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Web 2.0: Implications For The Cultural Heritage Sector


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Brian Kelly, UKOLN gave a talk on "Web 2.0: Implications For The Cultural Heritage Sector" at a seminar on "From Bits to Blogs - Taking the IT Revolution into Museums, Libraries and Archives" …

Brian Kelly, UKOLN gave a talk on "Web 2.0: Implications For The Cultural Heritage Sector" at a seminar on "From Bits to Blogs - Taking the IT Revolution into Museums, Libraries and Archives" organised by MLA North East and held at Teesside University, Middlesbrough on 18 October 2006.


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  • 1. Getting To Grips With Web 2.0 Brian Kelly UKOLN University of Bath Bath Email [email_address] UKOLN is supported by: Acceptable Use Policy Recording/broadcasting of this talk, taking photographs, discussing the content using email, instant messaging, Blogs, SMS, etc. is permitted providing distractions to others is minimised. This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 licence (but note caveat) Resources bookmarked using ' mla-ne-2006-10 ' tag
  • 2. Contents
    • Introduction
      • About me and UKOLN
    • Web 2.0
      • What is it?  Mashups
      • Blogs  Wikis
      • Social bookmarking  Comms tools
      • Geo-based service  Microformats
    • Deployment Strategies
      • User focus  Org. benefits
      • Supporting enthusiasts  Pilots
      • Risk assessment  Training
  • 3. About Me
    • Brian Kelly:
      • UK Web Focus: a Web advisory post based at UKOLN
      • Funded by JISC and MLA to advise HE/FE and cultural heritage sectors
      • Web enthusiasts since Jan 1993
    • UKOLN:
      • National centre of expertise in digital information management
      • Located at the University of Bath
  • 4. About This Talk
    • These slides (and related resources):
      • Available on the Web
      • Links to related resources embedded in slides
      • Resources bookmarked in using tag ‘ mla-ne-2006 ’
      • Slides (and talk) available with a Creative Commons licence (reuse for non-commercial purposes with acknowledgements)
      • Talk may be recorded and Podcast created
      • If WiFi network available, feel free to follow slides and links, chat with colleagues, etc
      • But ensure you minimise disruptions and distractions and respect privacy, data protection, etc. issues
  • 5. Web 2.0
    • What Is Web 2.0?
    • Marketing term (derived from observing 'patterns') rather than technical standards - “an attitude not a technology”
    Web2MemeMap, Tim O’Reilly, 2005
    • Characteristics Of Web 2.0
      • Network as platform
      • Always beta
      • Clean URIs
      • Remix and mash-ups
        • Syndication (RSS)
      • Architecture of participation
        • Blogs & Wikis
        • Social networking
        • Social tagging (folksonomies)
      • Trust and openness
    Web 2.0
  • 6. Web 2.0: Summary
    • In summary Web 2.0:
      • Term which is used to refer to a variety of technologies: Blogs, Wikis, social networking, social bookmarking, etc.
      • Term associated with companies such as Google, Yahoo, Flickr,, etc.
    • In addition:
      • Term which is related to particular approaches: openness, user-focus, user content, trust, 'always beta', etc
    Web 2.0 We will illustrate some of the technologies, were possible with a cultural heritage focus or benefits to the sector. We will also discuss the implications (threats & benefits) of the Web 2.0 approaches
  • 7. Blogs
    • Blogs – social phenomenon of the C21 st ?
    • Need for information professionals to:
      • Understand Blogging & related technologies (e.g. RSS, Technorati)
      • Be able to find resources in the 'Bloggosphere'
      • Explore how to Blogs to support business functions (support users, staff & organisation)
    Web 2.0 This blog … tells what it's like spending the winter in Antarctica conserving artefacts from the explorer's hut left behind by Ernest Shackleton in 1908. Openness Syndication Collaboration Key Characteristics Increasingly professional (e.g. developers) use Blogs to describe what they're doing. Note that a Comments field can allow you to engage in discussions
  • 8. Blogs - Reading
    • How do you keep informed of developments?
      • Do you use a dedicated Blog reader?
      • Are you alerted of changes to key Blogs?
      • Do you focus on the content, and avoid the distractions of ads, etc.
    Web 2.0 Bloglines – a Web-based Blog reader. You are informed of changes since you last viewed the page. Openness Syndication Collaboration BlogBridge – a desktop Blog reader. You are informed of changes since you last viewed the page.
  • 9. What Are They Saying About Us?
    • Blogs are very interconnected with each other (Bloggers discuss other Blog postings).
    • This can help to provide feedback; measure impact; engage in discussions; etc.
    Web 2.0 Blogger Web Comments tool lights up if Blog comments about Web site have been made. Alternatively go to the Google Blog search …
  • 10. Finding Resources
    • Technorati can help find Blog articles, etc.
    • Technorati search for " Museum of Antiquities " finds:
      • Blog posting about current exhibition posted 11 minutes ago!
    • Google search finds:
      • Museum home page
    Web 2.0 … What do users want: the home page and what people are saying today. Google & Technorati are valuable tools, so organisations should ensure that their Web site can be found in both. RSS Syndication
  • 11. Wikis
    • Wikis – collaborative Web-based authoring tools
    • I use Wikis for:
      • Collaborative papers (avoiding emailed MS Word file around)
    Web 2.0 Writely – Web-based word processor or Wiki? Does it matter, it does the job Openness Syndication Collaboration IWMW2006_Discussion_Group_Notes_for_Group_A
      • Note-taking at events
    Remember when notes were trapped in the non-interoperable world of flip charts & paper. This need no longer be the case.
      • Social discussions at events IWMW2006_Information_About_Social_Aspects
  • 12. Wikipedia
    • Wikipedia – not only a community-developed encyclopedia, but also a well-linked Web site, which boosts Google rankings ?q=british+museum In top 10 in Google list Do you try and ensure your Web site is easily found when searching? If so, then an entry in Wikipedia could help with this business objective
  • 13. Sharing - Flickr
    • Web 2.0 includes community-building
    • You can help support your community-building by making it easy to share photos at events (e.g. this seminar)
    • Simply suggest a tag e.g. ‘mla-ne-2006-10-18’ and encourage delegates to upload their photos with this tag
    Web 2.0 ?w=all&q=iwmw2006&m=text Openness Network effect Syndication Collaboration iwmw2006/interesting/?page=6
  • 14. Sharing –
    • Another aspect of sharing is sharing bookmarks
    • This can be used to:
      • Manage your bookmarks
      • Allow others to contribute resources
      • Allow lists of bookmarks to be repurposed
      • Carry out impact analysis
    Web 2.0 Openness Network effect Syndication Collaboration View of the RSS feeds using RSS Panel (note this is a Firefox extension and not part of Who else has bookmarked this resources? What are their interests? (I may have similar interests) How many have bookmarked my resource? The bookmarks can be integrated into third party Web sites using a simple JavaScript code (provided by
  • 15. Microformats (1)
    • Microformats:
      • Highlight of WWW 2006
      • Semantic markup on the cheap – builds on existing XHTML pages
      • No need for complex software
      • See <>
    • Using microformats:
      • Add some simple semantics using <span>, <div>, etc. classes:
        • <span class=&quot;fn&quot;>Brian Kelly</span>
      • Firefox plugins, harvesters, etc can process the semantic markup e.g. add names to your Outlook contacts, events to your Google calendar, etc
      • Bath Univ created thousands of pages with microformats using simple tweak to Perl scripts 
    Tags Collaboration Web 2.0
  • 16. Microformats (2)
    • Pages on IWMW 2006 Web site have microformats
    • Plugins such as Tails display contact and event details & allow them to be uploaded to Outlook, Google Calendar, etc
    Web 2.0 workshops/webmaster-2006/sessions/kelly World Cup Web site also has microformats. This avoids the cumbersome downloading dates, entering calendar, selecting import, finding file, … Tags Collaboration
  • 17. Web As A Platform
    • can deliver traffic to your Web site, who may then book for the event
    • They provide
      • Event details
      • Microformats (event, location)
    Web 2.0
      • Exporting functionality
      • Community space
    Other people can take my data and use it to provide my event. They also provide additional functionality for me  Network Users Tags Collaboration
  • 18. Creative Commons
    • Hasn’t contributor infringed my copyright (even though it’s to my benefit?)
      • Creative Commons licence assigned to publicity details
      • Also described in microformat to allow software to find licence
    Web 2.0 workshops/webmaster-2006/publicity/ Openness Tags Collaboration Note that the openness is a key aspect of Web 2.0: open source; open standards and open content can all help to bring benefits through maximising usage of services
  • 19. Mapping Services & The Web
    • Web 2.0 provides valuable opportunity to provide mapping & location services:
      • Embedding Google maps on your Web sites
      • Developing rich services using this
      • Providing location metadata / microformats which can be processed by simple browser tools
    Web 2.0
  • 20. Google Maps Mashups
    • Google Map ‘mashup’ used for IWMW 2006 event:
      • ~ 20 lines of JavaScript.
      • Code taken from Googler Maps Web site and coordinates added
    Web 2.0 workshops/webmaster-2006/maps/ Openness Mashup APIs More sophisticated mapping applications are being developed, such as Radius 5 at Northumbria Univ.
  • 21. Location Metadata (1)
    • Embedded location metadata can now by exploited by various 3 rd party tools
    Web 2.0 seminars/mla-ne-2006-10/ Openness Mashup Open source APIs Why doesn't every cultural heritage Web site in the NE provide its location details? How? Install Greasemap script & add: <meta name=&quot;geo.position&quot; content=&quot;54.574077,-1.232314&quot; /> <meta name=&quot;geo.placename&quot; content=&quot;Teeside University&quot; />
  • 22. Location Metadata (2)
    • Same location metadata can be used by other applications
    Web 2.0 Openness Sharing Open standards Always beta Note that the software described is not the important feature – it's the data and the use of open standards that's important. New software and services will come and go (remember 'always beta')
  • 23. Communications
    • Realtime discussion is a key part of the Web 2.0 and the .net generation (IM, SMS messaging, …)
    • How much effort does it take to provide an instant messaging service for your organisation?
    • Try
    • Note:
      • Most effective with ‘clean URIs’
      • Data an be exported using RSS
      • User support? What user support?
    Web 2.0 Communications Clean URIs
  • 24. Pulling It Together
    • How do we pull together the information held by a range of disparate services (Flickr,, etc)?
    • RSS provides a solution:
      • Suprglu: RSS aggregator
      • Netvibes: personalised RSS aggregator
    • Both, of course, provide RSS themselves
    Web 2.0 RSS Syndication
  • 25. Web 2.0 Backlash
    • When significant new things appear:
      • Enthusiasts / early adopters predict a transformation of society
      • Sceptics outline the limitations & deficiencies
    • There’s a need to:
      • Promote the benefits to the wider community (esp. those willing to try if convinced of benefits)
      • Be realistic and recognise limitations
      • Address inappropriate criticisms
    Web 2.0: It’s a silly name. It’s just a marketing term. There are lots of poor Web 2.0 services. There wasn’t a Web 1.0. What follows it? It does have a marketing aspect – and that’s OK. It isn’t formally defined – it describes a pattern of related usage. There will be poor (and good) Web 2.0 services – just like anything else. Any usage will arrive at a follow-up term. Deployment Challenges
  • 26. Takeup Of New Technologies
    • The Gartner curve
    Developers Rising expectations Trough of despair Service plateau Enterprise software Large budgets … Early adopters
    • Chasm
    • Failure to go beyond developers & early adopters (cf Gopher)
    • Need for:
      • Advocacy
      • Listening to users
      • Addressing concerns
      • Deployment strategies
    This talks looks at approaches for avoiding the chasm
  • 27. Beware The IT Fundamentalists
    • We need to avoid simplistic solutions to the complexities:
      • Open Standards Fundamentalist: we just need XML
      • Open Source Fundamentalist: we just need Linux
      • Vendor Fundamentalist: we must need next version of our enterprise system (and you must fit in with this)
      • Accessibility Fundamentalist: we must do WAI WCAG
      • User Fundamentalist: we must do whatever users want
      • Legal Fundamentalist: it breaches copyright, …
      • Ownership Fundamentalist: must own everything we use
      • Perfectionist : It doesn't do everything, so we'll do nothing
      • Simplistic Developer : I've developed a perfect solution – I don't care if it doesn't run in the real world
    IT Services Barrier
  • 28. The Librarian Fundamentalists
    • Librarians:
      • Think they know better than the user e.g. they don't like people using Google Scholar; they should use Web of Knowledge (who cares that users find it easier to use Google Scholar & finds references they need that way?)
      • Think that users should be forced to learn Boolean searching & other formal search techniques because this is good for them (despite Sheffield's study).
      • Don't want the users to search for themselves (cf folksonomies) because they won't get it right.
      • They still want to classify the entire Web - despite the fact that users don't use their lists of Web links.
      • Want services to be perfect before they release them to users. They are uneasy with the concept of 'forever beta' (they don't believe that users have the ability to figure things out themselves and work around the bugs).
    Library Barrier
  • 29. Deployment Strategies
    • Interested in using Web 2.0 in your organisation?
    • Worried about corporate inertia, power struggles, etc?
    • There’s a need for a deployment strategy:
      • Addressing business needs
      • Low-hanging fruits
      • Encouraging the enthusiasts
      • Gain experience of the browser tools – and see what you’re missing!
      • Staff training & development
      • Address areas you feel comfortable with
      • Risk management strategy
    Deployment Challenges
  • 30. Sectoral Cultural Issues
    • Some thoughts on cultural heritage cultural issues:
      • Focus on users and user needs
      • Open (in principle)
    • But:
      • Conservative
      • Closed (in practice?)
    • RSS:
      • Let's allow everyone to use our RSS feeds to give user choice and to encourage innovation
      • We need to careful manage and control who accesses our resources – otherwise they may do things we don't approve of (and be in competition with us).
    • What are your views?
  • 31. Technorati
    • Business case: you want Web site to be found (you may have a Search Engine Optimisation strategy)
      • Are you in Technorati?
      • Are you pro-active (or do others talk about you)?
    Deployment Challenges Only 3 hits for ‘AUKML’. So if you have an AUKML Blog or RSS feeds the information will be easily found (especially new information). Compare with Google results – 11,000+ hits, many of them old.
  • 32. Use Browser Tools (1)
    • Make use of various browser tools:
      • Search engines
      • Google Blog search
      • RSS tools
    • All free Firefox extensions
    Deployment Challenges
  • 33. Use Browser Tools (2)
    • Make use of various browser tools:
      • tool
      • Microformat tools
      • Geo tools
      • etc.
    • All free Firefox extensions
    Deployment Challenges
  • 34. IWMW 2006 & Risk Management
    • IWMW 2006 has taken a risk management approach to its evaluation of Web 2.0 technologies:
      • Agreements : e.g. in the case of the Chatbot.
      • Use of well-established services : Google & are well-established and have financial security.
      • Notification : warnings that services could be lost.
      • Engagement : with the user community: users actively engage in the evaluation of the services.
      • Provision of alternative services: multiple OMPL tools.
      • Use in non-mission critical areas: not for bookings!
      • Long term experiences of services: usage stats
      • Availability of alternative sources of data : e.g. standard Web server log files.
      • Data export and aggregation: RSS feeds, aggregated in Suprglu, OPML viewers, etc.
    Deployment Challenges
  • 35. Staff Development
    • There's a need for your staff to:
      • Understand what Web 2.0 is about
      • Learn how to make use of Web 2.0
    • subject to constraints of lack of time; resources; etc.
    • The Library 2.0 Podcasts Web sites provides a useful resources for learning about new tools, techniques, etc.
    Deployment Challenges _archives/2006/4/12/1881517.html
  • 36. Opportunities For MLA-NE
    • Web 2.0 services can be particularly valuable for regional bodies bodies such as MLA-NE:
      • Limited resources
      • Limited technical expertise
      • Not committed to large-scale CMS
      • Willingness of members to provide support
      • Few name clashes with ‘MLA-NE’ 
    Opportunities For AUKML
  • 37. Wikipedia
    • A Wikipedia entry for AUKML:
      • Easy to create
      • Provides high-profile information (Google-friendly)
      • Allows your community to enhance & develop content
    Opportunities For AUKML SCONUL (UK HE Library organisation) created their Wikipedia entry a few days after my talk at UCISA conference. Note, though, initial version was flagged as ‘marketing’.
  • 38. Using Wikis
    • Why not use a Wiki for the planning for AUKML 2007?
      • Can avoid repetition you find in email
      • Can be restricted to organising committee members
      • Will provide opportunity to gain experiences
      • Wiki can then be opened up to delegates
    Opportunities For AUKML workshops/webmaster-2005/wiki-test/
  • 39. Podcasts
    • Podcasts of MLA-NE training sessions:
      • Install Audacity (open source) & Podcasting tool
      • Record talk
      • Upload to server
      • You’ve created a Podcast
    • And maybe create Podcasts about forthcoming conference to attract potential delegates
    Opportunities For AUKML workshops/webmaster-2005/podcasts/podcast.xml
  • 40. User Focus
    • Why should you be doing this?
    • For Your Users:
      • Making your users aware of emerging new stuff
      • Demonstrating how they can be used
      • Describing possible problems and solutions
      • To provide richer services
    • Engaging With Users
      • Get your users involved in using the applications, listening to their feedback
    • Risk If We Don’t
      • There is a need to be aware of the risks of not doing this
        • Costs and limitations of conventional server-based CMS solutions
        • Competition from others
    Deployment Strategy
  • 41. Final Reflections
    • The Future
      • Blogs, Wikis, YouTube, Skype, …
      • Do you things these popular services will disappear? (2 out of 3 online users visited social networking site in June 2006 )
      • If not you should be gaining experiences n them now
    • The Network Effect (Metcalfe’s ‘Law’)
      • Networked services (e.g. phones) grow exponentially with no. of users
      • Therefore, Flickr, etc. will get even better as more users join
      • So join in with successful services and make them even better
  • 42. Conclusions
    • To conclude:
      • Web 2.0 is here and ready for use
      • It can provide valuable user services
      • It’s particularly appropriate for use by media librarians (with your interests in media, communities, etc.)
      • There will be poor applications, mistakes, etc.
      • Planning, flexibility & sharing can help
    Conclusions Note resources cited in the talk are bookmarked in using tag '‘ mla-ne-2006-10 &quot;