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Lightning Talks: Online NW Presentation Notes

Note: These are notes from speakers’ presentations at the 2010 Online NW conference.  The session was a selection of eight speakers that talked for five minutes each on different topics.  I thought this was pretty nice because it forced speakers to simplify their message and cover only the highlights of their projects, and attendees heard eight speakers in the same span of time that one speaker usually takes.

One drawback was that their presentations were on PowerPoint and were preset to change every 30 seconds whether the presenter was ready or not, and once it reached the end slide (it was blank), the speaker had to stop whether they wanted to or not.  There was a question and answer period after four presenters talked; it was nice to have a recovery period from the fast flow of information, to gather one’s thoughts and clarify points that were covered cursory.  Like one of my colleagues pointed out, the Lightning Talks were like a condensed poster presentation session that everyone in which everyone gets to talk.  Overall, I would definitely suggest this method in the future for this conference and some other conferences.

Lightning Talks

  • Robin Ashford (George Fox)-A Consumer Health Librarian’s NLM funded project in Second Life: Karuna Project.  HIV/AIDS education, outreach and support from the NLM funding.  Develop compil quality resoruces in a library, create displays, collaborate with people (work 2 hours payed each week).  U Hawaii take a tour of the building and resources.  Global info lit week in Second life Nov.  World AIDS Day from the national library of Medicine.  Create display for stuff for AIDS day.
  • Candise Branum (Oregon Col. Of Oriental Med.)-Host Videos on vimeo and Create Widgets for Your Website: Veoh, Vimoeo, Daily Motion, TeacherTube.  You don’t use your server space.  Allows HD video for high quality but had buffering.  Free and with pro-account you have more control and options.  Look like video, blog, etc.  House according to topic.  Put all non-public video behind password protection (ldap?). Embed videos within certain web pages.
  • Megan Dazey (U. Montana)-Using Wikipedia as a Special Collections Discovery Tool: Pathfinders posted on Wikipedia!  Add link to finding aid or create a new wiki page. It increased visibility (9000+ visits from Google)  Watch how people access these resources & change wikipedia.  Not using library page–still using Google.  You can mashup maps.
  • Karen Munro (U.O.)-Whither the Book? Electronic Publishing, Print-on-demand, and Where the Heck We’re Going with Them: We are in a paradim shift (Ford motor asked people what do you want=”Faster horses”). Jobs=”People don’t read books”  People still read (9 million pirated books), intellectual property goes. People read more books than ever during recession (double from the prior year)!  Macmillian company not sell books through Amazon because of a dispute–Amazon backed down.  Indiebound for Iphone: independent booksellers sell ebooks.  Why do we need libraries and bookstores?  Bookstores and libraries provide content and totally take out publishers and Amazon out of the picture.  U Michigan is printing on demand books from Google Books and public domain & U Utah.  Have books you could print within 5 minutes, bound and available to pickup by a library.
  • Nargas Oskui (U.O.)– Unique Approaches to Creating Thematic Images to Enhance a Professional Development Site: Storytelling with picture imagry (metaphors, figurative).  Chemist nagivating search for resources with binocular, hands come together join in success, dynamic graphics=arch plan, learning events=clock ticking; duck with lightbulb=skills, boxes coming together to join needs, plant in hands=growth & character building (people make a connection with these images), Word cloud=most frequently used pages, pictures describe your users. Cannon Photostich & Photoshop software & Flickr images + UO images.
  • Heidi Senior (U. Portland)-Instant Messaging Transcripts Research—Pilot Project and Request for Collaborators. Meebo stats: Mon-Tue accounted for nearly half of the use stats.  Heidi Senior covered some of the key statistics that have been collected through the Meebo Instant messages references service since when University of Portland first began in 2008.  She noted that most questions were informational based (quick directional or technology related questions).
  • Anjanette Young (U.W.)-Lessons Learned While Implementing a Content Management System for an Existing Intranet: The Speedy Version: uses Plone LDAP users for content management.  Slow response.  Hire a Plone consultant.
  • Kim Griggs (O.S.U.)-An introduction to the Library à la Carte Publishing Tool: Course assignment pages, modules, just like but free.  Share info with users within a system.  Comments and feedback, includes quizes, Youtube videos, dashboard, Flickr.

Teaching the Teachers: Online NW Presentation Notes

Teaching the Teachers
Dawn Lowe-Wincentsen, Oregon Institute of Technology, Presentation notes

Presenter used Elluminate to present and record the program presentation.  Different media available: Dim Dim, Elluminate, Wimba, Opal, Activate. These sessions given by librarians are provided once per month (new topics); everyone gets one month, the third thursday of every month (everyone gets one month) and the topics are listed online.  In session signs are posted online (Creative Commons/Copyright, ILL, Using Summit and ILL, evaluating info on the web, Black Board, digital photography).  http://www.oit/

Questions after the presentation:

Have you considered using this to reach students? Yes. Down the road.

Demo how to use Elluminate for live web pages.  You can screen sharing, screen cast, video share.  It records what you view which is posted online.

What about privacy?  It is hosted online on Elluminate–we can’t edit out participant comments.  Everyone knows that the session is recorded.

Did you want the platform or the topics?  Started out listening to podcast, but wanted an interactive experience (started out with the topic).

Canned vs. interactive recordings, which is better.  Personal preference–interactive is better.

The technology is all for economy of scale: 5 people vs 50 people

Has WebX been used for this?  Maybe.

Embrace your inner Rachael Ray: What TV chefs can teach librarians about presentation style

Embrace your inner Rachael Ray: What TV chefs can teach librarians about presentation style

By Anna Johnson, Mt Hood Community College, presentation notes (video clips)

Topics covered in the presentation: Public speaking is emotional (how do you feel?).  Who is the public speaker of the library?  How to improve your public speaking skills?  There are two main tools covered in this presentation: 1. The personality of the TV chef 2. The structure of a TV cooking show (30 minute meals = 30 minute presentation time.)

Recipe for tasty library presentations.  Good public presenters are good at being:

1. Eager and able to teach with what they know
2. Skilled at step-by step demos
3. Energetic and enthusiastic presenters

There are four personality traits (ingredients) that help make a person successful and fun to watch as public speakers:

1. Energy and enthusiasm (can substitute equal amount of passion for the subject matter.  About topic — talks about nothing–people think its cute)
2. Expert knowledge acquired through years of getting paid to do what you love to do.
3. Willingness to share relevant stories about your own experiences with the subject  (it helps people relate, stories help fill time, some personal flavor adds to presentation)
4. Ability to explain what you’re doing (and why), while you’re doing it

How to assemble your presentation:

  • Explain what you’ll be demonstrating and why your audience should try it themselves
  • During demo explain why do things the way you do (and what to avoid)
  • Prepare examples ahead of time, and be prepared to skip a few steps
  • Every 10 minutes or so, recap what we’ve learned so far and what’s coming up.
  • Share a personal story relating your interests in and/or experiences with this topic
  • Encourage your audience to try it on their own, and tell them how to learn more
  • Experts knowledge from getting paid to do what you love. (they know you know more than they do and they expect it.  Expertise is assumed.).
  • Ability to explain what you’re doing while you’re doing it (sometimes come naturally.  how walk & talk at the same time)
  • Explain what you do and encourage your audience to try these skill (you soak in info while they talk instead of cook along side of tv show).
  • During demo explain why you do things they way you do (what things might go wrong).
  • Prepare examples ahead of time (sometimes on the fly searches work, but if you aren’t familiar it might go astray.  Open to stopping in the middle to give more detail–see screen to see context).
  • And be prepared to skip a few steps to maximize your time (think about prior to what needs to be discussed or prepared ahead of time — canned search to maximize time.).  How do you learn to teach and present at conferences?

Follow up question and comments from audience:

  • What about building credibility with faculty to come to presentations (give pizza to faculty to demo new database)?
  • You need to have some entertainment involved to engage them.
  • Why should students listen to us?  I use metaphors (ride like a toddler vs ride like Lance Armstrong = learn how to do really good searching)
  • Should our professional training include public speakers? (Yes!) Where does this training come from? Professional development, training, etc. Some schools are including and requiring public speaking classes.

Plinkit: National Collaboration with a Local Impact (program notes)

Plinkit: National Collaboration with a Local Impact  (link to PowerPoint Presentation)
Darci Hanning, Oregon State Library

These are my notes from the Plinkit conference program given at Online NW 2010 (Unfortunately, I lent my laptop to someone during this program, so I am back filing this).   It should be noted that of the day of the presentation the domain name of Plinkit ( was disconnected.  The host did not renew continue the service by accident.

Darci gave specific examples of Oregon Plinkit users.  In 2003 Multnomah County Library served as a template for public libraries; they were they ones to start and model this project.  In 2005 the Oregon State Library took on responsibility for this project, and it launched state-wide in 2006.  The concept for this project in 2002 was to provide a common interface (basically a template) to small town public libraries because they rarely have people and resources for creating and maintaining their own individual web site for the library.

The following is from the program description–it summarizes this program well:

Throughout the U.S., small and rural public libraries are struggling to stay open and do not have the capacity to develop engaging websites that can meet the information needs of their patrons. In the age of electronic journals, online learning resources, research databases, and more, it is imperative that libraries of all types provide access to these and other valuable information resources through a well-designed, full-featured website. Plinkit addresses this issue by providing a pre-built, easy-to-maintain, public library website based on Plone, an open source content management system. This session will cover the history of the Plinkit project, why it’s needed, the features and functionality that Plone plus specialized content can bring to a library website, and information on the multi-state, muliti-network cooperative, the Plinkit Collaborative. This presentation serves as a great case-study for how long-distance collaboration can have a local impact in providing library services in the technology age.

Some of the questions asked during and after the program are as follows:

Q. Many libraries are now being pushed by their city management to use a common content management system (CMS) that all city departments use.  How can library use Plinkit while many libraries are essentially not allowed to express individuality (granted Plinkit is pretty much the same thing as a CMS)?

A. Darci is willing to work with city managers to create synthesis.  The point is to at least have some web presence even though the city maintains control.  For small towns, a CMS would be a welcome thing because their time & resources are too limited.  Plink it adjustable, it supports granular controls, hierarchy, has explicit content types (for metadata)

Q. What is the difference between WordPress and Plinkit?  Why not just use WordPress?

A. You have to consider that in 2002, WordPress was not an option.  Now we have a lot of time, energy, and resources put into Plinkit.  As new users come online with this project, the costs decline for the group.  Libraries could use WordPress though.  An audience member mentioned that WordPress has an interface for small libraries (e.g. church libraries).

Q. Have you considered having multiple themes available for institutions to select from (to provide variation)?  We’re working on a few options now, but you can also customize Plinkit if wanted.

Q. Is this only for public libraries?

A. Pretty much right now it is geared toward public libraries, but includes school libraries and medical libraries.

Q. Is an ILS included?

A. No, ILS is not included.

Note: other institutions are considering fee based systems for local Plinkit service support and installation to cover the annual membership fees ($25,000 –> $8,000).

Q. How much time does it take to develop with PLONE?

A. About 2 hours over the phone, but considerably longer for PLONE administrators (day or two).

Online NW Keynote Speaker: Brandon Schauer

Brandon Schauer, the Keynote speaker for Online NW 2010 (see his blog), talked about four key “hacks” that enable one to look at things from the user’s perspective.  These are my notes from his talk.  According tho Brandon, user experiences have four main values on the internet: utility, usability, profitability, strategy

As a society, we have begun to move away from how to do/make things better, and to now focus on how to decide what gets worked on (to focus on strategy).  You can’t make everything perfect; everyone has a different opinion and you can’t meet everyone’s expectations.

1. Get empathy into your organization. Define the experience that users will have.  Have lots of ideas, and make sure that those ideas are in the right places. Many would be innovators have spent a lot of time and energy and resources developing a killer application or product, but it was not quite in the right place or time.  They did not focus on what needed to be innovated or what was truly needed and wanted.  And return to the user’s context.  Often!

For example, Brandon used an old Scientific American article for how to use one of the first photos (the photo machine — aka cameras — came with miles of directions, were poorly labeled, and ultimately frustrated users; they were poor directions).  Along came someone who simplified the directions which helped sell the first Kodak camera.  The new motto was, “You press the button, we do the rest,”  He turned a long scientific process into three simple steps to help new photographers become less technical and more focused on the fun of the experience.

2. Expected value: Risk Real world launch or failure.

Realworld development costs vs. realworld failure.  In other words, stupid things that are produced that shouldn’t be.  There are four ways to develop realworld development costs (focus on): 1. Get empathy into organization.  Start with data, logic, interface, and experience (experience is the end product). How do you start with data?

  • Spend time with target user.  Learn about their behaviors and motivations, connect insights to your organizational objectives.  (recruit friend Craigs List do screen sharing. “Tell me the last time you were doing that thing I want you to do.  Recent experience, step by step to pick up how people behave for critical insights.)
  • Learn about behaviors and motivations (unmet needs, critical insights, user requirements)
  • Empathize (exercise with objectives)

3. Define the user experience. What makes a good experience? Is it fun, the brand name, the mission of the organization.  For example, Brand: styleguides (How do you look and feel, how do you talk as an organization?); Experience principles (e.g. tivo: it is reliable, puts me in control, simple, more boxes on a screen, enjoyable because you live with it); is it memorable, inspirational, differentiating (fit need that isn’t met & different from competitors.  What makes your product different)?

***The peak-end rule: (People tend to remember experiences that are the highest and lowest experiences and how it ended).  Try to not have negative end (e.g. customer that leave on a bad note), but keep in mind that it isn’t practical to be perfect all the time — you’ll end up spreading yourself too thin. It pays to have one really, really good experience mixed in with mediocre experiences and to have a really strong end.  The high points and good end note tend to wash over the mediocre experiences, and the high points/end are what they remember.

4. Have lots of ideas in the right places. The myths of innovation is a book with more info, if you want to look it up.  People have a habit of having just one idea (one point in space) and running with it.  But there are lots of points to consider, and we NEED to think past the first idea!  If people took the time to think of 10 ideas, they would find that on average the 3-5 ideas tend to be the best.  This is partially because we don’t think things through very much or bother to look outside of the box we first envision.  Brandon gave us a “Facebook for the Intranet” exercise (6 ideas in five minutes).  We focused on how to find experience.  He demonstrated how the three-fourth ideas tend to be the most interesting and most promising ideas on average within a thought cycle.  Ultimately, we look at first at what we know and avoid what we don’t know.  If you can turn this cycle on its head and go after middle (don’t be a doughnut), you’ll do much better.  In short, go right to the problem you don’t know how to solve, such as selling a car online which had never been done before and is done all the time now.

5. Return to the user’s context.  Often! How do you know if your product is going to succeed?  Do a dry run first with low-cost and little to lose. You should do this when you lose the fresh perspective of a user–if you can get a fresh perspective from a user, test it.  Everett Rogers was given as an example for the Diffusion of Innovations Theory: relative advantages, compatibility, complexity, useability. Bring everything together.

As a review:

  1. Get empathy into your organization.
  2. Define the experience users will have.
  3. Have lots of ideas. In the right places.
  4. Return to the user’s context.  Often!