Archive for the 'productivity' Category

OPLIN 4Cast #95: Monitoring productivity, OpenSocial, OverDrive w/iPods, LibraryThing

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

1. Can a bigger monitor (or dual monitors!) make you more productive?
From Lifehacker: “The Wall Street Journal reports on a recent study that asked whether more screen real estate gave workers the ability to do things faster and better. Workers were given either an 18-inch or 24-inch monitor, and the researchers found that people using the 24-inch screen completed the tasks 52% faster than people who used the 18-inch monitor; people who used the two 20-inch monitors were 44% faster than those with the 18-inch ones. There is an upper limit, however: Productivity dropped off again when people used a 26-inch screen.”

2. Playing nicely together: Yahoo, Google, & MySpace working on OpenSocial project
Online interaction is more productive, and let’s face it, more FUN when you can EASILY interact with your friends and colleagues across multiple social websites.
OpenSocial is setting the standard for all of the existing and future social networking sites so they can all play nicely together.

3. Speaking of standardizing applications, OverDrive seems to be working overtime.  Bring on the iPods!

4. What’s that LibraryThing?
The 4Cast has briefly touched on LibraryThing in the past, but it’s prominently making library news once again now that Tim “Metadata Man” Spalding has been named as one of the LJ “Movers and Shakers”.

4Cast #89: E-Books, Librarian Tools, Customer Service, More Green

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

This week’s 4cast:

1.  E-Books: Point, Counterpoint

With recent advancements from Google Books Library Project, Amazon’s Kindle, and others, some are contemplating the future of the once ubiquitous, ever-humble, paper-bound book.

2.  Tools, Plug-Ins, & Apps… for Librarians

Below, a collection of select tools-of-the-trade with which you may or may not be familiar:

3.  Don’t Let the Door Hit Your Customers on Their Way Out

There’s always room for improvement when it comes to customer service, and libraries are no exception.  Online interactions add additional opportunities to serve your users.

4.  Want Some More Green?

Not only is going green good for the community and environment, it can also be a money-saver for libraries on a budget.

OPLIN 4cast #53

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

This week’s 4cast:

1. Frustration 2.0

Now that this year’s Computers In Libraries conference is over, some attendees may find that the exciting Library 2.0 ideas they enthusiastically embraced in Virginia are being met by Barriers 2.0 at home.

2. Wherefore Art Thou, eBooks?

So this eBook thing isn’t exactly catching fire, and there seem to be a lot of reasons why.

3. Could I Interest You Folks in Some Web-Based Apps?

As web-based applications (like Google’s everexpanding suite) become more powerful and feature-rich, will companies and organizations abandon their traditional desktop applications and conduct all of their business online?

4. Bad Wikipedia! Stop Being So Useful!

The latest report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project finds that 36% of American adults who use the Internet also consult Wikipedia. It’s also listed as the top “educational and reference website” with 24% of total usage.

OPLIN 4cast #44

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

This week’s 4cast:

1. Some Things About LibraryThing

LibraryThing, the popular social network site built around people and their book collections, recently concluded that their users are tagging books at a rate 10 times greater than on Amazon. LT continues to add nifty tools (like UnSuggester, which recommends books to you based on ones you dislike) and is sort of becoming THE online destination for book lovers.

2. Google Gets All Up in Microsoft’s Face

Last week, Google officially stepped into the business productivity software arena with the introduction of Google Apps Premier Edition. The new package includes everything from e-mail and calendar software to basic document and spreadsheet capabilities, all housed online instead of on local machines, and at a significantly cheaper cost. Should libraries make the switch?

3. Does the Information Superhighway Need More Lanes?

Although half of all households in the United States will have high-speed Internet service by the end of 2007, this rate is still lower than a lot of other countries. Some observers are beginning to worry that the increasing popularity of bandwidth-intensive websites and online activities could create an Internet capacity crisis in the near future.

4. Opening Up the Library of Congress

Following in the footsteps of WPopac, Simon Spero has methodically queried almost all of the Library of Congress authority records, assembled them in MarcXML, and made them freely available. This is big news for library catalogers and others who want to make library data more accessible.

OPLIN 4cast #24

Monday, October 2nd, 2006

This week’s 4cast:

1. British Library Warns of Emerging Copyright Crisis

The DRM and copyright battles are heating up on both sides of the Atlantic. The British Library has published a manifesto questioning current copyright law as it relates to digital content, and warning about the dire effect that overly zealous copyright protection will have on fair use priviledges – for education, preservation, and scholarly efforts in general.

2. Microsoft Defends Its Office

Lots of different companies have been challenging Microsoft’s supremacy in the productivity software realm by releasing MS Office-like utilities as free, online applications. With the recent release of Google Apps For Your Domain, it looks like Microsoft may finally be awaking from its slumber.

3. Surf’s Up on Cellphones

A recent report estimates that the total number of cellular connections in the world has topped 2.5 billion, and more people are using their cellphones to access the Internet. Although the “.mobi” domain extension went live last week, a more fundamental problem exists – how to make already-existing content and image-intensive websites work on a tiny, handheld device?

4. Sony Unveils Its E-book Reader

After a considerable amount of hype, the Sony Reader has finally been released… to so-so reviews from both publishers and users.

OPLIN 4cast #20

Tuesday, August 29th, 2006

This week’s 4cast:

1. Technology Trumps “Traditional Librarianship”

Library of Congress employees who don’t want to learn new technology skills are being offered incentives to retire. Meanwhile, other library organizations (particularly in Canada) are trying to recruit more tech-saavy people into the profession. More than ever, it’s important for established librarians to keep up with the times.

2. Microsoft Bumps Into Google at the Water Cooler

Google has just released Google Apps for Your Domain, a suite of productivity tools for organizations (including e-mail, instant messaging, and a group calendar) that is entirely free and online, requiring no downloads of any kind (although there are ads).

3. Social Search: Everyone’s a Reference Librarian?

More and more search engines are incorporating a human touch into the search process, by allowing communities to rank results and give answers to questions that had previously been provided by complex algorithims.

4. You Should Be in the Digital Movie Downloads Business, Kid

In recent weeks, a whole slew of Hollywood studios have signed on with a whole slew of major players to distribute digital movie downloads. Still to be determined, though – how much will it actually cost for people to download a movie?

OPLIN 4cast #17

Tuesday, August 8th, 2006

This week’s 4cast:

1. Primetime @ the Library?

As more and more viewers flock to YouTube and other websites offering increasingly television-like experiences, how long will it take before libraries find their public access computers overrun by couch potatoes?

2. Talkin’ Library 2.0

A lot of librarians have been, as of late.

3. Get Out of the Office

Tired of Microsoft Word thinking it’s smarter than you are? Luckily, Microsoft is no longer the only game in town when it comes to productivity software.

4. Google Desktop Just Can’t Stop

Google continues to expand the functionality of its Google Desktop search program. Lifehacker columnist Wendy Boswell recently wrote a series of articles with tips for getting the most out of Google Desktop.