Monday, October 9, 2017

Thing 4: Visual Communication, or, Fun with Images!

In the past few weeks, I've been a bit busy, and I left RUDAI23 behind. I have other priorities in life after all, although not all of them are as fun as the Things I have to practice with. Then, considering that I've already reached my personal record of blog posting, I cannot really complain about me and my reluctance at writing on the web.

Anyway, Thing 4 made me experiment with some fun tools that I did not know anything about before. I had lots of fun trying the various features in Photofunia, and I think it's a very interesting little app, that can spice things up when it comes to create promotional materials for the library.
I'm no graphic designer, but I do like creating posters and signs to promote events or resources. And sometimes what you need is just a fun and catchy photo that could grab the patrons' attention.

While I was "busy" at work, I finally made my own sleeveface (and that was already a lot of fun!), so I decided to add even more fun by using that photo in Photofunia.
So here's my result.

How does it work? You simply navigate the image bank proposed by the app, choose the one that fits your needs (can we talk about needs when we are talking about having fun?), and then you upload your own photo into it. You can end up in a painting, in a business newspaper, on a vinyl cover, or on a giant billboad. The combinations are endless!

When you are done with your masterpiece, you can share it in other social media, or you can simply save it as an image file on your computer. But where's the fun if you don't share it?

If you are too shy and you don't want to use personal photos, you can also choose to add personal text into images from the collection of the app. And this is where the story becomes interesting for work. 
This simple trick allows you to create catchy posters in few clicks.
So I gave it a try and created an image that could be helpful for promoting the library extended hours during final weeks.

I really loved the simplicity of the tool, and I've already used it in the library blog to promote our workshops. It's a simple and effective way to add visuals to a boring blog post:

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Thing 3: Image Banks

I've started using image banks for work (I don't have a Flickr account and I usually don't share lots of photos I've takes... well, that is partially true, because I do have a Facebook account where I used to post photos, and I also have Instagram, but those are my photos and I can decide if and how I want to share them, right?). Mostly, my learning how to use image banks was linked to my teaching practice, we felt the need to teach students how to legally use visual material.
Hence, I had to do a lot of research for image banks and repositories that allow license selections.


I had to learn about CC and the different types of licences. And I have to admit that I'm still a bit confused at moments. I always have to get back to the Creative Commons site to understand if a license is right for what I need to do (better: if what I need to do can be done with a specific license).

So, I explore image banks to identify those that include public domain and CC licensed images.
I stumbled upon Google Images and Flickr, the easiest choices when you try to find images. Both have the possibility to select the type of licence that best adapts to what you want to do. But (there is always a "but") the language used to describe the various types of licenses is not always the same. This is where I get confused.
The wording might be confusing, and the treatment of the images can vary a lot. I found Flickr easier to understand for two reasons: the word choice is closer to the one used in the CC licenses, and every image is then associated to the license symbols.
This is why I prefer Flikr to Google Images

Creative Commons Licenses

Then, I found Pixabay, where all images are in the public domain. Well, I found the perfect image bank!
There's probably more to explore out there, but for the moment I am happy with the images that I can find on Pixabay. It's an easy site to teach to students, and the proper usage of the images is clearly defined. You may not be able to find the exact image that is needed for your purposes, but then go out and take your own photos!

Using image banks is like riding a bicycle: when you learn how to do it, you cannot un-learn it! - uploaded by paukrus

Saturday, September 16, 2017

First post, Thing 2

Writing your first blog post ever (!) is scary. I am no blogger, I am no writer. I am actually not a good writer at all. Neither in English, nor in Italian. So why am I doing this? They say that you have to experiment with things that you don't know, that you have to face your fears. So here I am, writing my first blog post.
I registered in R23: 23 Things for Information Skills, an online course for information professionals (this is how they present themselves). It sounded interesting, and I am an information professional after all. So here I am.
I guess this will also be a challenge for me because, even though I work with technology and online information, I am not the biggest fan of a hyperconnected world, and I tend not to be consistent when it comes to publish stuff online. They say you have to blog to become a better blogger, you have to write to be read. And I don't even know if I want to be read. So, once again, what am I doing here?

I see a big challenge ahead of me, and I'll try to reach the end task by task. And who knows? I might like it after all.

Thing 4: Visual Communication, or, Fun with Images!

In the past few weeks, I've been a bit busy, and I left RUDAI23 behind. I have other priorities in life after all, although not all o...