Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What is a mobile website? What are apps?

OK, true story. I have only recently been introduced to mobile websites and apps. Now that I kind of get it, I will share what I have learned with you.

Remember, by 2020, it is estimated most internet resources will be accessed via mobile device. I predict it will be sooner. Countries outside the United States are using mobile technology much more than Americans. Expect Americans to catch up quickly.

Wherever you are, customers are adapting to and using new access technology at an astounding rate. They will be asking and expecting these technologies very quickly. We would do well to learn about this so we're not caught in the awkward situation of not knowing what the customer is talking about.

What are mobile devices?
This generally refers to smartphones like iphone, blackberry, and, newest to the herd, droid. Our IT department is awash in iphone and droid usage. And boy have I learned from them!

Is our website being used by mobile users?
You bet! Many times in the past few weeks, I have encountered customers who have their book information on their mobile device and ready to show me at the desk.

What is a mobile website?
A website is designed to be used and viewed on a full-sized or netbook computer. It is easy to read and use. On a mobile device, this is not the case.

The website needs to morph into a mobile application. Tasks are broken down and more easily used via mobile. If I understand correctly, by going to the mobile site, the user will have options about what tasks he or she would like to perform. Instead of using a mouse to select options, customers will use mobile-friendly ways to select.

Will we still have a regular website? Yes
Will we still have a regular website accessible via mobile? Yes
Will everything on the website be available via mobile? Not yet, but you never know about the future.

Remember, in technology, new developments are never "either/or" it is always "and."

Paying fines via the mobile website
Renewing books via the mobile website

Apps are kind of like using a mobile website - except you do not have to go to the website! Some apps are free, others you must pay for

Examples of cool apps
Walk into Barnes and Noble and download their app. Take a picture of the book you are interested in and the app will check to see if the book is also available in e-book format. Want e-book format? Click to pay and then click to download.

Shopsavvy, an Android app, allows the user to scan almost any barcode using the phone’s camera, and it will then search over 20,000 online and local retailers to find the best price. Once the best deal has been found, users can either purchase online, or use the phone’s built-in Google Maps feature to find their way to the store.

What about the "squint" factor?
Mobile screens are still small and will not be a good choice for many aspiring users. On some mobile devices, there is still the problem of the backlighting being hard on the eyes. The good news is that the iphones are able to enlarge print without cutting off one side of the page. You will have to flip pages more frequently, but it's a start.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

At Large - Bits and Pieces

Author Jonathan Littell wins Bad Sex in Fiction Prize
via USATODAY.com Books - Top Stories on 11/30/09
A cringe-inducing passage which compares a sexual encounter to battle with an one-eyed mythological monster was awarded Britain's

Dictionary Picks 'Unfriend' As Word Of The Year
via NPR Topics: Arts & Life on 11/17/09
Thanks Facebook!

hey the library made The Onion in a supporting role
via librarian.net by jessamyn on 11/5/09 Protagonist Scrolls Intensely Through Microfilm.

Just doing my job, ma'm
via Feel-good Librarian by Feel-good Librarian on 12/1/09
Feel-good Librarian returns!

Tweet for Readers Advisory

Libraries in the Digital Age
via All About Romance's News & Commentary Blog by AAR Lynn on 11/5/09

Oh, to have the resources and time to respond to twitter comments with a recommendation!

This confession will probably give some of you a heart attack, but I haven’t read any of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. I know, I know. It’s like I’ve been living under a rock buried 3 miles below the surface of the Earth. But lately I’ve been thinking about giving the first book a try. So I sent out a half-joking tweet on the subject. To my surprise, I received a personal response from my local library letting me know that Outlander is available for checkout, should I so desire. Now granted, I’m kind of a dork, but I thought this was really cool. So cool, in fact, that I decided to explore more of the digital/virtual features my local library offers, and get the perspective of the Sacramento Public Library’s Digital Services Librarian Megan Wong on the subject of libraries in the digital age

Collection Management and e-books

RA Run Down via The Reader's Advisor Online Blog by Cindy Orr on 11/22/09 Raise Your Hand If You Can’s Stand Weeding

The Shame List via The Reader's Advisor Online Blog by Cindy Orr on 11/11/09
On Shelf-Awareness, one of my favorite blogs, Robert Gray recently discussed what he calls “The Shame List.” He got the idea from a panel at the Great Lakes Booksellers Association Conference where one of the panelists said, “Backlist used to be defined by publishers. Now backlist is much more what you define backlist to be for yourself. Special offers aside, backlist is the books you want to have most of the time.”

This blog is aimed at bookstores, but could be applied to libraries as well. Here’s the basic question:

“Which books would you be terribly embarrassed not to own?”

Professional/Scholarly ebooks account for more than 3 times the rest of the US ebook market combined
via No Shelf Required by spolanka on 11/25/09 From anecdotal accounts, it still appears romance readers appear to be the most vocal ebook readers.

E-Resources: Updates and Time Mangement

E-Resource Updates
New Technologies That Save Time & Money
via Librarian in Black Blog – Sarah Houghton-Jan by Sarah on 11/24/09
Even includes a schedule-making program to check out!

Wikipedia Losing Editors
via Stephen's Lighthouse by stephen on 11/23/09

Digital and Tech Forecasts and Reassurance

A mobile interface means that your website or services are easily comprehended via an iphone, etc.

New mobile interfaces for EBSCO & Summon (Serial Solutions)
via Librarian in Black Blog – Sarah Houghton-Jan by Sarah on 11/5/09

Does Technology Make You Anti-Social?
via Stephen's Lighthouse by stephen on 11/20/09
AHA! Just as I suspected! Tech Geek Myth Busted: Top Ten Ways Technology Boosts Your Social Life
New technologies actually increase our social interactions, not our isolation, the Pew Internet and American Life Project found...

10. There’s been no significant jump in the number of truly isolated Americans.
9. Web users are more likely to seek counsel outside their own family.
8. Many 18-22-year-olds use social networking to keep in contact with nearly all of their key contacts.
7. Internet users like clubs.
6. Technology users have more “core” friends in their discussion networks.
5. Web users leave their rooms.
4. Cell phone and web users make better neighbors.
3. Technology users seek conversation outside their marriage.
2. Sharing those family vacation photos online might make you more politically open minded.
1. Bloggers have more racially diverse friends.

Top Digital Trends For 2010
via iLibrarian by Ellyssa on 12/5/09
It’s that time of year again - let the forecasting begin! Nuri Djavit and Paul Newnes of Digital Media Buzz predict the Top Digital Trends For 2010.
Be sure and check out the full article for the discussions of their predicted trends:

Facebook replaces personal email
Open source software starts making money (thanks to the cloud)
Mobile commerce - The promise that has never delivered, yet
Fewer registrations — one sign-in fits all
Disruption vs. continuity - alternatives to the “big idea”
The continuing evolution of Web-driven, open source DIY culture
Crowd sourcing
More Flash, not less

The Top 10 Mobile Applications of 2012
via iLibrarian by Ellyssa on 11/21/09

Sarah Perez at ReadWriteWeb discusses the recent Gartner list which identifies the top 10 consumer mobile applications for 2012. The list covers many mobile technologies which are already available, however mainstream adoption has not yet been reached. Here’s the list of technologies and services which are predicted to be emerging for 2012:
Money Transfer
Location-Based Services
Mobile Search
Mobile Browsing
Mobile Health Monitoring
Mobile Payments
Near Field Communications (NFC)
Mobile Advertising
Mobile Instant Messaging
Mobile Music

Genre Talk - Update!

Please excuse repeats

Genre Talk
Genre Crosses the Line - Starts to be as "Acceptable" as Literary FictionGenre Wars via The Reader's Advisor Online Blog by Cindy Orr on 11/4/09

Street LitStill Hot! Here are some new titles and even some new authors to know about: The Word on Street Lit via Library Journal - Genre Fiction on 11/19/09

On Beyond Vampires!
The Next `Twilight' via Book Beast - The Daily Beast on 11/19/09From fallen angels to zombies, publishers and movie producers are on the hunt for the next big young adult series that will dominate the market. The Daily Beast's Shannon Donnelly on the top six candidates.

Talking Tech Friday – Zombies! via MCLC Library Tech Talk by Anali on 10/30/09Lots of talk about this being a coming trend. These are fun links to Zombie lore.

Under the Radar: Something to Howl About: Books about Werewolves via The Reader's Advisor Online Blog by Cindy Orr on 11/15/09

What Comes Beyond Vampires and Zombies? Postapocalypse
Postapocalyptic Fiction via Library Journal - Genre Fiction on 11/14/09

The 2012 Countdown
via RT Book Reviews by RT Book Reviews on 11/20/09