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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

The NLS4 Team is humming along and we have made alot of progress over the last few months, including:

  • Confirming the date and venue, December 5th and 6th 2008 at CQ Functions, in Melbourne, Victoria
  • An email subscription list to stay up to date
  • Launched the call for Abstracts, to get people thinking over their Christmas break
  • Announced the Patron Competition, listing the Patrons for our Conference, Roxanne Missingham and Anne-Marie Schwirtlich
  • We also had a new committee member join, Welcome ! Margie Anderson, who is the Victorian Local Liason Officer – ALIA
  • We are using Flickr as our photos host site. Gem is our guru on Flickr. I myself find it a bit frustrating, but hope to learn more about it next year. I did manage to put the Flickr graphic onto our page.

BTW, some of this info comes from out News Page  and we also have an RSS Feed, which I am just starting to master !

I’m going to have a nice break over Xmas, all pumped and ready for more website edits in 2008 ! And I’ll also consider what other sorts of Web 2.0 technologies we can introduce to the site.

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I remember in the early ’80’s when I was at primary school, I predicted we would all have our own mobile phone, I think I drew a picture of a car and a phone in it. Now, I wonder if that was from watching too much Maxwell Smart with the shoe phone, and maybe Hollywood is quite prophetic with what actually happens in reality, be it with technology, science or the future of our planet. Anyway, I think not long after I imagined the mobile phone we would all have, the arrival of the video machine hit our doors. It’s probably been since that moment?? and many could argue this with me, but it seems that technology has ramped itself up quite quickly every since, it seems to have morphed at great rates…ie. you buy a camera, phone or iPod now, and it’s soon outdated in about 6 weeks…by another better, fast, more memory laden brand.

So, what’s my point? I am really glad I have been born in the technology era. I used to love receiving mail in the post, now I love to receive an email. I love chatting and meeting friends, I now have many networks to hook up with people who I would otherwise have lost contact with or found it hard to get in touch, whether it be via facebook (after hours of course) or other means, I luuuurve photos, and would have loved flickr, other photos sites and digital cameras when I was at high school, when we only had rolls of film and expensive printing costs, and to keep up with everything and listen to music, we have iPods and other gadgets, instead of my red clunky brick portable cassette player and radio that ran out of batteries quicker than I could finish a song ! Ah, not that bad.

The thing that has got me really excited, and I know, it may not do it to you, is the further progression we have on TV, yes, I have a DVD Harddrive with all the other large screen TV paraphernalia, BUT today I saw on The Age’s site some info about the USB for TV which has got me excited, looks like I may be buying another gadget…”gadget girl on the loose”. Oooh, I could tape / filter programs I want to see and then watch them in my time or on my laptop on my train journey to Melbourne each day. I’m off to go and research the new gadget…

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Priscilla

As I mentioned in the previous post, I saw Priscilla Queen of the Desert with groovy Librarians from the Ath Library, with Norma, Anna, Katy, Donna and Jill B. Donna also has a great posting about the musical.

Being a true Priscilla fan, I have seen the movie many times and have listened to the music till I got scratches in the CD, I wondered how the musical would stand up. At first it seemed to be alot of loud music and not much happening, while they were building up the story. I wasn’t too keen on the first lead character, but as they brought out the next two, I could see it forming up. The scene that won me was the one where Felicia came on stage with his four boy/men dancers !! Ooooh, what a scene. I was hooked.

The background was amazing and truly brought out many Australian scenes, including Sydney, Broken Hill, Cooper Pedy, the Desert and then Alice Springs. I won’t tell you what happens but it’s pretty awesome and very convincing.

The funny thing that did happen was that some of the cast came down and asked people to dance with them, two ladies beside me declined the offer and I, slurping on my daquiri with glowing lights in the stem of my glass, jumped up and said “I’ll do it”, thinking we’d be dancing in the isle. Ooooooh, NO !! We were going on stage. So, about 15 audience members and myself were doing the pride of Erin on stage, then the chook dance and then twirling around in two large circles. So that seems to be my claim to fame, dancing on the Regent’s stage during a musical.

The ending was a true highlight, where they introduced many elements of Australia-ana onto the stage…but I won’t ruin it, go see it.

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Well, I came home from work on Friday, after a bit of a fun night on Thursday, glad to be home so I could catch up on some sleep but also do some of my other extra curricular activities, only to hit the house and find the house pump blew a gasket !! (literally). So that threw Friday night’s activities out the window where I had to go back to mans basic needs and attend to our water problem ! It’s lucky we didn’t lose the thousands of litres of water that’s in the tanks, so I presumed the blow out hadn’t happened long ago. I rang a plumber, who was obviously at the pub, and he patted me down by assuring me that I could do the job MYSELF !!! I was pretty cranky at womens lib issues at that time, as I thought, “here we go, now we have to do these jobs ourselves since we think we’re so independent”. Anyway, after much deliberation I rang a more obliging plumber who fixed my leaky pipes, but not till the next day and after considerable hours without water…

The good thing I taught myself this weekend, in a heartbeat, is podcasting. I am very impressed. I asked the guy at Dick Smith for a microphone to make podcasts, and since he was younger than me I thought he’d know what I was on about, anyway, he took me somewhere else in the store, and I said “I need a mike, like the one you sing into…”. He looked confused. So obviously he didn’t know about podcasting. Oh well. I got a super duper mike as I want to have good quality, came home and downloaded audacity, and then “testing testing” and it worked ! Hooray. This is easy and great. I am podcasting a launch on Monday night (details to come after Monday) where we will put the launch on the website. Plus, I also want to do a range of podcasting at work. Where else could it be used?? Gem suggested to tape our meetings for the NLS4 Conference, for those who can’t attend out meetings. What an awesome idea. And I’m sure there will be other uses…maybe those Karaoke nights (you want to forget) or any other fun you could benefit from it.

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Okay, so all motions were set in place for the Intranet Launch this morning.

My email informing our 270 colleagues of the new intranet was sent at 6.30am (thanks to outlooks’ abilities to schedule when my email will be sent). With a login script ensuring everyones browser opened up with the new intranet address, and all would be happening for them, right in front of their eyes.

I asked the email to send me a “read receipt”, just so I can peek who has opened the email, and so far I have about 140 of them. So that’s more than half the staff who have opened my email and presumably read it.

  1. How many comments have I received about it??
  2. Would there be a buzz in the office for the new intranet launch?
  3. Would the new intranet redesign and frontpage be well received?

Answer:

  1. 5
  2. No
  3. I don’t quite know

I only received about five emails remarking on the intranet….

Hmmmm, feels like resounding silence.

It’s funny, because I have showed the new intranet to the ILF group this morning. I told them the background of the redesign and that the launch would be happening today, etc etc, well, they all clapped and cheered and loved the new design. I am wondering if an intranet is like the saying “only a face a mother would love”??

I am aware that it’s end of the financial year and a few people have already approached me personally, so I believe I may elicit more feedback through one on one conversations.

An update to happen in the future on this….

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My RMIT student started today, and we eased her into life at Urbis. Katy showed her around the two floors, and introduced her to people on our own floor. Then she got her cataloguing, she’s right in there ! First day and picking up the tools.

This afternoon I had some time, in between the Intranet Launch preparation, to show my student a project she can work on while here with us. And that is podcasting library and intranet inductions. She doesn’t need to be an expert in what we do here, but just have the ability to work with Katy and myself to extract the information she needs. I suggested she write down dots point headings, to work out the structure, and to do this on our wiki and then to invite Katy and myself to fill in the gaps. If the induction is fleshed out on the wiki, we’ll then be able to easily make a transcript and then record someones voice (eek, not mine, but afraid it might be).

I also suggested that she might look at other libraries who are doing the same thing, like RMIT Library. And then scout our the public libraries who have Web 2.0 initiatives to get more ideas for our podcasting service.

So it’s good to see that project rolling along.

 Oh, she even went for a tour of the Athenaeum Library so she can see library life from another angle.

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Gee, just when you think everything is going sooooo smoothly, with all the bells and whistles of the intranet redesign coming together, and then left of centre, an email is sent around our company today (Friday at 12pm) indicating that the launch of the new brand is not happening Monday, but Wednesday. Luckily my boss interpreted the true meaning of the email and alerted me to the fact that the email also meant that the Intranet would not be launched till Wednesday.

So, from 12pm today, it was time to steer the ship for another two days before the launch.

What does this mean? Well, today when I was to leave work, all emails and technology would be in place to send around a company email and log on script to the new intranet on Monday morning from 7am. But that will now happen on Tuesday afternoon. It’s fortunate for one reason, our Data Manager has been at a conference all week and he would have been required to work over the weekend to do some tidyups to the intranet and databases before Monday. At least he can enjoy his weekend !!

I’m really looking forward to the launch and hearing our staffs reactions to our new and improved intranet.

What’s so fantastic about this rebranded product?

* The Homepage contains more links to reduce the “two or three click syndrome”. However, more links does not mean that the page is overloaded with links, we now believe it has the right balance of links

* All the portal links are on the front page

* We added links on the frontpage to highly used applications, such as the library catalogue

* The intranet ties in really well with the new company brand, which includes graphics, fonts and colours

* We have added a couple of immediate search fields on the front page, to specific applications, such as the library catalogue, the staff phone list

* To do, over the next six months, is to add a search engine.

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