Category Archives: presentations

How time flies and Project Management Skills

Those two things *are* actually related – keeping track of schedules while managing a project is pretty important. While I have managed to keep track of my schedule in planning the project of my upcoming Project Management class, I have still been surprised by the passage of time. The class starts tomorrow!! I’m finalizing content uploads and getting ready to start interacting with folks in the class. It’s not too late to sign up, though, if you want to brush up on one of the Top 7 Most In Demand Tech Skills of 2013 with me in a low-pressure and supportive environment!

Time will also fly by between now and my next real-world workshop – to be held in Maryland – on the use of the Getting Things Done time management theory in libraries on the 19th of February. I’m putting the finishing touches on that workshop too. Fortunately, nothing big (like, say, my 40th birthday on Feb 3rd or an upgrade of the ILS that I help to manage and 40+ libraries rely on that is happening the weekend of the 9th and 10th) will be happening soon… ;) Also, I can’t ¬†forget that I’m writing a book on Evaluating Cloud Services for Libraries that will be due to my publisher in April. Between all of those activities – the class, the birthday party at my best friend’s house, the upgrade weekend, the book and the workshop, February will be an interesting month. It’s a good thing it’s so short!!

NAGW – Day One

Lots of driving started off the first day of the NAGW conference. The hotel is about 3 to 3 1/2 hours from my house, so I got up and headed out. I arrived at the hotel shortly after 11 and immediately registered, changed into my NAGW speaker’s shirt and hit the lunch table.

The view from my table was lovely. In the foreground are the boxed lunches, in the midground is the hotel’s pool and in the background is the KC Plaza. The weather was beautiful and the food was excellent and the company was even better. I had a lovely talk with the web person for the college at which my friend Doug works, so we had something in common, right away.

After lunch, I did my song-and-dance routine on Project Management.

The slides may not be so instructive. I used 28 for a 4 hour talk, so I did a lot of talking and less slide moving. The session went well with people at the end talking about how they are going to start using what they’ve learned immediately – which is nice to hear, as the speaker!

Afterward, I checked into my ¬†room and rested for a bit. I then went out walking into the Plaza and ended up having dinner at a “Gastro Pub” called Gram and Dun, which was quite good. I wandered back to the hotel, late, and popped in VERY BRIEFLY to the opening night reception. I was pretty tired by this time – it was all of 8pm – and just wanted to go back to my room and relax. So I did.

Join me at NAGW again this year!

I’ll be speaking on Tuesday on Project Management for Web Designers and on Thursday on Techie Tips for Solo Web Designers at the National Association of Government Webmasters conference. It’s in Kansas City and is going to be, as always, both a fun and educational time! It’s not too late to register, either – if you are in the area and want to get some excellent education and networking time in, this is the place to be!

ALA Techsource Webinar

I, along with the ever-cool David Lee King, will be presenting a 2-part webinar for ALA Techsource on the 1st and 8th of December (both at 2:30 EST aka 1:30 CST (I just put that last Central time reminder in there for me, honestly…)). We’ll be talking about:

  • Collaboration with libraries and patrons using YouTube, Flickr and Dropbox
  • Marketing your library with Facebook and Twitter
  • 4 things your library MUST do when signing up for ANY social media tool
  • Time-savers and tools for maximizing your library’s social media reach
  • And much more!

The cost for both workshops is $85 and you can register at the ALA store. As with all ALA Techsource workshops, you will get some reading material, worksheets for you to use at your library and LOTS of information about collaboration, Web 2.0, social networking and whatever else comes up in the question and answer part of the sessions! Join David and I as we dump out all the accumulated knowledge we’ve gotten from our experiences in social networking at our libraries and bypass all that messy trial and error stuff yourself!

The benefits of information-sharing behaviors

I talked to a local IT manager recently about his library’s planned migration to Google Apps. He’d emailed me late last week, saying he’d read my article on the subject and wanted to discuss it with me. We talked for quite a while and, during the conversation, they brought up the fact that Gmail may be E-rate eligible. I had not even considered this – even after learning that Amazon’s cloud services may be eligible.
This is one of the great things about being willing to share what you know – I, at least, always learn something from the people I’m ostensibly teaching or providing knowledge to. I’d like to say that my willingness to share what I know is purely selfless – a true act of generosity, but in reality, it benefits me as much as it does (hopefully) the people I share with!

Updates and some cache clearing

Updates
I’ve finally gotten around to posting links to the last couple of presentations I’ve done on my Presentations page, as well as the latest information about the Publications I’ve put out (a link to purchase the Library Mashups book and a tentative publishing date for the Twitter/Friendfeed book). Also, I’ve updated the Raves and Reviews page with a new section called Awards. I found out on Friday that I’d won an Honorable Mention in the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Awards in the Magazine Feature Article category. I’m not sure how prestigious that really is – I’m not among the top 100 listed winners in the category on the Writer’s Digest site, but the letter that accompanied the award certificate said that, “your success in the face of such formidable competition speaks highly of your writing talent”, so I suppose it is worth something…
Cache Clearing
— Google Wave – I’ve got an account and have been using it to conduct extended group IM-like chats with people and to follow the Real-Time Web Summit that happened in Mountain View, CA (Google’s backyard…) last week. The use of the conference wave was one of my favorite uses of Wave so far. Lots of great information at my fingertips!!!
–Drupal – I’m still in the process of working out the kinks in the new MRRL site, but it should be available for “sneak peeks” by the middle of November – it’s going live on the 17th of November. I’ll be posting more about my adventures with Drupal, but lets just say that I still have most of my hair… not quite all, but most. And, if anyone has a lead on a kick-ass editor that won’t eat my PHP code or re-write my content folk’s stuff at random, but will still give some help to those who are HTML-challenged, I’d appreciate it. That’s where most of my hair is going right now – crazy editors that either do too much or to little.

Making the leap to online – session 1

Regan Harper is presenting on converting face-to-face training into a web-based environment. The idea is to take face2face training that we give for LITA and adapt it for online environments.

  • 2 tips fof online – 1)give less of it & 2) organize into small units
  • planning – is the topic good for online? synchronous or asynchronous? what do I need to change to make it work?
  • breaking into chunks is important – end each session with a complete thought
  • make sure attendees know your tech people – put tech support # for the tool up for them, for example
  • keep it simple!!!!
  • delivery – set ground rules, use appropriate pacing (slow!), appeal to all learning styles
  • “be as engaging as you can, without being annoying”
  • keep visuals moving – not just animations, but use highlight/pen/pencil tools to add movement to the screen
  • ask lots of questions of the audience – keep ‘em involved
  • gesticulate – wildly – it will be reflected in your voice – be dramatic

Updates and pointers

First, I’ll start off with a pointer to my “Raves & Reviews” page, where I’m keeping track of the reviews of my Library Technology Report that was recently published. The book to which I contributed a chapter (about using the LibraryThing API), Library Mashups is available for pre-order. I don’t yet have my author’s copy, but I’m eagerly awaiting it!!! Finally, I will be at ALA in Chicago for the majority of the conference (9th-14th) and will be hanging out there, wishing I was with somebody cool from the library world (since I’m the only one from my library going) – so get in touch with me (I’m robin.hastings on the gmail service – which includes GTalk, of course) if you will also be in ALA and want to meet up!

A Palm Pre Review

I’ve had my new Palm Pre for about 5 days now and I finally feel comfortable in giving it a thorough going-over. First, I have to say that this was a HUGELY anticipated product for me. I’d been looking forward to getting my hands on this for quite a while!! I’ve read the reviews that others have posted and I’m ready – now that I’ve got it – here are some of my thoughts:

ConsPros
Pre showing Spaz client & email apps
It’s freakin’ beautiful. It fits perfectly in even my tiny little hands and is comfy. I’ve heard that some have issues with the keyboard being a bit difficult to slide out, but I’ve had no problems – the mechanism works beautifully and the keyboard itself is plenty big, easy to use and backlit (another drain on battery life, to be sure, but very handy in the dark!).
The OS is REALLY well thought out, being both beautiful & usable. It doesn’t take long to get the hang of navigation (though I wish someone had told me that swiping things to the right deletes them – that one took a day or two for me to “get” – so I was opening each email to delete it…).
The applications are a *current* weakness, just because there isn’t much there, but the ones that are work nicely (mostly – my shortcovers ebook reader has been crashy today) and are universally useful.
Palm Pre - my appsI have:

  • Pandora
  • New York Times
  • Where
  • Tweed (Twitter client #1)
  • Fandango
  • Sudoku
  • LinkedIn
  • AccuWeather
  • Spaz (Twitter client #2 adn the one I’ll probably stick with)
  • SplashID
  • Shortcovers
  • Speedbrain

Besides the apps that are currently available, you get a few pre-set bookmarks for the web application, including a link to Facebook that is pretty easy to set up. I can’t quite figure out how to get all of the FB info through the interface they provide, but given time, I’m sure I’ll be able to figure it out… Speaking of the web, the browser is nice and fast – and does a great job of rendering standard web pages. I’ve yet to hit a site that gives me problems – and today is the first time I’ve fired up my computer since I got the phone – I’ve been able to keep up using just my phone!

Summary
In summary, the phone has it’s issues – there are some hardware concerns that may cause some to give up on it. The interface and the features, though, are more than enough for me to deal with any glitches that show up in this first few weeks of use.

Quick note

Just wanted to fire off a quick note pointing folks to the utterly hysterical goings on via Twitter today. Do a Twitter search, or a hashtag follow, on #queryfail and get “from the horse’s mouth” examples writers’ queries to editors and agents that failed. Some seem to have failed in epic ways…