Thing 23

For this last Thing, we would like you to reflect on the programme in general and on what you want to do next. What did you enjoy?

I hink the programme gave a good overview of what is available to create an online presence, particularly for those who have not been familiar with the topic already.

What do you think you will use in future?

I will continue using LikedIn as professional presence, Doodle for meeting planning and the cloud for data storage – until something better comes along. Depending on what I will be doing in the future I will most likely be using some sort of online meeting software.

Things 21 and 22

This week we’d like to hear about your experiences with this week’s Things, or your thoughts on using them. Perhaps you don’t see yourself using them yet, but you will! Or won’t :o(

I am and will continue using LinkedIn as my professional presence.

Not particularly interested in the academic sites presented as I am not planning to continue my career in a science environment.

Thing 20

Dropbox and GoogleDrive have the problem that their data centres are based in the US which due to the American “Freedom Act” is not acceptable for quite a few European institutions and companies. There are however alternatives (paid for) that let you choose specific locations for the data storage. My company recently moved from SharePoint to OneDrive for Business which is a very welcome change.

Overall all tools introduced this week serve their specific purpose and do so very well. There are however limitations in their abilities and they are not all-round substitutes for real meetings, scheduling and data backup.

Thing 19

Doodle is very useful for setting up meetings.

In a research environment it could also help to gather information about individual people’s skills and equipment when planning a project.

Thing 18

Have a look at the university’s information on using Adobe Connect and imagine a situation where you could use it. Could it be a meeting between multiple supervisors? A workshop or seminar to your peers? A collaborative brainstorming session between research partners at different universities?

I have used Cisco WebEx on multiple occasions which offers very similar capabilities to Adobe Connect.

What might the limitations be?

Online meetings require a stable internet connection (particularly when using encryption), which is often not guaranteed depending on where individual people are based. It also limits the ability to sketch out ideas as not everybody is comfortable using a mouse for that purpose. Online meetings also often suffer from people not using high quality equipment (particularly microphone) or not setting the equipment up appropriately which results in hard to understand conversations, ambient noise and echoes.

It serves it purposes when necessary but overall is not a complete substitute for face to face meetings.

Things 15, 16, 17

OpenAccess has become an interesting alternative for publishing, particularly outside of the academic world where “impact” is of lesser concern than the copyright of certain material. A lot of companies use it as an alternative to patenting. Patenting is a long and costly procedure and not universally applicable. If a company develops something that they recon is not worth patenting at that point, but also want to prevent anybody else from filing a patent on this or a similar piece of technology they often choose to publish instead. By making something publicaly available it cannot be patented anymore. And by publishing under a CC non-commercial license it prevents other companies from using your designs at the same time.

I have worked on or contributed to pieces published under CC licenses on a couple of occasions. Particularly CC BY-NC was of interest in that context. For source code that I want to share I usually use the MIT license as it is even less complex than the CC licenses and does it job well.

Here is a random picture shared under CC NC:

Thing 12 and 13

This week’s Things may require a lot of work, particularly if you haven’t used these tools before and want to give them a proper try. If you have used them, let us know what you thought and how they enhanced your research, teaching or other work. Do you think they can help you find new audiences for your work? If you haven’t, explore them and let us know how you think you could use them. Please do upload samples of your videos, screen captures or podcasts – real examples are always welcome!

I have used tools similar to prezi before as the concept of ‘dynamic’ presentations sounds intriguing in the beginning. After giving this presentation style a try for a while I am now back to ‘static’ PowerPoint slides, mostly without animation.

This is because I reached the conclusion that having things swooshing about in a presentation is somewhat entertaining but ultimately does not add to the key point of a presentation, which is to bring information across. Maybe it’s just be being stereotypically German, but I don’t find excessive animation to be particularly efficient.

If I want to experiment with multiple ways of displaying information with a live audience I quite often do it “in vitro” just by changing a command or two in the scripts I use to process the data.

I haven’t published any podcasts far, but will give it a go if the opportunity or necessity arises. I think programs like prezi might be more suitable for this kind of presentation, simply because you are less time-bound and as you are not physically ‘presenting’ to the audience you cannot rely on rethoric and gestures to engage your audience.