What’s your ideal bedtime?

Screen Shot 2012-10-14 at Sun, Oct 14 - 8.51 PM

Lifehacker pointed out a neat quiz that determines what type of person you are – morning or evening – and then tells you your ideal bedtime. The questions were pretty good (not like some of the silly quizzes out there) and it determined that I am very much a morning person (which I knew) and that my idea bedtime is 10:30pm. In the past few years pain has made me exhausted and I’ve gone to bed at 8 if I could, but since getting my hip replaced I’ve been trying to work up to a later bed time and have to agree that 10:30 seems to be my sweet spot (when not on the road and in a different timezone).

Take a few minutes and take the quiz yourself, the let me know what you learned about your ideal bedtime in the comments.

Heading to Internet Librarian!

Internet Librarian

This weekend I head to Monterey, California for Internet Librarian 2012. I’ll be doing a workshop on the WordPress open source content management system with Polly-Alida Farrington on Sunday, speaking about open source trends and issues with Marshall Breeding on Monday, signing copies of the second edition of The Accidental Systems Librarian on Monday night at the opening reception and then participating on a panel Tuesday evening about the transforming roles of systems librarians.

I’ll be pretty busy (as you can see) but if you’ll be there, find me because I’d love to chat! My full schedule is here.

Analyze Your Facebook

Wolfram Alpha Facebook

Woldram Alpha has a pretty cool new feature that lets you analyze your Facebook usage. This from Lifehacker:

Wolfram Alphalaunched a new feature today that allows you to quickly get an overview of all your data on Facebook. The new report, says Wolfram CEO Stephen Wolfram, expands Wolfram Alpha’s “powers of analysis to give you all sorts of personal analytics.” The company plans to expand these reports with new features over time, but they already give you a pretty deep look at your Facebook habits.

Here’s a snippet of what I Learned about my Facebook usage.

The Accidental Systems Librarian

Accidental SL Title

After nearly 2 years in the works, The Accidental Systems Librarian second edition is finally ready for preorder!! That’s right folks, after juggling health issues, travel for work and just general stress I am happy to announce that this second edition of the first Information Today Inc book I ever read will be released next month, but can be preordered today for a nice discount.

Learn more about the book on the official site and visit Information Today Inc to preorder (if you want). You can also keep an eye out for a book signing event at the Information Today booth at Internet Librarian at the end of October – I’ll be there!

Google Citations and Academia.edu


In the last couple of weeks I learned about Academia.edu and the new features of Google Scholar – both of which are very very similar.

Let’s start with Google Scholar – most you know about this service already, it’s a great way to find articles and books for your research. I sometimes spend a couple hours just searching for new open source articles to save to my Zotero Library and to read of course! Recently Google Scholar released a new feature (more here) – your personalized Scholar Profile:

We analyze your articles (as identified in your Scholar profile), scan the entire web looking for new articles relevant to your research, and then show you the most relevant articles when you visit Scholar. We determine relevance using a statistical model that incorporates what your work is about, the citation graph between articles, the fact that interests can change over time, and the authors you work with and cite.

So I went through the steps to set up my own profile and basically Scholar searched its database for articles that I had written or been cited in and the final product can be seen here. It’s kind of neat to see the graph at the top and see how many people are citing my various different publications. I would like a way to add more citations (and there might be a way that I’m just missing right now), but I’m sure it will improve as it grows.

Now, Academia.edu – maybe not be quite as well known, but is certainly more thought out in this particular area. Just like Google Scholar’s new profile page, Academia.edu lets you create your own profile where you list all of your publications. Unlike Scholar, Academia.edu is focused solely on listing your resources for others and linking you to other authors with similar research areas. There is no fancy chart or count of who’s citing your articles (like on Scholar) but there are more social functions as well as the ability to add your own citations and upload your own files. From the about page:

Academics use Academia.edu to share their research, monitor deep analytics around the impact of their research, and track the research of academics they follow. 1,772,914 academics have signed up to Academia.edu, adding 1,525,276 papers and 533,440 research interests. Academia.edu attracts over 3.9 million unique visitors a month.

You can see my full profile here.

I think that with the combo of both tools (and of course a Zotero library) an author can keep really good information on their areas of research and who’s citing their publications!

Mashup Idea: Where are my friends?

Where my friends be on Facebook

Last week I went to San Francisco for work and then a bit of a break. I knew I had friends in SF, but couldn’t remember everyone. I touched base with a couple before heading out that way and set up plans, but once in the state got a message from another friend that I forgot lived there! There are many apps out there with location information, Tripit for example is what I use to track all of my travel. When I add a trip to Tripit it tells me who’s close … but it’s only using Tripit data and only my other trainer/presenter friends use Tripit. Facebook lets you enter your location but I don’t look through all my friends in one area before I go on a trip. There are also apps (like wheremyfriends.be) for Facebook that gather that info – but not all of my friends are on Facebook or add their location info (I don’t). My contacts in Google have a lot of location info, but not for everyone I know in libraryland.

So, what I’d like to see is a tool that told me the city I’m heading to is close to specific friends. A tool that I don’t have to register for and a tool that my friends don’t all have to be registered on. A tool that lets me pull in data from all of my networks and alerts me without forcing my friends to sign up or add info to some additional service. Does such a tool exist for the web or Android?

Open Source Culture in Business

Open Source Logo

Several years ago (seems like a lifetime ago to me) I left the library to work for a vendor, an open source vendor of course, but a vendor nonetheless. I used to joke that I had crossed over to the ‘dark side.’ Five years later I can’t imagine ever going to back to working in the library itself. It’s not that I don’t love libraries – of course I do! I want to keep working with libraries forever and ever – I just don’t want to work in them.

Until today I thought that was just because I had the best work environment ever. I work for a company that is open, supports openness and takes everyone’s opinions in to consideration … in short, we’re all treated like the experienced adults that we are. I thought this was unique to ByWater, but have just finished reading a post by Shay Chapman on opensource.com about her experience as an intern at Red Hat (another open source company – if you didn’t already know that). Shay says:

This internship wasn’t my first experience in a corporate environment. I worked full time after completing my undergraduate studies and while pursuing my Master’s degree in Informatics, and I have seen managers take a very micro-management approach. I’ve noticed how some employers treat employees as if they are numbers rather than assets with unique skills and talents.

Working at Red Hat has been different, and I think that’s because of the company’s open source culture. Anyone at Red Hat—whether they’re an employee, customer, or partner—has the opportunity to voice their opinion about the products being offered and the direction of the company. I saw the power of that during my internship. When employees are kept in the know about crucial events and plans, they are quick to point out the good, the bad, and the ugly. It can be a painful process, but no stone is left unturned and the community grows stronger.

I still think I have the best job ever – for the best company ever – supporting the best open source product ever :) but now at least I know that others out there are getting to have the same experience that I am and doing what they love at the same time. I think that libraries (and many other companies) could learn from this style of corporation and management and benefit greatly from treating their staff as a community rather than just employees.

If you want to read more, check out Shay’s post and/or my column in Vol 3/Issue 3 of Collaborative Librarianship on Collaborative Leadership [PDF].

Personal Post: Congrats to my hubby on his ENnie


My husband, Brian Engard, is at GenCon this weekend and last night he won his first ENnie (yes first – there are many more in his future). This from an excited Brian:

[T]he award I won was because of my association with Evil Hat. There’s this thing called the Fan Best Publisher Award, and Evil Hat took second place (behind Paizo, naturally; take a shot everybody). Because I work for the Hat (and do a LOT of work for the Hat), that includes me. I wasn’t sure of this initially so I didn’t go up on stage. After the fact though, Amanda Valentine told me that I totally should have because that award is as much mine as it is theirs.

Also, they gave me the plaque and the medal to take a picture with. Here it is: