I have just got back from a really interesting session at the Judge Business School, run by Meg Westbury who also co-led the session on chat services in libraries that I wrote about a while ago.
This session was a whirlwind experience of Meg cramming in 30 interesting new tools into 30 minutes! I was very impressed that she managed to do and still give us enough information about each item so that we understood what each thing was for.
The list of tools covered is as follows (and yes it is more that 30 actual things but Meg was giving us some bonus ones too!):
I’ve provided direct links to all of the items covered in the session so you can have a quick look yourself. Meg had a really cool way of keeping track of what would be useful and what might not be so useful by handing out three coloured index cards for people to note things down. One was green for “definitely useful”, one was yellow for “maybe, not sure” and one was red for “totally not useful!”.
I found myself writing fairly even amounts on both the green and yellow cards with a few items on the red card. My personal red card items were Reddit, Pearltrees, Focusbooster and StayFocusd. I don’t really like Reddit and I have used it before without much enjoyment. Pearltrees just didn’t grab me and the focus-keeping items just felt a bit controlling. I mean, they would be great for a procrastinating student but I certainly wouldn’t use them. I multitask and I always have lots of tabs open with different things going on so I would find having certain things being blocked to be frustrating and would get in the way of my work process.
I added a few to the yellow card, such as SimilarPages and Bubbl.us. They just didn’t draw me in immediately, but I will look into them and have a play around a bit more when I have a spare moment.
On the green card, I added 18 items that I really liked. In my top three were, in no particular order, LightShot, Screencast-o-matic and Dipity. They all look like really handy tools that I could easily use in my day-to-day work. I also green carded the Academia.edu social media network, which I will definitely be joining.
I would write about each individual item more but I think it is best for you to look at them and see what you think. How I work and the things that I would like to use in my library work and reader engagement may well be very different to what you would like to do or prioritise. Plus Meg did such a good job at explaining everything really well and quickly! There is also a neat post about it all here.
So have a click around and see what you think! Even comment about it if you feel like it!