Category Archives: Presentations

Word Statistics Links

For my What’s New with What’s New presentation for the Boston Regional Library System:

Book Information

  • Amazon: The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down — The Amazon page for this book is an example of some of the ways that Amazon is playing around with text analysis
  • LibraryThing — This social cataloging site is doing some very interesting work analyzing and comparing its members’ collection data, and collecting and organizing data through their Common Knowledge fielded wiki [Example: John Steinbeck]

Tagging

Tagging is the primary method of organization for many social media sites, including Flickr, LibraryThing, Delicious, and many others. Tags are keywords users assign to their own items, which can also be used to search across the whole system. Because of the lack of a controlled vocabulary or standard cataloging rules, tagging is an imperfect system by design, but the use of natural vocabulary is quick, flexible and powerful.

Collections of tags can be presented in any format, but are often presented as tag clouds. Here are a couple of typical examples:
Flickr | LibraryThing | Delicious

Similar clouds can be made by analyzing the frequency of words used in any piece of text, like the example below.

This is a tag cloud made by uploading the text of the Declaration of Independence to the TagCrowd website

created at TagCrowd.com

Beyond Charts and Graphs

For my What’s New with What’s New presentation for the Boston Regional Library System:

Data Presentation Links

There are many sites that are providing people with access to huge sets of data, and to new and interesting ways to visualize and interact with that data.

Here are a few links that show data in action:

  • Google Flu Trends — Search engines like Google perform millions of transaction every day. Those search terms are stamped with their date and time and geolocation, providing a rich source of information about what’s happening in the world. Google Flu Trends is an example of how tracking trends from search terms rather than through traditional polling and reporting methods.
  • NameVoyager — Explore trends in baby names in an interactive, graphical format. Be sure to scroll around the graph, use the limiters, and enter a name to search!
  • GovTrack.US — Compare versions of the Stimulus bill with changes highlighted, wiki-style
  • Head-to-Head Vote Comparison — Choose any two Senators or Representatives and compare their voting records

Flickr Presentation Links

For my What’s New with What’s New presentation for the Boston Regional Library System:

Libraries on Flickr

The Reader

Advice for Libraries on Flickr

  • Read the Flickr Terms of Service, take the Tour, read the FAQ
  • Make sure you understand privacy and copyright settings
  • Be creative and have fun
  • Capture everyday life at the library as well as the special events
  • Step outside for some exterior shots of the building and grounds
  • Include weather and seasonal pictures
  • Add historic images to Flickr, even if they are also in another system
  • Highlight every library service
  • Include the whole staff, volunteers, trustees, etc. (but respect the camera-shy!)
  • Have a plan and a policy for photo permissions, and respect the right to privacy
  • Add information and links to your image descriptions, and use the map and tags to help make your pictures findable
  • Add your images to Flickr groups, especially the local and regional groups
  • Consider starting groups for the library and/or the community
  • Use online toys and tools to enhance and transform your images (add frames, make posters, use special effects, etc.)
  • Use Flickr badges to add rotating content to your library sites
  • Link from your Flickr pages to your website, and from your library site to Flickr badges
  • Keep an eye on your Flickr stats, and report them with other library statistics

Flickr as a Resource

  • The Flickr Commons — The Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, and several other museums and archives around the world are adding collections of images with no known copyright restrictions to Flickr, where members not only enjoy the images but help catalog them.
  • Camera Information on Flickr — Flickr can be an interesting consumer resource. See what cameras Flickr members and using, and see examples of different kinds of pictures taken with each camera.
  • Photographs for Your Website from Flickr — How to search for photographs that you can use without permission

Enhance and Extend

Building Community Through Photography

I did a presentation on this topic at the Massachusetts Library Association conference in Falmouth this morning, and posted the PowerPoint on Slideshare:

Continue reading

Open Source Presentation

Pliny's AlleeOpen Source for an Open World — Here’s a link to my presentation from the NELA ITS Conference Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Open Source, held at the beautiful Tower Hill Botanical Garden in Boylston.

During my presentation, I demonstrated the song-clapping exercise as an example of the “Curse of Knowledge.” A basic problem in communication is that when you know something, it’s difficult to imagine what it’s like to not know it. In this exercise, one person taps or claps out the rhythm of a song to a partner who tries to identify it. It’s very difficult for most people to guess the song based on just the rhythm, but the surprising part is that if you’re the person doing the tapping, it seems so easy! You can hear the song in your head, and it’s hard to remember that the other person can’t hear it, too, or how useless the series of taps are when separated from the tune.

This was taken from the book Made to Stick : Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip and Dan Heath, an interesting, entertaining book that’s great reading for anyone who deals with communication issues…which is all of us.

Songtapper — Try tapping out tunes on your keyboard and see if Songtapper can correctly identify them!