Late May is one of my favorite times of the year. The semester is over and the summer has not become too busy, yet... We were lucky to have a LILI IT meeting!
Karen started the discussion by introducing us to Etsy http://www.etsy.com/, a site that sells artists goods with an easy to use interface. Can the interface be used as a model for library tools? Can you use it to buy great gifts?
Tom reminded us of the interesting Google Trends http://www.google.com/trends tool. You can use this to search on the relative interest of different search terms that users have entered into Google. Terms should be separated with commas. Searches can be narrowed to region and time period. I REALLY wish that our library databases all had such a tool.
Nancy mentioned that sometimes when users have trouble with using the Google Scholar http://scholar.google.com/schhp connection to RefWorks (or other tools like Zotero) it is not necessarily RefWorks fault when the data does not upload correctly. Sometimes the meta-data on the originating site is not structured correctly, and RefWorks can't do anything about that...!
Barbara began a discussion on the relative merits of the feed readers that are available. Everyone still seems to like Bloglines http://www.bloglines.com/, and Google Reader http://www.google.com/reader/ has supporters. The Thunderbird Reader add-on is useful too.
Jim brought our attention to Twitter http://twitter.com/ feed readers, such as Seesmic http://seesmic.com/, and TweetDeck http://www.tweetdeck.com/. Jim finds Seesmic in particular to be a useful way to aggregate many twitter feeds in one place. Cool! Nancy reminded us that Hootsuite http://hootsuite.com/ is a very good way to manage Twitter feed publishing. The libraries are already using this great tool!
Karen noted that she has been doing some research on product labeling, and suggested these very useful sites: Greener Choices EcoLabeling http://www.greenerchoices.org/eco-labels/, MotherJones EcoLabel Guide, and Green Washing.
[After the meeting, Karen sent me these additional links. Check them out. They are very interesting! Post: Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen, GoodGuide: http://www.goodguide.com/, Skin Deep - Cosmetics Safety Database: http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/, Chemical Cuisine: http://www.cspinet.org/reports/chemcuisine.htm Food Labeling: http://www.cspinet.org/foodlabeling/ ]
Diana finished off the hour by introducing us to the very cool Powered Green http://www.poweredgreen.com/ site, started by two UW-Madison Students. By making a donation, you can "offset" your laptop energy use by supporting wind-farms and other green energy technologies.
See you all in July!