Tag Archives: social network

Tuesday Two.Oh! Tools that help me tell you where I am…currently.

Tuesday Two.Oh! is not meant as an endorsement, but as an exploration of the tools that are out there. Click at your own risk. 🙂

Today on Tuesday Two.Oh! we’re going to take a little adventure over to a just-for-the-hell-of-it tool that updates your friends to your location- and even introduces you to things that might be happening in your area. Let’s take a look at Bright Kite.

From the site: “Brightkite is the simple way to keep up with friends and places. It lets you see where all your friends are, so you can spend more time with them. You can also discover places in your neighborhood and meet other locals along the way.”

I’ve tried a lot of these tools lately- the most popular of them is Four Square. I like Four Square, but there’s something about Bright Kite that Four Square just doesn’t have: interactive location and friend updates. Bright Kite might be one of the most manipulatable microblogs I’ve ever seen- not that Twitter hasn’t done a decent job of trying to localize their tweeps… it’s just easier when using Bright Kite. However, in a huge nod to both Four Square and Twitter it’s very apparent that Bright Kite borrows heavily from both in order to provide their users with the Bright Kite interface.

Now the trick to it is just remembering to use it!

The first thing I did when I clicked over to Bright Kite was link it up with my Facebook- which has its drawbacks when you try to log in via your mobile. We’ll get to that later. When you’ve logged in (either via Facebook or by setting up an account with a valid email address..recommended!) you’ll see something very familiar… a Twitter-like stream populated with tons of updates from people you don’t know!

This is interesting, if only for the fact that the posts aren’t filtered in a Twitter-like fashion. You just see everyone. The point of Bright Kite isn’t to create “followers” but to cultivate “fans.” These fans like what they read on that world-wide feed and they favorite your post. Then, if they choose, they can become your friend. I think. I’m not 100% clear on that yet, but it seems interesting. There’s definitely an obvious desire to get away from Twitequette and all that jazz, but it borrows so heavily that a frequent Twitter user might be turned off by the inability to control who they read on their stream.

An interesting part of Bright Kite is the ability to narrow that stream by manipulating the geographic area you’re looking at. Unfortunately Oklahoma City doesn’t have many members as yet, so some of the streams are a little, ahem, dry. But, you’ll be able to take a look at who’s near you without necessarily having to follow them or be their friend.

Once you’ve taken a look around you, you can update your own space. This is where Bright Kite starts to feel like Four Square.

Once you’ve updated your location, you can zoom in on others in your area using the geographic locaters.

As with most social media, you have a profile page on Bright Kite. This will display your personal updates and location check-ins.

But my FAVORITE part of my profile is that is came with its very own QR Code! How cool is this!

Remember, a friend introduced me to these over the summer and we talked about them on a previous Tuesday Two.Oh! Very cool technology. Though, i couldn’t get my iphone to read it, so I’m a little lost as to the significance of it’s presence on the page. I may need to update my tag reader, though.

As I mentioned earlier, I had trouble with the mobile site of Bright Kite. I went to log in using the username that signing in with Facebook provided me- and it didn’t work. It didn’t work with their supplied username, nor anything associated with Facebook. So, I deleted that account and just started a new one using my gmail account. Which I recommend if you decide to give this site a whirl. The app is decent and very clean and attractive.

All in all, I liked Bright Kite. I think that the ability to manage your stream geographically is an interesting twist to the traditional Twitter feed. That said, I like to be choosy about who I read sometimes, and it seems awfully hard to keep up with a stream that’s global. Sometimes I find these tools and I’m just really not all that sure just what to do with them. I hope Bright Kite doesn’t end up in my closet of unused by inspired 2.0 tools that I’ve signed up for but really never gone back to (hello, Twine!).

Do you use Bright Kite? What do you think?

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Tuesday Two.Oh! Tools for Future Geneticists, Students and Professors of Science.

Tuesday Two.Oh! is not meant as an endorsement, but as an exploration of the tools that are out there. Click at your own risk. 🙂

Today on Tuesday Two.Oh! we are going to take a look at a tool geared towards future geneticists. Though that might scare the layperson off, the site is really geared towards the undergraduate students, and therefor has a very understandable content. A person with a basic question can use the tool to get trusted information, and can hope to understand it. Let’s take a look at Scitable.

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From the site: “A free science library and personal learning tool brought to you by Nature Publishing Group, the world’s leading publisher of science. Scitable currently concentrates ongenetics, the study of evolution, variation, and the rich complexity of living organisms. As you cultivate your understanding of modern genetics on Scitable, you will explore not only what we know about genetics and the ways it impacts our society, but also the data and evidence that supports our knowledge.”

Scitable acts like an online research library and classroom, providing the user with several points of contact for experts and other interested learners. Site navigation is very easy and clear, and a free account offers you the opportunity to follow learning paths, bookmark articles, and join group discussions. Sign up for Scitable is relatively easy, and I was happy to find that their requirements for password acceptability is quite stringent.

Once you have signed up, your homepage will be the base of your navigation.

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Notice that on this page you will find all of your saved articles, group information, discussions, friends, messages, and calendar.

From the home page, you have several choices to proceed through the site. There is a tool bar on the top of the page that provides site destinations, and is a good place to begin.

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The link “Topics” is a browse by topic link. This would be useful if you are interested in a variety of things, or want to take a look at an overview of topics on the site. I found it interesting that the topics page reminded me of science class because it is organized into groups and sub-groups. You choose the overall topic:

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And then you choose a more specific part of that topic by click on “show all,” starting at the beginning, or choosing at will.

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Once you have selected a sub-topic, you will be led to the article, explaining the topic you have chosen.

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The next link in the over all navigation bar is “People.” This link will help you network with other Scitable users, be them professors or other students. You can either search for people giving specific peramitors:

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Or you can browse the people who have already joined the Scitable network.

As with any social networking aspect of a website, gathering a friend group can help you navigate the site as well as find trusted experts to answer questions.

The next link in your navigation bar is “Groups.

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Joining a group on Scitable gives you access to discussion topics geared towards a special interest. Though this aspect of the site will likely only be for serious students of genetics, I think that reading the topics could be beneficial to anyone interested in a specific topic.

The last thing we’re going to discuss is the “Learning Paths” link.

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I found that the Learning Paths could be quite useful. They’re created similar to an online class you might find on other sites. You must be a member of Scitable to view a learning path. You can choose the topic you would like to learn about from a list of given paths. Once you have done that you will be brought into the learning path, and your progress will be saved on your homepage.

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This will give you a more in-depth tour of a group of topics to help you understand the overall meaning.

One of the things I appreciated the most about this site is the availability of experts to answer your questions.

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Clicking on “Students” will bring you to the Study Center, where you can ask questions regarding genetics to experts that are associated with the site. As a librarian, I appreciate this aspect of the site. Finding a source of trusted information on the open web is definitely something to remember.

The searching aspect of this site is pretty straight forward. Enter your term into the search box on the upper right hand side of the page, and you will be given a list of results to choose from. A basic search result will look like this:

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One notable aspect of the searching function is that a search for a topic word like “genome” will also bring back results in “people” and “groups,” so you can explore the topic socially and find other users that are interested in the topic.

Any article has a share function, and you have the ability to bookmark the article within the website if you are logged in.

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In closing, I have to admit I was extremely impressed with this site. As a layperson myself in the sciences, I felt that I could use this site easily and understand the information therein. I also felt that if I had a question, the network available would provide me with an answer.

I realize that the overall topic of this website is geared towards a specific group of science students, and has a pointed research topic. However, the science of genetics has a huge impact on our lives, be it in the cure of diseases or the discovery of the Human Genome. Genetics impacts science as well as culture, and I felt that this site did an admirable job explaining that impact.

As always, you thoughts and comments are welcome.

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Tuesday Two.Oh! Tools for Managers and Employees.

Tuesday Two.Oh! is not meant as an endorsement, but as an exploration of the tools that are out there. Click at your own risk. 🙂

Today on Tuesday Two.Oh! we’ll be talking about something I wish I had known about when I was a manger. One of the first things I did was institute a blog in order to facilitate communication across hours, since the departments I managed spanned from 7:30 in the morning until 2am the following morning. We needed to be able to post documents and talk when physical meeting was not an option.

Todays topic would have facilitated that quite nicely. In the vein of Twitter, let’s take a look at Co-Op.

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From the site: “Co-op makes it easy to stay connected with your co-workers without disrupting them. Your team can use it to post updates, ask questions, share links, and track time. Quickly share your daily agenda with your co-workers. Quickly scan your co-workers’ agendas. Then cancel your daily status meetings! As each team member updates status and tracks time, Co-op automatically records the transcript. You can go back in time to see what your team has accomplished each day.”

Signing up for Co-Op is extremely easy and fast. They will send you a confirmation email immediately, and once you have approved your account you’re in. The first thing you’re asked to do is either create a network or join one.

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The set up for your network is also quite easy. Pick a name, invite members, and choose a time zone, and you’re virtually done.

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Once you have finished these basic functions, your workplace social network has been set up. You will be looking at a screen similar to Twitter or any other instant messaging service you may have used before. You can update your status to let the rest of your coworkers know what you’re doing.

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On the sidebar, each member of their team can type in their daily agenda or send a group announcement. The sidebar also displays everyone elses online status.

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Take a look at the example provided by Co-Op:

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Updating your profile is simple, but I also found it frustrating. Co-Op seems to have strict limits as to the size of picture you can use, so make sure it’s 200×200 pixels before you upload it.

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The next few screen shots I am going to walk you through are from the site and show a more populated social network.

The most prominent feature of Co-Op is the “Work Stream.” Here you will see the updates of all of your cowokers in one “stream,” similar to what you would find on your Twitter stream.

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Co-Op would also like that the stream be used socially, where workers should feel free to post links or videos that are not work related. They call this feature the “Water Cooler.” Also, Co-Op includes time stamps so that you can see when people are posting their updates.

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And that’s it to set up a social network for your coworkers on Co-Op. It was so easy and fast, I was really impressed.

There are some tings that this site made me think about, and the main was was that terrifying word: MICRO-MANAGER! Constant updates by your coworkers or employees might lead a manger to become more controlling in their subordinates professional lives. That said, it might also boost a sense of competition which will lead to increased productivity.

When I did manage a small department, knowing what my employees were doing was key to our operation. At the time the private blog sufficed, but I can see the potential for an application like Co-Op. It’s possible this site could be used between professionals in a group, who do not necessarily work for the same institution. If there is a common project that has to be worked on, then having constant updates from the participants can’t be a bad thing.

If I were to come into another department as a manager now, I would likely try something like this. As with anything, though, I worry about overload and the old mantra of “yet another site” people have to look at. But if you make something a vital piece of your work flow, it could be beneficial.

As always, your thoughts are welcome.

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