Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist

Archive forFebruary, 2010 | back to home

18 February 2010
Filed under:teaching,Useful web resources at5:02 pm

I wouldn’t have expected the EU to have anything as sexy as a map-based visualisation tool but Eurostat‘s is not bad at all and lets me generate all kinds of infographics (like the one below) for teaching use.

Percentages of households with broadband in Europe 2009

Percentages of households with broadband in Europe 2009

15 February 2010
Filed under:Call for help,Software reviews at10:05 am

I would like to give my students a web-based way to book appointments to see me which would then sync with my calendar. Features needed:

  • They should be able to request a booking without registering and see my calendar with busy parts greyed out.
  • I should be able to approve, modify or deny appointment requests and have the approval or denial notification sent to them.

I have been struggling with Timebridge for a while now which does much of this but it doesn’t let me modify students’ appointment requests – it only lets me approve them (if I want to suggest another time I have to do so by hand). It also doesn’t seem to check to see whether I am actually available when people try to book times.

With Google Calendar I can display my availability but as far as I can tell I would need to have students all register with GCal to add appointments and I would have to make each of them my ‘friend’. Same with Yahoo (which seems to have invented a new category called “special friends” who can edit calendar entries!). Calgoo seems not to be working and Doodle seems to require users to register and to require me to suggest times instead of the student.

Any ideas? Surely this is not too unusual a requirement?

5 February 2010
Filed under:Call for help,Software reviews at10:49 am

I have been using tweetdeck for a while but have a few issues with it:

  • I can’t do a keyword search across my twitter feeds so if I want to find a tweet from several days ago I am out of luck.
  • If I clear the tweets I have read I can’t then see how to get them back (but conversely they seem to re-appear when I restart)
  • There are several people who I follow but who also show up in a twitter list I follow (@nancybaym/internetresearchers). I would like their posts to be set to “read” when I read them in another column.
  • I would like to be able to say “mark this and all previous tweets as read” so I don’t have to read all the way to the “top” of my tweets before I mark them all read.

Surely these are not un-feasable features? Does anyone know a decent twitter client which can deliver on some or all of these?