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September 16, 2008

Wikis

I used to frown upon using Wikipedia for anything, having heard about how it is created and maintained. For scientific purposes, allowing anyone anywhere to make and edit an entry was a concern. Over time, I have gotten over it and now use it as a frequent source of information for presentations. I like the links to other information, allowing me to go deeper on parts of a topic and then to return. I am just not sure how I would benefit from building my own wiki.

Productivity Tools

I have used Doodle before and found it to be very useful for scheduling meetings. After receiving inquiries to join a Doodle survey, I find that others have become users too. I use UMCal, but only for indicating standing things (e.g., class or class prep time) and for recording my out-of-town travel. I don't use it to record the myriad of meetings I have throughout the day, preferring to use my paper brain. When I travel, the paper brain is invaluable as meeting dates need to be created and I don't want to say "I will get back to you about my availability once I have checked my online calendar." I downloaded Jing and would like to try using it for screen captures. I have been looking for something like that and have heard others mention it. I think that it would be useful when making PowerPoint slides for presentations. I write things collaboratively with others (e.g., an online version of biomass harvesting guidelines training) and could benefit from using Google docs as we could all be working on the same document simultaneously. A downside is that I sometimes do my editing offline so it would mean having to enter in those thoughts later.