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Wikis, CMSs, & Community: Enhancing Publishing in Libraries
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Wikis, CMSs, & Community: Enhancing Publishing in Libraries


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This presentation, which was given at the American Library Association\'s Library & Information Technology Association national forum in 2009, focuses on wildly improving a library\'s …

This presentation, which was given at the American Library Association\'s Library & Information Technology Association national forum in 2009, focuses on wildly improving a library\'s effectiveness by distributing its reference aids and other content on a wiki or CMS. Discover how a library benefits from "taking back" its content from the IT and publication departments and turning it over to librarians and the community. See how the Family History Library used a CMS and a wiki to partner with its patron community and thus multiply its content output, boost teamwork and morale, improve community relations, improve content design, quality and relevance, and quicken its publishing cycle from months to minutes.

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    • 1. Wikis, CMSs, & Community
      Enhancing Publishing in Libraries
      by Michael Ritchey (Twitter: mtritchey)
    • 2. Today’s Lesson
      • Overview of FamilySearch services
      • 3. Challenges & strengths in 2006
      • 4. Solution Concept & Requirements
      • 5. Quicken publishing cycle
      • 6. Multiply content output
      • 7. Boost teamwork, morale, community relations
      • 8. Improve content design, quality & relevance
    • Some Background on Our Perspective
      Family History Library & Research Support
      Research Support: 50 questions/day by phone & e-mail
      80% of questions answered by volunteers
      Our volunteers & customers are senior citizens
      2006: Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
      CRM model: customer’s question routed to an agent
      4500 family history centers worldwide
      CRM model is not scalable to help family history center volunteers
      2006: Knowledge Management System (KMS)
      KMS closed to volunteers; obsolete content
    • 9. Challenges
    • 10. Challenge: Advise Genealogists Worldwide
    • 11. Research advice on FamilySearch Internet, 2006
      Challenge: cover more places
    • 12. Challenge: cover more languages
      Research advice on about countries in their native language, 2006
    • 13. Challenge: Update content faster
      Research advice on revised 2001-2006.
    • 14. Challenge: connect customers with experts
      How do I find birth records from Brazil?
      Sounds tough!
      I dunno
      (Yawn!) I wish I had someone to help!
    • 15. Implement old idea
      Our time-tested model
    • 16. 2006 Revelation: Headquarters can’t do it alone.
      Is there a better way?
    • 17. Our Strengths as an Organization
      Expert staff
    • 18. Our Strengths as an Organization
      Expert staff
      World-renowned record collection
    • 19. Our Strengths as an Organization
      Expert staff
      World-renowned record collection
      60,000 volunteers
    • 20. Challenges + Strengths = Community
      Solution: Community!
      Cover more places
      Cover more languages
      Update content faster
      Connect customers with experts
      Expert staff
      World-renowned record collection
      60,000 volunteers
    • 21. Selling the concept: Wikipedia
    • 22. Selling the concept: Wikipedia
      8thmost popular Website
      Content written by community
      3,000 new entries per day
      Most errors corrected in 5 mins.
      11 edits per article
    • 23. Requirements
    • 24. Requirements
      Open source
      WYSIWYG authoring tool (yo mamma)
      Article history/version control
      Limit visibility of some articles
      Volunteer authoring
      Easy interlinking
      Admin can lock down a page (Home page)
      System deployable by non-engineers!
    • 25. Solutions
    • 26. First solution: Plone CMS
    • 27. FamilySearch Wiki: Plone site
      Questions of concurrent authoring scalability
    • 28. 2007 MediaWiki iteration
    • 29. Quicken the Publication Cycle
    • 30. Challenge: Update content faster
      Every revision required input from
      Director (approval)
      Publication strategist
      Usability specialist
      Technical writers
      Software engineers
    • 31. Update content faster on a wiki
      Shortens the publishing cycle…
      …from months to minutes.
    • 35. Multiply Content Output
    • 36. Multiply Content Output
      800  19,000 docs since 2007
      82,000 edits in 2009 (as of 10/04/09)
      Top contributors have 10k-16k edits ea.
      2009 edits = 719,000,000 characters
      6,900 characters/edit avg.
      Top pages have 300-500 edits
      Reference librarians writing 22,000 hours/year
    • 37. Boost Teamwork, Morale, Community Relations
    • 38. Teamwork, Morale, Community
      Collaborative projects
      Unfettered Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
      SMEs reach out for project help
      Collaboration between community vols. & staff
      Weekly user group/community meeting on Adobe Connect
    • 39. Improve Quality & Design
    • 40. Quality
    • Learnings
      Relinquish control
      Initiate projects with small teams; require 70% consensus for redesign
      Govern by social constraints, not system constraints
      Let community try any miscreants
      Invest lots of time w/ community
      Share success metrics to win support & resources
      Empower, train & support volunteer project leaders
    • 49. Today’s Challenges (Got advice?)
      Not getting 25% of librarians’ time
      Wiki mgrs. spread too thin to manage content dev
      Empower & train community as project mgrs.
      Experimenting w/ right mix of project mgmt. vs. production
      Democracy  design paralysis. Limit re-work!
      Projects: Small team makes initial design; later design changes require 70% consensus.
    • 50. Conclusion: We are smarter than me!
      The job is too big for Headquarters
      Volunteer communities can do big jobs
      Success = community collaboration
    • 51.
      Twitter: @mtritchey