Sunday, August 1, 2010

Remember Searching #75 Google and Beyond?

Well yes, it's been awhile since we did this exercise but I recently ran across these two articles on Bing vs. Google and's search engine power. Both are worth taking the time to read and then it might be fun to go back and repeat the exercises from #75 and see if you get different/better results.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

How BP Has Changed Children's Books

Secret Asian Girl wrote these:
One fish, two fish...No more fish. Ever.
What's Goo in the Blue?
The Very Hungry Petroleum Conglomerate
Murky With A Chance of Tarballs
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory...Wait, That's Not Chocolate!
Goodnight Fishing Industry
The Barren Stain Bears
Harry Potter and the Bucket of Sludge
Let's See What's Washed Up Today!
Tony Hayward and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Summer
The Little Containment Plan That Couldn't
Save A Purple Pelican
Curious George Goes To The Beach And...George! For God's Sake Don't Touch That, You'll Get Cancer!
Winnie the Goo
Horton Doesn't Hear A Who Or Any Other Sign of Life In the Gulf Anymore
Where The Wild Things Aren't

Friday, June 11, 2010

Purpose and Passion, not profit...what's your motivator?

The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) produced a great video that expresses the notion that purpose and passion are more important than profit as a motivator to produce great work. It makes a thoughtful argument that money is not central to motivating or attracting the best teams. I remember writing a paper about this in college and I am constantly reminded by the truth of this as I work with different people in different places. Check it out, I think you'll find it interesting, thought provoking and helpful when working with others.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Bloggers: 7 questions to ask before hitting "Publish"

All common sense really but I couldn't have said it better myself, so I am re-posting this blog information from socialmediatoday in hopes that many of my fellow iHCPL bloggers will read and heed the advice.

Kevin writes, There are many things a blogger should check before hitting the “Publish” button. One of the greatest mistakes a blogger can make is hitting the publish button too soon. I wish I could say I have never made that mistake but I have made it more times than I would like to admit!

1. Have I read the post in its entirety after finishing it?

I know that sounds obvious but many bloggers don't read what they wrote before publishing it. When we fail to do this, our post may not make sense or we may miss an important point that we wanted to make. Take the time to read the entire post. It is well worth the effort!

2. Have I chosen my title carefully?

I strongly believe that the title is the most important part of the post because unless the title grabs the attention of visitors, there is a good chance that they won’t read the post! A good title should draw people in. I have found that titles with numbers in them work well (i.e 23 ways to know it is going to be a really bad day). Also, compelling titles (i.e. Kill your stress before it kills you!) and titles with questions (i.e. Why can't we?) work well too.

3. Have I proofread it?

Again, this sounds obvious but it is not! If I don't take the time to do a thorough proofread before I hit "Publish" there will be typos and spelling mistakes ... guaranteed! If possible, have someone else proofread it for you. I always find that helpful.

4. Have I linked to one or more of my older posts?

If you are anything like me, you have many great posts that haven't been read by a lot of people and it's a shame (to me anyway;). Linking to older posts inside your post helps bring those posts out into the light. It also helps to complement or expand on the information that you have written.

5. Have I made sure that all my links are working?

I hate clicking on broken links! It frustrates me to no end! Unfortunately, it does not take much to create a broken link. All it takes is omitting a letter, a dot, or misspelling a word. Readers will get frustrated when the link they click on doesn't work!

6. Have I included a captivating image?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If that is true then why not use one in your post? Images are a great way to entice people to read the rest of your post. I work very hard at trying to find the perfect image for each post. I typically use Google Images for this.

7. Have I included one or more ways to engage with my readers?

Blogging isn't a monologue for me. I want to build community with my blog. I want to engage with my readers. To do this, I always ask a question or two or make a call to action at the end of each of my posts.

By asking these questions before I hit the "Publish" button I have saved myself and my readers a lot of grief and frustration.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

You Oughta Be in Pictures #91: Fun with Photos

I played with several different photos on FotoFlexer, BigHugeLabs and BeFunky; one of a flower, a photo of one person and a photo of several people and I just didn't like any of "special effects" when it came to enhancing the photo. I'll stick with the red eye remover, color fix and crop tools. The Frames on BeFunky might work depending on your photo but it would be better if you could change the colors used in the frame to match your picture. The picture on the left is from BeFunky with a frame added. The picture on the right is from FotoFlexer with the Bronze effect. The picture in the middle is the original. I tried the cartoonizer on this photo in both FotoFlexer and BeFunky. Though they weren't exactly alike and I didn't like either one I'd say BeFunky did better than FotoFlexer. I tried the Cartoonizer with a picture of a person and I didn't really like it any better. At least with BeFunky it gives you 5 different choices, FotoFlexer only gives you one, though the fade under the advanced options helps make additional adjustments. The photo strips you can make under Photobooth on BugHugeLabs were cute despite having to join to be able to create a strip.

I used FaceinHole to create several silly things. I didn't like anything I saw on so I didn't create anything here. I will post my photos in a seperate entry because I cannot picture photos at the end of a entry like I'd like to.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

You Oughta Be in Pictures #90: Sharing Photos

The video was alittle short, I was expecting more information? But I like TopTenReviews slogan, "We do the research, so you don't have to." I'll keep them in mind as a potential source for reference questions. I have heard of and am alittle familiar with 4 of the ten sites mentioned in the TopTenReviews article, Photo Sharing Services Review; Photobucket, Flickr, Webshots, and Kodak Gallery. Where's Snapfish? When it comes to online photo sharing services I use Kodak Gallery most often. I have a Facebook account though I don't use it as a photo sharing service.
The most important feature when it comes to sharing my photos is the issue of privacy. As I said in my exercise #89, I primarily don't use an online service. I might upload some photos to Kodak so I can order prints and share the album with friends and family, but I don't look for it to be there for long term storage. I store my photos on my computer using the Creative Memories software Memory Manager. I don't take the kind of photos that anyone else would want to use so copyright/creative commons options are not important to me.

Picture used in this post from

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

You Oughta Be In Pictures #89: Basic Photo Editing

The photo on the right is my photo which I used Picnik to edit, add the polariod frame and text. The photo on the left I used FotoFlexer to edit and decorate. I really liked the moving letters with FotoFlexer, very nice for webpage presentation of your photos, but I see the letters aren't glittering now that I've saved my image to the computer and uploaded to this blog? I didn't do anything with Photoshop because it required a login and I am not the least bit interested in creating yet another account on yet another website. I use Creative Memories Memory Manager to organize and edit my digital photographs. One of my favorite features of this program is that the original photos are always safe because revisions are saved separately. I would like to get into the habit of using Picnik more but right now I'm still scrapbooking printed photos from 1997! There just isn't enough time in the day to use all these fantastic tools.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What Students Should Read by Steven Wolk

"When looking at what students are required to read in school in 2010, it might as well be 1960. We need visionary educators who see bold purposes for school and who understand that what students read in school has profound, lifelong effects, both good and bad."

"In 1960, 26% of our information was from print, primarily books, newspapers, and magazines. Today, we’re reading more words, but only 9% are from print and 30% from computers (Bohn and Short 2009)."

Check out the entire article here It has a wealth of information.

For quick reference books mentioned in the article under what kids should be reading include: The Hunger Games, Unwind, The Knife of Never Letting Go, Mexican Whiteboy, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Dairy Queen, Little Brother, Elsewhere, Flipped,The Graveyard Book, Heat, Leepike Ridge, Home, Voices in the Park, Planting the Trees of Kenya, American Born Chinese, The Arrival, I Kill Giants, A.D. New Orleans, Safe Area Gorazde, Make Lemonade, Monster, La Linea, Leviathan, Fallen Angels, Chains, Nasreen’s Secret School, A Dream of Freedom, Tasting the Sky, No Choirboy, The Omnivore’s Dilemma (young reader's edition), Alan’s War, Age of Bronze: A Thousand Ships, Barefoot Gen, The Photographer, Banana, Slaves in the Family, Gang Leader for a Day, Nickel and Dimed, Enrique’s Journey, A Rumor of War, Long Way Gone, The Good Soldiers, Edward O. Wilson’s essay, “The Little Things That Run the World,” The Frog Scientist and other books in the “Scientists at Work” series, The Adoration of Jenna Fox, Clan Apis, The Manga Guide to Physics, Howtoons, The Secret Science Alliance, and Best American Nonrequired Reading series.