One page guides: online mapping & google earth

Custom online maps with two one page guides were written for the Young Researcher Network launch conference where they were used as part of a session introducing social media tools for young researchers.

I've always found geographic and mapping visualisations to be really helpful in participation projects (as in this series of workshops on the local offer), and so these two guides explore how Google Earth and the My Maps feature of Google Maps can be used to add an online dimension to community mapping projects.

In the 'Custom Online Maps – with' guide I've tried a new technique, picking up on the annotated screen shot style of Sue Waters (example here) to show the different options available on My Maps.

You can download 'Custom Online Maps – with' here as a PDF for printing, or if you want to edit and adapt a copy, grab the original word file here.

Google Earth

The 'Mapping your community with Google Earth' guide explains:

Google Earth allows you to view high resolution satellite images of your local area on a 3D globe.

You can add annotations and notes onto Google earth to record information about your area.

You can add lines and shapes to mark out particular areas on your map.
You can share your annotations so that they can be accessed on Google Maps ( or in other mapping tools.

You can download the 'Mapping your community with Google Earth' guide as a PDF here, or as a word document for editing it is available here.

This guide is only a very brief introduction and is very specific in having been designed for a 25 minute mini-workshop introducing Google Earth. I'm mainly sharing here for those who were at the workshop and have asked for a copy…

The Young Researcher Network launch conference where the workshop took place also explored how you can use Flickr to create a photo map. There is an earlier guide that mentions that to be found here.

Attachment: Online maps.pdf
Attachment: Google Earth.pdf
Attachment: Google Earth.doc
Attachment: Online maps.doc

One page guide: online surveys

Online surveysI wrote this one page guide on running an online survey in response to a suggestion from Damien at ChangeMakers Virtual Volunteering programme, and to go towards a section on online consultation and participation I've been putting together for Participation Works.

You can download the guide for printing here (PDF), or for editing here (Word doc).

The guide gives an overview of setting up and running an online survey with The sharp-eyed reader will notice that in fact the screen-shot in the guide is of a SurveyMonkey survey. This is no particular reason for this other than I had that particular survey open at the time. And it shows diversity.

As with all the guides in this series, it is aimed at someone who has perhaps heard of online surveys (or blogs, rss and wikis etc.), but doesn't really know what they have to offer or how to get started. The guide is designed to at least show that it's not that scary – and that these online tools have real practical applications.

I'm planning to experiment with some more 'platform agnostic' guides in the near future – but so far I've found that because every provider names things slightly differently ('analyse responses', 'create report' etc.) it gets quite difficult to create something that will help a new user feel secure rather than worried…

Attachment: Online Surveys.pdf
Attachment: Online Surveys.doc

One page guide: introducing wikis

Introducing wikiAnother post in the one page getting started series. This time taking a look at the humble wiki.

From the document:

A wiki page is a bit like a whiteboard. All you need is a marker pen and you can change the content of the whiteboard. On a wiki page, just search for the edit link and you can change the page contents directly from your web browser.

Unlike a whiteboard, however, a wiki will store a history of page changes so you can see how a page has changed over time, and can bring back an old version if you want to.

A wiki website is build up of interlinked wiki pages. It is easy to create new pages. Wiki pages are usually created in plain text with special ‘markup’ to indicate links and formatting.

You can download the guide for printing here, or for editing here.

Because of the group I designed it for, this version of the guide suggests that users get familiar with the wiki concept by trying to edit a relevant page on Wikipedia, and then uses Wikispaces as it's example of a build-your-own wiki. This may not be suitable for all groups – but, as the sheet is Creative Commons licenced you are free to apapt it to suit the context you are working in.

A few wiki links:

  • Wiki Patterns a toolbox of patterns & anti-patterns that will make a wiki work – and a guide to the different stages of introducing a wiki into a group or organisation setting.

    I particularly like the Barn Raising pattern, which reminds me, Watford Gap and I had earlier this year thought about a UK not-for-profit bit of wiki barn-raising on Wikipedia. A new-years-resolution project for 2008 perhaps..

  • Wikis in plain english excelent video introduction to wiki concepts by Common Craft.
  • Wikispaces – Free hosted wiki of choice for most of the mini-collaborative projects I've come across.
  • DokuWiki a suprisingly powerful and effective wiki system to install on your own servers or intranet. My wiki of choice for keeping myself organised on a day-to-day basis.

Attachment: 8 – Wiki in One Page.pdf
Attachment: 8 – Wiki General.doc

One page guide: finding and reading blogs

Finding and reading blogs

This is the next in my series of one-page getting started guides – and the first of quite a few to be posted this evening.

The concept for these guides is fairly simple, although one I'm still experimenting with.

The goal is that each sheet should take someone from not knowing what a particular social media tool is, nor how they would use it – to at least having taken the first steps to using it in a sensible and sustainable way. And it should do that in no more than one side of A4.

So – attached to this sheet is a getting started guide on 'Finding and Reading Blogs'.

You can download this as a PDF for printing, or a word document to edit and adapt for your own use.

If you or the target audience you may use this sheet with have not already started using an RSS reader then you may find it useful to start with this guide on reading RSS/Blog feeds with NetVibes.

Attachment: 6 – Reading Blogs.doc
Attachment: 6 – Reading Blogs.pdf

RSS with NetVibes in one side of A4

Reading blogs and rss feeds with Netvibes

Engaging effectively and honestly with the social web involves listening a lot more than you speak; reading a lot more than you write.

One of the first tools I introduce to clients interested in exploring social media is some form of RSS reader. An RSS reader is a tool to agregate conversations and information from across the social web into one place – making it easier to listen as a foundation for engaging.

Recently, my reader of choice (for those starting out) has been NetVibes. So, here is the next in my series of one page guides – this time looking at NetVibes.

You can download the guide as a PDF here.

The guide is Creative Commons licenced, so you are welcome to use it in your own work, and to adapt it (Word copy attached below) to contextualise it for different audiences or groups.

For example: In the original copy of this guide I wrote for a client I created a customised NetVibes tab with a range of tools they might find useful and provided a TinyURL link to this as the first step of getting started, instead of pointing people straight to the front page of NetVibes. That way, users could immediately see how NetVibes was relevant to them, instead of first encountering the standard NetVibes modules and tools which are set up for a very different audience.

I'd love to hear about any use you make of this guide.

Attachment: 4 – NetVibes General Purpose Briefing.pdf
Attachment: 4 – NetVibes General.doc

Social bookmarking on one page of A4

Social Bookmarking in one pageI've had more free time than I expected this evening, so here is the second of my one-page guides to social media tools, prepared for a training course I'm currently running.

This time, social bookmarking with in one page of A4.

Each of these sheets aims to:

  • Introduce a social media tool
  • Provide quick instructions on getting started with it
  • Suggest one or two uses for the tool

I've found the contraints of one page to provide an interesting challenge in making me think really carefully about how to communicate the essence of each tool. Sue Waters post on 'hitting the bulls eye' has really helped me in thinking about ways to escape my general propensity to want to write in depth on everything.

On it's way fairly soon should be one page on NetVibes, and one page on Blogging… all feedback is, of course, welcome.

Attachment: 3 – Social Bookmarking.pdf
Attachment: 3 – Social Bookmarking.doc

Flickr in one side of A4

Flickr in one side of A4I've recently started creating a series of 'Social media in one side of A4' mini guides as part of an online course I'm leading to introduce social media into one of the organisations I work with.

I'm planning to tidy up the first few for a general audience soon, but, as I noticed mention of Flickr on the Fairtrade Towns Yahoo Group this afternoon (thanks to Stafford Area FT Group who have set-up a Flickr group here) I though I would get a copy of the guide to Flickr online now.

So, here is Flickr in one side of A4.

Flickr is an online photo sharing too – and a very powerful one at that. So, if you're interested in how you can make the most of your photos, do take a look.

The guide is Creative Commons licenced, so feel free to take it and adapt it if it could be useful to you (original word version attached below). I'd also be really interested to hear responses to the format of the guide – as I'm looking to produce, and soon share, quite a few more…

Attachment: 5 – Flickr in one side of A4.pdf
Attachment: 5 – Flickr.doc