September is always busy for everybody. We had a quick discussion this month, wedged in-between many meetings.
Anne started the discussion, noting the Zotero Everywhere tool upgrade that Zotero had enabled. This will free Zotero from being client-based (now it will be both client and web-based) , and they also set up an API to open it up for “web and mobile access to Zotero libraries.” That sounds like a good change.
Leah noted the recent announcement that the entire volume of Twitter posts would be permanently archived by The Library of Congress. “Every public tweet, ever, since Twitter’s inception in March 2006, will be archived digitally at the Library of Congress. That’s a LOT of tweets, by the way: Twitter processes more than 50 million tweets every day, with the total numbering in the billions.” Leah also mentioned that “This American Life” has a twitter account.
Dianna alerted us to the interesting “Daily Beast” tech website. On the topic of “Mobile Learning Environments” Dianna noted a highlight on “14 best apps for college students.” This is an interesting place to start if we want to design apps for campus.
The discussion then moved to a general discussion of smartphone apps for campus. Joe suggested, and we all seemed to come to the same conclusion, that apps should be simple, single-topic-oriented, geography-relevant, and assist people to achieve goals in a self-service environment. App bundlers do exist. Ian noted that UW Madison is opening up app development and creation to students, thought some kinds of university data (grades, home addresses, etc) would probably be off limits. All UW-Madison campus aps are currently designed for the iPhone, but in the future other platforms will be allowed.
Anne reminded us about 4Square and mentioned that universities were beginning to take over the task of managing locations “officially.” We suspected this partially has to do with maintaining control over branding and institutional experience, as well as interest in using social networking tools to promote the university in a fun way.
Leah noted the ambivalence that many institutions currently have toward social networking tools. Some intuitions promote their use while others have used them to terminate employees. The group seemed to agree that laws and official practices have yet to catch up with everyday life.
Joe mentioned the new Gmail “undo send” tool that allows you to add a timer to “sent” mail. When you send an email with “undo send” active, it is not quite “sent” until a timer runs out. That time hopefully gives you the chance to change your mind, if you need to. I wish I had that tool for WiscMail...
Jim finished up the hour by introducing us all to the very cool SoundCloud site/tool. The site allows people to post musical clips, mostly self-produced (from what I can tell), in order to build communities of appreciation and critique. People can comment on abd associate images with various moments in the audio file. It is a facinating way to build a social network of creative people and those who appreciate their music.