About JD Thomas

JD Thomas has a passion for exploring new ways to communicate, collaborate, and share information in ways that enhance the value and usefulness of the information. He takes pleasure in educating people on how to make the most of the technology that surrounds them in ways that pay real dividends for both individuals and organizations.
Author Archive | JD Thomas

Robert F. Asleson Memorial 2012 ALA Conference Grant Winner is Announced

San Jose State University Student to Attend Winter Meeting

Cape Coral, FL, January 12, 2012 — The board of directors of the Robert F. Asleson Memorial ALA Conference Grant has announced this year’s award recipient.  Diane Malmstrom, a student in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University, will receive a $1,500.00 grant to help defray the cost of attending ALA’s 2012 Winter Meeting in Dallas, Texas in January.

The Robert F. Asleson Memorial ALA Conference Grant was established by friends and colleagues within the information industry to honor the memory of Bob Asleson, late founder and president of The Redalen Group, for his many contributions to the library community. An advisor and guide to countless members of the profession, Bob’s 50-year career spanned both traditional and innovative technologies, from reference materials to CD-ROMs to online databases.  He held presidential positions at several leading industry companies and served on numerous organization boards.  The grant’s awards subsidize attendance at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting and the Annual Conference for deserving Master of Library Science degree candidates.  Winners are selected based on economic need and the quality of an essay based on criteria set by the board.

Diane Malmstrom

Diane Malmstrom

Scheduled to graduate in December, 2012, Diane Malmstrom is a single mother living in San Jose, California.  With two college-age children, Diane is pursuing an MLIS degree at San Jose State University while working full time.  In 2010 she received the New Leader Award from the California Library Association Technical Services Interest Group.  Her winning essay has been posted on the grant website.

In accepting the award, Diane said: “I’m very honored to be chosen as the recipient of the Robert F. Asleson Memorial ALA Conference Grant. This grant will allow me to attend my first ALA conference, and begin a new chapter in my professional development. I look most forward to being inspired by the keynote speakers, learning from the expertise of the presenters and conference attendees, and strengthening bonds with library vendors. It’s my hope that this will be the start of many more ALA events to come. Thank you so much for this opportunity.”

In awarding the grant Iris Hanney, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said, “I know that Bob Asleson would be very interested in Diane’s well thought out essay examining ways in which the availability of digitized primary sources have impacted reference services.  I am extremely pleased to present this award to Diane in Bob’s memory.  We know she will have an outstanding career!”

The board of directors continues to seek both corporate and individual donations in support of the Robert F. Asleson Memorial ALA Conference Grant. It believes that exposure to the programs, seminars, contacts and other conference benefits will foster an on-going love of and dedication to the cause of librarianship in students who otherwise would be unable to attend, reflecting the values exhibited by Bob Asleson throughout his life and long professional career.

Complete details of the grant, including information on donation participation, are available on the website atwww.aslesongrant.org.  Several levels of support are available, and all donations are fully tax-deductible. Additional information may be obtained by contacting:

Iris L. Hanney, Chairman of the Board
Robert F. Asleson Memorial ALA Conference Grant
1930 SW 48th Lane
Cape Coral, FL 33914
239-549-2384
239 549-3168 Fax
info@aslesongrant.org

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Google Search Gets Personal

We’re transforming Google into a search engine that understands not only content, but also people and relationships. We began this transformation with Social Search, and today we’re taking another big step in this direction by introducing three new features:

  1. Personal Results, which enable you to find information just for you, such as Google+ photos and posts—both your own and those shared specifically with you, that only you will be able to see on your results page;
  2. Profiles in Search, both in autocomplete and results, which enable you to immediately find people you’re close to or might be interested in following; and,
  3. People and Pages, which help you find people profiles and Google+ pages related to a specific topic or area of interest, and enable you to follow them with just a few clicks. Because behind most every query is a community.

Together, these features combine to create Search plus Your World. Search is simply better with your world in it, and we’re just getting started.

via Official Google Blog: Search, plus Your World.

Read the full article for more information about the changes Google has in the works or watch the summary below:

If you aren’t seeing personal results, don’t worry, they’re rolling the feature out over the next few days.  If you want to learn even more, check out Inside Google Search for more information on Plus’s role in these changes.

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DCL Learning Series Webinar: Crossing the Chasm with DITA

DCL Learning SeriesData Conversion Laboratory and and Dr. JoAnn Hackos, president of Comtech Services Inc. are producing a three part webinar on what DITA is and what it can do for your organization.  The first of this three part event will be Thursday, January 19, 2012 from 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST so sign up now.

In this three-part webinar series, Dr. JoAnn Hackos, president of Comtech Services, Inc., will trace the progress of many organizations from the early phases of Exploration, Preparation, and Education through genuine progress through Pilot projects, purchasing of a Component Content Management System to keep everything in line, through the Conversion of legacy content to a new way of structuring and managing information.

via DCLnews Blog.

Sign up links for all threes sessions are on the DCLnews Blog.

The session titles are:

  • Session 1: “Get Ready… Get Set”
  • Session 2: “Now Go”
  • Session 3: “Next, Grow”

About DCL

Since its founding in 1981, Data Conversion Laboratory (DCL) remained faithful to its guarantee to construct unparalleled electronic document conversion services based on the rich legacy of superior customization and exceptional quality.

About Dr. JoAnn Hackos

Dr. JoAnn Hackos is President of Comtech Services, a content-management and information-design firm based in Denver, Colorado, which she founded in 1978. She is Director of the Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM), a membership organization focused on content-management and information-development best practices.

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Stephen Abrams’ 12 Things to Watch in 2012

Stephen Abram

Stephen Abram

Stephen Abram, MLS is Vice President, strategic partnerships and markets for Gale Cengage Learning. He has been VP Innovation for SirsiDynix and Chief Strategist for the SirsiDynix Institute.

Stephen is an SLA Fellow and the past president of the Ontario Library Association, SLA and the Canadian Library Association. In June 2003 he was awarded SLA’s John Cotton Dana Award. He received the AIIP Roger Summit Award in 2009 and Outstanding Teacher Award from the U of Toronto iSchool oin 2010. He is the author of Out Front with Stephen Abram and Stephen’s Lighthouse blog.

He put together this  presentation of 12 Things to Watch in 2012 for the Education Institute in December of 2011.

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2011 in Review and Trends to Watch in 2012

Year in ReviewPaula J. Hane, Information Today’s NewsBreaks Editor, recently published a year in review article focused on the upheavals in the publishing and library worlds:

Severe weather, natural disasters, the killing of Osama bin Laden, political uprisings, budget crises, celebrity scandals, hot high-tech toys, the death of Steve Jobs, and the U.S. troops leaving Iraq—what will you remember from 2011? Techies will no doubt focus on the iPad 2, iPhone 4S, the Kindle Fire, and the rest of the new Kindle family, and all the new apps for smartphones. Folks in the information industry will likely remember 2011 as one of adapting new technologies and testing viable business models for the new emerging information landscape. Librarians will likely remember it as a year of intense pressure to squeeze more e-resources and services from their (shrinking) budgets.

She continues with a recounting of the topics that were the in the forefront for 2011 including Mobile and tablet computing, cloud computing, Etextbooks, Geolocation, Discovery layers (Summon, EBSCO EDS, OCLC WorldCat Local, Ex Libris Primo), and Semantic search.

In 2012, Paula expects focus to be on even more privacy issues, more growth of tablet usage with a showdown between iPad 3 and Kindle Fire 2, the wider adoption of Touch interfaces, more widespread adoption of cloud computing technologies, and further adoption of EPUB 3.

She also shared some reviews and projections from Bing, Google, PaidContent, ReadWriteWeb, IDC, and Stephen Abram.

Read the full article at Review of 2011 and
Trends Watch 2012
by Paula J. Hane
(Posted On January 5, 2012)

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Early Bird Discounts End on January 13 for the 2012 NFAIS Annual Conference

NFAISEarly bird registrations will end on Friday, January 13, 2012 for the NFAIS Annual Conference, Born of Disruption: An Emerging New Normal for the Information Landscape. Until then savings of up to $200 off the full registration fee are available and NFAIS members registering three or more staff at the same time receive even greater savings.  For details visit the registration page.

New this year:

  • 50% discounts for staff of member organizations that are in the early stages of their career (5 years or less). Call or e-mail for details  at 215-893-1561 or nfais@nfais.org
  • 30% discount on daily rates for all government employees
  • 20% discount on full/daily rates for first time non-member attendees
  • Use of audience-response devices throughout the conference to capture audience opinions – all registrants will be sent a copy of the results

This three-day meeting scheduled from February 26 – 28, 2012 at the historic Hyatt at the Bellevue in Philadelphia, PA will take a look at how technologies once considered disruptive have converged, been embraced, and are driving publishers and librarians around the globe to reinvent their methods of information creation, packaging, and delivery. The preliminary program is available online.

Highlights Include:

  • A thought-provoking keynote by John Wilbanks on the emerging information landscape – what is shaping it and the opportunities it offers
  • Survey results from Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Internet and American Life Project, demonstrating the extent to which once disruptive technologies (mobile computing, social media, the Cloud, etc.) have become mainstream
  • A panel of information industry leaders providing their perspective on the new normal and the changes that they have made in products, technologies, staff skills, and business policies in order to remain relevant
  • Examples of how content providers are working with new content (data sets, multimedia, Big Data) and new technologies ( HTML5, cloud computing, APIs, mobile devices) to transform their products and services
  • A look at initiatives fueled by current user information behavior and expectations such as Microsoft’s Academic Search, new methods for measuring the value of web-based scholarship, and crowd-sourced scholarly content
  • Key issues relevant to all who operate in a global information economy – including competition for budget dollars from emerging industries within developing countries
  • A look at what is down the road, including a profile of the researcher of the future from preliminary results of a joint survey by JISC and the British Library and a look at the Gartner Hype Cycle for emerging technologies that will impact the information community
  • An interactive closing keynote by Joe Esposito looking at how the “new normal” may evolve over the next five years

To register or obtain more information e-mail Jill O’Neill, NFAIS Director of Communication and Planning or call her at 215-893-1561. You can also visit the NFAIS Web site.

The National Federation of Advanced Information Services (NFAIS),
1518 Walnut Street, Suite 1004, Philadelphia, PA 19102-3403.
NFAIS: Serving the Global Information Community

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When it Comes to your Organization’s Social Media Efforts: Plan Ahead

Social media is here to stay.  Every day more and more organizations make use of services like Twitter and Facebook to reach out to their existing and potential customers.

Connecting with customers via social networks provides a unique way to interact with people and keep them informed about news and information in real time, but, as recent events have shown, it is important to have a plan in place detailing roles and expectations within your organization.

A current California lawsuit provides a cautionary tale for organizations with employees participating on social networks on their behalf.

Mobile phone retailer and tech news hub PhoneDog.com had a staff member who tweeted as @PhonedogNoah while working there.  When Noah Kravitz and PhoneDog parted ways, Noah changed his Twitter handle to @noahkravitz and kept the seventeen thousand plus followers he had attracted while tweeting as @PhonedogNoah.

According to The New York Times, Kravitz claimed that PhoneDog told him he could keep his Twitter account in exchange for posting occasionally. It is now eight months later, and PhoneDog, referring to his Twitter followers as a customer list, seeks damages of $2.50 per month per Twitter follower for a total of $340,000 from Kravitz.

Since this story has hit the news, PhoneDog has published their side of the situation in which they present a their view that this has all been a far more complex situation stretching back to promises made and not kept by Kravitz when he left the organization.

And, of course, PhoneDog promoted this message via Twitter.


Curious about the Twitter lawsuit? Here’s the full story http://t.co/iUqjPovu#meritless
Jan 03 via TweetDeckFavoriteRetweetReply

Embedly Powered

PhoneDog’s Side

Noah joined the PhoneDog team in April 2006.  During that period, PhoneDog.com was in the very early stages of becoming the personality-driven mobile tech review site it is today.  … Over the next four years, we invested in Noah and the site by sending him to trade shows and conferences from San Francisco, Vegas, New York, Barcelona and many places in between. …  During this time, we also expanded our efforts into many forms of social media, starting with our YouTube channel, then to Twitter and Facebook respectively; each with the very specific intent to grow PhoneDog’s social media following and its loyal audience.  From all of our efforts, the site’s popularity continued to grow and Noah essentially became a micro-celebrity of sorts.  What started out as a small part-time freelance opportunity grew into a very well paid career for Noah.

So when Noah notified us in October 2010 that he wanted to leave PhoneDog and the mobile tech industry to pursue something more “meaningful,” we were obviously disappointed.  However, we completely respected his decision and wished him our most sincere best of luck.

Shortly after Noah left the company, we found that Noah’s intentions had changed.  Whatever his motives, he began publishing content for other tech publishers while still being paid by PhoneDog, thereby going against the terms we agreed to prior to his departure.  In addition, he was promoting the competitors’ content to the Twitter account we clearly had and have rights to.

Regardless of who said what, and when, this is a matter that will probably be settled in a courtroom unless both sides come to some agreement.

The best thing to come out of this, for anyone, will be if organizations take a moment to think about their social media strategies and ensure that both the organization and its staff members are clear about their expectations in regards to social network contacts in the event of a parting of the ways.

I find it sad that this matter has come to be a matter to be passionately debated by people who were not part of the original discussions and agreements; however, every new innovation in customer communication needs a cautionary tale.

Unlimited Priorities can help you plan and implement an effective social media strategy. Once implemented, we can help you monitor, improve it and ensure that it stays current.

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Goodbye to IE6! (In the United States anyway.)

Time to pop open the champagne because, based on the latest data from Net Applications, IE6 usage in the US has now officially dropped below 1%!

Goodbye Internet Explorer 6

Goodbye Internet Explorer 6

IE6 has been the punch line of browser jokes for a while, and we’ve been as eager as anyone to see it go away. In fact, we launched the IE6 Countdown site last March to help accelerate the process. Less than a year later, I’m thrilled to say that the United States has joined the ranks of Austria, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway in dropping below 1% usage of IE6.

via The US Says Goodbye to IE6.

What does this mean for your organization?

This means more developers and IT professionals can officially consider support for IE6 a “low-priority” stop spending time and resources supporting such an outdated browser.

This also means that if your website has been around for a few years it may be limited in its design and functionality in order to ensure that it looked and worked okay with the old Internet Explorer 6 web browser.

This may be a good time to get an unbiased report on your current website along with recommendations on how your online presence can help drive your organization’s goals forward.  Unlimited Priorities provides the website analysis, development,  and social media coaching you need to help your enterprise stand out in the crowded online world.

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Tips on Designing a Customer Feedback Survey

Customer SurveyA new year is approaching which means many businesses and organizations will be reaching out to their customers and stakeholders to learn what they are doing well and where they need to invest time and resources in improvements.

When it comes to the design of a ‘voice of the customer survey’, there’s been a long-standing debate about the right placement of key customer satisfaction questions, such as “Overall Satisfaction with the Company” and “Willingness to Recommend.” Some place them at the beginning of their customer feedback surveys, while others lean toward placing them at the end.

There’s no right or wrong answer to the issue of the placement of overall satisfaction questions; however, the location of these questions can and likely will alter your survey results, so it’s important to carefully consider which placement makes the most sense for your business needs.

Question placement really does impact your overall results, and it’s extremely important to make a well-thought-out decision that you can stick with.

Read Heather Mitchell’s full article — Designing a Customer Feedback Survey — at CRM Magazine’s website.

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Smarter Phones Need Smarter Websites

SmartphoneMore and more Internet users are using smartphones to browse the web. In July of 2011 The Pew Research Center issued a report titled “Smartphone Adoption and Usage” (Download Full Report as PDF). It found that over 85% of smartphone owners access the internet or email on their smartphone. Over 65% do so on a typical day.

One quarter of smartphone owners say that they mostly go online using their phone, rather than with a computer and roughly one third of these “cell mostly” users do not have a high-speed home broadband connection.

Smartphone Statistics

In recognition of this change in browsing habits Google has enhanced its mobile webcrawler to act like a smartphone to better index websites that are crafted to work well with these newer devices.

With the number of smartphone users rapidly rising, we’re seeing more and more websites providing content specifically designed to be browsed on smartphones. Today we are happy to announce that Googlebot-Mobile now crawls with a smartphone user-agent in addition to its previous feature phone user-agents. This is to increase our coverage of smartphone content and to provide a better search experience for smartphone users.

One new feature we’re also launching that uses these signals is Skip Redirect for Smartphone-Optimized Pages. When we discover a URL in our search results that redirects smartphone users to another URL serving smartphone-optimized content, we change the link target shown in the search results to point directly to the final destination URL. This removes the extra latency the redirect introduces leading to a saving of 0.5-1 seconds on average when visiting landing page for such search results.

Is your website friendly to mobile visitors? With smartphone use growing, the online face of your business needs to be ready. Unlimited Priorities can help you by providing a fresh look at your online presence and solid advice for practical changes.

Photo by Ohmega1982

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