Solving Problems with Web 2.0


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For the Catholic Library Association, Wisconsin chapter.

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Solving Problems with Web 2.0

  1. 1. Solving problems with “Web 2.0” technologies Dorothea Salo 9 October 2009
  2. 2. A 2.0 Taxonomy
  3. 3. What 2.0 services tend to have in common • Interactive, not broadcast • Comments • Ratings • Conversation • Collaboration • Network effects • “Glue” for mashups and recombination • RSS, PubSubHubBub, APIs...
  4. 4. Stuff, or people? • Stuff • Flickr: photographs • YouTube: video • Pandora, Slacker, music •, digg, reddit: links • WordPress, Blogger, LiveJournal: writing • People • social networks: MySpace, Facebook • “lifestreaming”: FriendFeed • talking: IM, Twitter
  5. 5. Using 2.0 to solve professional problems
  6. 6. esse nger M EmailCiteULike Instant ERVs RSS feeds L ISTS TECHNOLOGY FATIGUE eblogs W
  7. 7. Here’s the secret... • They’re just tools. (Okay, and toys, but we’re at work, right?) • Tools solve problems. • No problem? No need for a tool. • Otherwise... START WITH THE PROBLEM NOT THE TOOL!
  8. 8. Problem: Keeping up... without drowning • I get too much email. Don’t you? • Wouldn’t it be nice if... • Routine notifications didn’t interrupt your day • Routine notifications went quietly away once you read them, instead of cluttering up everything? • You could ask questions or discuss matters without bothering people who aren’t interested?
  9. 9. Solution: Weblogs plus feedreaders • There’s a catch: you need both! • If you just start the weblog, nobody reads it. • Eventually, everybody goes back to email because “nobody reads weblogs.” • Three steps 1. Start everybody on Bloglines or Google Reader. 2. Start the weblog. 3. Go cold-turkey on email! • Start with a small group.
  10. 10. Works for professional reading too! • Too busy to read the print literature? Me too. • The same people who write the literature are writing weblogs! • Andrew Pace... has a weblog. (“Hectic Pace”) • Roy Tennant... blogs for Library Journal. • Lorcan Dempsey... has a weblog. • Catholic librarians too! • •
  11. 11. Problem: Writing collaboratively • Everything from policies to pathfinders! • Emailing Word docs around is a hassle. • Nobody knows who has the latest version. • One version + three editors = three versions (or more!) • Inbox gets clogged even more. • Often you want the final version on the Web. Word is a lousy choice for that! • Ugh, there’s got to be a better way!
  12. 12. One solution: wikis • No, you don’t have to let “everyone” edit them! Or see them! • Some have WYSIWYG plug-ins, so you don’t have to memorize weird punctuation. • Tip: to choose a wikihost that’s right for your purposes.
  13. 13. Another: Google Docs • Docs and Spreadsheets ( • Also slides! • Restricts access to just the people who need to see it • Exports to MS Office, Open Office, HTML, PDF, text • ... so if you need that Word doc, you have it!
  14. 14. Problem: Getting stuff on the Web fast • Who wants to hassle with Dreamweaver or FTP? • Who can afford to wait while one designated person puts things online? • Who can afford to wait for changes?
  15. 15. Solutions: many! • Weblogs • for announcements • Wikis • for collaborative knowledge-bases • especially great for reference • Project-tracking sites (Basecamp, etc.) • Twitter, if you’re brief
  16. 16. Problem: Keeping track of stuff • More stuff flashes up on the Web than I can possibly remember. A lot of it is useful... but not right this second. • But when the need arises... will I remember where the site is?
  17. 17. Solution: social bookmarking services • granddaddy of ’em all • Steps: 1. Sign up. 2. Add a bookmarklet to your web browser. 3. Bookmark, tag, remember! • The “social” part doesn’t have to matter.
  18. 18. Solution: online reference trackers • Connotea • I find it a bit clunky, but it works. • Zotero • Firefox only • You can share citations with a group or with the world! • PDF and website storage, full-text search
  19. 19. But, Dorothea... lem! prob d my w cribe o kno en ’t des sed t n to You hav I suppo .0 solutio n am How er there d th ’s a 2 at solutio w heth will I fin it? How exists? eve n if it
  20. 20. Solutions • Keep up with one or two general-awareness techblogs (in your feedreader!). • I like and Librarian In Black. • Have your bookmarklet handy! • Build your network of 2.0 users, on and off- campus. • Listen when colleagues, patrons, friends talk about the tools they use! Then check ’em out for yourself. • Eventually, you will develop your “2.0” radar... and see uses for new tools as they turn up!
  21. 21. “The social” what does it mean for us and our patrons?
  22. 22. Networks of stuff • Can help us share and publicize our collections • Adding digitized materials to Flickr • Can help us track what’s new and worthwhile • Can offer us materials for legal use and reuse • Flickr, ccMixter • Open access, open educational resources, open textbooks
  23. 23. (A word about copyright) • If it’s on the Internet, assume it’s copyrighted. • “Credit” is NOT a defense against infringement • If you want to use it • Public domain or US government documents • Creative Commons • Fair use and TEACH Act exemptions • Linking is generally okay.
  24. 24. Networks of people • Connect us to our colleagues • Connect us to our patrons • Connect us to our family and friends
  25. 25. Facebook • Started as a collegiate network • Expanded to alumni, then everyone • Serious, repeated privacy breaches • Still extremely popular, especially among teens and college-age youth • “Stranger danger”? Not really.
  26. 26. MySpace • Facebook competitor • Popular among youth of lower socioeconomic status • So if you block MySpace but not Facebook... • Bands and musicians well-represented • Use declining slightly
  27. 27. Twitter • 140-character “microblogging” • For all the talk about teenagers, most popular among the 30+ set! • Has its own customs • “Retweeting” • Hashtags • Fun, easy to play with
  28. 28. Recommendations
  29. 29. “Do I have to?” • Sometimes! • Are you going to turn down a workable solution just because it’s 2.0? • It never hurts to know what your learners are doing. It may help. • But there are also blind alleys, and beware the “creepy treehouse effect.” • So the first thing to do is listen. • Listen to your patrons. • Listen to your colleagues. • Listen to your heart! • Play. Really.
  30. 30. Thank you! Dorothea Salo AIM: mindsatuw