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Connect With Your Users: Communicate Using Social Software Tools


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NELA presentation delivered at the 113th Vermont Library Conference, May 15, 2007. The presentation explores how libraries are using Blogs, Wikis, and RSS.

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Connect With Your Users: Communicate Using Social Software Tools

  1. 1. Connect With Your Users: Communicate Using Social Software Tools 113 th Vermont Library Conference May 15, 2007 Rob Favini NELINET, Inc
  2. 2. An Hour and 15 WITH Questions??!!! <ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Wikis </li></ul><ul><li>RSS </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Blog Defined <ul><li>A blog (short for web log ) is a website where entries are made and displayed in a reverse chronological order. Blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject, such as food, politics, or local news; some function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of most early blogs. </li></ul><ul><li>Source: viewed 5/9/07 </li></ul>
  4. 4. What’s Blog-y? <ul><li>Text </li></ul><ul><li>Images </li></ul><ul><li>Links </li></ul><ul><li>Comments in response to a posting </li></ul><ul><li>Subscription </li></ul><ul><li>Audio (podcasts) </li></ul><ul><li>Video (vlogs or vodcasts) </li></ul><ul><li>No code skills needed </li></ul>
  5. 5. Blog v Static Web site <ul><li>Blog </li></ul><ul><ul><li>easy to add content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>no FTP required </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to subscribe (content goes to users automatically) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Web site </li></ul><ul><ul><li>go through gatekeeper to add content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>need special software or skills (Dreamwever, FrontPage, or hand-code) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>users have to come to site </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. State of the Blogosphere Technorati, April 2007 <ul><li>Over 70 million blogs </li></ul><ul><li>1.4 blogs per second </li></ul><ul><li>100 times bigger than 3 years ago </li></ul><ul><li>1.4 million postings per day; 17 posts per second </li></ul><ul><li>100 most popular sites: 22 are blogs </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Library Big Picture <ul><li>Large number of our users look to blogs for information </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs are, in practice, communities of interest </li></ul><ul><li>Blogging helps to change the perception of the library </li></ul>
  8. 8. How Are Libraries Using Blogs? <ul><li>Links and commentary about subject resources </li></ul><ul><li>Links to articles/announcements: newspapers, journals, publications, reviews, Web sites… </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate library/community news </li></ul><ul><li>Access the OPAC! </li></ul>
  9. 9. Library Blog Examples <ul><li>Darien Library </li></ul><ul><ul><li> / </li></ul></ul><ul><li>HPER Librarian, Springfield College </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Plymouth State Univ., NH </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// / </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Uthink: Blogs at the University of Minnesota </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Independent Librarian Voices (One Day @ ALA Seattle) <ul><li>Tame The Web (Michael Stephens) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// / </li></ul></ul><ul><li>David Lee King </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// / </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Shifted Librarian (Jenny Levine) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// / </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Library Man (Michael Porter) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Blog Software: Youth Oriented <ul><li>LiveJournal </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Free! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>MySpace </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Free! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bebo </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Free! </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Blog Software: In Between <ul><li>Vox </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Free! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Blogger </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Free! </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Blog Software: Professional <ul><li>WordPress </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// / </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// / </li></ul></ul><ul><li>MovableType </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// / </li></ul></ul><ul><li>TypePad </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// / </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. What is a Wiki? <ul><li>Collaborative Web publishing </li></ul><ul><li>Collection of never-finished documents </li></ul><ul><li>Uses simplified hypertext markup </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Requires no knowledge of Web languages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Users have to learn a handful of software-specific codes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Anyone can add/delete/modify </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can be restricted (login required) </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. What’s Wiki-y? <ul><li>Wiki is… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>collaborative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community oriented </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A way to create documents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a knowledge base </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>always in flux </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>infinitely editable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>internally linked </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a bit chaotic </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. If it walks like a wiki… <ul><li>Articles </li></ul><ul><li>Edit </li></ul><ul><li>Talk/Discussion </li></ul><ul><li>History </li></ul><ul><li>Search </li></ul><ul><li>Categories </li></ul>
  17. 17. The Most Famous Wiki of All <ul><li>Wikipedia ( http:// ) </li></ul><ul><li>Goal: “…to put the sum of all human knowledge in the form of an encyclopedia in the hands of every single person on the planet for free.” — Jimmy Wales, cofounder and chief executive; </li></ul>
  18. 18. The Wiki Philosophy <ul><li>Trust always works </li></ul><ul><li>One has to trust to collaborate </li></ul><ul><li>People trust works produced by people they don’t know </li></ul><ul><li>Neighbors on the stoop </li></ul><ul><li>Soft security—rely on the community </li></ul>
  19. 19. Objections <ul><li>Perception that anyone can edit any thing </li></ul><ul><li>No copyright, no control, no authoritative guidance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Soft security—community values </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>History revision </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Require users to log in </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It’s a disorganized mess </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Recent changes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Categories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RSS feeds </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Wikipedia Put to the Test <ul><li>Stephen Colbert And Wikiality </li></ul>
  21. 21. Problems Solved by Wikis! <ul><li>Internal communication (intranet) </li></ul><ul><li>Subject guides/pathfinders </li></ul><ul><li>Reference how-to guides </li></ul><ul><li>Local topic guides </li></ul><ul><li>Project management </li></ul><ul><li>Policies and procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Meeting minutes repository </li></ul><ul><li>Library Web site – multiple authors </li></ul>
  22. 22. Library Applications <ul><li>Subject/research guides </li></ul><ul><li>Project planning </li></ul><ul><li>Policy manuals </li></ul><ul><li>Resource listings </li></ul><ul><li>Training resources </li></ul><ul><li>Web content management system </li></ul><ul><li>Professional development </li></ul><ul><li>To-do lists </li></ul><ul><li>Partial listing from Library Technology Reports , Vol 42, No. 4 (July/August 2006) </li></ul>
  23. 23. Examples: Staff Wiki <ul><li>University of Minnesota Libraries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Antioch University Staff Training & Support </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>UConn Libraries’ Staff Wiki </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Examples: Subject Specific <ul><li>Princeton Public Library Summer Reading Club </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// / </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Oregon Libraries Library Instruction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul></ul><ul><li>New England Music Libraries Association (NEMLA) </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ohio University Library Business Subject Guide </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Examples: Fun <ul><li>Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust Wiki </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tupperwiki </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Wiki Software <ul><li>There’s A LOT of wiki software available…A LOT! </li></ul><ul><li>Compare different software packages </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  27. 27. Wiki Software <ul><li>PMWiki http:// / </li></ul><ul><li>MediaWiki wiki/MediaWiki </li></ul><ul><li>EditMe http:// / </li></ul><ul><li>Seedwiki http:// </li></ul><ul><li>PBWiki http:// / </li></ul>
  28. 28. RSS: A Simple Definition <ul><ul><li>A way to feed content to a large number of people from an online publisher, i.e. the Wall Street Journal, a blog, library acquisition department </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. RSS Terminology <ul><li>RSS feed </li></ul><ul><li>RSS aggregator </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Centralized aggregator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal aggregator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Readers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>RSS syndication </li></ul>
  30. 30. XML Makes it Possible <ul><li>XML – Extensible Markup Language </li></ul><ul><li>Describes what content is, not what it looks like (HTML) </li></ul><ul><li>Enables RSS aggregators to categorize and deliver content </li></ul>
  31. 31. The Basic Concept Web-based Content Aggregator/ Reader Desktop: Email or Browser
  32. 32. Producer and Consumer Getting Library Information Out to Users Managing Personal Information Intake
  33. 33. What are People Doing With this in Library Land? <ul><li>University of Reno, Nevada </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Innovative Announces New RSS Feed Capabilities for Millennium </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ExLibris: ALEPH 500 create custom RSS feeds </li></ul><ul><ul><li> =456 ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>NELINET </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. RSS Readers <ul><li>Bloglines </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// / </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Google Reader </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Need a gmail account </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// /reader </li></ul></ul><ul><li>FireFox LiveBookmarks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul></ul>
  35. 35. Like We Have Time for Questions!
  36. 36. Contact Information <ul><li>Rob Favini </li></ul><ul><li>Program Director </li></ul><ul><li>Educational Services </li></ul><ul><li>NELINET, Inc </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>508.597.1938 </li></ul><ul><li>800.635.4638 x1938 </li></ul>