Week 13: Wrap Up Exercise

PLAY and REFLECT activities

Week 4 REFLECT: RSS Feeds
Week 4 PLAY: Social Content Curation
Week 6 REFLECT: Social Networking Sites
Week 6 PLAY: Social Networking Sites
Week 7 REFLECT: Image Sharing and Creative Commons
Week 7 PLAY: Image Sharing and Creative Commons
Week 10 REFLECT: Gamification
Week 10 PLAY: Gamification
Week 11 REFLECT: Mashups
Week 11 PLAY: Mashups

INN333 Information Programs has been a unique experience for me. When I first enrolled in the class, I didn’t have much of an idea about what the content would consist of- I had a vague idea that Information Programs might mean learning about databases or eDRMS, or something else along those lines. As such I was surprised to discover that the majority of the unit was made up of web 2.0 related learning activities.

Before I had begun the unit, I had fairly minimal contact with many of the applications I was to discover over the semester. I had a neglected facebook account which I almost never posted to, and although I had a twitter account this was only because joining twitter was a necessary part of INN634 Professional Practice, in which I was enrolled last semester. I was unenthusiastic about, and even daunted by the idea of creating a blog, and using other programs which I was unfamiliar with.

By the end of the semester, however, my attitude has changed. Although I was unenthusiastic at first, writing my blog entries for the weeks I had selected became quite enjoyable, but most of all it was a real pleasure to see other people post comments to my blog about something I had written, and to explore the different points of view each person has had on the various activities in which we participated throughout the semester. I am now also more confident in using many internet based tools which I may have previously not even known about (such as bundlr) let alone tried.

I have enjoyed connecting with my peers by participating in facebook discussions and commenting on other student’s blogs. I have not used twitter as much as I could have have this semester, as I found that the facebook group format was much easier to follow. I had even set up a hootsuite account to make monitoring the inn333 hash tag easier, and although this did help, the facebook group was still my preferred method of keeping in contact with the class, and I feel some of the other students may have felt this way as well.

People have posted some really interesting topics and with so much information being posted, the subject has kept me more informed than ever about the goings on of the library world. Although at times, especially at the beginning of the semester, I found the volume of information on the facebook page to be quite daunting, and it was sometimes difficult to keep up with everything that was being posted. I have not been the most active poster on the facebook group, but I have generally taken the time to read what others have to say, and I feel this has been very beneficial to my learning experience this semester. The facebook group has also been a great place to get advice about the weekly learning activities, and being able to get help from my peers has been very useful.

I felt that for this class, the learning experience gained was very much up to the student. There was potential to learn a lot, and from a wide range of different sources, especially through information classmates have have posted on the facebook page and exploring the resources available for each weeks learning activities. Otherwise, students could potentially do very little. As such, it seemed more than ever that it was the student’s responsibility to get the best leaning experience possible by making use of the resources available.

I found the mashup PLAY activity in week 11 to be the most enjoyable activity of the semester. I have studied graphic design previously, and it was fun to be able to put some of the techniques I have leaned previously to use. The most frustrating point in the semester, on the other hand, would have been when I was attempting to complete the week 4 PLAY activity using Bundlr or storify. I had decided to use WordPress to create my blog, and I had so far been quite pleased and even pleasantly surprised by how easily I had been able to set up and post to my blog. Whilst completing this activity, however I found out that I was unable to embed my bundlr or my storify (I used both, in an attempt to see if one would work when the other hadn’t) into my blog as WordPress has a policy preventing this. This was a disappointing experience, but I did learn a lesson about the limitations of software.

I found learning about creative common to be the most interesting subject of the semester, as it is a subject that is becoming increasingly relevant, and as a future librarian, I believe that any information about copyright is important to know.

Although I am pleased to have learned so much about tools that I previously had little experience with, I do admit that I have not been overly experimental with my blog posts (i.e. I have not attempted a podcast or a video etc.), and I although I feel that I have participated adequately in class discussion via facebook, I should probably have posted more often. I believe these are the two main weak points of the semester.

I believe the most important lesson that I have learned this semester is not to underestimate the value of social media and web 2.0 tools. Now I have a much better understanding of the variety of tools that are available and how they might be used within a library context, as well as a better understanding of how important web 2.0 has become to libraries and to organisations in general. This is something that I began to understand when I first started my degree, as even in the first semester we were encourage to join twitter and linkedin. This course has served to further confirm the importance of social media for me, and I will now feel more confident in using many of these tools in the future.

Week 11 Play: Mashups

This week we were asked to create an image mashup, using at least two images: one provided for the libraryhack mashup competition and one either taken by myself or a creative commons image found online.

I really enjoyed this activity I thought it was a lot of fun, so I have created not one, but two image mashups this week! Fortunately, I have studied graphic design previously, which made this activity a little easier for me. Since many of the images available through libraryhack are quite old, I decided to go with a vintage theme for both mashups.

The program used to complete the two mashups was Adobe Photoshop.

mashup

I intended for the above mashup to look a bit like a turn of the century writing desk. The book, loose page, and photograph of a lady were all sourced from libraryhack, whilst the rest of the trinkets (coins, key, pocket watch, quill and letter) were found at morguefile, which is an excellent source of free high quality stock images. The map found in the background was sourced from fickr, the citation for which can be found that the end of this blog entry.

girl

I created this secondary mashup because I particularly liked the image made available through libraryhack of the lady now appearing in the above image. I then found a picture of an old fashioned garden from morguefile and quickly put the two together.

This is my last play activity, so thanks for reading and do feel free to comment 🙂

EDIT
Whew! I just realised that it’s pretty uncool of me to not reference all my images, so I’ve updated the reference list 🙂

Reference List

Buchner, R. (1913). Louise Carbasse ca. 1913 / Rudolph Buchner [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=442279

earl53. (2006). _IGP0958.jpg [photograph]. Retrieved from http://mrg.bz/wnwBxR

earl53. (2007). Fowoods_coin_backweb.jpg [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://mrg.bz/Hc544U

Glen Broughton Studios. (1918). Dorothea Mackellar dressed as one of the Graces for Mrs T.H. Kelly’s Italian Red Cross Day tableaux at the Palace Theatre, 20 June 1918 / photographer, Glen Broughton [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=440395

Irish_Eyes. (2006). pocket_watch.jpg [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://mrg.bz/hE034G
mconnors. (2003). PA232283.jpg [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://mrg.bz/bis8N1

National Library NZ on The Commons. (2009). Binding by Zaehnsdorf, 1896[Photograph]. Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/nationallibrarynz_commons/5513096263/

National Library NZ on The Commons. (2011). Illuminated initial L[Photoshop]. Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/nationallibrarynz_commons/5352531371/

Photoshop Roadmap. (2012). Old Map [image]. Retrieved from http://tiny.cc/xtnr4w

ricetek. (2009). ricetek_old_key_01.jpg [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://mrg.bz/C08bbA

Rools. (2013). Letters.jpg [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://mrg.bz/xO06S8

sidewinder123. (2008). CIMG3019.jpg [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://mrg.bz/bU5kSF

Week 11 Reflect: Mashups

Choose a LibrayHack data mashup entry and prepare a critical commentary on it. Consider questions like: What data inputs were used? What does the end product do? How successful do you think it is?

The library hack mashup competition invited participants to utilise data provided by a number of libraries in conjunction with data from other online sources to create an application. For the purpose of this weeks reflect activity, I have chosen to discuss the data mashup “Talking maps”, by Michael Henderson. This entry was the major prize winner in the library hack data mashups category, and can be accessed here.

This application is designed to display information both geographically- via an aerial view or a map and through a commentary- supplied as either a voice over or as text displayed in a bar on the right hand side of the page. The user can then scroll through the various locations listed, in an interactive tour or journey.

This is a particularly ambitious project in that it provides information on four different topics, which are:
A walking tour of West End, Brisbane
The Journey of the H.M.S. Endeavour
Sights and Sounds of the Brisbane 2011 flood
Real Estate sales in the early 1900′s

The information on each topic was sourced from the datasets and images available through libraryhack, and was then mashed up with images and data available elsewhere online.

From my experience of mashups so far, maps or aerial views combined with related data seem to be one of the most popular types of data mashup. Talking Maps is an excellent example of how this can be achieved, although I feel that some of the four topics covered were done better than others. The walking tour of West End, for example, tries something a bit different by adding a recorded audio commentary, however some of these commentaries seem a bit long winded or difficult to follow.

Another issue that I experienced with the application was that when I attempted to visit the Sights and Sounds of Brisbane 2011 Floods section, a username and password was requested, which I did not have access to, and as such I was unable to access this section of the application.

As such, this mashup does have some errors, but in general I feel that this is an excellent way of representing data, especially of a historical nature, which might otherwise be difficult to envisage.