Thursday, June 6, 2013

Friday Photos #fp13 #blogjune Day 6

As many of you know, in 2013 I am taking part in three Flickr challenges.  I really like the discipline it gives me in terms of deadlines and the new eye it gives me for everything around me. Well in the case of this challenge it gives me a new eye every week!  The Friday Photos group challenge grew out of one of the photo a day challenges and is coordinated by @sarahgb from Wales and @csmramsden from Melbourne.  It was originally library people from the UK and Australia but recently it has become a bit more international and has people who aren't from libraries!

The game plan is that every Friday we are given a theme and within the next week we need to take and post three photos on the theme. Themes this year have included socks, water, information, faces, buttons, frames, sounds rain and many others.  We have 103 members.

If you are interested come on over to Flickr and join in.  We have lots of fun and lots of engagement.  I am always amazed at the creativity of people when they come up with ideas for the themes.

Moves app #blogjune Day 5

One of the things I really like about my iPhone is experimenting with different apps.  One of the apps that I have been using recently is the Moves app.  I am trying to monitor my exercise and I have never really found anything I like or anything I stick with. In particular I am trying to complete the notorious 10,000 steps a day.

But I do like Moves!  It documents all your movements in real time (when you are carrying your phone) and says whether you are walking, cycling or running. It also recognizes when you are moving on some form of transport and doesn't count that in the steps. It records your movements so you can look back, tells you each morning what you achieved the day before and gives you weekly totals and records etc.  I haven't used it for a mixture of activities so I am not sure how that works.  I have enough trouble walking most days.

As it uses GPS it documents where you have been and this means I have a record of how long it takes to walk to and from different places. It says it doesn't use battery while you are not moving but I do find it chews up the battery a bit.

Does anyone else out there use this app?  How do you find it?  Or are there other similar apps that you prefer?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A reprise of #anz23mthings 4 and #blogjune Day 4 Mobile assisted public transport

When I was reading through some of the posts for Week 4 of #anz23mthings one of the posts I read was by @tapsister.  What a potentially life-changing one that was for me!  She described how she used apps on her phone to assist with public transport usage in Melbourne.  Well, duh Anne, why why have you not thought of this?

Fiona described her use of apps on her android, but I quickly found two similar apps for my iPhone. Train Tracker is produced by Synapps  and Tram Tracker by Yarra Trams. These both allowed me to favourite tram and train lines, to look up timetables at individual stops, stations etc.  TramTracker opens at my favourite stop and gives me the time in minutes for the next three trams (as on the tram stops with that technology). It also offers the option of using the GPS facility to find nearby tramstops and tramlines.  Great!

But this morning I headed out to Melbourne Museum for the Afghanistan exhibition and found myself waiting on a bus stop! Hmm the Ventura bus company has no app.  However, soon I found the PTV (Public Transport Victoria) iPhone application.  This provides info about all Melbourne public transport: trams, trains and buses. You can search for your route and stop, save timetables for offline use, look up times in advance (I'm not sure how long in advance as the calendar for January 2014 was there but no attached timetable), use a journey planner tool, look for nearby public transport options.

I think that this app will be the one for me! Thanks, @tapsister!  Sometimes it amazes me how I don't use tools in front of me.  When I am traveling, say in London, I always use journey planning tools.  Why don't I here? Well, I do sometimes by using Google but usually on my desk top and not on the go. But most often I just head off with a general estimation of how long it will take me to get from place A to place B.   I wonder if these apps will change my practice significantly?

Monday, June 3, 2013

#blogjune Day 3 Help needed from my pln!

Help!  I need some help from my online pln.  For years I have been part of an online breast cancer support group. We have a website and online archives and all that stuff. Each year there is an online face to face gathering in Northern America.   As part of this Gathering there is a production on CD made of biographies of members as well as eulogies of those who have died during the year.  This has traditionally been produced on a CD for people to take home.

My question is: do people still want a CD to take home? I believe that, with ipads and iphones and PCs without CD/DVD drives, CDs are old technology.  What would you do now?  Would you move to the cloud?  Maybe to a members only part of the website where the biographies and eulogies would be available? Does this privacy matter?   I don't think it does to me because I never write anything in my biography that I am concerned about having on the web. And I am all over the web anyway. However, I think that some do care about this. 

How would you manage this online privacy?  Is there some plugin that could be used for the existing website?  Or would you use another website perhaps with an app for ios or android?  I am part of a group using Wiggio currently for a confined group and access to documents.  Would you use something like this?

I really look forward to your input on this.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

#blogjune Day 2 To Feedly or not to Feedly

Well it is nearly crunch time with Google Reader and I needed to start making some decisions about whether I really wanted to continue with a feed reader. I had decided previously that if I did I was going to go with Feedly.  But did I really want a feed reader?

Once upon a time I read Bloglines daily and really relied upon it for my professional reading, news, food blogs, local and family history, film, news. You name it.  It was such a useful way to get digests of everything I wanted.  Well, actually mostly it is fair to say, as I still subscribe and regularly use a couple of old-fashioned listservs that I have been using since 2000.

Then I started to use Bloglines more erratically and things would bank up.  @shewgirl and I used to have an ongoing joke about it. I had started to realize the benefit of Twitter and was starting to get most (but definitely not all) from there.  I migrated my feeds to Google Reader once Bloglines was foundering but despite the fact that I could access these on my iThings I rarely look at them.  I tend to get my reading from Twitter, a bit from Facebook and I subscribe to a few Paperli magazines to get a broad flavour.  And, of course, there is Flipboard.

However, last night I read a Twitter conversation about the blogs for #blogjune.  These people were just adding all the #blogjune blog urls to Feedly.  Hmm, did I want to do that? So I thought about it.  I must say one of the uses I still saw for a feed reader was for reviewing blogposts.  One can subscribe to blogs and get individual email alerts.  I do that with some blogs, particularly if there is a discussion going on that I want to stay part of, but I don't really want to flood my email inbox with lots more emails.

So last night while I was playing with my phone as I watched #aflcatssuns on television I loaded up the iPhone app for Feedly.  What next?  Ah I just had to connect to Google to sync all my folders and contents. I added a couple of blog urls that I had been reading.  It all seemed quite an easy interface.  Today I investigated it on Firefox and loaded it on my desktop. Again the way in was syncing with Google. It's a pretty bare desktop interface but not to worry as I really want to use it on the go and the app has obviously had more work done on it.

I am experimenting but I think that I probably will use it to monitor feeds from blogs - once I tidy it up a bit and get rid of stuff I no longer want or stuff I get elsewhere.  I also need to investigate what happens when Google stops supporting Google Reader.  At the moment I get into Feedly via syncing with that.  Presumably there will be changed arrangements. I also have a feeling that this may be a topic later for #anz23mthings so that will provide me with an opportunity to review the situation.
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