Blog Day Afternoon – Day 4

Little did I know when I came into work today it was going to turn into the day of blogs.

Day 4

It’s Thursday so I don’t have morning duties or bouncedback emails today.  After putting my stuff away I turned on my Ubuntu and Windows machines.  Checked my voice mail (was one regarding the email and spam settings that we had posted on the staff Intranet).

Moon Landing
Walked out into the public area after getting ice for my green tea and replenished my display celebrating the 40th anniversary of the moon landing.  Some folks might consider it wrong but I mixed adult non-fiction books with the children’s non-fiction.  Bottom shelf of the wedding cake was all children’s titles – they have actually been the hot items even though this display is upstairs in the adult non-fiction area.  My reason for adding the children’s titles to the display is often Mom or Dad have a little one in tow when they are upstairs, so why not have something for them on the same display.

Went back downstairs to Customer Service (the department formally known as Circulation) and picked up my reserves (several books on photography and a CD for hubby).  Back upstairs to my desk.

Opened Twirl and replied to a Tweet.  Checked both work and Gmail accounts.  Since revamping our Staff Intranet has been on my mind I logged into the backend of Joomla and made a few tweaks (from suggestions that staff have provided).  Then I moved over to the front end and checked to see if there were any helpdesk tickets to assign (yep a few but not many).

Emailed the Central Asst. Branch Manager regarding a tweak I made on the Staff Intranet.  It related to items she posted – combined her web guides from Enoch Pratt/SLRC into one location.

Closed a helpdesk ticket regarding a new staff member who had forgotten his email password – changed password back to default and it will prompt him to change it again.

Sent an email to all the branch managers asking them to clean up (unpublish and delete if possible).  In hopes that we can clean up lots of content that won’t need to be brought over to the new Intranet.

Now the start of the blog day —

Tweaked our main blog, Highly Recommended per the phone conversation I had with the editor on Day 2.   Moved the login on the front end to a less conspicuous location on the blog navigation area.  Then I added a new blogger to the list of contributors per the editor’s email

Wrote my blog entry for Day 3.  Sent an email to the blogger of Highly Recommended about the tweaks I had made so they are kept in the loop.

Answered the helpdesk phone line – question about accessing our Intranet remotely (from a new grandmother visiting her daughter and grandson in NC).

Then I began the afternoon of updating all our blogs which uses WordPress.  Luckily 3 of the blogs were not that old so I could just click on Update under Tools.  Open Source, This Is Your Life and Customer Service all upgraded with no problems.  I then had to upgrade Teacher Notes the hard way.  WHOO HOO, it went pretty smoothly and I didn’t mess anything up.  Okay 4 out of 6 went okay so I must be doing something right.

Call from Public Relations department asking for help with posting an article to our Choose Civility site which uses Joomla.  Walked him through a few things and corrected code that seemed to make the one video disappear even though we weren’t adding anything anywhere near the video on that page.

Got a lovely surprise, former employee Aileen Trout came in for a quick visit.  Aileen left us many years ago and moved back to her place of birth, Hawaii.  She hasn’t aged at all – I’m convinced living on the islands there is like the fountain of youth.  After that I checked the helpdesk tickets and assigned 2 to fellow IT staff.  Answered the helpdesk phone line – fellow IT staff member needed help with the printer settings for Horizon.

Consulted with our web programmer about navigation and design for our new Intranet.  We looked at Google Analytics to get a feel of what people used the most on our Intranet (that combined with actual feedback from staff should help).

Consulted with fellow IT staff member about helpdesk ticket regarding a broken link in Aquabrowser (the information page in AB had never been updated to reflect the RSS feed page on our new web site which went live over a year ago – GULP!).  Need a better way to keep track of all our links out there.

LUNCH!! finally

Assigned another helpdesk ticket.  Got a call from the editor of our Highly Recommended blog about linking a contributor’s name.

Guess my confidence from earlier was a bit premature.  I updated our TeenZine (which isn’t a true blog but does use WordPress).  This time things did not go well. Not sure if I missed some files in the update or what.  Was seeing strange results even though I did get the right messages during the upgrade process.  Cleared cache and refreshed browser and still had odd displays.  Asked web programmer for help – he watched me do the upgrade for the 4th time – something about him standing there must have done the trick.  But even he saw the odd display and seems like things took several minutes to display correctly.  It’s all good in the end.

Called the Information Services Supervisor regarding the voice mail she had left me that morning – left her a voice mail.

Emailed username/password for our Staff Intranet to staff member so they could add content.

Assigned to myself and closed helpdesk ticket regarding an email from a customer letting us know that the wording on one of our PACs screen savers was wrong.  We had already fixed this so I contacted the customer via email thanking her for catching this and letting her know we fixed it.

Cleaned up a bounce of AOL accounts that had marked us as spam.  Trying to get the message out there that when you sign up for a library card and give us your email account you will receive notices via email.  Do not mark us as a spammer – you agreed to receive notices from us.  Some reason the AOL users don’t remember this more than any other email user.

Went ahead and updated our last blog (our main one and the one that I was most scared about) to the latest version of WordPress.  It was my biggest worry but things went smoothly.  WHEW!

Past time for me to go home.  Off to get my son, walk dogs, take some photos, fix dinner and possibly get a little Lost season 2 watching done.

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Best in Show – Best on the Web

aaronAnother day, another attempt at live blogging at CIL2009. Probably spending my day in Track C.

The Best of the Web – Aaron Schmidt.

Aaron had us introduce ourselves to someone next to us and talk about what we like on the web.

Firefox – cool another fan. Greasemonkey fan as well, smart keywords, better Gmail

Google Reader – Helvetireader

Book City Jackets – brown wrappers – cool idea for display perhaps for banned book week?

Wikimedia commons – sister site of wikipedia

Flickr image search – creative commons – pictobrowser gives you code to include a slide show on a web page

Skitch – screenshot tool – annotate them – upload to Flickr from Skitch

Jing – only Mac or Windows (their loss no one smart enough or good enough to program it for LInux)

Screentoaster – completely web based

Vimeo – artier than Youtube, clean – free or pro accounts – customize how they are embedded

PostRiank – library’s blog feed address and will tell you which posts are more popular than others (must do this for our blogs at work) – helps you gear content to your audience

copypastecharacter.com – if you don’t know code you can copy and paste it into your web site or blog. I’d prefer that you learn the code but okay.

Today’sMeet – create temporary online space – discuss things – had the front row setup a room and login pretty simple

screenshot-2

Doodle

Let me Google that for you

Color lovers!! YES one of my favorites.

TagCrowd – enter URL or block of text and pulls out the tags for you or you can use Wordle

Qapture – real time capture of what is going on in Twitter mentioned this morning at the keynote

Twitter – power of searching on twitter pulled Aaron in – Tweetdeck select who you want to display helps you filter out unwanted tweets

VYEW – online web conferencing tool

http://bacoliciou.us – run a web page through and puts a piece of bacon on it – friend sees web page w/bacon

Thematic theme for WordPress – easy to modify cheap way to improve library web site

Ted talks (or videos) – expensive conference but they bring the interesting people together

Google Voice – for voice mail – get voice mail transcribed so you can read it

Google Forms – create a form

Netnewswire – for Macs only Rss reader

What is Prezi? – not intuitive – neat looking presentations – bit of a learning curve by invite only right now

280Slides – online presentation maker – make, save and share

Lovely Charts – register and make org charts, network diagrams, flow charts

Typetester – enter sample text – css params in the middle and will see 3 different fonts – then copy CSS and paste it

must use the right tool for the job – and library is the place to find them

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

More Than a Marriage of Convenience

car_just_married
Oh joy, joy.  Oh, happy day.  Thanks to corephp‘s tweet I am in 7th heaven.  Two of my favorite open source products just got married.  WordPress is now available for Joomla 1.5.  This couldn’t come at a better time since I’ve been working on a Joomla 1.5 for our Choose Civility (this is the old site) initiative at Howard County Library.  Ron Nicodemus, of Nicodemus Communications Group, had suggested that we include a blog for the new Choose Civility site.  Originally we had wanted to use the blog component inherent in Joomla but to be honest it isn’t the greatest.

I have installed, maintained and tweaked 6 WordPress blogs for the library.  I use WordPress.com for my own blog.  So needless to say having WordPress be a part of Joomla (been involved with 5 Joomla sites for work) is a dream come true.  This is a great marriage and I look forward to celebrating their union.  Mazal tov!

I think I’m in Love

To borrow a line from Eddie Money…I think I’m in love!

Thanks to Librarian in Black posting about PC World’s 100 Best Products for 2008 I’ve discovered a new love. Flock – a social web browser. Now I can log into a Flock-supported social network such as Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, or Twitter and see all my peeps in a side bar. It allows me to keep track of many social networking sites all in one browser (which is powered by Mozilla – and is available for Linux, Mac and Windows). Flock supports the following sites:

You can also get your RSS feeds available all in one spot but having that along with my social network, favorite media and sites makes this new browser near and dear to this social networking gal’s heart. Now to that I have Flock setup I can go back and read the rest of the 99 top products.