about change, communication, about sharing – keep doing that or you will lose your fans.

pointer back to your web site or resources

advertising extremely cheap – target your town, zip code whatever

$10 = 5,000 facebook flyers

#4 Use Multimedia

photographs, images, podcasts vidcasts, games – photos make it more popular – stimulates interactions – power of imagery

virtual shelf on the flickr account – notes go back to catalog

Design contest for logo of teen program – voting on it using Flickr – used comments section

Exploit image generators

generatorblog.blogspot.com

imagegenerator.org

imagechef.com

freeafterrebate web site – 1 for shipping

#6

Offer treatsies

shiny objects, new stuff, hot stuff – ask them what they want, then find them some

Staff Avatars – answer question, fav. movie, color then posted on site – can you recognize the librarian

My Account text messages “sexy”

#7 Exploit the Fee

tinypic, Google, WordPress, bravenet, onestatfree, statcounter, analytics, sites, webmaster central, gimp, polldaddy, colorblender, yousendit, webmonkey, survey mokeny, zoomerang, openphoto, dzone, imageafter, grogrammableweb, stock.xchng, zamzar

Tap into the Google wonderland

#8 Respect Customers

you never know when you’re lunch

expect the best, not the worst

treat customers with respect, regardless of age of which services they use

let them comment – go in after the fact and edit- policy no curse words but don’t over react. kids are users too

#9 Choices

how to contact you

how you communicate with them

how they find things online

what they find online (content & format)

multiple paths to same content – people think in different ways

Mashups = Choices

Library Elf

Library Look up

LibX Toolbar

Good Catalog = Choices

Aquabrowser

Endeca

LibraryThing for Libraries

VuFind

WorldCat Local

#10 Keep Going

try new things, pushing administrators, rejoice in failures (means you are pushing the boundaries)- we learned what they didn’t want but you will also learn what they do want by trying

we work for Admin but also our users

A Day in the Life III

Beginning to think the titles of these posts are bad movie rejects 😉

Day 3 of week of keeping track of what librarians or library workers do so we can see the diversity of the jobs we do.

Wednesday January 28, 2009

11:15 – arrived at work (late opening because of ice conditions)  after attempting 3 times (4th was the charm) to get up the hill on my road so I could get to work. Main roads fine but side and back roads are still a mess.
11:20 – took call from staff member about computers not recognizing IP address. Network Admin made a change and the Linux computers stole the Windows IP’s – poor Windows didn’t know what to do.
11:30 – logged into email, IM, Staff Intranet, Friendfeed
11:40 – perform morning task such as checking our catalog (login, searching and requesting working), making sure Day End process finished correctly as well as several other processes, checking several server logs, making sure Zserver connects to Marina (our ILL for the state), verify that telephony system is working, etc.
12:02 – another call about the Windows machines not recognizing IP’s
12:10- finally got around to posting my first ditl blog post for Monday – only 2 days behind
12:20 – checked email bouncebacks
12:30 – support services called about building request login (forgot) – found username/password so they could login and take care of requests
12:36 – call from Info staff about unable to connect to Marina ILL – turns out they had old URL bookmarked
12:40 – went back to email bouncebacks
12:50 – staff call helpline when they need a specific person and I wind up having to transfer to their personal line – hate being the IT secretary
12:55 – helped staff member clean (properly) a donated laptop
1:10 – lunch
1:40 – removed someone from email alias
1:41 – read and answered some emails
1:45 – wrote announcement to remind staff of URL change on Marina (statewide ILL system) and notified Sailor so they can change it on their site.
2:12 – worked on CIL09 slides
3:02 – created sign to welcome our new staff member Julian Clark to IT dept.
3:16 – posted 2nd day in the life to blog
3:17 – back to CIL09 slides
3:43 – home to get ready for Lost and hope I don’t fall asleep before 9 pm!