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User Responses to Social Bookmarking at MLibrary


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MTagger, a social bookmarking tool, launched in the winter of 2008. MTagger allows users to tag a webpage on the library site or anywhere, and catalog records, or digital images. The tool was intended to enhance findability across collections and to expose ?hidden? collections. After launch, the service did not meet our expectations for use, so we embarked on usability testing. This talk covers the questions we asked, why we asked them, and how we're responding.

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User Responses to Social Bookmarking at MLibrary

  1. 1. User Responses to Social Bookmarking at MLibrary Ken Varnum [email_address] Web Systems Manager University of Michigan Library
  2. 2. What Is MTagger? <ul><li>Library-Based Tagging Tool </li></ul><ul><ul><li>delicious </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>fURL </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social networking tools (Flickr, Facebook, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Way to organize academic bookmarks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Always accessible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shared with others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build a common pool of knowledge </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Why? <ul><li>Give our users a way to organize most library resources </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate “2.0” technologies to ourselves </li></ul><ul><li>Improve findability of resources </li></ul><ul><li>Give users a stake in our collections </li></ul>
  4. 4. What MTagger Does <ul><li>Allows users to assign keywords to “library stuff” on our site </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Catalog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web Pages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital Images </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Library publications </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Or anything, anywhere (via bookmarklet) </li></ul><ul><li>Search, display, retrieve bookmarks </li></ul>
  5. 5. Inherits from <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Penn Tags </li></ul><ul><li>Flickr </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Many other social bookmarking sites </li></ul>
  6. 6. What Is Different? <ul><li>Collections </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MLibrary (library web pages) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mirlyn (library catalog) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital Images </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scholarly Publishing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Everything Else </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Integration with Site </li></ul>
  7. 7. How MTagger Is Used <ul><li>Tags are generally tagger-centric </li></ul><ul><li>Exception: Librarians tag differently </li></ul>
  8. 9. Usage <ul><li>Basic Stats (as of 3/26/09): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1357 total users; 603 actively tagging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3775 tags; 3159 unique </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2820 unique URIs tagged </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Not as broadly / deeply as we’d like </li></ul>
  9. 10. Perceptions of MTagger <ul><li>Interviews with users, non-users, and librarian users </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal motivations are stronger than social motivations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preference for tag display alongside traditional search results </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tagging needs a marketing campaign </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tagging is a &quot;Librarian&quot; thing </li></ul></ul>
  10. 11. Privacy <ul><li>Tagging tied to U-M single sign-on (uniqname); guest accounts welcome </li></ul><ul><li>Accountability & public face </li></ul><ul><li>Balance of anonymity and sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Most feedback on this issue from a single source </li></ul>
  11. 12. Usability Study <ul><li>Conducted over four months in summer 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Two students at U-M School of Information </li></ul><ul><li>Librarians on steering committee </li></ul>
  12. 13. Usability Recommendations <ul><li>Tag cloud display on pages </li></ul><ul><li>Tag cloud display in MTagger </li></ul><ul><li>Handling of “collections” </li></ul><ul><li>Workflow </li></ul>
  13. 14. Lessons Learned <ul><li>Personal motivations are stronger than social motivations </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on outcomes of tagging, not process </li></ul><ul><li>Enable personal reference library </li></ul><ul><li>Increase flexibility of tag display/retrieval </li></ul><ul><li>Contextualize the material that users bookmark </li></ul>
  14. 15. When It’s not Enough to Say, “I Tag You” <ul><li>Easier sharing: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tags </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tagged items </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User lists </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Publish to other social networking tools </li></ul>
  15. 16. Alternate Catalog Integration
  16. 17. Favorites Will be Tags
  17. 18. New Library Web Site <ul><li>Better integration in new library web site </li></ul><ul><li>Make tagging a byproduct, not a product </li></ul><ul><li>Will influence search engine </li></ul><ul><li>“ My Library” redux? </li></ul>
  18. 19. Bigger Picture <ul><li>Benefit to scale (delicious) </li></ul><ul><li>Benefit to academic focus </li></ul><ul><li>Mechanism needed for sharing tags across libraries </li></ul>
  19. 20. Thank You <ul><li>Email: </li></ul><ul><li>Blog: RSS4Lib </li></ul><ul><li>Usability Reports: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>