Blogs and Wikis
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Blogs and Wikis Blogs and Wikis Presentation Transcript

  • Blogs & Wikis A RRLC Pizza Workshop with Kate Pitcher November 12, 2007
  • Tonight’s Workshop Objectives:
    • Define blogs & wikis
    • Understand the difference between blogs, wikis, and other websites
    • Search for blogs & wikis
    • Understand what RSS is and learn how to subscribe to RSS feeds
    • Create a blog
    • Create a wiki
  • What is all the hype about?
  • Blogs
      • “…online journals or websites where users can post commentary, links and news…”
      • “[Blogs] enable the rapid production and consumption of Web-based publications”
  • Vocabulary to Learn…
    • Permalink
    • Blogroll
    • Syndication
    • RSS
    • Tagging
    • Ping
    • Trackback
  • What makes a blog different?
    • Dated entries (“posts”)
    • Each “post” has a permanent webpage created automatically (“permalink”)
    • Links to favorite or recommended blogs (“blogroll”)
    • Content is syndicated to users (“RSS feed”)
    • Readers can leave comments
    • Posts are archived
    • Ping search engines when you update your blog
  • Why a blog?
    • Categorization of posts
    • Tagging the content of posts
    • No need to know HTML
    • Role of hyperlink
    • Interactivity with reader
    • Frequency & currency of content
    • Blogging community
  • St. Joseph County Public Library
  • Anatomy of a post…
  • SUNY Geneseo, Milne Library
  • Clicking on Comments in the SJCPL Blog… A comment left by a library patron on the Milne Library News blog…
  • Integrate & collaborate with your campus courseware or portal….
    • What makes a blog different from a webpage?
    • Compare the following three sites :
    • Politico
    • Daily Kos
    • Instapundit
  • Where can I find blogs?
    • Google Blog Search
    • Blogarama http:// /
    • Technorati http://
    • IceRocket
    • Blog Search Engine http:// /
    • Use a search engine to find a blog on the topic of…
    • Library 2.0
  • Some statistics…
    • 150 blogs in the late 1990s¹
    • 4.12 million blogs in 2003¹
    • 57 million Americans read blogs every day³
    • 5% of Internet users use RSS aggregators to get news²
    • 8% of Internet users have created a blog or web diary³
    Sources : ¹ Trammell & Ferdig, 2004. ² Pew Internet & American Life Project, January 2005 ³ Pew Internet & American Life Project, July 2006
  • Why should your library have a blog?
    • News
    • Current events
    • Interaction with library patrons
    • Market and promote different library services
    • Easy to create, maintain and update
    • No HTML skills necessary
    • User feedback
    • FREE!
  • What makes a successful blog?
    • currency
    • frequency
    • relevance to library or patron’s needs
    • well written
    • interaction with patrons through comments
    • know your purpose and focus
    • simplicity
    • lots of hyperlinks
    • syndicate the content with an RSS feed
    • publicize
  • Tips for successful blogging…
    • Collaborate
    • Edit
    • Policy
    • Interaction
    • Purpose
  • Some library blogs…
    • Ann Arbor District Library
    • Moraine Valley Community College
    • Stark County Law Library
    • Georgia State University Library
    • Waterboro Public Library
    • http://
  • What you need:
    • Application (many free services will host your blog: Blogger , WordPress , LiveJournal , etc. )
    • Commitment (“buy-in” from your contributors)
    • Technical support (at least one person who can fool with the code behind the application if you want to host it on your own server)
    • Training
  • Free blog applications
    • Blogger
    • WordPress
    • LiveJournal
    • Diaryland (hosted)
    • Pitas (hosted)
    • Slash (open source app)
    • Greymatter (open source app)
    • LifeType (open source app)
  • Other blog applications (cost $$)
    • Movable Type ($)
    • TypePad ($)
    • Radio Userland ($)
    • Manila ($)
    • Create your blog:
    • Go to Blogger and create an account
    • Choose a URL for your blog.
    • Pick a template.
    • Write your first post!
  • What is RSS?
  • What in the heck is RSS??
    • R eal S imple S yndication
    • R ich S ite S ummary RSS = XML code
    • RSS is the language used to read headlines (or “feeds”) from blogs or websites
    • .htm = .rss
    Graphics used to indicate RSS files
  • How RSS Feeds work… Blog Today’s post Archived posts RSS Feed Feeds into an aggregator or Newsreader Subscribers Subscribers Subscribers Subscribers
  • RSS Advantages
    • visitors can access multiple sites without having to go to each one
    • subscribe to the RSS feeds of sites you like and the content comes to you
    • use a news aggregator to read the headlines and links in one place
    • do not need to give out your email address to web sites to receive updates
    • will need a aggregator to read content
    • Jardin, Xeni. “Why RSS is Everywhere.” Wired. April 2004. 19 May 2004 .
  • How do I find RSS feeds?
    • Look for an icon marked XML or RSS on your favorite website or blog. It usually looks something like these 
    • Do a search in Google or another search engine for rss feeds or your favorite subject followed by RSS
    • Use Feedster or another search engine specifically designed to find RSS feeds
  • Example of a website’s RSS Feeds directory
  • The Washington Post website: RSS feeds are available for all sections of the newspaper
  • Example of XML code which makes up the Washington Post’s RSS feed for the headlines from their daily paper...
  • Newsreaders
    • Plug-ins ( example: Sage )
    • Web-based ( example: Bloglines )
    • Standalone applications for your desktop ( example: FeedDemon )
  • RSS Newsreaders…
    • Bloglines
    • FeedDemon
    • NewsGator
    • Sage (Firefox users)
    • FeedReader
    • AmphetaDesk
  • Library-related RSS Feeds
    • Pubmed
    • Library Stuff
    • LISNews
    • Library Jobs
    • Research Buzz
    • Resource Shelf
    • Go to Bloglines
    • Create an account.
    • To subscribe to your own feed, you will need to go to “Add Feeds” in the left sidebar.
    • Type or copy & paste the URL of your blog into the search box.
    • Click on the checkbox next to your blog and click Submit.
    • You will notice your blog title show up in the left sidebar. You are now subscribed to your own blog!
  • Wikis Image courtesy of The Content Wrangler at :
  • What is a wiki?
    • Collaborative website
    • Users may edit, add content or delete
    • May be used as a repository, discussion forum, or composition system
    • Low barrier to use
  • The best known example… Wikipedia
  • Example of a Wikipedia article
  • What makes a wiki different?
    • Multiple users may edit content
    • Searchable
    • No formal HTML coding experience needed
    • Very similar to many content management systems
    • Upload documents and files
  • Anatomy of a wiki
  • DC Comics Database Project
  • How does a wiki work?
    • Most wikis either use a downloaded client on your desktop or through a server; or are web-based through an Internet browser
    • Edit  script sends a raw text file to your browser in an editable form, allowing you to modify the content of the page
    • Save  clicking the button sends the modified text back to the wiki server, which replaces the existing text file with your changed version
    • When you request a wiki page, the script gathers the corresponding text file, changes its marked-up text into HTML, turns user-selected words into hyperlinks, inserts this information into a page template, and sends the result to your browser
  • Useful features…
    • Track recent changes to wiki
    • (RSS feeds can be incorporated so users can be notified immediately)
    • History of page revisions
    • (With some wiki apps, you can revert back to a previous version of the wiki)
    • Accessibility of documents and information through a web-based browser
  • Email notification of changes
  • Some disadvantages…
    • Anyone (if you don’t require login) can contribute and edit documents
    • Must use special “wiki” editing syntax to make changes or contribute content – this can be cumbersome for some users to learn
    • Go to and register for a wiki account.
    • Next, go to the Workshop Wiki: and login (password is rrlc ).
    • Next, click on New Page and create your own wiki page. Give it a name.
    • Finally, add some text to your page. Make sure to include your name and your library.
  • When to use a wiki
    • Collaborate, create and store
    Wikis are …“topical; carved from the inside out” (M.C. Morgan, Bemidji State University, ) Users Groups Easy Create Wiki Add Content Delete Edit
  • Library wiki examples
    • LIS Wiki http://
    • Library Instruction Wiki http://
    • Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki
    • ALA Professional Tips Wiki http://
  • Ohio University Libraries
  • Milne Library WebDev Wiki http:// =home
  • Accidental Map Librarian Workshops (Boulder, CO) http:// /
  • Why use a wiki in your library?
    • Document management (i.e. training documents, manuals, meeting minutes, etc.)
    • Archive
    • Intranet
    • Collaboration by many (faculty, students, community users, etc.)
    • Knowledge base
    • Project management tool
    • Staff internal communication
  • What you need:
    • Application (many free software apps: PBwiki , Wetpaint , MediaWiki , DokuWiki ; just to name a few)
    • Commitment (“buy-in” from your contributors)
    • Technical support (at least one person who can fool with the code behind the application)
    • Training
  • Web-based Wiki tools (all free)
    • PBwiki
    • Wetpaint
    • SeedWiki
    • Wikia
  • Wiki server software apps
    • MediaWiki (open source) http:// /
    • DokuWiki (free; open source)
    • TWiki (open source app) http://
  • Blogs vs. Wikis: What should you use?
    • What do you want the software to do?
    • Is it for the public or internal use?
    • What is the technology “aptitude” of those you want involved?
  • When to use a blog:
    • You need a tool for communication purposes within a group
    • “chronological; staying on top of things” ( M.C. Morgan, Bemidji State University, )
  • When to use a wiki:
    • You need a place to store and collaborate on group documents
    • “topical; carved from the inside out” ( M.C. Morgan, Bemidji State University, )
    • Go and log into your account.
    • Underneath the box for “Join a wiki”, click on the link for “Create a wiki”.
    • Create your own wiki!!
  • Kate Pitcher
    • Reference/Instruction & Web Development Librarian Milne Library, Room 201A
    • SUNY Geneseo
    • Contact Information: Email: [email_address] Phone: (585) 245-5064 Web: AIM: beebugkate
    • This presentation is available at:
    • http://