Blog - Jo Alcock Consulting
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Blog

I upgraded the blog to WordPress 2.6 last night - extra features in the latest WordPress include version history (could be useful for me as I tend to write a few drafts before publishing my longer posts), press this (a bookmarklet you can use to blog about websites etc.), picture captions, theme previews, and Google Gears support. Upgrading is always a scary experience as I'm terrified I'll lose my content (I didn't actually do it myself this time, Chris helped me). Although all seemed fine initially, I soon realised that the front page was working but the individual posts weren't showing...

As a regular user of RSS feeds (I currently subscribe to over 150 feeds and check them daily), I am keen to encourage others to use them. We have started trying to encourage students to use an RSS reader to keep up-to-date via our information skills sessions and I would like to try to promote them to researchers and academic staff also. There are a number of useful academic blogs as well as news feeds and feeds for new items in journals. I was therefore delighted to see Joe Hilton and Roddy MacLeod's article in the latest edition of SCONUL Focus detailing...

Visit mashed library There have been a number of library related unconference recently, in the USA, Canada and Australia to my knowledge. For anyone unfamiliar with the term, an unconference is basically an informal conference with a broad theme which is driven by the delegates. I've always thought these events seemed like a great idea so I was very excited when Owen Stephens suggested on his blog that maybe we should have an unconference event for mashed libraries in the UK. As you can see from the number of responses he got in the comments, it seems there are quite...

On Wednesday I attended a CoFHE event at the Open University in Milton Keynes. The event was titled "The Terrible 2.0s? Web 2.0 without tears" and covered a variety of Web 2.0 topics such as podcasting, blogging, wikis and social software in general. The keynote speaker was Peter Godwin, who started the event with a talk on Information Literacy and the Google Generation. Peter's presentation was very interesting with lots of thought-provoking points made about today's students (like those made in the CIBER report earlier this year). The main theme emerging from the talk was how today's students are visual learners who...

For anyone with similar RSS feeds to mine, you've probably seen a fair few of these tag clouds from Wordle recently. I thought I'd have a play myself and you can see my del.icio.us tags in the tag cloud below (click for larger image at Wordle): Although Wordle appealed to me, I hadn't really thought beyond the fact that it's an interesting way to display del.icio.us tags or a block of text, but then I read Sarah Faye Cohen's blog post with her thoughts about possible uses for Wordle and it got me thinking. Her idea of getting students to use...

Another problem/solution based post, this one is something I've been thinking about for ages but haven't been able to do anything about yet. I thought it might be useful to see if anyone out there has a solution to help with the nightmare that is reading lists? It's one of the responsibilities which seems to be shared by almost all academic librarians. During my experience supporting different academic schools, each seems to deal with their reading lists in different ways. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a standardised procedure so that all academic staff, library staff and students knew...

I've been playing with the new Google Sites offering on and off for a couple of months now. I joined under my work e-mail address and created a sort of mini portal for our team at work which could either be the answer to my prayers or a complete nightmare - I'm still undecided. It took me a while to sort out a separate Google Apps account under my work e-mail but I got there eventually, although it does tend to get a little confusing having two Google accounts (one personal, one work). Once I'd registered it took me to our...

If there's one blogging feature I am absolutely loving at the moment, it's the ability to schedule posts. There are times when I have loads of ideas for new blog posts but I don't necessarily want to publish them all at once. With the scheduling feature in Wordpress 2.5, I can write when I feel like it, and choose to publish at a later date. It's very useful for posts that you know you want to publish soon but you want to add a couple more links to or a little bit more content before publishing, as well as meaning that...

Last Friday I finally managed to get hold of a copy of the eagerly awaited book Information Literacy Meets Library 2.0 edited by Peter Godwin and Jo Parker. I started writing a draft blog post about it last Saturday, but I was whizzing through the book so I left it until I finished, which I now have. The book is structured in a very nice, easy to read way - there is an introductory section, a section about the implication of Library 2.0 on teaching information literacy, a case studies section (which is the main bulk of the book), and a...

For those of you who (like me) check Facebook on a daily basis, you probably noticed the new addition of the chat bar on the bottom of the screen yesterday. I'd previously read blog posts about the Facebook chat feature and was looking forward to seeing what it would be like. Luckily I was able to have a play as a fellow Facebooker and librarian, Katharine Widdows was also online and wanting to give it a go. I have to say, I'm very pleasantly surprised. The instructions when you first log on are very clear, concise and easy to understand. By...