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23 Things – The End

Before Easter we published the last of our 23 things. You can still finish off looking at and blogging about them to qualify for prizes (for those who want to do it at a later date you can work through it over the summer and let us know when you have completed it).

The closing date will be Monday 22nd April and to qualify you need to complete this form There are three options for completion:

  • All 23 things
  • Partial Completion
  • Didn’t blog but took part in the sessions

We will publish the details of celebration in the next few weeks.

We have all enjoyed running this course and hope everybody has enjoyed it.

The 23 things Team

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Thing 21: Wiki on a stick

Many wikis are big. Wikipedia is enormous. The library has two Wikis: the library wiki, which runs on Mediawiki, the same software as Wikipedia, and the E-resource Wiki, which runs on Semantic Mediawiki, which allows you to set up forms to simplify entry and to query the data like a database. All of these need a server to run on.

You can also get tiny wikis: wikis meant for personal use or sharing with a small group, and which don’t need a server. They are sometimes called ‘wiki on a stick’, because you can carry one on a USB stick. Some people use them for simple note taking, some for presentations, some for collaborative work.

The best known one is TiddlyWiki.  It is easy to use, but takes a little setting up – recent browsers (especially Firefox) have problems allowing it to save until you configure them.  If you set one up on your Y drive you will be able to use it from your work computer too, but if using Internet Explorer you will need to make some changes to the security settings.

First, go into ‘Tools’ in the Explorer menu, select ‘Internet Options’,  then ‘Security’, then ‘Local Intranet’, and pull the slider bar down to ‘low’. Click ‘Apply’, then restart Explorer.

Next go to the TiddlyWiki site and download TiddlyWiki, using ‘Save As’ to put it on the Y drive. When its there, right click on the  zip file and select ‘Extract All’. Finally right click on the file called empty.html, select ‘Properties’, and set ‘Unblock’ followed by ‘Apply’.

That’s it. The wiki is the html file called empty.html. You can rename it if you like, copy it around, email it, or save it on other drives. To run it double click on it and your browser will open to show it.

TiddlyWiki works on small chunks called ‘tiddlers’, which can be anything from a sentence to a page long. Writing in a tiddler is very similar to writing in Mediawiki: mostly plain text, with links in double square brackets. TiddlyWiki comes with some built-in tiddlers (called ‘shadow tiddlers’ ) which control the look of the page: when you first start you are invited to edit these, and so change what you see when TiddlyWiki starts.

Suggestion: change the title, change or remove the subtitle, add a new tiddler called ‘Home’, and hide the StartingPage so you just see your new Home tiddler when you open the wiki.

If you liked TiddlyWiki, there are a lot of variations of it for different purposes, such as managing TODO lists or organizing notes for novels. http://giffmex.tiddlyspot.com/ has a list.

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Cool Extra Thing: Google Fun

There are lots of fun things you can do that use Google. Here are three of them (warning some may be addictive)

A Google a Day 
On this site they pose a question every day and you have to use Google to find the answer. The questions are not always easy.
http://agoogleaday.com/

Let Me Google That For You
Do you get fed up with people asking you a question they could just as easily google for themselves?
Let Me Google That For You shows them how they could have done it.
You enter the question and then send them the link.
http://lmgtfy.com/
Here’s an example of the results: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=what+is+23+things+rhul

Google Classic

Google Gravity

Google Pacman

All the Google Doodles

Over the years, Google has released several of its “doodles”—a temporary re-design of the Google logo made as a tribute to a historical event or the birthday of someone who has changed the world for the better. Through the link below, you’ll find all of the Google Doodles, not only the American versions.

Fun Searches

Search Google for the Answer to Life the Universe and Everything

Type “french military victories” into the search field and click “I’m feeling lucky

Type “Do a Barrel Roll” into Google.

Google Tilt or Askew

Typing the word “tilt” or “askew” on Google (specifically if you’re using the Chrome or Safari browser) commands the search engine to “tilt” the whole screen slightly to the right.

 Zerg Rush

A game which encourages players to defend the search results against the miniature Google logos which attacks them.

Flight Simulator
What started as an Easter egg became so well-loved that Google eventually turned it into a regular feature of Google Earth.

Download Google Earth and go to Tools > Enter Flight Simulator, and you’re off to make a round-the-world tour.

Google Zeitgeist

This provides a review of the year using the google search trends.

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Week 4: Organisation

One of the most useful elements of all the new media and web 2.0 technology is that it can help you stay organised, be more productive, efficient and manage your time.

Feb 20 (Day 51): To Do List

We will look at 3 different tools:

  • Evernote – This is Helen’s favourite Thing. 
  • Social Bookmarking
  • Doodle

Depending how much you use it Evernote could organise your life. Social Bookmarking your links and Doodle your social life!

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Cool Thing 3: Distributed Proofreaders

After  reading a few Gutenberg ebooks, you may wonder who creates them. It’s actually a voluntary, co-operative system: you can help by adding anything from a page to whole chapters. There’s no commitment to go back and do any more if you don’t enjoy it.

Ebooks are digitised by scanning the print text and running the result past a programme which tries to guess what each letter is (Optical Character Recognition, or OCR). The results are mostly ok-ish – except at line ends, or with old fonts, or damaged books, where words end up garbled. Distributed Proofreaders lets you ungarble the words by matching them against the scanned text.

To sign up, go to the Distributed Proofreaders’ site and register as a volunteer.  Click in the mail that gets sent back (check your junk mail), and then log in.  Select one of the books marked ‘beginners’ and try a page.

It can get addictive – but if its not enough of a challenge you could try working from old handwriting instead of print. UCL are running a project to transcribe the works of Jeremy Bentham

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Cool Thing 1: Backstit.ch

With Google’s recent announcement that iGoogle is to be retired in November 2013, there will be many seeking a new web aggregator. There are a few options out there, but Backstit.ch is a neat, easy-to-use option that is perfect for those who haven’t used aggregators previously.

What does it do?

The aim of aggregators in general is to bring together different news feeds, social media accounts, and various other elements of the web, and collate them in one personalised web page. This can be a great way of digesting information for people who manage multiple social network accounts and who follow a number of RSS feeds, and news outlets.

Once you’ve signed up with Backstit.ch you have your own personal space on the web to manage your accounts. Here you are able to add different boxes to cover different feeds (see an example of a Backstit.ch page below)

coolthing1

Click on image to enlarge

Each box can be customised to display different information, based on source, keywords, etc. Backstit.ch is a start-up company so options are limited when compared to larger aggregators, however, you are able to access the major social networks and (U.S.) news feeds, as well as some useful extras – have a play around and see what you think.

You’ll find Backstit.ch at www.backstit.ch

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