Didn’t they do well

We recently held some pop up events for our staff to get views on ideas and innovation:



But they look like tiny hair dryers

Apple’s AirPods are coming. They are the answer to the missing headphone jack on the iPhone 7.

But they look like tiny hair dryers.

Online worry has been they will fall out of ears easily, get lost, bit pricey etc….

They are controlled by optical sensors and infra-red technology so gentle tapping them will control playback. There are no wires to get tangled and nothing to plug in. You do have to charge them though.

If other phone companies follow suit this might be the future for headphones for all phones.  I’m not sure I mind so long as the music sounds good.


What free online tool can build a shared ideas wall?

– That could easily be one of the questions asked on tricider.


Last week we discovered the tricider online tool which worked perfectly as our online ideas wall.

We’ve had a physical wall for over a year now with some success but with staff based across a number of sites it wasn’t working as well as we had hoped. Our ideas wall founder, Ros, has always wanted an online version but we thought the admin time for running something like that was prohibitive.

So easy to set up and use

Lightbulb_triciderOnce we found it and decided it was what we wanted then it was so quick to set up. I embedded it into our staff intranet and it was good to go. It’s been up a week now and ideas are coming in thick and fast.

Free and no registration needed

It’s currently free and requires no registration so it’s really easy for all our staff to post to it and to vote on other people’s ideas.

Other tools

Makes me wonder what I’ve been missing – what else is out there that’s free and could be useful. Might be worth having a look yourself too.

Some links to help with your search:


Pitch your idea to the BBC


Working with the BBC, organisers of the European City of Science 2016 are looking for an exciting and innovative way to communicate science to a mass, global audience.

One way of doing this is through a ‘citizen science’ project – in other words a project where people can get involved in a piece of real science happening right here in Manchester.

Some ideas:

More details and how to apply are available on The University of Manchester StaffNet.

Closing date is Friday, 12 June


Taster: The BBC’s home of new ideas

BBC Taster

I really like the new BBC Taster service which was launched earlier this year as a place to test innovative new BBC content.

There are over a dozen projects to play with on the site and anyone can try them out. Each has a shelf life, warning how long they’re going to remain on the site.

The projects range from Weather Bot (ask us about the weather, we’re British after all), Responsive Radio (curate your own radio show) to Cat Watch (seeing the world through cats eyes).

BBC Taster

The service encourages users to rate content, and to share it with a wider circle – showing that the BBC takes the audience opinions seriously.

Could we do something like this in the Library? How would it help us? 

  • Encourage our audience to have conversations about our projects on our own website rather than one social media
  • Involve our audience at the start of projects rather than at the pilot or launch stage
  • Gather views and feedback quickly
  • Create a sense of openness about our innovative ideas

Try BBC Taster for yourself


Innovation blog

The Library’s Innovation Group has been set up to create a platform for the collection and generation of new ideas and steer and champion the new schemes and projects which come out of those ideas.