1

Re: Anyone on IM or Twitter?

Would be nice to be in more direct contact with some of you, so if you have IM or Twitter available to you, here are my details:

http://twitter.com/charlesroper
(I recommend Twhirl as a good desktop client)

Google Talk: charles.roper@gmail.com
AIM: RoperAIM
MSN: charles.roper@live.co.uk
ICQ: 51404000

I'm on most of the time, so I'll see you out there on the wires.

Charles

Charles Roper
Digital Development Manager | Field Studies Council
http://www.field-studies-council.org | https://twitter.com/charlesroper | https://twitter.com/fsc_digital

2

Re: Anyone on IM or Twitter?

No takers? I guess biodiversity informatics workers are't as well connected as I hoped. ;)

Charles Roper
Digital Development Manager | Field Studies Council
http://www.field-studies-council.org | https://twitter.com/charlesroper | https://twitter.com/fsc_digital

3

Re: Anyone on IM or Twitter?

Hi Charles,

I think this may be a case of education rather than anything else.

Personally, my time for monitoring IMs is a bit limited at the moment. Having said that, I do think the idea is a really good one. The facility to drop in and have a quick chat on some topic with instant communications would be great.

AIM (GAIM) is the one I'd go for. On the subject of messaging, do have a look at AltMe (www.altme.com). It's a system which is self hosted and allows posts to be viewed over time and they can be split into categories. It is a bit alternative, and the disadvantage is that one needs to advertise and invite people into the "world" (group) - but a guest account can be set up. I'll try and get a good AIM client and give you a shout.

BTW, is Biodiversity Informatics the new term for what we do? Not being mainstream Bioinformatics (i.e. genetics), is this a branch. It makes it easier when people ask "What work do you do"? I'm loath to reply "I work in IT", which is usually qualified by "err.. well not quite..it's more like..you know, species, wildlife..biological recording..databases..biodiversity".

Dave Cope,
Biodiversity Technology Officer,
Biodiversity Information Service for Powys and Brecon Beacons National Park.

4

Re: Anyone on IM or Twitter?

Hi Charles

My involvement is that I do the development as a volunteer for the local recording centre i.e. this biodiversity informatics is not my main job. This means that I would not normally be available during most working time for discussions, although having said that, my employers are flexible in relation to this arrangement as they support the LRC (hence some of my postings are during the day). I also suspect that they may not be too keen on installing some software on the PCs and some sites (e.g. http://www.altme.com/ and http://www.icq.com - so you can't use ICQ2Go) are blocked for users.

So in summary, for the likes of me, the forum works well just now but I am willing to support any ideas. The above just illustrates some of the difficulties that others may experience and why the response has been lukewarm.

I guess there are alternatives, e.g. ICQ wireless can run on a limited number of mobile devices.

Maybe worth having a mini survey of people to find out a) are they full time 'Biodiversity Informatics' and b) are there restrictions imposed by employers (e.g. Local Authorities) of using alternative communications.

Cheers

Nick

(ePlanning Project Manager) Aberdeenshire Council

5

Re: Anyone on IM or Twitter?

We're not allowed to use any IM clients here, so I use the web-based Meebo instead. It can connect to AIM, ICQ, MSN/Windows Live, Yahoo and GTalk (aka Jabber), plus has it's own chat room facility  which enables one to invite several people to a group chat. It all works through a browser and thus doesn't require a client. It also has a nice Firefox extension, which improves the experience, although it isn't required. Some organisations block the Meebo site, but I understand this can be circumvented using the Meebo Repeater. I've not tried it personally, so I couldn't tell you if it works or not.

There is also Digsby and Pidgin (which is the new name for GAIM), which are desktop client apps and can connect to all of the mainstream IM networks.

If you fancy a bit of Twitter, then Twhirl is a good desktop client.

Regarding "Biodiversity Informatics", it seems that this is rapidly becoming the accepted term for us IT folk working in the fields of biodiversity, ecology and conservation. A snippet from the Wikipedia article:

"Biodiversity Informatics is the application of information technology (IT) tools and approaches to biodiversity information, principally at the organismic level. It thus deals with information capture, storage provision, retrieval, and analysis, focused on individual organisms, populations, and species, and their interactions. It covers information generated by the fields of systematics, evolutionary biology, population biology, and ecology, as well as more applied fields such as conservation biology and ecological management."

Seems to fit the bill quite nicely. I know exactly what you mean about not knowing how to describe what one does, Dave. "Biodiversity informatics" certainly fits better than just "IT". :)

Charles

Charles Roper
Digital Development Manager | Field Studies Council
http://www.field-studies-council.org | https://twitter.com/charlesroper | https://twitter.com/fsc_digital

6 (edited by davec 30-04-2008 15:56:38)

Re: Anyone on IM or Twitter?

Now I'll be able to say "I work in Biodiversity Informatics".  Then, after the inevitable blank look, I'll say "It's like IT..err.. well not quite..it's more like..you know, species, wildlife..biological recording..databases..biodiversity". :)

If you really want to impress, try bioinformatition. Even if I could say it with a straight face, the response might be one of horror and hasty retreat, given that to most people 'matitions' do maths.

"term can be traced back as far as 1993" - don't you just love Wikipedia. Is it just me, or does 1993 not seem so long ago.

Dave Cope,
Biodiversity Technology Officer,
Biodiversity Information Service for Powys and Brecon Beacons National Park.

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Re: Anyone on IM or Twitter?

Now I'll be able to say "I work in Biodiversity Informatics".  Then, after the inevitable blank look, I'll say "It's like IT..err.. well not quite..it's more like..you know, species, wildlife..biological recording..databases..biodiversity". :)

Exactly!

If you really want to impress, try bioinformatition. Even if I could say it with a straight face, the response might be one of horror and hasty retreat, given that to most people 'matitions' do maths.

I've considered that, but not plucked up courage yet.

"term can be traced back as far as 1993" - don't you just love Wikipedia. Is it just me, or does 1993 not seem so long ago.

It was a year before I built my first website. Ah, the good old days of of 14.4K modems and 486's. All very modern and hi-tech at the time, of course. :)

Charles Roper
Digital Development Manager | Field Studies Council
http://www.field-studies-council.org | https://twitter.com/charlesroper | https://twitter.com/fsc_digital

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Re: Anyone on IM or Twitter?

Meebo is a blocked site for us :(

But hey.. this forum is beginning to waken up :)

Cheers

Nick

(ePlanning Project Manager) Aberdeenshire Council

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Re: Anyone on IM or Twitter?

. Ah, the good old days of of 14.4K modems and 486's. All very modern and hi-tech at the time, of course. :)

Pah! You were lucky! My first programming work was on a mainframe writing FORTRAN on punch cards. No, seriously! (That was 1977 BTW - eons in Internet time). :)

You had to hand the cards to the operator. I managed to invoke a system reset as one of my calculations caused a loop with no exit and the line printer (yes, that was the program output) churned out loads of paper with rubbish data. How not to impress. :P

Dave Cope,
Biodiversity Technology Officer,
Biodiversity Information Service for Powys and Brecon Beacons National Park.

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Re: Anyone on IM or Twitter?

Pah! You were lucky! My first programming work was on a mainframe writing FORTRAN on punch cards. No, seriously! (That was 1977 BTW - eons in Internet time).

I would have been 2. I didn't even know what a computer was until I was 10, when I got my first Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48K. Happy days. :)

What happened if you dropped your punch cards and got them mixed up?

Charles Roper
Digital Development Manager | Field Studies Council
http://www.field-studies-council.org | https://twitter.com/charlesroper | https://twitter.com/fsc_digital

11

Re: Anyone on IM or Twitter?

charlesr wrote:

What happened if you dropped your punch cards and got them mixed up?

You had to resort them using the sequential number index printed on them...a weird form of solitare!

I'm on AIM now (using the Pidgen client) and my screen name is "dave at bis". Umm, not sure I should have used spaces. Have updated my profile and I'll keep the client running whenever I'm at my workstation. Can't guarantee an instant response, but will be my best.

Dave Cope,
Biodiversity Technology Officer,
Biodiversity Information Service for Powys and Brecon Beacons National Park.

12

Re: Anyone on IM or Twitter?

Ah, good to hear there are other people around who started on this road with a Sinclair ZX Spectrum!

John van Breda
Biodiverse IT