Quick Survey Just Ahead

Tell me your worst trouble spot right now

It’s still pretty much a new(ish) year, and I’m interested in addressing even more topics that would interest you, the blog reader. This quiz will help (but let’s be real, it’s pretty limited), but please feel free to add your…
Carousels: time to go

Carousels: time to go

Carousels have almost become ubiquitous.  I am frequently asked about them when I start designing a site for a library.  I often. now, make it clear that these don’t represent a good design choice. Yes, they’re convenient. They seemingly solve…
Which browser(s) does your library offer?

Have you given much thought to browsers?

Lately, it seems that all I, as a web developer, hear, is about mobile web usage. There’s been a lot of posts on the Web about the forthcoming mobile apocalypse (Mobipocalypse?), where people will browse the Web with nothing but…
Is it theft? Yeah, it is.

Is it theft? Yeah, it is.

Recently, I had the unpleasant experience of discovering that one of my custom graphics was appearing, without permission, on a library’s website.  It appeared that the library had simply copied the graphic from the original site for which it was…

Lock those virtual doors

What would happen if your library closed up at night and purposefully left the front door unlocked?  Every night? Eventually, some unscrupulous individual would figure it out.  He/she would have the run of the library at night, and could easily…

Ignorantiaphobia

It’s no secret, yet it’s not widely talked about.  There’s a divide in library staff.  It’s not between degreed and the not, and it’s not digital.   It’s not about who uses Twitter and who doesn’t.   This divide may not…

Web images: TANSTAAFL*

Recently, I heard about how a public library recently found itself in some very hot water.  It ran afoul of a very large provider of stock photography.  The library used a licensed photograph from a stock photo site without paying…

Got a Fiverr?

We all know that libraries are in a major budget crisis.  What we don’t always know is how to cut costs.  Well, I won’t make any claims that I can answer that question, either.  What I will share with you…

Broadcasting with Qik

As more people start using smartphones (e.g., Droids, Blackberries, iPhones, et al), we’re also starting to see a lot more applications that can be downloaded and used on them.  One I’ve been doing a bit of experimenting with is Qik…

Figuring out Foursquare

Physical locations in combination with the web are starting to hit it big, and is predicted to seriously take off this year.  One example of an application that is rapidly heading that way is Foursquare. From Wikipedia: Foursquare is a…

HTML 5: don’t get too excited yet

Yes, it’s finally coming.  The last official release of HTML was in 1999 (yes, you read that right, 10 years ago) at version 4.01.  At long last, the W3C* is almost finished with the specifications for a new version.  Pay…

The Internet of Things

“The idea is as simple as its application is difficult. If all cans, books, shoes or parts of cars are equipped with minuscule identifying devices, daily life on our planet will undergo a transformation. Things like running out of stock…

Crowdsource and engage

I crowdsourced this week’s post.  I asked (via Twitter/Facebook) library staff to tell me what their favorite technology is, and why.  Here’s most of what I got: “I’m digging on Excel right now because I love turning lots of numbers…

Unsticking Glue

This week I’m chatting about a web application called Glue .  I look at a good number of web applications, and some are useful.  Unfortunately, Glue is not one of those. The premise of Glue is that it “shows you…

What is “The Real-Time Web?”

When Michael Jackson died on June 25, millions of people flooded onto Google News to find the latest information about what had happened. The spike in traffic was so massive that Google suspected a malware attack and began blocking anyone…

A tale of social media woe

Recently, a frustrated librarian contacted me because she wanted to discuss a situation that had occurred at her library.  After hearing her story, I asked her permission to recount it here (and to keep identifying details confidential). In essence, here…

Listen up: you’re in charge!

It’s a pain, but security is each user’s responsibility, not just the tech’s.–Bobbi Galvin, OPLIN One of the most common misconceptions library staff typically have about their email accounts is that nobody would want to hack them. WRONG. Your email…

5 ways for your library to Fail at Twitter

Twitter has finally hit the mainstream (If Oprah isn’t the mainstream, then I don’t know what is).  So we’re finally seeing more and more public libraries putting their feet into the Twitterstream.  This is generally a good thing; however, I…

Polar bears, Che Guevara and porn

(Eric Jordan did an update to his first “Webmaster” vignette, and I’m posting it here for collective enjoyment.  Thanks, Eric!) Web Master 1.1 (I had enough fun with the first one, I decided to upgrade!) The Programmer approached the Web…

Intermediate Twitter: #hashtags

(Thanks to Don Yarman for suggesting this topic–I’m always on the lookout for new fodder.  Send your ideas to meanlaura@oplin.org.) I have to assume that, by now, your library has finally jumped on the Twitter wagon.  (See here for additional…

Sharing your slides

Whether you do presentations in Powerpoint, OpenOffice or something else, making your slides publicly available can sometimes be a headache.  Enter Slideshare, which could arguably be considered the YouTube of presentation slides. Slideshare allows you to create a (free) account,…

Getting buy-in

I am often asked about how to get buy-in for new web-based initiatives.  I ran across this slideshow today, which is fabulous material for demonstrating the usual roadblocks one can run into. Web Tech Guy and Angry Staff Person View…

Cloud computing

What does weather have to do with computers?  Well, not much, actually.  But cloud computing is a term that has gained in the buzz department recently, although it has actually been around for several years. “Cloud computing” is really just…

Signing in with ONE account

One of the most common complaints I’ve heard about using various web services and social networking sites is the need for multiple accounts; multiple user names, multiple passwords, multiple things to forget.  Who hasn’t used those handy “Forgot your password?”…

Is your library coded?

Well, I am. See that 2-dimensional code to the left? That code contains the following information about me: First & last name Email address Web site URL Phone number Physical address, including country of origin All that is in there?…

Walking the Web

Virtual worlds are everywhere now, it seems. Their purposes range from socializing and networking to education and conferences. And some just…are. Yoowalk seems to be one of these latter. Well, ok. I guess it has a purpose. I just don’t…

Hulu: TV on demand

If you’ve ever seen my Facebook profile, you already know that I basically don’t watch television (much to the chagrin of anyone who attempts to engage me in conversation about the latest programs). My husband and I used to say…

Short and sweet…URLs

Sometimes, URLs can be insanely long.  For example: http://www.llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyll-llantysiliogogogoch.com/ Or: http://www.microsoft.com/events/EventDetails.aspx?CMTYSvcSource=MSCOMMedia&Params=%7eCMTYDataSvcParams%5e%7earg+Name%3d%22ID%22+Value%3d%221032301951%22%2f%5e%7earg+Name%3d%22ProviderID%22+Value%3d%22A6B43178-497C-4225-BA42-DF595171F04C%22%2f%5e%7earg+Name%3d%22lang%22+Value%3d%22en%22%2f%5e%7earg+Name%3d%22cr%22+Value%3d%22US%22%2f%5e%7esParams%5e%7e%2fsParams%5e%7e%2fCMTYDataSvcParams%5e Yes, both real.  Both annoying.  And, if you try to email these, they will not display properly in some email clients.  Some people won’t be able to click them…

Grabbing a gravatar

Do you like to use online forums or comment on blogs?  If you do, chances are you’ve seen, or perhaps even have, a small icon or picture that often sits to the left of a commenter’s name.  These are called…

Beyond the visual avatar

(Something kind of fun for a slow(er) Friday.) A couple of weeks ago I covered Weblins here, and someday, I promise, I’ll get to avatars and gravatars.  Each of those examples is a visual way to represent yourself on the…