That’s it?

We now know enough to go create our own mini-publishing company and take over the world pass the subject. Right?  The next month or so will be….interesting.

I made my blog look shiny last week and experimented with a few of the more basic widgets – I could link it to twitter like rombloggy but then you’d just be subjected to even more football spam…I retweet more than I tweet.

Oh, the CiteULike thing – here goes Brown, John Seely, “Storytelling in Organizations”Boston : Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, 2005. 0750678208
A fascinating approach to using communication in the business world – not only how to communicate it, but the best way to persuade and influence an audience.  Tags: internal communication, storytelling, content creation, influence

Inside the Enterprise, Up the Next Hill
Marcia Conner. T + D. Alexandria: Oct 2009. Vol. 63, Iss. 10; pg. 21, 3 pgs
This provides a few justifications for introducing social technologies into the workplace – of particular interest are specific examples of how micropublishing/microblogging can enrich a simple meeting or provide live feedback to presenters and the rest of the audience.
Tags : social networking, social media, training

Cheuk, B (2009), Intranet 2.0 – increasing global dialogue at ERM,  SCM 13:6 pp 24-27
An awesome article about breaking down boundaries in a particular global company by allowing direct anonymous moderated or named and non-moderated contact with the company’s CEO – and then republishing the chat for absent employees, and allowing ongoing discussion in a forum.
communication, forum, chat, CEO Jam

Conference paper at CHI2009 –  Makice, K. (2009) Phatics and the design of community,   CHI 2009, April 4-9, 2009, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
So – what the hell are phatics? Phatics are the bits of language that are meaningless but actually really important. What? Phatics are SOCIAL GLUE. Things like saying ‘hi’ when you first approach someone – or ‘how are you?’ when you don’t really care. They create community. How much do we lose publishing content electronically instead of communicating face to face?
phatics, linguistics, social connections, networking, community

How social networking increases collaboration at IBM
Hathi, Sona. Strategic Communication Management. Chicago: Dec 2009/Jan 2010. Vol. 14, Iss. 1; pg. 32, 4 pgs
This is the most exciting business homepage I can imagine. It’s for employees – so it’s not full of marketing crap – it’s interactive, customizable, has so much information on it – potentially – but is under control… because IBM is so big they can harness the power of their employees to meaningfully tag all sorts of things, including each other. They’ve got so many awesome ways to harness the power of many – including an ‘ebay for ideas’. Just read the article – so exciting.
social networking, web publishing, rss, ibm, community, staff directory

I’m feeling a little concerned that I’m getting off the e-publishing wagon in my hunt for improved social connectivity at work. I’m enjoying the content of my essay – I just hope it proves relevant enough. I get a bit excited about the different ways to build on and create online communities – after all, that’s where I live half my life, even if it’s the boring world of Facebook these days rather than the poetry community I was involved in for a few years, or one of several WoW guilds, or the Discworld MUD… so many worlds I’ve lived in – and even outside online worlds, the seeds of my marriage were online… ICQ random chat, who’d have thought it 11 years later. I hated football then!

XML looks complicated but it’s so so so powerful!

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My ‘book”
Comments on process of making the lulu book:

Interesting that it will link in with facebook, flickr, etc – even more people after my facebook account details! Will the apps never stop?
Also given that my facebook uploads are required to be limited quality I am a bit dubious about how good the resultant printed book would be if you just went with facebook pics. I am unwilling to sacrifice my FB privacy for this, but I wonder if I could upload and sell any photos I am tagged in, for example, or only ones I’ve uploaded myself.
It’s a lot easier to use than I expected – intuitive controls.

Comments on the business model:

I attempted to edit the price of my calendar and discovered that as well as charging you a minimum cost (presumably to cover costs and reasonable profits) they also take a cut of your personal profits- if you add a dollar to the cost you don’t receive a dollar on purchase! Not surprising I suppose. The ability to provide ISBNs (at a cost) is an interesting use of specialised knowledge (I wouldn’t know how to apply for an ISBN – although I daresay I could work it out) – and for some people it might be enough to show their friends “hey I wrote a book it’s on Amazon you should buy it”.  Also providing editorial access and packages make it seem easy – if all you’ve ever wanted is to publish your book, and you KNOW it’s awesome, then why not blow $500 putting it to the test.

I am a bit confused about the difference between a Lulu ISBN and a non-lulu ISBN – unless the first just denotes Lulu as the publisher – guess I’ve never learned to interpret ISBNs beyond the country codes.

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Week 6: Usability

Test website:

Test environment: Library group study room.


Hi my name is Sian. I’ll be working with you in today’s session. Let me explain why we’ve asked for your assistance.
We’re here to find out how well Maribyrnong City Council website communicates information. Try to behave normally – look around, click links and so on at the same speed and with the same attention as usual. The only difference is we’d like you to think out loud. Don’t be all that concerned with the results – we’re testing the website, not you.  You may ask questions, but I’m not allowed to help you with the website – so I may not answer them. We want to know how it works with someone working independently.
To ensure you test out the features we’re interested in, I’ll ask some questions too. It’s important that you answer honestly. My only role here today is to discover strengths and weakness of the website from your perspective. During the test I need to know what you’re thinking.
While you’re working I will sit nearby and observe, another person will be taking notes and timings. There will not be any audio or video recording of this session.
Do you have any questions? (answer questions). Could you sign this nondisclosure agreement before we start? Ok, let’s go – to start with, could you tell me what area the Council is responsible for?

Feedback from question 1 (Where are the boundaries of Maribyrnong City Council’s district):

Person 1   -There’s a map on the front page – but I can only see that it’s west of the cbd. When I click the map nothing happens. Ok…about this city…size and suburbs… That’s a better map, but I still can’t click on it. (Did not notice the scroll bar – and therefore missed most of the maps).

Person 2  The address of the council main office is at the bottom of the front page next to a little map, but it doesn’t tell you the  boundaries. (got to size and suburbs page pretty quickly).  (scrolls down). Oh, a google map. I don’t understand how it shows the city – I guess it is centred on the middle of the city? But  I can only drag around and zoom in – I want it to give me a google map with the boundaries marked out – of the district and the wards and everything so then I can zoom in and out as I wish. I guess they need static maps because google might change their services? I’d still rather something dynamic.

Person 3  (went straight to ‘about the community’, ‘size and suburbs’, was happy enough with the maps on that page).

Question 2: Is there any sort of tourism opportunity in Maribyrnong? How does the council help promote it?

Person 1: Couldn’t see a search box then spotted the word ‘search’ at the top of the page. Searched for tourism. First two links looked good – tourism in maribyrnong, walking tours – last three seem irrelevant. The first result is the page which explains Council’s involvement in the Western Melbourne Tourism partnership and links to a bunch of external providers. Disappointed that there was no mention of highlights in the area (except ‘close to the cbd and docklands’) – what is good IN maribyrnong? do I have to go to external sites to find out?

Person 2 – wants a box that will search rather than having to go to a search page. Isn’t sure when they got to my target page – was expecting something more like a glossy brochure.

Person 3 – clicks on ‘more public notices, consultations’ on front page (links to a longer feed of news) – finds the walking tours. Oh, they have a whole variety of walking tours. Is this what you meant? No? …scroll up, click media centre – not right. Goes to Recreation – recreation strategy – nothing there either. Clicks through a few of the links on the left – finds Arts and Culture – variety of Council Supported Organisations – finds the search button at the top and gets to the intended page.

Summary/recommendations: The users were able to find the required information for question 1 (boundaries) reasonably easy but experienced a few frustrations: The map of victoria on the front page should link to something, whether it is to the ‘suburbs and size’ page or directly to a zoomed in map or a google map. Also, the maps on the map page were not clearly displayed at the top – instead most of the page was taken up by marketing stuff about why it’s a good place to live. On a low resolution it’s easy to miss the rest of the page. Consider combining these maps into a dynamic document (say with overlays for wards, overall boundaries, etc that you can turn on and off) with printable versions.

Question 2 was a bit too vague on my part – I should have maybe asked for a specific festival or something – but users didn’t know where to look for tourism, despite it being only ‘one level down’ under Economic Development. Everyone wound up at the search button at the top, but one expressed a preference for a box to type in ON the front page and a search button to run the search – rather than a distinct search page.

I wonder what Google Instant is going to do to people’s expectations…

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Task 7: Photo editing

The task seemed straightforward, but I experienced a few issues.

At step 7 (remove blue tinge) Photoshop crashed on two attempts. So the image still has a blue tint – not going there again.

Step 9: sleep1.bmp =844kb,    sleep2.bmp = 476kb

10: jpeg =26kb, gif = 79kb   – the gif is spottier (guess because it’s trying to ‘match’ the colours by hybridising – chucking black spots in to make it darker, that sort of thing – but the jpeg seems fuzzier .

12: Compressing jpegs: The sweet spot for ok clarity and smallest size is somewhere between compression factor 30 and 50 – 50 is unacceptably pixellated (and don’t even ask about 80 or 100), 30 looks fine. Given the

size doesn’t decrease substantially for anything greater than 50, I can’t see any point in those compression factors (at least for the quality of image we started with). Image sizes for 20 (default) 30,50,80, 100 compression were respectively 26,16,9,7,7 kb. Realistically anything below 50kb is going to load quickly (assuming a better-than-dialup connection). You might bother using 30-35% if you expect to be publishing to an audience on dialup or mobile data.

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Is scientific publishing about to be disrupted?

Plagiarism disclaimer here: Summarizing the content of for academic purposes.

Scientific publishing is dying – or changing…it’s up to you.

Scientific publishing is in the early days of a major disruption, just like music, minicomputers, and newspapers have or will experienced.

What can we do about it?

Become more like Amazon, Netflix, Google. Share some knowledge and sell others. Make TOOLS for content sharing – don’t stick with the ‘pdf paper replica’ model – let people share their science more easily than by email. Peer-review blog posts! and get technology minded people to design these things – not editors.  There’s opportunities everywhere-  but scientific publishing in its current form is doomed.


(assume there’s a whole bunch of content I spent 20 minutes writing and then inserted an unremovable ‘more’ tag over the top of, assuming it would be like a ‘read more behind this link’ thing. >< Also, the so called more tag doesn’t do anything or display anyway. Continue reading

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Week 5 tasks

1. 3 good websites. What makes them good for digital reading or enjoyable to interact with? – even the face page (not logged in) is ‘clean’. It’s either fashionable or good design to imitate Google – as little clutter as possible – and while Twitter is moving (trends across the top, updates down the middle – the other bits are where you expect… Highlights in the F zone (across the top, down the left), log in top right as many websites have, conspicuous but out of the way SIGN UP link. Pictures are just the icons users have selected, very small pictures. – Discworld MUD home page. This is aimed at text-willing participants, given taht the purpose it serves is a web-portal for content related to a text-only MUD (Multi-User-Domain) RPG. It’s got delicious white space, a few important headlines down the middle, some frequently used links down the left, maybe doesn’t make enough use of the horizon of the F.  The content on the top and left of the page does not change – the content at the bottom (polls and quote) does, so perhaps this isn’t ideal design – but it’s nice to look at. The logged-in-forums are pretty good as well.

Wikipedia: White space (or grey) again, yay! Gentle on the eye colours (grey, white, black), logo top left, login top right, main headings down the left, and in an article, links and headings down the left, maybe a photo top right, stuff gets less important the further down you are.

3 bad websites: Why are they so bad? – designed by Telstra. Not quite as bad as white pages website (one day, someone may teach them how to write a search engine – for now, there’s google…), but Telstra want full credit for this mess: They’ve plastered ads everywhere, using bright red and blue, the telstra overlay takes prime top spot, and the everyday content – the news articles and opinion articles that they offer that is different to the information available everywhere else – is restricted to about 1/10th of the screen size. Trying to promote so many different things at once that most users won’t care about. Then again, the small chunks might make it readable?

Because I can’t resist – and Geocities is gone forever – – bright colours, crappy backgrounds, crappy fonts and you have to scroll across and down to get to stuff. Yay! Geocities! The infancy of web-design-for-everyone…

Colour. Photo. Centre-aligned text but not word-wrapped…  the textured background (and pink on pink) makes it hard to read, it’s a static page but not updated regularly enough to be meaningful.


Task 2 probably needs its own post. brb.

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Task for week 4 – Examining Emerald, Proquest, Informit and Ebsco

Examining Emerald, Proquest, Informit and Ebsco

aim to find three recent relevant articles on each of the topics below.

A) “The use of computers in the classroom to enhance learning”
B) “Open Access model for academic journal publishers ”

During your research consider:

1. Did you find relevant articles? What were they? When where they published? Which service did they come from?

Informit: Found relevant articles easily (listed below).

Proquest: Went straight to Eric, the education database, for the first topic – which offered me a one-box google style search initially. Then it logged me out because I loaded the page while I was still playing with informit, so I timed out. Second search using cross-search gave me advanced window by default, found plenty of stuff.

Emerald: mostly recent stuff (i didn’t limit it this time though), plenty of different journals to choose from.

Ebsco: Came from a variety of journals, seemed to be mostly scholarly although I didn’t do the Ulrichs test.


2. Navigation
Compare the 4 services:
– Searching (what type queries did you use: simple, or complex (Boolean)
– Browsing (did you know of a specific journal or resource?)
– Was Full Text Search offered? Was it useful?

Informit – used boolean AND to find a few, limited the date range.  (computer (in all) AND classroom (in all) AND teaching (in AB) – once I found a few I liked I browsed those titles to see if anything else caught my eye – full text search was offered but this topic is general enough that I did not need it – I didn’t find anything relevant by browsing one title so I changed ‘teaching’ to ‘learning’ in AB to see what different results I would get.  Search two – “open access” AND “publishing model” and “journal” – got me two hits, turned out to be the same article overlapped from two databases (business and humanities, since I had ticked both). However, Browsing to that journal seemed to hit the jackpot – I suspect the issue I found was entirely about Open Access, and I could have chosen from about 8 articles to fill out the three I needed.

Proquest/Eric – single search box (learning teaching computer effective classroom) got me 500 odd results, which is a good number – but I found the ‘next’ button only after some searching.  I should have limited to full-text only (guess Informit spoilt me by being mostly full text), because many items just said ‘check for availability’ which means going back to our catalogue… Eric items just had a PDF link right there though, which was good. Had I used the cross-search I may have been complaining here about wading through newspaper articles and so on as well (because usually I launch straight in without selecting relevant databases). For the second topic I used the cross-search (but excluded the Newspaper collection) and used the same search terms as Informit, but stuck to default ‘in citation or abstract’ fields – limited to full text only to save having to deal with FindIt.

Emerald: Adv search is default. used (any) teaching learning AND computer AND classroom (all in all fields) – plenty of results (limited to ‘my subscribed content’ too.

Ebsco: plugged all the words into a single search box (‘find articles by text’) – worked fine – seemed like they’d prefer me to browse by journal title though.  – there was an advanced (guided) search option but I didn’t have to use it.

3. Was the bibliographic data useful?

Bibliographic details help to ascertain if an article is from an authoritative source, and in particular the Abstract indicates if something is as useful as its title indicates.

However, Proquest’s bibliographic data looked messy and didn’t easily provide the information I was after. (Using FindIt was unsatisfactory, so I thought I would just search for the item ,but I don’t know if it is a book or journal at first glance). The first metadata they give (after title/author/abstract in the header) is ‘accession number’ which is meaningless to me.

Emerald’s bibliographic data is better –  I think I like a clear delineation between the type of metadata (Title, ISBN) and the data – so their Bold or Informit’s different coloured labels make sense to me visually.

Ebsco – bibliographic data displayed in a table using colour and format. Liked it.

4. Did you read the abstract before accessing the full text?

Read abstracts (or skimmed) in all cases – would only jump direct to an article if I already knew I wanted it (i.e. was cited elsewhere)

5. How was the article presented? HTML, PDF? If more than one format was available, which one did you select? Why?

PDF in most cases is available, but not on all Proquest items (particularly newspaper articles and similar newsmagazine style items). When I have the choice I prefer HTML for reading, PDF for citing/saving if I think I will read or use later.  HTML loads faster and allows faster skimming (Adobe can be pretty resource-hungry).

6. Would you read, or attempt to read the article on screen, or would you print it out immediately?

Read on screen.  No point in printing it unless I need to read it on the way home (or, in one recent case, am expecting an evacuation drill…) – note that I have no e-reading device at this time.

7. How standardised was the presentation, ie. do all articles in the service “look” the same?

All abstracts and HTML pages look the same (by which I mean ‘consistent within the particular library/database’) – but pdfs obviously vary as much as print publications.

8. How did the four services compare? Likes/Dislikes

I feel that I’ve talked about this earlier in reference to each feature. They’ve all got their pros and cons (even if the redeeming ‘pro’ might just be access to a particular journal..)

As the citations themselves are not necessarily what you were after, I’ve whacked them on at the end. Here they are!

From Informit

McDowall, J (2008) Music Technology: a Vehicle for Young Children’s Music Learning, Australian Journal of Music Education, 2:pp41-50

(this is the point where I realised informit provided its own citation for me to copy as soon as I load up the full text pdf)

Wander, Roger and Pierce, Robyn. Marina’s Fish Shop: A Mathematically – and Technologically-rich Lesson [online]. Australian Mathematics Teacher, The, Vol. 65, No. 2, 2009: 6-12. Availability: <;dn=989683988936663;res=IELHSS&gt; ISSN: 0045-0685. [cited 11 Aug 10].

McVey, Stephanie. Computer Technology and the Gifted [online]. Australasian Journal of Gifted Education, Vol. 17, No. 2, Dec 2008: 43-48. Availability: <;dn=720847479623353;res=IELHSS&gt; ISSN: 1323-9686. [cited 11 Aug 10].


Houghton, John and Sheehan, Peter. Estimating the Potential Impacts of Open Access to Research Findings [online]. Economic Analysis and Policy, Vol. 39, No. 1, 2009: 127-142. Availability: <;dn=775907909691334;res=IELBUS&gt; ISSN: 0313-5926. [cited 11 Aug 10].

Conley, John P and Wooders, Myrna. But What Have You Done for Me Lately?: Commercial Publishing, Scholarly Communication, and Open-access [online]. Economic Analysis and Policy, Vol. 39, No. 1, 2009: 71-87. Availability: <;dn=775796111863785;res=IELHSS&gt; ISSN: 0313-5926. [cited 11 Aug 10].

Krichel, Thomas and Zimmermann, Christian. The Economics of Open Bibliographic Data Provision [online]. Economic Analysis and Policy, Vol. 39, No. 1, 2009: 143-152. Availability: <;dn=776001074547625;res=IELHSS&gt; ISSN: 0313-5926. [cited 11 Aug 10].

Proquest/Eric –

Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works
Pitler, Howard; Hubbell, Elizabeth R.; Kuhn, Matt; Malenoski, Kim; Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development; 2007-00-00;  (ED509106)

Active-Passive-Intuitive Learning Theory: A Unified Theory of Learning and Development
Sigette, Tyson; Online Submission; 2009-12-18;  (ED509492)

Does Whole-Word Multimedia Software Support Literacy Acquisition?
Karemaker, Arjette M.; Pitchford, Nicola J.; O’Malley, Claire; Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal; Jan 2010;  23(1); p. 31 (EJ872724)

Case Study: Open Access Yields Solid Growth for Hindawi
Marji McClure. Information Today. Medford: May 2008. Vol. 25, Iss. 5; pg. 1, 3 pgs
Online Publishing, Technical Representation, and the Politics of Code: The Case of CJC Online
Michael Felczak, Richard Smith, Rowland Lorimer. Canadian Journal of Communication. Toronto:
2008. Vol. 33, Iss. 2; p. 271 (19 pages)
Business models for open access journals publishing
Chen Chi Chang. Online Information Review. Bradford: 2006. Vol. 30, Iss. 6; pg. 699
Emerald –
Computer technology in the College of Agriculture classroom at Louisiana State University
Type: Research paper
Author(s): Richard P. Vlosky, Teresa A. Summers
Source: Campus-Wide Information Systems Volume: 17 Issue: 3 2000
Ubiquitous Computing: Rethinking Teaching, Learning, and Technology Integration
Type: Chapter Item
Author(s): Karen Swan, Dale Cook, Annette Kratcoski, Yi Mei Lin, Jason Schenker, Mark van ’t Hooft
Source: Advances in Educational Administration, Volume: 8, 2006
Learning style and training delivery mode preference
Type: Research paper
Author(s): Buch K, Bartley S
Source: Journal of Workplace Learning, Feb 2002 Volume: 14 Issue: 1
Consortia activity in academic libraries: Anti-competitive or in the public good?
Type: Chapter Item
Author(s): Catherine Maskell
Source: Advances in Library Administration and Organization, Volume: 28, 2009
Open access indicators and information society: the Latin American case
Type: Viewpoint
Author(s): Nancy Gómez, Atilio Bustos-Gonzalez, Julio Santillan-Aldana, Olga Arias
Source: OCLC Systems & Services Volume: 25 Issue: 2 2009
Institutional Archives for Research: Experiences and Projects in Open Access
Type: Viewpoint
Author(s): Elena Giglia
Source: Library Hi Tech News Volume: 24 Issue: 2 2007


Nicos Valanides, Charoula Angeli. Professional development for computer-enhanced learning: a case study with science teachers. Research in Science & Technological Education, Volume 26, Number 1 (2008), pp. 3-12, <;

Julie Meltzer, Thomas Sherman. Ten Commandments for Successful Technology Implementation and Staff Development. NASSP Bulletin, Volume 81, Number 585 (January 1997), pp. 23-32, <;
Alison Davies, Jill Ramsay, Helen Lindfield, John Couperthwaite. A blended approach to learning: added value and lessons learnt from students’ use of computer-based materials for neurological analysis . British Journal of Educational Technology, Volume 36, Number 5 (September 2005), pp. 839-849, <;

Charles Oppenheim. Electronic scholarly publishing and open access. Journal of Information Science, Volume 34, Number 4 (August 2008), pp. 577-590, <;

Sarah E. Thomas. Publishing solutions for contemporary scholars: the library as innovator and partner. Library Hi Tech, Volume 24, Number 4 (October 2006), pp. 563-573, <;

Allan Scherlen, Matthew Robinson. Open Access to Criminal Justice Scholarship: A Matter of Social Justice. Journal of Criminal Justice Education, Volume 19, Number 1 (2008), pp. 54-74, <;

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