Have you checked out Pinterest yet?

by Kathy Bryce Thursday, January 19, 2012 9:45 PM

There has been a flurry of articles recently discussing the rapidly increasing popularity of Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/ ) and trying to figure out how this could be utilized by businesses or other organizations.  Apart from this angle, it’s worth checking out for the design of the interface itself.  PinterestScreenShot1Users create “boards” for their topics of interest and “pin” images that they find on the web or upload from their digital photos.    The site is still by invite only, but once registered you can browse boards created by others and follow them and your friends.  (From a librarian’s perspective the search is so far a letdown, and is very rudimentary.)

Anyone with special collection databases with images may expect that their images could be pinned and repinned. For example there are many boards under the History category on fashion, i.e. Hoop Era Dresses – “a stash of Victorian dresses from the 1850s and 1860s”, or The Way We Wore: The 1940's. 

Pinterest Screen ShotEach of the pinned images has a link back to the originating website, so you may start to see links from Pinterest showing up in your website stats. This makes it all the more important to provide easy to find permanent URL’s for the record describing your image if these are only accessible through a database. ( The images from the board pictured here are from the New Westminster Archives.) 

Check out our blog post on How to replace those long canned query URLs with short, memorable ones which describes how to create these Permalinks, or contact us for help.

The Pinterest Mission statement reads "Our goal is to connect everyone in the world through the 'things' they find interesting. We think that a favorite book, toy, or recipe can reveal a common link between two people. With millions of new pins added every week, Pinterest is connecting people all over the world based on shared tastes and interests."

Are you using Pinterest yet? If you have set up a board for your organization, let us know the details and we’ll add a note about it to this post.

Other references:

Tags: permalinks

Andornot’s January 2012 Newsletter Available

by Jonathan Jacobsen Wednesday, January 11, 2012 7:39 PM

Please check out the latest issue of our newsletter, featuring:

  • the winner of our DB/TextWorks Skills Quiz Contest;
  • the latest DB/TextWorks Training Schedule;
  • Andornot’s Conference Schedule for 2012 – see us at a conference near you;
  • News about the SydneyPLUS acquisition of Inmagic and DB/Text for SQL version 13;
  • Details of the new Archives Association of B.C. website, and the digitized oral histories added to the Heritage Burnaby research portal;
  • Tips for tracking books that never get loaned in Inmagic Genie and for searching dates and date ranges in DB/TextWorks; and
  • Selected topics from out Twitter feed of interest to libraries, archives, historical societies and others.

Please contact us for further information or to be added to our newsletter list.

Tags: News | newsletters

Is your web interface mobile friendly?

by Kathy Bryce Tuesday, January 10, 2012 8:14 AM

Odds are that your website will be viewed on a tablet or smart phone.  The Washington Post reported that “The last week in 2011 was the biggest ever for Android and iOS. According to mobile app analytics company Flurry, over 20 million devices were activated between Christmas and New Year, and 1.2 billion apps were downloaded. That's about 60 percent higher than every week of December before Christmas, and marks the largest number of apps ever downloaded in a single week, passing a billion downloads for the first time.”

Have you tested how your website looks on a mobile device?  There are free resources for this such as iPad-Emulator.com for the iPad, or the Opera Mobile Emulator.  See also a more comprehensive list - The Best Mobile Emulators & Responsive Design Testing Tools ... .

In many cases, search screens will work and function well in a mobile browser, but you may wish to create a search screen optimized for smaller screens, just to make the experience that much better. See our blog post WorkSafeBC Launches Mobile Version of Library Catalogue for an example.

Although we don’t recommend substituting a PDF for a search of your database, sometimes this can be useful for fairly static content, i.e. for recommended lists of web resources, or archival finding aids. Most software has a Save As PDF option and if not, there are many free printer drivers such as PrimoPDF or PDFCreator that let you print to PDF very easily.   The good news is that your PDF’s can be opened on mobile devices and manipulated using a touch screen.  As well as enlarging for easier reading, with apps like iBooks or Kindle you can also view thumbnails and flip through or bookmark pages. Features such as highlighting or annotating are not available though.  Your PDF’s can be saved into libraries and synced with iTunes or other devices.  So while not all the interactive features of a custom app are available, it’s worth reminding your users of this capability for viewing your PDF’s. 

If you need assistance making changes to your website to accommodate mobile devices or decide to create a mobile-specific site, please be sure to contact us.

Tags: mobile | tips

Use Automatic Order Numbers in Inmagic Genie

by Jonathan Jacobsen Monday, January 09, 2012 10:28 AM

Out of the box, Inmagic Genie’s Orders module has a field for Order Number. It’s a required field into which you can enter a unique number for each order. The intention of this field is to allow you to synchronize order records in Genie with records in an accounting system, by entering the accounting record number into this field.

This is a great feature for this specific purpose. However, if you are using the Genie Orders module on its own, or simply have no need to synchronize with an accounting or other system, it can be a bit tricky to enter a new, unique number for each new order record you create in Genie.

Fortunately, there’s a simple and easy solution to this: make the Order Number field an automatic number and allow Genie to assign a new number to each order record for you!

To do so, follow these steps (or contact Andornot to help you with them):

1. Use DB/TextWorks to open the Orders textbase, then change the OrdOrderNumber field to be Automatic Number. Set the next available number to wherever you’d like to start numbering (e.g. 1 more than your last order number).

2. In the MyEditScreens.config XML configuration file, change the OrdOrderNumber field to be read-only and have a note explaining how it now works. Be sure to change this in both the serials and item order screens.

e.g. <Field Name="OrdOrderNumber" Display="Order No. (created when saved)" Type="TextBox" CssClass="orders_edit_onethird_readonly"  ShowBrowse="false" Width="232" Align="left" ReadOnly="true" Required=”false”/>

Save the configuration file changes and reload all the configuration files in Genie, from the About box.

That’s it! You’re all set.

When you create new orders, the field will be appear greyed out and won’t initially have a number in it. When you save the order record, the number will be automatically added to the OrdOrderNumber field in the Orders textbase. However, it won’t appear on the screen until you search for and view the order record again.

Spring Training

by Denise Bonin Wednesday, January 04, 2012 11:18 PM

Baseball_clip_art_smallJust like baseball players, during Spring Training, you need to hone your skills with specialized training.  Not so you can hit a home run, catch a fly ball, or pitch a no-hitter.  As database users, searchers, and designers you need to learn the ins and outs of the program so you can score the right information in the fastest possible way and pitch it to your users in the best format.  Of course maximizing your return on investment will really score you points.

Andornot is pleased to offer another round of DB/TextWorks training sessions beginning Jan 12, 2012.  This is perfect for your New Year’s Resolution to become more proficient with the program that you probably use daily.

We are again offering a roster of Introductory, Advanced and Refresher training sessions in both January and March 2012.  See our Inmagic Training Schedule page on our website for more details.

And if you want to see which position you should play (or session you should take), check out our try-out camp quiz.

Our fall sessions were well attended and received solid endorsements in the follow-up survey with the majority of attendees indicating that they were Very Satisfied or Satisfied with all aspects of the sessions (from registration to instruction, cost, etc.).

So just like Tom Hanks yells in the movie A League of Their Own, “There is no crying in baseball”, there will be no crying following these sessions when you have all your bases covered.

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