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November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving, with Food 2.0, part Two

This is part two of the Food 2.0 presentation. This part focuses more on health concerns and issues than the first, also including some amazing tools and resources. Some of my favorites include search tools to find recipes for specialized diets or by ingredient, the "Yeah, It's Kosher" service that will deliver kosher food to your travel destination, and of course Bryan Alexander's famous wiki about what restaurants are safest when you are stuck at a particular airport. Look at the slides to find more. You can find all the links in delicious:

Delicious: Food2.0:

Part Two:
* Nutrition
* Special Diets
* Eating Green, Eat Local
* Restaurants
* Travel
* Find Recipes By Diet, Ingredient, Etc.
* Lagniappe
* Want More?

Food 2.0, Part Two
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: diets fitness)

Posted by pfa at 01:19 PM | Comments (0)

Happy Thanksgiving! With Food 2.0, Part One

I had this idea months ago, and have been watching for things to use and collecting them for ages. Basically, well, I'd heard a rumor that one of the most searched words of all time was "recipe." Oh, and "porn" was another one, but I'm not planning to do any presentations about porn. Anyway, food examples and recipe searches are always big hits in my "how to" classes. I noticed how many recipes I see coming over the feed in Twitter, and thought, wow, it would be interesting to look at how food is present in social media. Thanksgiving seemed to be a good time for that, so I did. There turned out to be so much I had to split the presentation into two parts to get my computer to cope with it. Here goes nothing! Hope you enjoy.

Part One:
* Food in the Major Social Media Venues
* Social Networking and Food
* Videos & Podcasts
* Games
* Food for Families, Kids, & Budgets
* Food Blogs

Food 2.0, Part 1
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: media blogs)

Posted by pfa at 01:08 PM | Comments (0)

November 25, 2008

Advanced Google Searching for Researchers

Last week I gave this presentation to the Taubman Medical Research Institute as part of a series of workshops being offered by the Health Sciences Libraries for that audience. The hope of this presentation was to both illustrate advanced searching concepts and skills in Google, but also to touch briefly on some of the tools and applications offered by Google in support of the types of collaboration and communication that are part of the daily life of a life science researcher. I would love to be able to go into more detail on some of this, but for a start, here are the slides.

Posted by pfa at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

November 17, 2008

Cool Toys Conversations, October 2008

There were some tech issues last month (mostly with what turned out to be a firewall block between me and Delicious), so I ended up trying something a little different. Instead of presenting live from the web, I used screenshots I'd captured of things that caught my attention during the month. This had the effect of really slowing me down for making the blogpost. Trying to pull out the URLs and names of all the tools, find them again, get them listed ... well, let's just say it took a lot more time than I usually spend on this. The most time consuming part was plugging the pictures into slides, fitting, positioning, arranging, and all that.

Eventually I found a way to do this that worked pretty well, and I might try it again. There is a tool I found, called InsertPictures for the Macintosh that allows me to take a folder of screenshots and it will dump them all into a Powerpoint presentation, in order, resized to fit the screen. Wow. I had spent about 3 weeks working on this in my spare time, and had gotten through about a fifth of the screenshots used in the session. This plugged them all in within 23 seconds. Seconds!!! As in a fraction of a minute. I am still in awe.

So, here are the slides showing a few of the things that caught my attention in October, and the links are below. Enjoy! I promise the November CTC blogpost will go up faster.

Meetings, Scheduling & Events: Scheduling Tools

* Scheduly: http://www.scheduly.com/

Listio: http://www.listio.com/web20/app/Shiftboard/
NOTE: Listio and MakeUseOf are two of my favorite places to discover new tools. This is an example screen showing how looking at one tool can lead you to more like it.

Caloosh: http://beta.caloosh.com/
GatherGrid: http://GatherGrid.com/
Jiffle: http://www.jifflenow.com/
Presdo: http://www.presdo.com/
Schedule Once: http://www.scheduleonce.com/
SMEScheduler: http://www.thesmespace.com/SMEScheduler/ NOTE: Features and integration: polls, schedule - iphone, twitter, outlook, ical, gcal, gmaps, google gadget.
TimeBridge: http://www.timebridge.com/home.php
TimeToMeet: http://www.timetomeet.info/
Tungle: http://www.tungle.com/Home/ NOTE: Selective calendar sharing, for scheduling students or clients.
When Is Good: http://whenisgood.net/
When2Meet: http://www.when2meet.com/
When Should We: http://whenshouldwe.com/

Meetings, Scheduling & Events: Long Distance, International & Global Tools

EasyTZ: Easy Timezone: http://www.easytz.com/
MeetingPuzzle: http://www.meetingpuzzle.com/home.html NOTE: Multilingual. Also facilitates group management
World Time Engine: http://worldtimeengine.com/

Meetings, Scheduling & Events: Managing Groups, Group Spaces & Events

Book Meeting Room: http://www.bookmeetingroom.com/
ShiftBoard: http://www.shiftboard.com/ NOTE: Excellent for managing teams of volunteers
MyCommittee: http://mycommittee.com/
PurpleTrail: http://purpletrail.com/
SetDot: http://www.setdot.com/

Social Networking

TabUp: http://www.tabup.com/">http://www.tabup.com/ NOTE: Organize, share, collaborate with people
Tee Bee Dee: http://www.tbd.com/

Personal Tools

GasBuddy.Com > Detroit: http://www.detroitgasprices.com/index.aspx?&area=Ann%20Arbor
SitOrSquat: http://www.sitorsquat.com/sitorsquat/home# NOTE: Ever been out with a small child and needed to find a restroom, fast?
Sleeptracker: http://sleeptracker.com/
Nearest Post Office Lookup: http://www.melissadata.com/lookups/NearPostOffice.asp
Tip of my Tongue: http://chir.ag/phernalia/tip-of-my-tongue/
WizHelp: http://www.wizhelp.com/en/home NOTE: Trying to help someone with a computer problem who is on the phone? Take over their computer (with permission), and show them how to do it.

Media & Multimedia

JingProject: http://www.jingproject.com/
ScreenToaster: http://www.screentoaster.com/
XtraNormal: http://www.xtranormal.com/

Visual & Image Tools & Search

FaceSaerch: http://www.facesaerch.com/
DualPage: http://www.dualpage.com.br/
Visual Complexity: Obesity System Influence Diagram: http://www.visualcomplexity.com/vc/project.cfm?id=622
Obesity System Influence Diagram: http://www.shiftn.com/obesity/Full-Map.html
CompFight: http://www.compfight.com NOTE: Flickr creative commons search, with other special search features and visual browsing.
Deferential Geometry: Elementary Partical Explorer: http://deferentialgeometry.org/epe/ NOTE: From Garrett Lisi, particle physicist and author of “An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything�
TinEye: http://tineye.com/ NOTE: Search images like the one you have, including parodies and snippets and edited images.
Pixolu: http://www.pixolu.de/NOTE: Semantic image search

Specialized Search Tools

TasteKid: http://www.tastekid.com/
FanSnap: http://www.fansnap.com/
GameCurry: http://www.gamecurry.com/gamecurry
Notice the tabbed results from different sources - very fast searching also
Soovle.com NOTE: As you type, it gives suggestions of related terms from a variety of sources - what are the top “hits� in different search engines.

Web Tools

AppLoop: http://apploop.com/
SitePal: http://www.sitepal.com/

Trends, Projects, News

YouTube: India: Indian Institute of Technology/Science: National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning: http://www.youtube.com/user/nptelhrd
YouTube: Project Report: http://www.youtube.com/projectreport
OpenLife: http://www.openlifegrid.com/
ReadTheSpirit: Our Values: http://www.readthespirit.com/ourvalues/introducing-dr-wayne-bake.html
Better Health Care Together: Remote Monitoring Technologies Could Shave Health Care Costs by $197 Billion - Broadband-based Applications Can Improve Care for Chronic Disease: http://betterhealthcaretogether.org/news?&ctid=3&cid=11598&cgid=1
Al Qaida-like Mobile Discussions and Potential Creative Uses (Twittering Terrorists): http://www.fas.org/irp/eprint/mobile.pdf

The End

This presentation was created using PowerPoint 2004 on a MacBook with the InsertPicture Add-In from Jim Gordon: http://www.agentjim.com/MVP/PowerPoint/ppt2004.htm

Posted by pfa at 03:00 PM | Comments (1)

November 15, 2008

Visualization Presentation, Updated

I was doing a session about online visualization tools over at the School of Public Health, and updated my slides from earlier this year. Of course, with online tools, things are always changing, and with visualization there is just so much amazing work to choose from.

Online Visualization Tools: http://www.slideshare.net/umhealthscienceslibraries/online-visualization-tools-november-11-2008-presentation

Posted by pfa at 09:27 AM | Comments (0)

November 12, 2008

Google Flu Trends

Announced today, Google is using individual's search term patterns to track and predict the spread of the flu.

Google: Flu Trends: http://www.google.org/flutrends/

Google Flu Tracker

Notice that even though the country at large has only barely started to climb, Michigan is showing more activity.

Google Flu Trends: Michigan

I am, on the one hand, excited to see Google applying appropriate data mining techniques to develop and test skills that could be used for disaster management and general health. On the other hand, I think this tool needs some work.

First, Google Flu Trends needs to be tested and validated by public health researchers. It is great that Google is putting it out, and I am very excited about this resources as an indicator or trend showing Google's commitment to the community at large. I would be more excited if I saw articles comparing and contrasting it with other similar tracking tools, and linking it to other informational tools beyond saying the CDC says you should get a flu shot.

Second, IMHO, the methodology. Of course, being that this is Google, we don't really have a clue how they arrived at this. They give us access to their data, but we don't know what they are tracking or how this is related to the outcomes. The methodology is missing, and I'm not sure how relevant the data is when you don't know the methodology that resulted in the data. We are lacking the opportunity to validate the data. This is a problem for me. If it is something more just of general interest, then fine, trust Google without knowing how they got there. With health information, I would feel safer if I knew more. Frankly, you have the same problem with Google Trends looking at the corporate and business information they make available. Fascinating, but would you put you money behind it in planning investments?

Which leads to my third thought. What little I've been able to tease out about this is that they are tracking the geographic use and incidence of phrases such as "flu diagnosis". I hope that they are using a rich collection of words related to the flu. Perhaps something like this:

(diagnosis OR symptoms OR "what's wrong" OR "do I have") (flu OR influenza OR vomit OR vomiting OR cough OR coughing OR chills OR aches OR aching OR headache): http://tinyurl.com/5ujuo7

Of if you want to get more technical, maybe something like this:

(diagnosis OR symptoms) (flu OR influenza OR ~vomit OR ~cough OR influenza virus OR influenza viridae OR H3N2 OR H1N1 OR H5N1 OR H9N2 OR "upper respiratory tract infection" OR URTI OR "severe acute respiratory syndrome" OR SARS OR pandemic OR Orthomyxoviridae OR "respiratory syncytial virus" OR RSV OR "West Nile virus"): http://tinyurl.com/5tjler

Now, what would make this all much more powerful, would be to bring together a collection of data sources that contain things people say about their health. Google searches is one. I would not be surprised if Google included phrases in people's email if they have GMail accounts. If you also included microblogging tools such as Twitter, Identi.ca, Plurk, Jaiku, Pownce, etc., social networks such as Facebook and Myspace, and other social media, then we'd have such a rich source of sources that I would hope the predictive validity would be very high. Here is a screenshot from someone else who is thinking about this - Morbus on Twitter.

Twitter: Morbus: http://twitter.com/morbus

Twitter: Morbus (Flu Tracking)

Now, I just wish Morbus would share their findings. :)

Posted by pfa at 01:33 PM | Comments (0)

November 04, 2008

Election Day 2008 via Social Media

At 7:15 AM I was at the polling place. I had never seen the school parking lot that full, for any occasion, in all the years I've lived in the neighborhood (over 10). The line inside turned out to be a 2-hour wait.

Election Day 2008: 7:15 AM

It has been utterly fascinating to me watching the campaign evolve through the social media. There is massive amounts of information available about this, so I am not going into any particular depth. I just wanted to share a few of things I found interesting.


While I was waiting in line at the polling place (a local school), a woman walked down the long hall with a camcorder, documenting the length of the line. I laughed. Later I found out there was actually a competition for election day videos. It was all a PBS idea ...

Election Day 2008 - Social Media Election Day 2008 - Social Media

PBS: Video Your Vote: http://www.pbs.org/vote2008/youtube/
Youtube: Video Your Vote: http://www.youtube.com/videoyourvote

But isn't legal in Michigan:

Election Day 2008 - Social Media
Citizen's Media Law: Guide: Documenting Your Vote: http://www.citmedialaw.org/legal-guide /documenting-your-vote

I learned here that it isn't legal in Michigan to post photos of your ballot, so it is a good thing I refrained from taking any! A fascinating way to catch a personal glimpse of the election day experience across the nation.


If something is big in Youtube, you can bet it is in Facebook and/or Myspace also.

Election Day 2008 - Social Media Election Day 2008 - Social Media

Facebook: Election 08: http://www.facebook.com/election08/
MySpace: MyVote: profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile...


The first social media election coverage I really noticed was when Twitter made an election tracking banner at the head of every page. Their election page can be a real timewaster, as comments from real people scroll across the screen in real time as they happen.

Election Day 2008 - Social Media

Twitter: Election: http://election.twitter.com/


"A picture is worth a thousand words", and people must believe it seeing the extraordinary quantity of politically-themed groups, photos and images in Flickr, the famous photo sharing site. It has really brought the campaign and election to life, having so many different points of view and perspectives widely available in vivid technicolor!

Election Day 2008 - Social Media Election Day 2008 - Social Media

2008 Presidential Election: http://flickr.com/groups/election2008/
Early Voting 2008: http://flickr.com/groups/earlyvoting08/


Election Day 2008 - Social Media Election Day 2008 - Social Media

John McCain 2008: flickr.com/groups/mccain2008/
Barack Obama 2008: flickr.com/groups/barackobama2008/


Election Day 2008 - Social Media

Yahoo News - Election: http://flickr.com/groups/ynews_election2008/


Or perhaps simply bizarre politically-themed pictures.

Election Day 2008 - Social Media Election Day 2008 - Social Media
Election Day 2008 - Social Media Election Day 2008 - Social Media

Anti-Obama League: http://flickr.com/groups/anti-obama_league/
Barack Olantern: http://flickr.com/groups/876267@N24/
Dolls for Obama: http://flickr.com/groups/752938@N20/
John McCain Photoshop CHUDlenge: http://flickr.com/groups/mccain_chudlenge/


It becomes especially obvious how embedded the candidates are in social media when you check out their FriendFeed streams.

Election Day 2008 Election Day 2008

FriendFeed: Barack Obama: http://friendfeed.com/barackobama
FriendFeed: John McCain: http://friendfeed.com/johnmccain


I'm not really going to touch on the blogosphere and the current election, except to highlight just a couple excellent posts on how to use online resources to follow the election today.

Election Day 2008 - Social Media Election Day 2008

The Next Right: Where to Get Official Election Returns: http://www.thenextright.com/patrick-ruffini/where-to-get-official-election-returns
Silicon Alley Insider: How to Watch Election Day Live Online: www.alleyinsider.com/2008/11/how-to-watch-election-day-live-online


And yes, I did eventually succeed in voting. :)

Election Day 2008

Posted by pfa at 03:23 PM | Comments (2)