Tag Archives: The Noun Project

3 Plus 1 Plus 1

13 Jan

So last week I claimed I was going to reset/restart my writing here with a format of 3 interesting things I discovered during the week, plus a question. I’ve always noticed that if/when I start looking for things, I inevitably find more. That’s what happened this week. I’ve got 5 – 5 fun and interesting things from the week to share. Here goes:

The Noun Project’s Free 2023 Marketing and Social Media Content Calendar

If you’re unfamiliar with the Noun Project, I highly recommend the site. Even more, if you afford it, I recommend an annual subscription (around $40). This gives you not only unlimited downloads of high quality icons and photos to use in presentations, handouts, social media posts, etc., but it also helps support the site and all of the graphic artists who contribute to it. The free calendar suggests icons and images throughout the year, relating to holidays and other observances. I’m one of the social media posters for my library and I’m always looking for ideas of things to post that coincide with whichever days I’m assigned. I’ve bookmarked the calendar site for future reference.

Massachusetts Center for the Book Tour Series, aka Book Trails

Break out your state map (or GPS) and plan some trips to visit places around Massachusetts related to literature. You can use the resource to plan visits to museums like the home of Louisa May Alcott (Concord) or the House of Seven Gables (Salem) or The Mount, Edith Wharton’s home in Lenox. You can also explore the deep and rich history of African American authors in the state, from the Underground Railroad site in New Bedford, where Frederick Douglass settled for awhile, to Malcom X’s Roxbury home, to the home site of W.E.B. DuBois in Great Barrington, as well as his residence on Flagg St in Cambridge. He lived in the latter while attending Harvard, as he was not permitted a dormitory space on campus. While this resource is targeted at sites in Massachusetts, check out your own state’s Center for the Book to see if they have something similar.

Journal Targeter (JOT)

Created by the Townsend Lab at Yale University’s School of Public Health, this is another tool to help authors find the most appropriate journals to submit manuscripts for publication. Users enter the title, abstract, and references for their paper into the service and it generates a list of matches to pursue. This isn’t an uncommon question in my library, so tools like this are always helpful to recommend.

The American Chemical Society’s Guide to Scholarly Communication

This resource from the ACS is filled with great information on scientific communication, scientific writing and publishing, peer review, data management, style conventions, graphics (many towards chemistry, of course), and an important chapter on inclusivity. This most recent chapter presents guidelines on writing and presenting related to age, disabilities and health conditions, gender and sexuality, diversity and inclusion, accessibility, socioeconomic status, and more. Another one I’ve bookmarked for easy reference in the future.

Cookie Monster’s Real Name is Sid

Not that you want to skip any of this, but if you scroll to the 7 minute mark, you’ll see!

A Question

What does anyone ever really get out of denying people the opportunity to read?

Share and Share Alike

1 Oct

One of my favorite books from the past few years is Austin Kleon’s, Steal Like an ArtistI’ve mentioned it in several previous posts (search “Austin Kleon” on the site and you’ll find them), mostly because I continue to pop back to it on a regular basis. It’s filled with plain, simple, good thoughts to inspire your creative side. I also follow Austin on Twitter. Awhile back, he declared that he was going to shift from immediately tweeting out lots of ideas, project updates, and interesting things he came across online to putting them all in an indexed version that he’d send out via his Tumblr account on Fridays. Of course, as soon as I saw this announcement I signed up for his email list and ever since, his Friday email to me has become something that I look forward to.

My new role as an evaluator finds me doing a lot of things that I’m hard pressed to chronicle as I once did for my work in the library world. In part, I think it’s because I spend a great deal of time learning new things and/or putting newly learned skills into action. It takes time and energy that ultimately takes away from my abilities to come up with interesting musings for this blog. That said, I’m not about to give up my blogging habit. It means too much to me. After lots of thinking about how to revitalize it, the thought came to me to take Austin’s advice and steal an idea … from him!

Thus, I’ve decided to shift the pattern of own blog a bit – at least for awhile – and turn it into a way to share with you, my readers and followers, some of the cool and interesting and inspiring and, dare I hope, helpful things that I come across weekly in my work and play. So here we go … here are a few things from the past several weeks (I’m cheating already, but it’s the start of a new thing and thus allowed). Enjoy!

  1. It only seems fair that I give a tip of the hat to Mr. Kleon to start. Besides his books, I also enjoyed watching the video from a terrific talk that he gave to an audience at Google a few years ago. It’s a wonderful summary of his theory on stealing and some inspiring words to anyone seeking to get out of the way of themselves when it comes to creativity.
  2. Juice Analytics is a data analysis and design firm in Atlanta that provides visualization services to businesses and organizations. They also freely offer a number of great resources for learning these skills, including white papers, video tutorials, and the book, Data Fluency (not free, but well worth the $21.59 price tag for my Kindle version). One of the best resources on their freebie page is “30 Days to Data Storytelling,” a guide to … well, it’s pretty self-explanatory, isn’t it? It’s a list of videos, tutorials, articles, etc., a few a day for 30 days, to help you understand how to use data to tell your story. Good stuff.
  3. Back at the end of the summer, just as school was ready to gear up, Slate published a series of blog posts during one week under the banner, What Classes Should I Take? The list is fascinating and the posts very well written. Two that I liked in particular were, The Secret Technique for Learning How to Code: Step 1. Don’t Be Intimidated, by Victoria Fine, and What are the Odds: To Learn to Think Critically, Take a Statistics Class, by Laura Miller. These two are most relevant to anyone in the library, information, or evaluation worlds. I also found the advice to take Art History, Public Speaking, and No Class at All, quite valuable. The entire series was great.
  4. The Noun Project – Icons for Everything – is pure awesomeness. A gazillion free icons to drop and drag and plop into place OR inspire you to make your own.
  5. One thing that I do often in my job is doodle pictures to tell the story of a particular group of researchers or a research center. Fancy word, infographics. Since I started sharing some of these on this blog and other places, several colleagues and friends have asked for advice on tools to use to make them. I tend to draw my own in Illustrator and/or Powerpoint, but there’s a handy list of 10 Free Tools for Creating Infographics on the Creative Blog website.

Finally, I think I’d like to add one consistent thing for each of these lists/posts. I’m going to call it, What’s On My Desk Right Now. Right now, it’s this:

Visual Storytelling

Visual Storytelling: Inspiring a New Visual Language, edited by Klanten, Ehmann, & Schulze, and available through Gestalten. I learned about this book after stumbling upon an interview with Jonathan Corum, the graphics editor for science at the New York Times. He’s one of many featured in this book and I can’t wait to dive into it. Now. Lunchtime reading!