Archive for the ‘Web 2.0 & all that’ Category

Articles

Personal brand. I hate to say it, but it’s important

In Continuing Education,social networking,Uncategorized,Web 2.0 & all that on September 21, 2010 by Alan Lovell Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve always disliked the term “personal branding”; it sounds, well, very impersonal, really. Makes me think of the Prisoner: “I am not a number, I am a free man” and all that kind of nonsense.  Heavens, people have charisma, personality, charm…, not branding! No, I’d decided, nothing to do with me, thanks.

But then I read somewhere, and I really can’t remember where (isn’t that terribly rude, not to link to your sources? Oh well) that it’s useful to think of your brand not in terms of what cut of suit you like to wear, or scent you care to sport, but rather as what comes up when someone puts your name into Google (I should point out here that “other search engines are available”). Now I’m sorry to say that if you put my name into Google I don’t even make it onto the front page of results. Oh dear. I do though have a couple of entries in results 11 to 20. My Linked in profile comes up, which I’m quite chuffed about as I only put it in recently, as does my Bazian (my company) bio. If you put in me + health or me + bazian then you get more hits about me (as opposed to Alan Lovell the actor, or the CEO of Jarvis etc), and I have to admit that I’m relieved that my Twitter page rarely pops up, as that’s pretty pathetic really (I should either start tweeting properly, lock it, or delete it).

But it has made me think. If at work or indeed in my personal life I come across a new person that I might have some interest in, the first thing I do is Google them. And I think nowadays we all do this – it’s second nature. While it may be argued by some that we don’t really have much control over what comes up about us in Google (or Ask, Bing, Yahoo etc) I think that on the contrary we do – we can do search engine optimization of our own pages, e.g. on Linked In or perhaps on our institution’s site, or we can start our own blog or a static webpage with a personal/professional statement as necessary. We might not like it, but for many people in our professional life their first contact with us will be through a computer screen, and not in real life; and as we all know, first impressions count.

So I still might not like the term “personal brand”, but I do think we have to acknowledge that our “online” self is important, both personally and, particularly, professionally. My online self is not the same as me, therefore terms such as “charisma” or “personality” won’t cut the mustard. For example, next time I go for a job, the interviewers are bound to Google me. I need to take control of the information they’ll find about me. You’ll need to do the same.

Articles

The death of bloglines

In Eresources,How to work better,Web 2.0 & all that on September 16, 2010 by africker Tagged: , , , ,

My much loved bloglines account has got to go.  After 6 plus years of faithful service (an eternity in web terms) Ask have seen fit to kill it off

Apparently no one reads RSS anymore (stats for Google Reader use suggest something different) – all part of the death of the blog meme (see also, Death of the blog comment and so on).  All the cool kids are on twitter.  So why am I so annoyed?  Bloglines didn’t ever develop much (I tried the major revision they released and soon retreated to the basic old version) but it did a pretty good job of the task in hand.  Reading was quick and I saved the things I either couldn’t follow up immediately or wanted to hang on to.  I never noticed the problems others alleged with outages and the Bloglines Plumber.

So what?  Just move to Google Reader like most people have already. Problem is I already have a Google Reader account used for a Current Awareness Service. I can have two Google Accounts logged in at once but it gets all tangled on itself quite frequently.   Thus far I don’t particularly like Google Reader as a user experience either.

Oh and of course I work mostly in IE6 land.  So everytime I go into Google Reader it suggests I need to upgrade my software.  And Google are definitely starting to get more aggressive not even allowing IE6 folk to use some of their products (hurrah no Google Instant for me!) so I may be out on my ear in the not too distant future. 

Others have said it but once more with feeling – thanks Ask – thanks a lot.

Articles

(the) health informaticist now on Twitter

In Blogging on Blogging,social networking,Web 2.0 & all that on August 25, 2010 by Alan Lovell Tagged: ,

Yes, we’re really motoring now and part of the social revolution. (the) health informaticist has joined Twitter and hopefully, with a little bit of luck, this story will automatically get posted to our new page – I’m just so looking forward to clicking “publish” to find out if it works or not. Do please follow us. No really, please…

*update 30 secs later*

It worked!

Articles

Clinical queries & custom filters in PubMed

In Evidence-Based Medicine,How to work better,Web 2.0 & all that,Website reviews on July 7, 2010 by Alan Lovell Tagged: , , , , , , ,

PubMed has a new clinical queries page, apparently. To be honest I used the old one so infrequently that it could have changed six months ago and I never would have noticed. I tend to use PubMed for quick and not so dirty searches of the literature but if I’m doing a “real search” I use Ovid because of its slight value-add functionality plus it has our company’s access to Embase. Perhaps because of this access to Ovid I’ve never really paid all that much attention to the development of PubMed which, particularly over the last six months or so, seems to be whizzing ahead.

Anyway, the clinical queries page is quite fun. You put in your term and get results for “clinical study categories”, “systematic reviews” (not really so much “systematic reviews”, more “aggregate research” or “tertiary research” or similar), and “medical genetics”; you can then click “see all” for, well, seeing all, and there are drop down menus for whether you want therapy or etiology etc, and broad or narrow filters. It’s easiest just to play with it. I like the fact that at the bottom of each list if you click the word “filter” it will show you the actual search string being used to filter your results (for therapy or etiology, broad or narrow etc) and the sensitivity/specificity scores of  said filters (precision would be helpful too) along with the reference to the original paper in which the filters were based. All nice and transparent, and helpful if you wish to translate e.g. the prognosis filter to use in another database.

Of course though many of us want to add our own favourite filters. I always had a rough idea you could do this but had never bothered to really look into it, but it’s an absolute breeze. Fortunately I don’t have to describe how to add your own filters as Laika has already done such a good job of it (with screenshots and everything), and you can now add up to 15 of your own favourite search strings. Not sure what to add? Your friends at CRD/InterTASC will help you out. Once you get started you’ll  be having such a whale of a time that you’ll be looking for excuses to do quick and, as mentioned before, not so very dirty searches in PubMed for all and sundry – dragging people in from the corridor – that sort of stuff. I’m sure you’ve been doing this for years, but it’s all new to me.

I’m really beginning to like PubMed. A big thank you to the US taxpayer.

Articles

Group blogs – what is your experience?

In Blogging on Blogging,Conferences,Web 2.0 & all that on June 11, 2010 by africker Tagged:

Two tHI bloggers are going to be speaking about the group blog experience at HLG Conference 2010.  Our paper is “The Health Informaticist: collaborative blogging for health, fun and, erm, profit” (PDF).  As part of this paper we plan to talk about what makes a group blog different and highlight some good examples / practice.

Reflecting the fact that professional learning extends beyond the Health Informatics domain  we are interested in all great group blogs.

A few group blogs that we read include:

inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe really shows what a group blog can do with collaborative posts and interesting varied view points.  The latest post is a highly pertinent one to current debates (ahem cilipfuture ahem) on the real work of librarianship

TechCrunch and TechCrunchEurope both written by lots of different people, frequently updated and with a good mixture of new developments, product reviews and more in depth debate. Not very health informatics but definitely web 2.0 

Its All Good A blog from five OCLC staff about all things present and future that impact libraries and library users.  A bit of everything library related.

PubMed Search Strategies A highly specialised use of the group blog format.  Brilliant sharing tool for no cost but a little time.

BoingBoing Regular items from Cory Doctorow (and others) on copyright / IP and plenty of library love mixed in with all manner of interesting stuff from the web and beyond.  Once got me summoned to my managers office to explain what I was doing looking at website with the url boingboing.net – answer trying to read an item on censorship only to find it blocked by websense.

So over to you… Do you group blog?  Which ones do you read?  What makes a great group blog?  And have you ever had a disaster through participating in one?

Articles

Transliteracy – new word, same old web 2.0?

In Blogging on Blogging,Information industry,Knowledge Management,Professional Organisations,social networking,Web 2.0 & all that on June 2, 2010 by Hanna Tagged: , ,

I went to a really interesting LIKE (London Information and Knowledge Exchange) meeting last week about transliteracy. What is transliteracy? I’ve blogged at LIKE so take a peek to find out! They use Posterous to post via email, very intriguing…

Articles

Similar sites and related articles

In search engines,Web 2.0 & all that,Website reviews on March 29, 2010 by Alan Lovell Tagged: , , , , ,

I like “similar sites/related articles” or whatever it might be called from one site to the next – in Google, Google Scholar, PubMed, Scirus etc – as I find it a useful way to develop and “flesh-out” a search. I was therefore happy to hear about similarsitesearch.com. It does what you would expect it to do. You tell it the web address of the site you’re interested in, click the relevant button, and it gives you a list of similar sites; should you like you can install the Firefox extension. The “don’t get it confused with similarsitesearch.com” website Similarsites.com does something very similar, but looks nicer; should you like you can install the Chrome extension. (I’m writing this in Chrome as we speak, though I do like the themes in the new Firefox).

The trouble is, and it’s a shame to report it, but Google’s similar sites feature seems to give better results. Similarsites.com and similarsitesearch.com can get rather surreal at times. Mind you, if you like living on the edge this could be considered an advantage; you never know where you might end up.

It would be nice if Bing could try their hand at this, now that they’re hoping to be taken seriously.