Monkey Doodle Handy

What do you people want, blood?

Perhaps a slight overreaction, but, honestly, 23 Things Makers: what came over you?

I started reading Thing 13, then I scrolled a bit, read some more, scroll, read, scroll, read, scroll, read, scroll OMG! Will it never end! I mean, War and Peace anyone?!

This hysterical preamble is my way of building the case for the defense. My defense. For not doing all the tasks.


I know. (Bows head in shame)

I’ve not been well. (Shakes head)

I tried, I really did! (Pleads with hands)

I just couldn’t handle the pressure. I beg of you, have mercy!

[Exit, pursued by angry Librarian]

I also became wrapped up in Prezis, and got slightly carried away with concocting silly questions, resulting in a substantial time-deficit; but that’s beside the point…

Anyway, here’s my Prezi.

Prezi is an excellent presentation tool. I’d never used it before [insert your own jokes about my Prezi here]; in fact, I didn’t know it existed until I came to City. It’s pitched as a user-friendly and more exciting alternative to PowerPoint, and in many ways this is a fair comparison. From what I’ve seen so far, Prezi feels like the dress-down Friday version of PowerPoint: more creative, accessible and fun to use, but no less credible in terms of its content provision. Additionally, the functionality and interactivity of Prezi make it ideally suited for collaborative work.

However, I wouldn’t write off PowerPoint just yet.

I’d be less keen as a presentationee (?), particularly in a classroom setting- where the emphasis is on absorbing complex topics- to be on the receiving end of a full-on Prezi, with it’s potentially disorientating effects and open-ended layout options. There’s something to be said for a simple, clear slideshow, backing up an engaging tutor. There are also a few technical drawbacks with Prezi, but from what I’ve been reading, these are being continually ironed out and the technology updated; so hopefully Prezi will become even more dynamic in the future.

As dedicated readers of this blog (and those of you kind/foolish enough to follow me on Twitter may be aware), I registered with Survey Monkey and went and did one. A big thank you to everyone who tackled the Questions That Need Asking, and for the positive feedback. Obviously, I’ve shown a complete disregard for the methodology of survey construction; but it’s my survey, and I’ll make it trashy if I want to.

I’ve had a lot of fun with Survey Monkey. After all the hoopla of Prezi, and the wowness of Web 2.0 in general, it was hysterically refreshing to be using a programme with Windows ’95 stylings. I suddenly became nostalgic for Microsoft Works, dial-up and Joanna Lumley; though not for my inkjet printer, which promised 3 pages per minute, but actually took 3 minutes per page.

Fist-gnawingly slow.

Survey Monkey might be a little clunky and lacking in finesse, but it does its job and sometimes that’s what’s important. The survey is open until Friday, and the official results will be revealed asap!

I’ve had some recent experience with Doodle, though in a slightly different context. This year, my university department decided to employ Doodle as the mechanism for selecting module options for the forthcoming academic year. From what I can gather, I don’t think this has proved a resounding success, possibly more as a result of poor planning and administration, rather than the merits of Doodle itself.

And I think this is a key point: It’s all very well having Web 2.0 tools at our disposal, but it’s the co-ordination and implementation which has as much to do with a project’s success or failure, as opposed to just the technology. Personally, I think a downloadable pdf or simple online form would have sufficed, but what do I know?

Doodle has a great name, an appealing concept, and is definitely worth further investigation from now on.

I have registered with Remember The Milk, and have invited a poor unsuspecting colleague to join me.

I don’t like the fact that I couldn’t just send my task to someone without forcing them to register- after all, I could have just emailed them anyway- what exactly is the USP here? Clearly I’m missing something. Maybe I should have used Doodle to schedule a chat about RTM? But how would I have remembered to use Doodle in the first place? I can’t even remember what I went upstairs for. If only there was a tool to help me organise my life, and overcome these increasing memory lapses?

What was the last Cool Thing? Oh, yeah, Google Docs.

Erm, right. Google Docs is a search engine designed to help you locate your nearest certified medical practitioner. It’s great. Amazing in fact. Everyone should use it.


# Apologies for the lack of embedded content. I tried to embed my Prezi, but 2 hours of trying to grasp gigya codes (disappointingly, nothing to do with Quagmire) and such nonsense defeated me. It’s Sunday, I’ve already missed the Grand Prix (go Hamilton!) and don’t intend missing lunch.

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8 thoughts on “Monkey Doodle Handy

  1. RMG says:

    Another great post! Sorry if you felt this was a very long week though. But you don’t have to do the Cool extra Things if you don’t have time. I suppose it;s a bit of a trade off between making sure the programme doesn’t stretch on for weeks and weeks and having several Things each week. We could have looked at just one tool each week but aside from making the programme very long it is good to see how the various tools interact. Also everything is on one post so that you can’t just ignore/miss a particular Thing.
    I’m looking forward to seeing the results of your survey though! (Maybe we should all come in wearing togas? Did you REALLY expect we’d vote for shell suits??)
    Interesting you have a university using Doodle. I know of some universities which have gone over to using Google mail, docs etc instead of MS but this is at an institutional level.
    This week has three Things, but the following two weeks are Two Things each and then you have a catch up week so I;m sure you’ll have time for everything. Hopefully the programme has given you some ideas of stuff you’d like to go back to later on, though.

    Not quite sure why you cant embed your prezi – this seems more problematic in WordPress than in Blogger. It may be you need to choose the basic option at embeddeding – there are 2 options. Or it could be an IE/Firefox thingy

    Rowena 23 Things Team

    • Hi Rowena: I can definitely see myself coming back to some of these tools, and expanding on my existing use of them as well- I’m sticking with Google Reader for example. I know it’s a difficult balance with the time factor, and I agree it’s better to have more things and be able to pick & choose, rather than run out of things to do or have the process drag on. I was accentuating my frustration for cheap laughs really…

  2. Helen says:

    I think you overlooked the best part … Google Docs (it does everything Survey Monkey, Doodle and RTM does but in one place). I do like Doodle though. But yes we did give Tolstoy a run for his money on this week’s things.
    Plus your prezi is genius!!

    • Thanks Helen! Yeah, I’ve come across Google Docs before in a previous work life, and decided at the time that I didn’t really have a use for it. I know that Google are keen to lend their platform making knowhow to others, so that everyone has access to website creation/document storage etc, and I think this open accessibility is great (even though I have my Google reservations…) I’ll have to have another look, maybe during the next rest week.

  3. Jessica says:

    I am the poor unsuspecting colleague!! Yay!!!
    I think I need RTM in my life – I had to resort to making a list on Sunday night with the old pen and paper…

    I love your Prezi too.

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