Cool Toys Conversation April 22


On April 22nd, we had the first Cool Toys Conversation with staff of the Health Sciences Libraries. A group of us got together, ate lunch, and talked about what new cool tools and resources we’ve found online lately. Some of these have been previously been highlighted in this blog, some will be forthcoming. Here are the highlights of the conversation.
University of Michigan – iTunes U
http://itunes.umich.edu/
ABOUT:
The University of Michigan health sciences schools are collaborating on putting course lectures online as podcasts through iTunesU as a partnership with Apple.
Chacha
http://chacha.com/
http://twitter.com/chacha/
ABOUT:
ChaCha is a new reference service that will answer reference questions received through the web, text/chat, or by your mobile phone. Fast answers, too. Imagine going for a walk in a new city and sending a message asking, is there a good sushi bar near my location? and getting the answer in 2 minutes.
Open Source Alternative
http://osalt.com
ABOUT:
Can’t get your tech admin to buy you a copy of some application you want for your computer? Here is a searchable database of open source (and FREE) software alternatives. Why pay if you can get it free?
LifeHacker
http://lifehacker.com
ABOUT:
LifeHacker is a kind of blog/journal/tech/self-help site with all kinds of tips (both ‘hot’ and useful) to help make your life easier. All your life — work, home, you name it. Worth checking out.
ItsOurTree
http://itsourtree.com
ABOUT:
This is a tool for a build your own genealogy. We started thinking it would be interesting to use this to create visualizations of evolution of genetic profiles, plants, animals, ideas, memes, etc.
xTimeline
http://www.xtimeline.org
ABOUT:
See http://mblog.lib.umich.edu/etechlib/archives/2008/02/xtimeline.html
ManyEyes
http://services.alphaworks.ibm.com/manyeyes/home
ABOUT:
http://mblog.lib.umich.edu/etechlib/archives/2008/03/many_eyes_-_sha.html
MBlog: ETechLib
http://mblog.lib.umich.edu/etechlib/
ABOUT:
This blog. Where I sometime mention cool new online toys and trends in emerging technologies.
MBlog: Web 2.0
http://mblog.lib.umich.edu/web20/
ABOUT:
Another blog highlighting new toys their applications.
EBHC Strategies Wiki
http://ebhcstrategies.wetpaint.com/
ABOUT:
A wiki about evidence-based search and searching strategies. The more the merrier!
Twitter
ABOUT:
There was so much talk about Twitter, I’ve put it at the bottom to group the longer discussion and various tools.
Twitter is referred to as a microblogging tool, and is the most prominent and popular of this group of social tech tools. Personally, I consider it an example of Web 2.0 and social tech in a microcosm. You know how much research is done with other organisms before human research in part because of the shorter lifespan? Twitter would be the “mouse” of the social tech sphere — everything that happens in social tech happens there, just faster!
Here are some of the Twitter accounts, tools and concepts we discussed.
ABOUT TWITTER
TwitterCycle: http://cogdoghouse.wikispaces.com/twittercycle
ON TWITTER
A2Snooze – local news / police blotter on Twitter
http://twitter.com/a2snooze
APHA – public health on Twitter
http://twitter.con/publichealth
ChaCha – reference on Twitter
http://twitter.com/chacha
GetReady – disaster preparedness on Twitter
http://twitter.com/getready
PubmedBootcamp – teaching on Twitter
http://twitter.com/pubmedbootcamp
MORE: http://mblog.lib.umich.edu/etechlib/archives/2008/04/pubmed_bootcamp.html

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