Webometric Thoughts

March 6, 2009

Mendeley: An academic work in progress

Filed under: Academia.edu,Mendeley,Social Networking Sites — admin @ 6:05 pm

Last week I was sent an email by some chap at Mendeley: “you’d be doing us a huge favour by blogging about us and helping us to spread the word”. If it’s in my sphere of interest I’m generally happy to review web sites, although I must say that it’s a shame that review requests are never for the latest books in the field (publishers please take note)…anyway, back to Mendeley: “helps you manage, share and discover both content and contacts in research.”

The first thing, and the worst thing about Mendeley, is the name. Unfortunately its similarity to the Manderley of Rebecca fame means I keep losing the web site, inserting extra letters and incorrect vowels. Nonetheless first impressions are positive, although it has a long way to go.

Mendeley comes in two main parts. A web site:

and a desktop application:

The web site allows you to publish your own papers, store copies of other people’s papers (and share them in small groups), store bibliographic information, as well as providing the opportunity to find other researchers and research papers. The desktop application provides a quick method of searching and accessing the papers even if you’re not online. There is also a Mendeley Word plug-in for inserting the data in your Word documents.

There are obvious similarities between Mendeley and Academica.edu, a social networking site for academics, but whereas Academia.edu focuses on the networking, Mendeley focuses on the academic’s primary work with research papers and has the social networking as a secondary factor. Mendeley wins hands down (even without taking into consideration the over-the-top interface of Academia.edu).

Whilst I love Mendeley’s approach, it is still very much in the alpha/beta stages, and you are likely to come across errors and things that could be done better, or just refuse to work. Nonetheless, unlike Academia.edu, this is worth spending some time on and providing them with feedback. Once all the bugs are fixed it will be a useful addition to any academic’s work life.

Mainstream-Twitter-GPS: Tapping into local thoughts

Filed under: GPS,Twitter — admin @ 2:03 pm

Whiling away the Friday afternoon, spending far too much time looking at Twitter updates, I can’t help but wonder how Twitter use will change when it becomes mainstream, and people update with an increasing number of GPS enabled devices. Whilst sites such as BrightKite are more explicitly focused on being location based, Twitter is little more than an update away. Already many of the Twitter applications are making more use of the location feature.

My thoughts about the effect of mainstream-Twitter-GPS were sparked by a couple of this afternoon’s comments emphasising how Twitter is used for off-the-cuff comments about those around us:

Whilst these comments have always been shared amongst friends, they have never been made so publicly and permanently available.

As you are lamenting the ‘chav’ spitting and swearing, he may be taking the opportunity to see if the attractive girl on the platform opposite is Twittering her friends about his obvious masculinity. However, instead of finding the glowing complements he finds that he is being mocked by the geek at the end of the platform….oops.

Whilst the potential of talking with those around you is exciting, I’m sure there will be a few teething troubles on the way as we learn the new rules.

March 3, 2009

PockeTwit: If you love Twitter Buy a Windows Mobile!

Filed under: HTC Touch Pro,MDA Vario IV,O2 Xda Serra,PockeTwit,Twitter — admin @ 8:17 pm

Over the past few weeks I’ve downloaded numerous different Xda Serra (HTC Touch Pro/MDA Vario IV) applications, but today I found the first one that really surprised me: PockeTwit.

The name is fairly self-explanatory: A Twitter application for a Pocket PC.

Whilst I generally find mobile applications to be poor imitations of desktop application, PocketTwit actually surpasses the Twitter.com web site! Unfortunately, to really get a feel for the application you need to see it in action, and I couldn’t find a free screencaster for my phone. Nonetheless here are a couple of stills.

The Updates:

Select a comment and drag to the left and you can reply, quote, etc.:

Drag to the right and you can send messages (including pictures and your GPS position), find other Twitterers on a map, search geographically as well as on keywords:

It’s hard to express how impressed I am by this Twitter app, but when I have calmed down I will head over to PockeTwit and make a donation…a first in all my time online (nb.I would donate too much in my current frame of mind).

If you have a Windows Mobile phone, give it a try. If you are a Twitter-addict and thinking about getting a new phone, get a Windows Mobile phone.

March 1, 2009

Art on the Underground: Spotted in the wild

Filed under: Art on the Underground,London Underground,Roundel — admin @ 4:52 pm

Way back in November I bought a poster celebrating the 100th anniversary of the London Underground’s Roundel. Rather than a one-off, it was a two-off plus extras: one for the underground’s archive of art, one auctioned on ebay, and the potential for the image to appear on posters and tube maps around the capital.

A friend of mine spotted the one I bought at White City tube:

Surely that’ll add a tenner to the value of the poster.

As for a technological angle to the post: my friend has an iPhone so had to email me the picture rather sending a MMS.

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