Monthly Archives: October 2014

Publications Page / App

​I’m certain that by next Friday I can have all of the publications from Miriam’s EndNote library published to the site.

In terms of the "look" what you’ll have with the current configuration is…

This page will then list links to the following three content items:

My version of Miriam’s citations list has 38 citations.

We could potentially have all 38 citations listed at <> instead of just the three links above.

This means there’d be one new page per each journal article, and 38 links, not just the three described above.

It’s more work, but I actually like this approach (new page for all 38 links) for a couple of reasons:

The user can download a .RIS file (or PDF version of the citation, I’m not certain which is better at the moment).

I think this approach is excellent for taking advantage of the Plone site’s built-in search capabilities.

For example, each new page with details for the journal articles would have an abstract, which would then be searchable across the system.

Also, the pages themselves can have descriptive metadata, including location, and keywords.

For these reasons, I feel that the current configuration is the best approach.

Also, I feel the proposed plan adds more value than what NARA provides (with respect to the "clean" look the NARA resource offers).

Bottom line is – with the current way the site is set up – it’s not possible to make our publications look like NARAs.

And, I don’t think that’s the best option anyway.

However I respect that the NARA approach was agreed on before I set up shop –

So if this is non-negotiable, I can try and work with Daniel to change the current configuration on the site to make the NARA model possible.

Just let me know…



Tanner M. Jessel
Information Technology Specialist
Center for Renewable Carbon

The University of Tennessee
Institute of Agriculture
Center for Renewable Carbon
Mail: 2506 Jacob Drive
865-946-1162 (o)
865-946-1109 (f)


Knoxville location

Hello again Mayor!

It was excellent to see you and Dawn last night at the REI – Knoxville opening. Thank you for pointing me to Jerry Stritzke.

I brought some photos and had a quick chat with Jerry about replicating the Denver “REI Flagship” retail experience in Knoxville at the Standard Knitting Mill site.

My impression was he’s interested and loved the site and idea – with the caveat that it’s unlikely he’ll open another store in Knoxville.

However – I was quick to point out this idea is not just for a store – it’d be a regional destination, a regional outdoor recreation learning center, within 5 hours’ drive of 75% of the U.S. population.

He told me he wish they’d known about the location before they chose the Papermill Plaza site – but on the plus side, now he knows about it. (And the new retail store at Papermill is beautiful, isn’t it?)

His exact words were that he really wants to push the envelope on retail locations, especially with historic buildings. His view is people will come to an REI store no matter where it is placed.

I’m attaching a PDF version of the couple of images I handed him to take a look at (REI-Vision-PDF attached).

I also printed out the original conversation and suggestion I’d sent to Gail, and wrote down the contact info for you Bill, and Dawn.

Maybe a grassroots campaign could get a replication of the success on the facility that REI collaborated on at Charlotte, N.C. – the National Whitewater Center <>?

Perhaps a National Mountain Biking Center, based in Knoxville? Standard Knitting would be an amazing location right between Sharp’s Ridge and the Urban Wilderness, with the new First Creek Greenway linking both locations. Dawn and I have also tossed around the idea that Chilhowee Park could also be an attractive location, co-sited with the zoo.

With the right partners, the possibilities are really exciting – so it’s awesome to see your pursuit of partnerships, including your attendance at the store opening last night.

Thanks again to all of you for your support of the outdoors experience in Knoxville.


Tanner Jessel
At-Large Representative
City of Knoxville Greenways Commission

1026 N. Olive Street
Knoxville, TN 37917
Term: 01/15/2013 to 01/14/2015

On Mon, Aug 19, 2013 at 2:52 PM, Tanner Jessel <mountainsol> wrote:

Mayor Rogero, thank you for reaching out to welcome Gail and share the city’s enthusiasm for outdoor recreation and our Urban Wilderness.

Thanks also for CC’ing Bill.

Bill, I know you’re an “idea guy” so I do hope you’ve seen the “U.S. National Whitewater Center” that REI partnered to build with Coca Cola, Subaru, and Mecklenburg County Parks & Rec in Charlotte, N.C.

Here’s the wikipedia link:

It’s one of many whitewater parks in the U.S., but has the distinction of being the largest man-made river in the world, used for training olympiads.

If the city has a chat with REI folks, perhaps another training center, maybe “U.S. National Mountain Bike Center” could emerge in Knoxville. The city even has room for a terrain park / outdoor sports arena down at the knitting mill.

Last fall I participated in a national outdoor advocacy conference for youth outdoor leaders called “Outdoor Nation.” It’s sponsored by a broad range of outdoor equipment manufacturers united around a mission to get more youth involved in the outdoors. So, I’m confident partners and financial backing for a facility that introduces urbanites to the outdoors is there – it’s key to these outfitter’s business model that new generations continue a passion for outdoor recreation.

Thanks for lending an ear, and for your work on making Knoxville a unique place to live.


On Sat, Aug 17, 2013 at 6:48 PM, Madeline Rogero <mrogero> wrote:

Dear Gail:

I have to echo everything that Tanner has shared with you. He is right on spot with the opportunities for REI to connect with our outdoor recreation and urban wilderness opportunities and to create a flagship presence here in Knoxville.

I am thrilled that REI is coming to Knoxville and would be pleased to meet with you to learn of REI’s plans and to officially welcome you to Knoxville!

Best wishes,

Madeline A. Rogero, Mayor
City of Knoxville
PO Box 1631
Knoxville, TN 37901
865-215-3643 office

Sent from my iPad

On Aug 17, 2013, at 3:15 PM, “Tanner Jessel” <mountainsol> wrote:

Hello Gail,

Thanks for taking the time to write on a weekend.

I realize you are busy so I appreciate it.

I’m a fan of spatial data analysis so I appreciate your reasons for choosing Papermill Plaza. But I think Knoxville is a place that has some other variables at play that may not have appeared in your analysis – and I’d appreciate your considering an idea I had for REI.

The reason I wanted to talk to you is I admire REI for restoring historic properties like the Old Mill in Bend Oregon and Traction Powerhouse in Denver.

I think a similar opportunity exists in Knoxville at the former Standard Knitting Mill – a historic textile mill built in the 40s that earned Knoxville the title “the underwear capital of the world.”

Today, Knoxville’s trying to establish itself as an outdoor recreation mecca with urban trails and corridors including an “urban wildernesss“- a network of trails totaling 20 miles on 1,000 acres just across the river from downtown.

Apart from being a 10 minute drive further east for the lucrative West Knoxville market, the knitting mill has the characteristics of Papermill Plaza – plus some unique features you may not have considered.

First, it’s on the way to the Smokies for most residents of all points West headed there. Second, it’s 20 minutes west from Bass Pro Shops and exit 407 in Sevierville. It’s easily integrated into the existing downtown Knoxville shopping scene via a free trolley system – perhaps an “Outdoor Adventure Express” linking the location to Knoxville’s Waterfront. It’s right on the greenway and creek that could one day be a blueway. It’s a short hop from the “Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center” and University of Tennessee campus – also served by the free trolley system.

It’s big, highly visible off the interstate with two nearby interchanges, and has some development incentives as it’s in an “empowerment zone” with available tax increment financing.

It’s so big (over 400,000 square feet), you could have an indoor whitewater kayak circuit for people to test out equipment. So big you could install an indoor mountain bike course for teaching and trying out equipment, or synthetic ski slopes or climbing walls. Think of the U.S. National Whitewater Center (albeit on a smaller scale) and the mountain biking trails around the Denver store.

I know a big part of REI’s mission is education. I also know for REI and other outfitters to continue doing business – you need to engage young people and create a culture of outdoor enthusiasm to drive purchases of outdoor gear. At this space I’m suggesting for you, you have the room and amenities (greenway, urban wilderness, creek) to do a great outreach – plus the opportunity to lure visitors from exit 407 and serve as a launching point for Smokies excursions, or even guided trips into the Urban Wilderness.

Knoxville is pushing hard for this “outdoor adventure” identity and I think that local policy makers would want to support you on an idea like this. It’d just take a brand like REI to make it possible.

In conclusion I’d really like you to look at making something more than a retail experience in Knoxville- please look at making a retail destination – a regional landmark that draws people in to both the store and the outdoor lifestyle. Bass Pro shops is a real “pro” at that – their store at Exit 407 20 minutes east of Knoxville has an aquarium with indoor waterfall. I know that’s not exactly REI’s style, but you have an opportunity here to make something that is a regional destination, aligned with the City’s aspirations to be a regional outdoor recreation destination.

Thanks for hearing me out. I respect that you’re locked into a lease, but if the store does well and you’re open to having a “flagship” presence in the Knoxville area similar to your Denver “flagship” store, I believe the local membership and community would wholeheartedly – and I’ll even venture to guess financially via incentives or perhaps partnerships – support you.

I’m CC’ing Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and 4th District City Councilman Nick Della Volpe on this suggestion. They are familiar with me from my work on the Greenways Commission.

Thanks again and have a great weekend,


On Sat, Aug 17, 2013 at 2:17 PM, Gail Kirkland <GKirkla> wrote:

Hey Tanner,

Thank you for the email and sharing your concerns about our new store in Knoxville. As a co-op, we’re dedicated to meeting the needs of our members and I’m sorry you are not happy with the location we’ve chosen. To answer your question, we have signed a lease for this location and the decision is final.

Our real estate decisions are made internally and based on a variety of factors. For the Knoxville store, regional access to surrounding areas – like the Smoky Mountains – was especially important to us. Papermill Plaza is easily accessible from I-40/I-75 and highly visible, which also factored into our decision. Not unlike other retailers, we also consider parking and household income. Additionally, as a co/op, it’s important for us to keep in mind in the location of our member base in the market.

We are very excited about joining the community in Knoxville next year and again, I’m sorry you are unhappy with our choice of location. I do hope you will stop by once we are open and hopefully, give us a chance to serve you locally.



Gail Kirkland

Retail Director – South

Recreational Equipment, Inc.


Idea for Little Free Library Hutches

Hi Patrick,

My name is Tanner Jessel

I live in Parkridge Neighborhood in East Knoxville.

Ever hear of little Free Libraries?

They’re little hutches where people can "take a book/leave a book."

In our neighborhood, we tried to set one up stocked with children’s books.

Sadly, along with assaults from the weather, it was brutally vandalized.

On a walk with my dog in downtown Knoxville, I noticed an empty Metropulse box and had an idea: collect the boxes and transform them into little free library hutches for Knoxville.

I know these empty boxes sadden a lot of people who miss the Metropulse.

I was hoping we could convert these sad reminders into a source of hope and optimism for literacy in Knoxville.

Am I correct to assume that these boxes are still the property of Scripps?

If so, might we organize to collect them and convert them into little free library hutches?

Please let me know. I think this could be a great opportunity for Scripps to do some good and generate some positive sentiment concerning the recent events.



Publications Page / App

Ok, cool.

It’s probably obvious, but I have a lot to learn about Plone/Python, so I appreciate your patience.

That’s awesome to learn RSS can be added to any page… and customized.

And yes, it’s nice to have the opportunity to propose a different data collection and dissemination workflow from Miriam’s model.

As I’ve been exploring the options, I have two dynamic XML feeds set up:

XML Feed One:

The one above is just a "prettified" version of the raw output from the Zotero API <>, tortured with Feedburner settings to RSS 1.0 that the IBSS site’s RSS reader appeared to play nice with.

XML Feed Two:

The one above is XML Feed One from Feedburner, routed through Y! Pipes, but this time tortured to list only publications from 2014, in alphabetical order by title.

I’m using that one to generate the static HTML that I can edit and post manually using the existing "new publication" form.

It would be amazing to have an RSS portlet available that could dynamically display the title, description, and link to the citation on the IBSS6 Zotero account.

Earlier I’d mentioned the Zotero Reader web app as a possibility – it has a slick UI and expanded capabilities over the RSS feeds including the ability to browse by keyphrase and author. However, pursuing a similar application to mesh with the IBSS site is a bit over my current skill and knowledge level – for now. I would like to keep it in mind though.

At any rate, using Zotero to collect and publish citations seems like a great time-saver and potential third party solution to managing the citations. It’s great to hear you’re working on an internal database approach though – trusting a third party service like Zotero to manage digital content in the long-term always has some inherent risk.



Publications Page / App

Hi Daniel,

Being a latecomer – I’m not 100% on the direction Miriam was looking at for the publications pages.

I am very interested in a dynamic citations database / web app, but for the time being, I am thinking to update the publications pages with static text.

I’ve played around with the settings and it looks like I could put all 2014 journal article citations into one single publication details. As the "download" file, I was thinking to put a .ris file. The Plone site permits upload of a .ris file, although it’s a bit confused about it and just labels it as an "octet stream."

I’m also thinking about possibly making many individual publication detail windows. This is more involved. I might make those in private over the long term, and publish them all at once when they are done.

In the meantime I am thinking of using option A or option B (see attached screen captures) for doing something immediately.

I wanted to check with you first to make sure I am not stepping on your toes – Miriam was not clear with me about how far along you two had gotten on this.

Anyway just thought I’d check to be sure you don’t mind me setting the work I’ve done in private to public, as I check things out and think about how the information concerning journal articles might be used.



Tanner M. Jessel
Information Technology Specialist
Center for Renewable Carbon

The University of Tennessee
Institute of Agriculture
Center for Renewable Carbon
Mail: 2506 Jacob Drive
865-946-1162 (o)
865-946-1109 (f)

Publications Page / App

Hi Daniel,

I understand Miriam was working with you on publications.

I’m on board with populating that page and think it’s a good idea.

However, I have a different approach in mind than what Miriam proposed.

Miriam was using EndNote, a proprietary software from Thomson Reuters (the scholarly publishing company), to collect IBSS bibliographic records for journal articles, conference proceedings, fact sheets, and other peer-reviewed materials.

My preference is to use Zotero, an open source citation management software originally funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services.

Among other reasons I favor Zotero over Endnote: it’s free to use.

To me, the most attractive feature about Zotero is that, along with organizing bibliographic records, it can host the records online. These online records can then be made accessible to other applications via an API.

To illustrate, here’s the XML feed from a Zotero account I created and populated with some IBSS journal articles:

I routed that through Feedburner:

Clicking a link in the RSS feed generated by Feedburner will deliver the user to a record page in Zotero, that looks like this:

Now, I originally was thinking to pull in this RSS feed as a dynamic feed via an RSS portlet that would update whenever I added a new publication to the IBSS6 Zotero account.

However, there are two problems with that approach.

1) We only see the title (no author, abstract, or other value-added metadata)

2) Clicking the URL appears to fail; I’m directed to a "forbidden" message from Zotero

Given these problems, I may have found another option that looks promising:

"Zotero Reader" is being designed as a mobile web app.

To use Zotero Reader, a Zotero user logs in with their Zotero site credentials, which generates an API key linking the user’s Zotero account to the web application.

It looks like the Zotero Reader app’s code in is then modified with the user’s information:

var zConfig = {
libraryType: ‘user’,
userID: 2148892,
libraryID: 2148892,
userSlug: ‘IBSS6’,
apiKey: ‘R8TfDVAO0gQBtsQW3IYSq0z4’

I’m wondering if this is something we could adapt to / incorporate into the SE-IBSS site as a solution to the presentation of our publications?

I like the interface, and that it allows the user to search by tags, author, title, and other options. It also looks optimized for mobile browsers.

Anyway, just curious if your expertise leads you to believe this web app could be incorporated as either a standalone or integrated piece of the IBSS publications page, as a solution to the problem of managing the bibliographic records generated by IBSS research activities.



Tanner M. Jessel
Information Technology Specialist
Center for Renewable Carbon

The University of Tennessee
Institute of Agriculture
Center for Renewable Carbon
Mail: 2506 Jacob Drive
865-946-1162 (o)
865-946-1109 (f)


Hi Magen,

My job listing advertised wanting someone to create apps.

My answer is that it is easier to create a web app in HTML5 than it is to actually create a mobile app that you can download in an app store.

The reason for this is you just have to write the app once – for use in a mobile browser.

This way, the app is cross-platform, for use on both Android, Desktop, and iOS Web browsers.

There is one forest bioenergy app I’m aware of so far that takes this approach:

What kind of app are you thinking of making, if you don’t mind my asking?

I’m interested in trying my hand at making an app – but I don’t yet have a clear understanding of what’s already out there and what the priority needs are.



SEED Fellowship Announcement

Hi Jessica,

The content is published as requested.

I modified your original article here:

I replaced the image of the flyer with a new version.

I added a headline and made some minor formatting changes to (hopefully) make the content more user-friendly.

One thing to note: for some reason the content management system does not allow external files (such as the flyer and application) to be posted within the "Student Opportunities" folder.

So, for reference, these files (the .pdf and .docx) reside within the "Featured Stories" folder.

Tanner M. Jessel
Information Technology Specialist
Center for Renewable Carbon

The University of Tennessee
Institute of Agriculture
Center for Renewable Carbon
Mail: 2506 Jacob Drive
865-946-1162 (o)
865-946-1109 (f)

Social Web Presence Update

Sounds good.

I’d be happy to grab some photos from you.

I believe the purple JMP drive you have also has some photos. Actually, Miriam transferred several files to me.

The big thing for me as an information scientist is the descriptive metadata.

This includes things like the physical location of the photo, people in the photo, and descriptions of what’s going on in the photo.

Metadata are a key part of telling the story – and in fact can help computers help us tell the story. For example, the USDA <​> has a geographically linked feed of photos that can be displayed on a map. If all our IBSS photos had spatial data linked to them, we could view our photos on a map or other Web based application, like an online game.

Beyond just the photos, your understanding of what site visitors are seeing in the images might be the most valuable content.

So, if you have some down time for me to interview you where I can create some descriptions, I think that’d be very helpful.



Tanner M. Jessel
Information Technology Specialist
Center for Renewable Carbon

The University of Tennessee
Institute of Agriculture
Center for Renewable Carbon
Mail: 2506 Jacob Drive
865-946-1162 (o)
865-946-1109 (f)

Social Web Presence Update

​Hi Jessica,

It looks like Twitter wants me to log in as Leslie Boby:

"Please log in to Leslie Boby-Sabatinelli’s Facebook account to proceed."

Basically what you do to link the two page is visit <> while logged in as IBSS6.

I also noticed IBSS has a G+ account that hasn’t been shown love recently.

That makes sense since G+ has a smaller audience – however using it can have some advantages in reaching audiences.

As an example, I use a third party service that links all three accounts called "manage flitter" at <>.

As an example of how I use it:

Here is my Google Plus page where I can create posts of interest to the broadest possible audience:

Any post here goes to my Twitter

Any Post to Twitter goes to Facebook.

The reverse is not true, because I use my personal social networks for specific purposes:

G+ is for the broadest possible audience; Twitter is for a smaller audience that follows me; Facebook is for my trusted friends.

The point for an organization to use the three is that different people use social media in different ways.

It’s best to have an "all of the above" strategy, to the extent practical.

I’m glad we’ll be meeting Thursday at 9:30. I’ll be interested to speak with you about how to present the use of various social media platforms, particularly Flickr, to Dr. Rials.



Tanner M. Jessel
Information Technology Specialist
Center for Renewable Carbon

The University of Tennessee
Institute of Agriculture
Center for Renewable Carbon
Mail: 2506 Jacob Drive
865-946-1162 (o)
865-946-1109 (f)