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 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:

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

October 21, 2008

Twittering and Microblogging for Public Health

I don't move as fast as I need to these days. I post the slides, and some one else blogs them before I get around to it!

eHealth: Twittering for Public Health:

Anyway, here are the slides from the noon brown bag class I gave at School of Public Health on October 7th. Sorry it took me so long.

Posted by pfa at 10:30 AM | Comments (0)

October 05, 2008

The New A.viary (Dollars and Making Sense and Sweet Spots)

There is an interesting class being taught at the School of Public Health on social technologies by Gillian Mayman. Yesterday, at her request, I taught an intro session on getting started with A.viary. I love Aviary. I love it so much that I did something I've never done before and started teaching sessions about it while it was still in beta.

Gillian and I discovered that Aviary has changed a LOT in the past couple weeks. No more beta, no more invites — it is now live and open to all comers. They changed the look and feel of a lot of pages. They fixed some long-standing problems. For example, it looks like the text glitch in Phoenix is better now, but I'm not sure because they didn't say so in the Forum discussions on the topic.

The big thing is that A.viary now charges money. Sort of. I am hearing different things in different places, and trying to figure things out from their FAQ on the site. What I'm hearing doesn't quit add up, so I'm not entirely sure I've got this right. I did a little testing, with the help of my friends, and here is what I know right now.

1. You can create an account, log in, and make stuff without being asked for any money. That is the good news.

2. That account you make is a trial account.

3. If you like it, you are supposed to pay. They have two rates.
a) $7.99 per month for one A.viary application
b) $14.99 per month for all A.viary applications

4. There is NO annual account option; there is no persistent free account level.

Personally, I loathe trial accounts with a passion. When I encounter something I need to test out that has the trial account option, I make an account, grab a few screenshots, write a blog post or something to tell folks about it, and then I abandon the site and never return. Trial accounts give me hives. The problem with most trial accounts is that they have a time limit. I am always really busy, and doing a decent test within a specific time span is just not gonna happen in my life.

A.viary is doing something a little different with their trial account. They say, "Aviary is Trustware. We allow you full access to the tools, but trust you to pay for them." Well, I kind of like that, but then don't call it a trial account. That is going to be a bit confusing since the phrase is not being used in a standard way. That actually might account for some of the different understandings and assumptions I've been hearing about.

What I would personally like to see is something like this.

1. A basic free account with restrictions of some sort, probably allowed to make/upload only X number of images per month, like Flickr. Maybe two flavors: all apps, no more than 3 images per month, or one application per month with slightly more numbers.

2. A pro account that has unlimited access and no restrictions.

3. A hobbyist account that has all apps and access between free and pro.

4. An inexpensive ANNUAL discounted educational account that gives access to all applications at a level around the hobbyist, preferably priced around the same level as the Flickr pro account.

For myself, I'm teaching Aviary to different groups. I tend to use it rarely to sporadically in between classes. When I'm preparing for a class, I use it heavily and test all new features I can find. My pattern of use doesn't fit any of the account types provided currently. If I was using this heavily for personal use (like I use Flickr), then I would be willing to pay, but would probably not be willing to pay as much as they are asking. I certainly won't continue teaching this if the pricing stays at this level. I am looking for free or inexpensive tools that can be used by students, educators, and underfunded professionals such as those in academia, K-12 education, health advocacy and support, public health outreach, independent small consulting firms, etcetera. Yes, some doctors and independent consultants make a lot of money. Trust me, they are not likely to be editing their own images, and if they do, they'll be buying Creative Studios (CS). If you want to dominate that in-between niche market, get in with education, get the kids so used to using your product that in five or ten years they won't care about CS. You start with hobbyists, but if you want brand loyalty, get in with education, and make it easy for them to do so. Most educators don't have budgets for toys like this. They will end up paying out of pocket. They are very ethical and responsible, and are unlikely to explore or promote a tool that would cost students money. You have to make all of this really easy and accessible for them.

Aviary, you have a sweet product line. Personally, I think education could be a sweet spot for you. Think about it. Maybe give it a try. :) Meanwhile, here are my slides from last week's class. I have another class scheduled for the first week of November. I'm waiting to see what Aviary does next before I decide whether or not to teach that class.

Aviary FAQ:

Posted by pfa at 01:28 PM | Comments (2)

August 22, 2008 - A Sweet Suite of Online Graphic Tools

Do you wish you had some nice high end graphics editing package on your work computer? But it really isn't a big enough part of your job to justify that expense, is it? So here is a very nice option for the occasional graphics editing job --

This content was provided as part of the Bootcamp series as a large overview, however the content is also available in smaller files focused on the specific tools. Links for that are at the end of this post.

* Aviary - Overview:

* Aviary - Phoenix, the Image Editor:

* Aviary - Peacock, the Pattern Generator:

* Aviary - Toucan, the Palette Tool:

Posted by pfa at 04:21 PM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2008

Twitter, Plurk, Microblogging for Work, Wellness, Healthcare etc.

Tuesday I gave a presentation on Twitter to a select but extremely engaged audience at the School of Dentistry. We had a great discussion (more on that below).

Here is a link to the podcast and audio:

Here are the slides.

OK, now for a live example. While working on the presentation, I wondered about other microblogging tools. I use quite a few, but mostly depend on Twitter and Plurk. I thought about listing what's available in the presentation, but wanted to find a good list of all of them out there. Turns out there is not a good list. I have Plurk set up to post to Twitter automatically, so when I send one post, it appears in both places, and I can engage in the conversation in both places. Conversation, you say, what does she mean by that? Well, take a look at this.

I post a question, and get a lot of response. In Twitter these will be scattered all over, but in Plurk they are collected all nice and neat so you can really see the conversation happening.

Web 2.0: Plurk Conversation

The conversation kept growing from there, and folks listed a lot of other interesting tools. Some of it was joking around, but a lot of it was useful information I will be exploring. You can pull out a conversation on its own page to track and reference. Here is the same conversation on its own page, but notice the number of replies now.

Web 2.0: Plurking about Microblogging Tools

You can find this conversation here if you want to explore the clickable links.

Now, since I am talking about conversations, here is another example of social media connecting with health and health care and conversation. A friend of mine on Twitter, Andre Blackman, was a guest last night on a web show about using social media to promote the public good. He sent me a tweet to let me know about it. The web show was set up to allow audience participation. This is a small snippet. I tried to make sure I grabbed a pic that did not say anything revealing about anyone, but also showed the usefulness of the dialog. Also, notice at the end everyone is saying, "Let's carry on the conversation in Twitter."

Web 2.0: Jonny's Partay: Marketing 4 Good

Social media. All about talking with other people. The conversation in the presentation was about using Twitter with folks who are low literacy or low income. One of the observations was that texting may be more accessible to people that formal literacy. Well, hey, maybe we need to redefine literacy? Something to think about.

Posted by pfa at 02:43 PM | Comments (0)

July 09, 2008

Online Outliners, Concept Mapping, Mindmapping, Graphic Organizers, etc

Here are the slides from today's surprisingly popular presentation.

Posted by pfa at 09:51 AM | Comments (0)

July 08, 2008

ETechLib at the IADR

I just returned from the International Association of Dental Research meeting in Toronto. Fascinating, for me at least. It was also very interesting how many connections and how much relevance there was to both emerging technologies and general health. I hope to talk more about specifics, but will start with just a quick overview of some of the items that most captured my attention.

It turns out that tests of health literacy partially predict how well people communicate with their doctor, but not really with their dentist. Oral health literacy content reviews show that most materials about oral health problems are written way over the head of most Americans (duh). There was an interesting discussion about whether we are approaching the concept of health literacy the right way. For example:

- Should we instead teach hair dressers and barbers (for example) about oral health as way to more effectively disseminate information into the community?
- Should we consider assessing functional literacy rather than reading literacy?
- Should we use non-print media rather than print? Is a person literate if they struggle with reading but can identify appropriate images and videos, then assemble them into a coherent multimedia presentation?
- Should we consider disseminating information via social networks and dating sites for persons over 50?

There is a lot of buzz about the relationships between systemic diseases (heart disease, diabetes, etcetera) and oral health. A lot of buzz about the role of tetracycline-family meds both in preventing gum disease, but also in preventing/reducing/slowing other health problems related to the underlying issue of inflammation -- including some heart disease, cancer growth, cancer metastasis, skin disease, asthma, some preterm births, and much more. Inflammation seems to be the common element between oral health and the systemic diseases. This didn't connect so much with ETech, but it sure did with general and systemic health!

A researcher I worked with reported that in schools supporting low income families, roughly 60% of students reported having mouth or tooth pain severe enough to sometimes stay home from school and teachers reported that 0 kids had dental problems or pain. Tracking this info at the level of the local school, reporting back to the teachers what their kids had said then resulted in drastic improvements in teacher willingness to incorporate oral health lessons in their teaching curriculum. Other motivator was to provide them with collections of lesson plans and teaching resources from other teachers showing how to include oral health awareness in regular lessons. The website is here:

The account in which I gathered the collection of links for review is here:

The most exciting presentation I saw was about a partnership between architecture students and dental students to create oral health literacy materials for underserved populations. Architecture students supplied design expertise, design software training, and advice. Dental students supplied expertise on content, researched the evidence, and created the end products. VERY impressive work, and an exciting and surprising partnership. Lots of potential for opening doors to other kinds of partnerships, as well as adapting the educational materials to other media. They were excellent!

I was part of a team presenting about Second Life and its potential for research and training. The folks at the symposium on oral health literacy encouraged us to remember to include researchers in our travels throughout the SL health landscape, so that there is data to support or justify grant applications and developing quality resource materials, so that we know who uses health information in Second Life and how the populations there differ from those reached through other media and venues. I will talk more about our SL presentation over the coming days.

Posted by pfa at 03:55 PM | Comments (0)

June 29, 2008

Slidecasts: Second Life How To Do for Teachers and Others

A slidecast is like a podcast except that both slides and audio are embedded in a web page. We are trying to offer some of our podcasts in both forms -- the version for the iPod or MP4 device and another version for the website. I hope to soon do a podcast / slidescast on how to make slidecasts. Meanwhile, check out these three -- Why Second Life, Getting Started in SL, & SL Teacher's Toolkit -- and see how you like this as a way to deliver content easily to a wide audience via the web.

Why Work & Teach in Second Life



Getting Started in Second Life



Second Life Teacher's Toolkit



Posted by pfa at 09:24 AM | Comments (0)

June 05, 2008

Twitter for Health

This is one of several slide presentations that were part of the "Evidence Base: Web 2.0 for Professional and Clinical Productivity" invited speaker session at the Medical Library Association Annual Meeting in May, with David Rothman and Patricia Anderson. This small set of slides has already attracted a surprising amount of attention.

First it was blogged by Andre Blackman, a public health professional, at his new blog "Pulse & Signal". There has been an interesting conversation going on in the comments section there.

Pulse & Signal: Healthy Possibilities with Twitter:

Since then Slideshare put the presentation in the Spotlight on Health section on their homepage for several days earlier this week. Perhaps you'd like to take a look? We hope to offer an open class later this summer on the possibilities of Twitter for healthcare and research.

Posted by pfa at 10:08 AM | Comments (0)

May 25, 2008

My Tech Podcasts Now Available in Open Michigan

I just discovered that selections from the podcast series I've been doing for the School of Dentistry have been released as collection in the Open.Michigan initiative. Here is more information.

Open.Michigan iTunesU Bootcamp Collection

Posted by pfa at 08:02 AM | Comments (0)

May 12, 2008

Visual & Clustering Search Engines, and Things to Do With Them

After I did last week's session on "Online Visualization and Organization Tools" I realized that I had left out a significant group of tools that could contribute to both areas. I left them out at the time because they weren't intended for this kind of use, but when I thought about how I use these myself, I realized it was a disservice to my audience not to have included them. Consider this slideshow an addition to the earlier one.

Posted by pfa at 07:48 PM | Comments (0)

May 09, 2008

Online Presentation Tools

These are the slides from today's session for Enrich Scholarship. It reviews the basic features of the three big online tools (Slideshare, Zoho, Google) for creating / presenting / sharing presentations online. It then adds in a few other similar tools that are interesting for special features.

Posted by pfa at 07:56 PM | Comments (0)

May 06, 2008

Why Second Life?

Some of my recent blog posts have discussed some of the reasons I personally find Second Life of particular value in my work. Today I was privileged to present on this topic to a group of university faculty. The presentation focused on the context of virtual worlds more broadly, and second life in particular. To my surprise, the presentation was videotaped. If I find out where and when it becomes available, I'll let you know. In the meantime, here are the slides.

Posted by pfa at 09:22 PM | Comments (0)

Online Visualization and Organization Tools

Enriching Scholarship is an annual week-long series of continuing education classes for university faculty on topics of teachnology (technology to support teaching). Pretty amazing and awesome concept, and I am proud to be part of it.

When we were planning sessions for this year's Enriching Scholarship, I thought, "Hmmm, I don't want to just do the same things I always teach. I want to do something new. Why don't I do a session on some of the coolest of the new toys I've found recently." That became a session I called "Online Visualization and Organization Tools."

Because I was already teaching 7 other sessions, and did not teach one I usually teach, we didn't want to go overboard with this. So we offered one session for 20 people. 45 registered. Oops. We switched to a new and bigger room, and scheduled a second session for a week later.

Last night I posted the slides. WIll you forgive me if I post a snapshot of the stats now? (Slides follow right below.) Online Visualization & Organization Tools, 21 hours later

It is now 21 hours after I first posted the slides. Slideshare picked up the slides and highlighted them on their homepage. So in 21 hours there have been over 700 views. I am flabbergasted!

Someone commented that I should add audio, so I will probably turn this into a series of podcasts. You don't have to wait until that happens, though. You can look at the slides yourself right now. :)

Posted by pfa at 01:09 PM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2008

RSS Feed Selection for Librarians

This is a repost from the HSL Staff blog.

If you want more resources beyond those listed in the slides, feel free to explore these two link collections.

Posted by pfa at 03:30 PM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2008

Emerging Technologies for Nursing & Nursing Education

Hiya, all. Had fun this week putting together a presentation for the School of Nursing. Had a great conversations, learning more about some interesting projects they have coming up with simulations, and talked about ideas to use some of the tools mentioned in this talk. Looks like I'll go back, and have more fun! Meanwhile, here are the slides, and if you'd like me to do something similar for your health sciences department or school here at UM, give me a holler!

Posted by pfa at 08:40 PM | Comments (0)

February 12, 2008

Recent Presentation on Second Life, Wikis, and Health

Last Saturday I gave my first professional presentation in Second Life, which was also my first professional presentation in my new position as Emerging Technologies Librarian. It was a stressful and rewarding experience in what turned out to be an utterly amazing event! More information will be forthcoming about that. For now, here is my presentation.

Slide presentation with script available at the SLHealthy wiki:

Posted by pfa at 09:58 AM | Comments (0)