Monday, June 30, 2008

Social Software Showcase, LITA BIGWIG

The presentations were online at the BIGWIG site Then at the meeting, each presenter gave a quick intro to their topic, after which we (all 95ish of us) gathered round tables or floor space to ask questions of the presenters and discuss the topics with one another. We were encouraged to move around and learn as the spirit moved us. I found it an excellent format – was much more willing to ask basic questions around a table than in a room of 95 people in forward facing chairs.

I concentrated on APIs and Zotero. I finally got it on my own missing link – where the code sits. Another participant explained the two choices, 1 – the code is on the server and queries the source of the data when called upon, 2 – it uses JavaScript in the browser and the browser itself runs the API. Rest of the discussion was on uses and examples. Zotero is intended to keep your whole research process together. You can gather notes, screenshots, annotated articles, citations in one place. It’s free and you download a client to your computer. They’re working on a web version that will sync with your client, and the next step after that is collaborative space. This has been very popular in the fields of history and political science. Lorena O’English also talked about Connotea and CiteULike – there’s a comparison in her recorded presentation.

I believe this is a Marriott issue, but wireless was not extended to participants in the rooms in either session I attended there – even the presenters had to negotiate for connections. The Hilton got it set up for Top Tech Trends. I hope next year that the organizers (I know, along with all the complexity they already deal with) read the hotels with meeting the riot act about wireless for conference attendees, not just the ones staying at that hotel. It’s no longer a perk – it’s how we work.

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