Monday, February 28, 2011

An even dozen. Balloons, that is.

10b) Thanks to ProQuest, I learned that poor Betty Jean McMichael's obituary was published on March 18, 2008, two days after her death. She has four sons.

10c) Telos: Not in full-text, although I found citations in Academic Search Premier
British Journal for the History of Philosophy: Yes, full-text 12 months after publication via Academic Search Premier
Clinical Medicine and Research: Yes, via Academic Search Premier

11a) Duane F. Kelly heads up this four-star rated Vanguard fund with a stewardship grade of B.

11b) Yeah, it was the Dec. 2009 cover story, available as full-text PDF from MasterFILE Premier.

11c) It looks like Starbucks is the biggest competitor, followed closely by Dunkin' Donuts, if you are measuring competitiveness by number of franchises. But if you look at the historical data, you'll see that Dunkin' Donuts franchises appear to take in twice as much sales volume as the Starbucks franchises. Got to look at the whole picture.

12) I've gotten more personal use out of Morningstar than any other database. I have always thought that more people need to know about Business Reference USA and I hope this exercise helps in some small way the evangelical effort. I'm going to agree with my buddy Claudia and say that, if we could only keep access to one database, then that database has to be Worldcat. Maintaining our connection to most of the world's libraries is ultimately the best chance we have at meeting the diverse information needs of our patrons.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A picture's worth eight or nine balloons

I've been a Flickr user since late 2004, well before I started with Facebook or Twitter. I have almost 10,000 photos stored there. I'm a little paranoid about pictures. I keep two copies locally, a copy on Flickr and a copy in the cloud, currently using Mozy.


The "pizza in Chicago" search was my addition to this week's lesson, because it was the first thing that came to mind, even before hearing that Giordano's was filing for bankruptcy.

A lot of people this week have noted that they often use Google Image Search to find photos, but were surprised to discover how much better the images on Flickr are. My bonus lesson for those folks has been to suggest searching Google images using the "" parameter. You get the best quality pictures with all of the other search parameters that Google provides.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Five balloons, six balloons, seven balloons, more!

I probably spend more time using Twitter's search function than most people. I like to know what people are talking about and I find it easier to isolate the conversations of interest to me by searching for the relevant keyword or hashtag. Essential online resource for me personally at this point.
I'm of two minds on Facebook privacy. On the one hand, I thought it absolutely critical that we steer people in the direction of the privacy settings for this exercise. And I keep my profile very locked down and reveal very little to people who I don't consider friends.
On the other hand, I'm of the mindset that online privacy is a myth. You don't really have any. If you don't want what you say to be used against you, don't say it. Facebook provides information to vendors all the time. They could also be hacked. Your friends could decide they aren't your friends and exploit the personal information that you've given them via your profile. And so on and so on.
And yet, I choose to live a pretty high profile online life in general. I embrace all the things that come with being highly connected in the profession and amongst my social groups. I'm more hesitant about dragging my children into that high profile existence, so I tend to post pictures more guardedly and just about never use their names.
I'm not someone who necessarily thinks we need to know everything about every emerging technology that comes along, but Facebook is so pervasive amongst our patrons, that to ignore it is to position ourselves to provide poor service. And that shouldn't be acceptable.
Social networking? I mostly love it. I've had to dial it back to be a better father and husband. But the pull is still pretty strong for me, since my friends are scattered across the globe.