Thing #81: Mashup Video with Popcorn Maker

For this month’s Thing, we’re going to learn how to use Popcorn Maker to remix video, audio and images to create new video mashups that you can use to promote your library and its services.PopcornMaker

Popcorn Maker is part of Webmaker, a suite of tools developed by Mozilla (yes, the Firefox people) to help people create new web content while at the same time learning how the web works.

You are welcome to explore the other Webmaker tools, but for this Thing, we are going to explore Popcorn Maker.

The basic concept of Popcorn Maker is to create something brand new, using content from various places on the web and combining it with your own text and links. And you can do it all without having to learn programing, using the simple drag and drop browser interface.

You can import video from YouTube or Vimeo, and audio from Clyp or Soundcloud. And then add more information from Google Maps, Flickr, and Wikipedia to enhance the video.

Lastly, you can insert your own text pop-ups, annotations and links. The links within your video are live, so your viewers will be able to click on them within your video. This will pause your video, and open up a new tab in your browser with the website you wanted them to see.

Popcorn Maker also has video control features that you can use to modify how your video plays: Loop, Skip and Pause.

To get started, you will need to create an account with Mozilla Persona. When you go to Popcorn Maker, there will be a blue Sign In link in the upper right of the screen.  All you need to do is enter your email address, and create a Password and User Name. Persona will send you an email to confirm your account. Once that’s done, you’re ready to make videos!

This video tutorial will show you how to use Popcorn Maker to create your own remixed mashup video:

Mozilla Webmaker also has a gallery of pre-made starter videos that you can experiment with to create new mashups. In the Gallery, on the right side of the page, use the Filter pull-down to limit the results to Popcorn. Then you can see what other people have created, and modify their videos, too.

If you’d like to learn more about Mozilla and their Webmaker initiative and Mozillarian community, check out the recording of the NCompass Live Tech Talk with Michael Sauers, Enter the Mozillarian: Weaving the Mozilla and Library Communities.


  1. Go to Popcorn Maker and create an account with Mozilla Persona to use the tool.
  2. Make a short mashup video, adding any elements you like.
  3. Write a blog post about your experience with video mashups. Be sure to either embed your video in your blog post, or include a link to it, so we can all watch. Some things to think about:
  • What did you like/dislike about Popcorn Maker? What did you think of the video mashup process? Was it difficult or easy to create your own video?
  • How can Popcorn Maker be used in libraries?
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Book Thing #30: The Social Life of Information

This Month’s BookThing is going back into the archives for The Social Life of Information by John Seely Brown & Paul Duguid.


The Social Life of InformationTo see the future we can build with information technology, we must look beyond mere information to the social context that creates and gives meaning to it. For years, pundits have predicted that information technology will obliterate the need for almost everything—from travel to supermarkets to business organizations to social life itself. Individual users, however, tend to be more sceptical. Beaten down by info-glut and exasperated by computer systems fraught with software crashes, viruses, and unintelligible error messages, they find it hard to get a fix on the true potential of the digital revolution. John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid help us to see through frenzied visions of the future to the real forces for change in society. They argue that the gap between digerati hype and end-user gloom is largely due to the ‘tunnel vision’ that information-driven technologies breed. We’ve become so focused on where we think we ought to be—a place where technology empowers individuals and obliterates social organizations—that we often fail to see where we’re really going and what’s helping us get there. We need, they argue, to look beyond our obsession with information and individuals to include the critical social networks of which these are always a part. Drawing from rich learning experiences at Xerox PARC, from examples such as IBM, Chiat/Day Advertising, and California’s ‘Virtual University’, and from historical, social, and cultural research, the authors sharply challenge the futurists’ sweeping predictions.They explain how many of the tools, jobs, and organizations seemingly targeted for future extinction in fact provide useful social resources that people will fight to keep. Rather than aiming technological bullets at these ‘relics’, we should instead look for ways that the new world of bits can learn from and complement them. Arguing elegantly for the important role that human sociability plays, even—perhaps especially—in the world of bits, The Social Life of Information gives us an optimistic look beyond the simplicities of information and individuals. It shows how a better understanding of the contribution that communities, organizations, and institutions make to learning, working and innovating can lead to the richest possible use of technology in our work and everyday lives.

About John Seely Brown & Paul Duguid:

John Seely BrownJohn Seely Brown (JSB) is a visiting scholar and advisor to the Provost at University of Southern California (USC) and the Independent Co-Chairman of the Deloitte’s Center for the Edge. Prior to that he was the Chief Scientist of Xerox Corporation and the director of its Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)–a position he held for nearly two decades. He was a cofounder of the Institute for Research on Learning (IRL). He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Education.

JSB is an avid reader, traveler and motorcyclist. Part scientist, part artist and part strategist, his views are unique and distinguished by a broad view of the human contexts in which technologies operate and a healthy skepticism about whether or not change always represents genuine progress.

His unofficial title has become Chief of Confusion focusing on helping people ask the right questions and make sense out of a constantly changing world.

Paul Diguid[Paul Diguid is] an adjunct full professor at the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley; a visiting fellow in business history in the School of Management at York University (UK), and an honorary fellow of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development at Lancaster University School of Management. From 2005-2012 I was professorial research fellow at Queen Mary, University of London; From 2005-2006 I was a visiting fellow at the Center for Science, Technology, Society at Santa Clara University. From 2002 to 2005, I was part-time visiting professor at Copenhagen Business School, Department of Organisational and Industrial Sociology; and in Spring, 2003, maître de recherche at the École Polytechnique in Paris. From 1989 to 2001 I was affiliated to the Office of Central Management at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center; prior to that, a member of the Institute for Research on Learning.
At Berkeley, I co-teach “Concepts of Information” (info 218) and the “History of Information” (Info 103) with Geoffrey Nunberg.

[His] current research interests include the history and development of trademarks and the history of the concept of information.

To earn 3 CE credits answer the following three questions in a 300 word blog post or a three minute video posted to your blog:

  1. What did you / what can librarians learn from this book?
  2. How might the focus of this book impact library service?
  3. How might the focus of this book impact library users?

If you would like to plan ahead, next month’s book will be dot complicated by Randi Zuckerberg.

Please contact the Information Services Team if you’d like to check out any of these titles from the Commission. Thanks.

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Book Thing #29: Revolution 2.0

This Month’s BookThing is Revolution 2.0: The Power of the People is Greater Than the People in Power by Wael Ghonim.


Revolution 2.0The revolutions that swept the Middle East in 2011 surprised and captivated the world. Brutal regimes that had been in power for decades were overturned by an irrepressible mass of freedom seekers. Now, one of the figures who emerged during the Egyptian uprising tells the riveting inside story of what happened and shares the keys to unleashing the power of crowds.

Wael Ghonim was a little-known, thirty-year-old Google executive in the summer of 2010 when he anonymously launched a Facebook page to protest the death of one Egyptian man at the hands of security forces. The page’s following expanded quickly and moved from online protests to a nonconfrontational movement.

The youth of Egypt made history: they used social media to schedule a revolution. The call went out to more than a million Egyptians online, and on January 25, 2011, Cairo’s Tahrir Square resounded with calls for change. Yet just as the revolution began in earnest, Ghonim was captured and held for twelve days of brutal interrogation. After he was released, he gave a tearful speech on national television, and the protests grew more intense. Four days later, the president of Egypt was gone.

The lessons Ghonim draws will inspire each of us. He saw the road to Tahrir Square built not by any one person, but by the people. In Revolution 2.0, we can all be heroes.

About Wael Ghonim:

Wael GhonimWael Ghonim, a 31 year-old Egyptian, came onto the global scene during the January 25th Revolution in Egypt. Coined the “keyboard freedom fighter,” he used the power of the internet and social media to fight for social justice. Ghonim was the anonymous founder of a Facebook page called “Kullena Khaled Said” (We are all Khaled Said) which initiated the first to call for the January 25th Revolution that resulted in the toppling of the 30-year Mubarak regime.

Wael is considered one of the region’s digital pioneers – launching many firsts in the tech industry including some of the region’s most important websites until he landed at Google. He served as the Regional Marketing Manager for Google in the Middle East and North Africa overseeing 18 countries when the revolution unfolded.

During the revolution, Wael was kidnapped and held in captivity by the Egyptian State Security for 11 days where he was blindfolded and handcuffed. Following a global campaign for his release, Ghonim was freed days before Mubarak stepped down. His emotional TV interview following his release touched millions of Egyptians and inspired more people to take to the streets. He shared his full story as author of Revolution 2.0 – The Power of the People is Greater Than the People in Power which is sold globally in ten languages.

Immediately after the revolution Wael took a sabbatical from Google and became active in Egypt’s civil society working on two main initiatives. He founded an NGO called Nabadat (Pulses in Arabic), which aims at fostering education opportunities for Egyptians through technology. Its first project, TahrirAcademy, which offers online educational videos, reached more than half a million Arabs. He also co-founded Masrena (meaning Our Egypt in Arabic), which is a political lobbying group with more than 30k members working towards realizing the goals of the January 25th revolution.

Today, “Kullena Khaled Said” Facebook page remains a key influential voice on the political scene and has 2.3m members actively engaged in Egypt’s political transition to democracy. It is the largest political page in the Arab World today.

Wael received his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering from Cairo University and earned an MBA from the American University in Cairo. He is married with two children and resides in Cairo & Dubai. In 2011, Wael was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, was named one of Time 100′s most influential and received JFK Profile in Courage Award on behalf of the Egyptian people.

To earn 2 CE credits answer the following three questions in a 300 word blog post or a three minute video posted to your blog:

  1. What did you / what can librarians learn from this book?
  2. How might the focus of this book impact library service?
  3. How might the focus of this book impact library users?

If you would like to plan ahead, next month’s book will be The Social Life of Information by John Seely Brown & Paul Duguid.

Please contact the Information Services Team if you’d like to check out any of these titles from the Commission. Thanks.

Posted in BookThing | 1 Comment

Thing #80: NetGalley

NetGalley_LogoIn the spirit of summer reading, this month’s thing is going to take a look at NetGalley, a source for electronic advance reader copies (eARCs) of forthcoming books.

What is NetGalley?

With the rise of eReaders, publishers are more and more offering advance reading copies of titles in electronic format. There are several services out there that do this but the one I’ve found the easiest to use is NetGalley. Registration is simple and there is a wide variety of content available for review. While you’re not going to find content from some of the largest publishers like Simon & Shuster and Random House here, I’m sure you’ll find plenty of content you’ll be interested in reading.

6/2/14 Update: I stand a bit corrected as to content avaialbe from the “Big 5″ publishers being available as this afternoon The City, Dean Koontz’s next book (of which I’m a big fan) was listed as being available via NetGalley.

From the NetGalley site:

Do you love to discover new books? Do you review and recommend books online, in print, for your bookstore, library patrons, blog readers, or classroom? Then you are what we call a “professional reader,” and NetGalley is for you. Registration is free, and allows you to request or be invited to read titles, often advance reading copies, on your favorite device.

NetGalley is a service to promote titles to professional readers of influence. If you are a reviewer, blogger, journalist, librarian, bookseller, educator, or in the media, you can use NetGalley for FREE to request, read and provide feedback about forthcoming titles. Your feedback and recommendations are essential to publishers and readers alike.

Your Profile is the Key.

NetGalley ProfileOnce you’ve signed up the first thing you should do is fill in your profile. Here you’re asked to supply the following information:

  • Your name
  • A photo of you
  • Affiliation (Blog title or library name as appropriate)
  • Links to your social media sites
  • A biography
  • Contact info
  • Categories of interest
  • Associations (such as ALA)
  • Your Kindle’s e-mail address (if you have one)

Most of this information is optional but the more information you supply, the more publishers will be interested in giving you access to their titles. You can see my profile on the right. The only area I’ve left blank is Associations since you can only chose from a pre-selected list of groups and I don’t belong to any of the groups listed.

Requesting Titles:

NetGalley Find TitlesOnce you’ve filled out your profile, head on over to the Find Titles link at the top of the page. Here you’ll be presented with all of the titles currently available for request. Books are listed in newest-first order and hovering over a cover image will present you with some basic information about the title. Feel free to limit your browsing via the categories/genres on left. If you’re looking for a book you can get immediate access to use the “Read Now” link in the left menu.

NetGalley RequestPlease note that some titles are only available to reviewers in certain geographic areas. For example, if it says “(AU / NZ only)” and you don’t live in Australia or New Zeland, your request will be denied.

Once you’ve found a title you’re interested in, click on its cover to get the the book’s page. There you’ll see a “Request” button (unless it’s a “read now title.) Click the button to submit your request. Once the publisher has either approved or denied your request you’ll receive an e-mail notifying you of the decision.

Generally I’ve found approvals come through within 48 hours. However in some cases I have had it take up to a week so keep this in mind when doing the assignment.

Reading Titles:

NetGalley DashboardOnce you’ve received approval for a title you’ve requested, whether via e-mail or Read Now, that book will appear on your account’s Dashboard. Here you’ll see all of the titles for which you currently have access.

Here you can either click on the cover to get to the book’s page of select options from the drop-down list beneath the cover. Those options are:

  • View Title (Same as clicking on the cover)
  • Add to reading list (Moves it to the “reading list” section of your dashboard. Honestly, I’m not clear on the point of this.)
  • Remove from shelf (Provides an easy way to remove books you’re done with.)

Most importantly is getting to the book’s page so you can download it.

NetGalley DownloadOnce on a book’s page, instead of a Request button, this time you’ll see two or three different buttons they are:

  • Send to Kindle (Not available on all titles)
  • Download
  • Title Feedback

If you have a kindle device or app, and you wish to have the book sent there, providing you’ve added your Kindle’s e-mail address (available via your Manage your Kindle page) clicking that will send your book to your device/app. (Some books will not have this option and I am unaware of a way to determine this in advance.)

The Download button, when clicked, will send you a .acsm file which can be opened by most other eReaders and apps. If you don’t have an eReader or eReading app on your phone, you can always download the Adobe Digital Editions program to your Mac or PC. This will open and allow you to read this content on your desktop or laptop.

Reviewing Titles:

NetGalley FeedbackOnce you’re done reading the book, head back to your NetGalley Dashboard, click on the relevant title and click on the Feedback button.

It is on this page that you’ll provide your review of the book. There are several items you need to be aware of here:

  • 1-5 Star rating located beneath the cover image.
  • Type/paste your review into the Review This Book field.
  • If you’ve also published your review on another site such as your blog,, LibraryThing or Good Reads, click Add Link and provide a link to the other location.
  • Answer the three “As a reviewer” questions.
  • Thoughts for the publisher are more for comments on the experience itself, not the content of the book. For example, one eARC I read had a watermark on every page that made it difficult to read. I commented on that, here, not the review.

Click the Send Now button at the bottom of the page to submit your review.

My tips for getting the most out of NetGalley:

Having been a NetGalley member for more than a year now, here are some things I’ve learned that will help you get the best out of the service:

  • Fill out your profile as completely as possible. The more information you can provide the publishers, the more likely they are to approve you.
  • Review as many books as possible. NetGalley does keep track of the ratio between how may books you request and how many you review. The higher the percentage of reviewed titles, the more likely your requests will be approved.
  • Post your reviews to other sites. In most cases, I don’t just post my review to the NetGalley site, but also to somewhere else like my blog,, or LibraryThing. When I submit my review to NetGalley, I use the URL field to point to where else I’ve posted the review. The publishers appreciate it.
  • Be honest in your review. I’ve read books that I was disappointed in and I explained why in my review. As long as you’re honest, and explain yourself, I don’t believe this will work against you.


  1. Register with NetGalley.
  2. Fill in your account profile.
  3. Request at least two titles. (Feel free to request more.)
  4. Read at least one of your requested titles.
  5. Write and submit your review.
  6. Write a blog post about your experience and include links to any reviews that you published on publicly accessible sites (such as Goodreads, LibraryThing, or
  7. Write about your experience with the service and how use of this service might benefit (or not) your library work.
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Thing #79: Mapping & Geolocation Tools

This month’s Thing has been borrowed and modified from the New York State School Library Systems’ Cool Tools for School program.

With the development of online maps and mobile geolocation apps, there are endless possibilities for educational uses. Whether it’s exploring far flung or nearby locations with street view, viewing historic maps overlaid in Google Earth, building customized “lit trip” maps or pinning scanned historic photos in HistoryPin, there’s something for everyone.

For this month’s Thing, we’re going to explore online maps and geolocation tools focusing on geography, history and literature.

Google Maps

To get started, here’s a video intro to the Google Maps interface:

Check out Google Maps:

Google Earth

Some Google Earth features are integrated into the new Google Maps interface, but the standalone desktop application has many more features. Create personalized tours of locations related to a book. Turn those tours into video that “flies” from location to location right in Google Earth. Explore 3D views of many cities. Use the history timeline feature to explore changing landscapes over time. Explore the many layers of information that can be overlaid on the maps.

Google Lit Trips

Reading a book with a strong geographic component? You can create tours of the locations mentioned and add photos, notes and more to add further context. This can be done in Google Maps or Google Earth.

History Pin, WhatWasThere, SepiaTown

HistoryPin, WhatWasThere and SepiaTown are sites that encourage users to add their own photos and stories and pin them to locations on an interactive Google map. They offer views of locations over time and insights into the history of a location. Use street views to compare historic views with current views. Check out History Pin in Schools for ideas and instructional materials. The HistoryPin mobile app helps you find photos and information about your surroundings while on the go.

  • Contribute: You can gather, scan & edit your own family photos and old postcards to post to the site. Or work with the local historical society or the public library history collection to select photos to share. Images can include descriptions of the photos and stories related to the location.
  • Collaborate: Work with community members to gather history of the area, stories around certain events and so on.
  • Tours & Collections: History Pin has options to create collections of photos around a topic or a tour of locations.
  • Research: These sites are treasure troves of images and stories. There might be photos of locations in books that you are reading or locations from history. Users could find information about the towns and countries where their families are from. Or see what their favorite vacation spot looked like in the past.

More Tools and Ideas


1. Pick one or more of these activities to explore online maps and mobile geolocation apps:

  • Learn more about Google Maps
    • Check out a Photo Tour, create a personal map, or add to the Photo Sphere.
  • Create a Lit Trip with Google Earth
  • Upload a photo to HistoryPin or create a tour there
  • Explore some apps for your iOS or Android device

2. Write a blog post about your experience and include links to anything you’ve created or contributed to. Some things to think about:

  • What tools did you use? How did they work?
  • How might you use these tools in your library?
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