Web and Library
The library where I work recently purchased three iPads with an eye toward making a practical test of whether this new technology could be of use. The result has, so far, not been encouraging.
It recently fell to my lot to take a new look at this issue and figure out how iPads or other tablet computers could be useful in this business environment, so I conducted an informal survey at work and on Facebook to get an idea of what people were actually using the things for - and thereby perhaps get a sense of what we might use them for.
Before the list of uses, I would like to make an observation:
The most enthusiastic iPad users listed ways in which it excelled as an personal device. Its utility as a shared asset, such as we have in our library, seemed very limited.
These are the briefing slides for a presentation made by Walter Nelson at the Internet Librarian conference in Monterey California in October of 2011.(More information)
Small archives, such as one finds at historic houses, have generally run into a major obstacle in any plans they have for digitizing their collections: they have had to rely on slow flat-bed scanners, which are very poorly suited to digitizing bound materials.
The form is accessing the EOS International Sales Department's demonstration catalog. The same model, by changing the specific names, values and URLs, can be used to access many other SQL based online databases.
It also includes a demonstration of and link to one of my favorite tools, "Feed2JS", which takes RSS feeds and turns them into web content.
Over the last year or so, I have set it as a professional development task to put Facebook to work for some of the organizations in which I am involved, and figure out what it is good for and where it falls short.
Here are a few of my observations:
An organization with a formal existence and a real relationship with its supporters/clients etc. should create a "page" rather than a "group". The "page" format is more conducive to presenting a coherent message and managing your image. It also has useful analytics on traffic, demographics etc.
A group is fine for informal communities of interest, and has a nice "email all" and "invite all to event" feature, but it doesn't let you assume the identity of the organization. You are always you. Note however, that if what you are about is sharing photographs, you should stay a "group". The "page" format no longer allows "fans" to post pictures more than one at a time.