Blog And Pony Nov 2008


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Blogs and RSS presentation for ECLS Coralville, IA Nov 2008

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  • You made me really want to add a blog to our library website. Before your workshop it was ' do I really have to?' Thanks for me around!!
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  • Blog And Pony Nov 2008

    1. 1. Your Blog and Pony Show: Using Blogs and RSS to Tell Your Library Story Presented by Louise Alcorn Reference Technology Librarian West Des Moines (Iowa) Public Library For the East Central Library Service Area November 21, 2008
    2. 2. Your Blog and Pony Show <ul><li>What’s a blog? </li></ul><ul><li>Why would a library want one? </li></ul><ul><li>What can a library do with a blog? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s RSS? </li></ul><ul><li>How can we ‘feed’ our library information to patrons via RSS? </li></ul><ul><li>How can we use blogs and RSS to keep our main website’s content fresh? </li></ul>
    3. 3. Blogs – What You May Have Heard <ul><li>blog (web log or weblog) </li></ul><ul><li>blogger </li></ul><ul><li>blogging </li></ul><ul><li>blogosphere </li></ul>
    4. 4. More “Bloggish” Words <ul><li>podcast (audio) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Podcasting - a method of distributing multimedia files, such as audio programs or music videos, over the Internet </li></ul></ul><ul><li>vlog (video) – see some of these on </li></ul><ul><li>moblog (mobile) </li></ul><ul><li>Blogroll (list of blogs) </li></ul><ul><li>Biblioblogosphere </li></ul>
    5. 5. What is a blog? <ul><li>From (1/28/07): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A blog is a user-generated website where entries are made in journal style and displayed in a reverse chronological order. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs often 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 many blogs . Most blogs are primarily textual although some focus on photographs (photoblog), [a portfolio of sketches] (sketchblog), videos (vlog), or audio (podcasting), and are part of a wider network of social media. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The term &quot;blog&quot; is derived from &quot;Web log.&quot; &quot;Blog&quot; can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>As of November 2006, blog search engine Technorati was tracking nearly 60 million blogs </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. What is a blog? <ul><li>A user-generated website with: </li></ul><ul><li>Posts – text, links, images, audio, video </li></ul><ul><li>Organized chronologically by date (new @ top) </li></ul><ul><li>Unique URL’s for posts (permalinks) </li></ul><ul><li>Comments – very important aspect of blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Self-archives by date (automated) </li></ul><ul><li>Searchable (usually) </li></ul><ul><li>Conversational style </li></ul><ul><li>May limit authorship or readership to certain individuals or groups </li></ul><ul><li>Provides an “RSS feed” that “syndicates” the content for readers – it comes to me! </li></ul>
    7. 7. Some Librarian Blog Examples <ul><li> (Jessamyn West) </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tame the Web (Michael Stephens) </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Shifted Librarian (Jenny Levine) </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Includes lots of info on library gaming </li></ul></ul><ul><li>List of Librarian Blogs at LISWiki </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Some Library Institutional Blogs <ul><li>Waterloo (IA) Public Library Reference News - Info from the Reference Dept. </li></ul><ul><li>Cuyahoga County (OH) Public Library - Links to 20 subject areas, each with its own blog! </li></ul><ul><li>Iowa City (IA) Public Library Teen Blog - </li></ul><ul><li>Birmingham (AL) Public Library - http:// / </li></ul>
    9. 9. Birmingham PL Blog <ul><li> </li></ul>
    10. 10. Waterloo PL Reference Blog <ul><li> </li></ul>
    11. 11. More Library Blogs <ul><li>Ann Arbor (Michigan) District Library – Their entire site is blogs! </li></ul><ul><li>Find a list of library blogs at Blogging Libraries Wiki: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Public, Academic, School, Special </li></ul>Ann Arbor (Michigan) District Library – Their entire site is blogs! Find a list of library blogs at Blogging Libraries Wiki: Public, Academic, School, Special
    12. 12. Why Have a Library Blog? <ul><li>Helps tell your “library story” – humanizes and personalizes your library </li></ul><ul><li>An efficient means to empower staff to communicate with the public (and each other – think about a staff blog!) </li></ul><ul><li>Adds freshness to your website </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Link to separate blog site (Birmingham), or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Embed blog in your website ( </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Why Have a Library Blog? (cont.) <ul><li>Creates a library “community” online in a way no static website can. </li></ul><ul><li>Increases information literacy by keeping your patrons (and staff) current on library events, resources and more </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate with your patrons their way – aka “60 million blogs can’t be (all) wrong!” </li></ul>
    14. 14. Other Uses for Blogs <ul><li>Community Information – Create a clearinghouse for community information. Fresh and useful! </li></ul>
    15. 15. Other Uses for Blogs <ul><li>Community Information – Create a clearinghouse for community information. Fresh and useful! </li></ul><ul><li>Reader’s Advisory – book review and discussion blogs. From staff to patron, patron to patron, etc. </li></ul>
    16. 16. Hennepin County (MN) BookSpace
    17. 17. Other Uses for Blogs <ul><li>Community Information – Create a clearinghouse for community information. Fresh and useful! </li></ul><ul><li>Reader’s Advisory – book review and discussion blogs. From staff to patron, patron to patron, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Staff Communication – create a staff blog! </li></ul>
    18. 18. She Said/He Said – Kankakee (IL) PL
    19. 19. Other Uses for Blogs <ul><li>Community Information – Create a clearinghouse for community information. Fresh and useful! </li></ul><ul><li>Reader’s Advisory – book review and discussion blogs. From staff to patron, patron to patron, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Staff Communication – create a staff blog! </li></ul><ul><li>Speak directly to and with teens using a library teen blog – events, book club, etc. </li></ul>
    20. 20. Iowa City Teens Blog <ul><li> </li></ul>
    21. 21. Library Staff Blog Examples <ul><li>Newman Library at Baruch College – NYC </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>(excellent example of collaborative staff blog – uses – clean, useful design) </li></ul><ul><li>Kankakee Public Library “Library Musings” </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>(this is open to the public, but is written by all library staff – not the director!) </li></ul>
    22. 22. Library Musings – Kankakee (IL) PL
    23. 23. Creating a Blog <ul><li>Popular Software & Services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MovableType (Perl/MySQL) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>WordPress (PHP/MySQL) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Typepad (blog software for a fee) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogger (free Web service) ** </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul>
    24. 24.
    25. 25. Start a Blog – As Easy As: <ul><li>1) Create a Blogger Account </li></ul><ul><li>2) Name Your Blog </li></ul><ul><li>3) Choose a Template for your blog </li></ul><ul><li>4) Start Posting! </li></ul>
    26. 26. Create an Account
    27. 27. Name Your Blog
    28. 28. Choose a Template
    29. 29. Start Posting
    30. 31. Options <ul><li>Create more than one blog – manage them all from one “dashboard” </li></ul><ul><li>Show/Hide Comments – your choice </li></ul><ul><li>Restrict authors to invited participants only </li></ul><ul><li>Restrict readers to invited participants only, or solely to authors (staff blog) </li></ul><ul><li>Change elements within template to create your own “look and feel” </li></ul><ul><li>Add images, video, sound </li></ul><ul><li>Republish your blog embedded into your website –keep your website fresh! </li></ul>
    31. 32. Searching for Blogs to Read
    32. 33. Other Ways to Find Blogs <ul><li>Word of Mouth </li></ul><ul><li>Your favorite sites – look for their blog </li></ul><ul><ul><li> Daily </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Author Blogs http:// =UTF8&view= artistBlogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Librarian Central </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Powell’s Books Blog </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The handout I sent you  </li></ul><ul><li>From other blogs (Blogroll – list at side of blog) </li></ul>
    33. 34. Any Questions?
    34. 35. Blog Statistics – From Jenny Levine’s Presentation on “Blogs, RSS and Wikis in Way Too Short a Time” (2006)
    35. 36. Signs That You’ve Become Addicted to Reading Blogs <ul><li>You’re spending all your time linking to all these crazy websites and reading blogs. </li></ul><ul><li>Your mouse hand hurts from clicking. </li></ul><ul><li>You’ve started your own blog to join in the fun. </li></ul><ul><li>You keep seeing these funny little orange symbols and you wonder if it’s a secret code only bloggers know… </li></ul>
    36. 37. RSS – Telling Your Story
    37. 38. Questions about RSS <ul><li>Ever wonder if there’s an easier way to read your favorite blogs than all that clicking? </li></ul><ul><li>Ever wonder what those crazy orange symbols on the sides of blogs mean? </li></ul><ul><li>(Note: Movement to use a single standard icon is afoot at ) </li></ul>
    38. 39. What is RSS? <ul><li>RSS is: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>rather hard to describe in text, easier to show </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>stands for: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Rich Site Summary </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>RDF Site Summary </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Really Simple Syndication </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a form of XML (web markup language) used for syndicating news items on the Internet. It’s for machines to read, not for people. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>what allows RSS aggregators to read your blogs for you and then serve them up to you. </li></ul></ul>
    39. 40. How Does RSS Work? <ul><li>The Quick and Dirty Version: </li></ul><ul><li>The information provider (blogger, news source) creates a file which is translated, usually automatically by their blog software, into an RSS file. </li></ul><ul><li>The file is uploaded to a Web server </li></ul><ul><li>Users subscribe to the file via an aggregator or feed reader . They may type the URL directly into their aggregator, copy and paste it, or they may click one of those orange icons to subscribe: </li></ul><ul><li>The aggregator periodically checks the file for updated content. </li></ul><ul><li>When the author updates the RSS file (blog post), the user is automatically notified of the new items (via the aggregator) and may read them at their leisure. </li></ul>
    40. 41. What Does RSS Look Like?
    41. 42. Some RSS Feeds <ul><li>Librarian’s Index to the Internet – </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Unshelved – Library Web Comic – </li></ul><ul><li>Google News – also its own news aggregator </li></ul><ul><li>News: CNN, BBC, NYTimes, Toronto Star </li></ul><ul><li>EBSCOHost - Top Stories, Newsletters, Podcasts </li></ul>
    42. 43. Benefits of RSS <ul><li>Can be corralled into an Aggregator for easier viewing and fewer clicks. </li></ul><ul><li>Information is served to the ‘customer’ in a single location. They rarely need to go to the original website unless the author sends them there, or to view special content. </li></ul><ul><li>Information is received in a timely manner – basically when it’s posted. </li></ul>
    43. 44. So What Can You Do With RSS? <ul><li>Keep yourself current on library topics, news, hobby blogs, etc. via an Aggregator. </li></ul><ul><li>Create an RSS Feed of your library blog – speak directly to your patrons. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog software does this for you automatically. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Feed info to your staff via a staff blog – they can be sent all of it, or can subscribe to individual ‘categories’ (reference, children’s, YA, etc.) of information. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Republish” feeds on your library website – help keep your website content fresh </li></ul>
    44. 45. RSS Aggregators Or, How to Save Valuable Blog-Reading Time!
    45. 46. What is an Aggregator? <ul><li>Not an amphibious reptile with large teeth, native to the Florida Everglades. </li></ul><ul><li>From Wikipedia: “An aggregator or news aggregator or feed reader is client software that uses a web feed to retrieve syndicated web content such as weblogs, podcasts, vlogs, and mainstream mass media websites, or in the case of a search aggregator, a customized set of search results.” </li></ul><ul><li>Also known as a Feed Reader </li></ul>
    46. 47. Why Use an Aggregator? <ul><li>All your content (blog posts, news feeds) comes to one location, rather than you having to remember to go find it. </li></ul><ul><li>It checks for updates automatically. </li></ul><ul><li>Displays only new items for you. </li></ul><ul><li>In some cases you can use it to search for additional feeds on similar subjects. </li></ul>
    47. 48. From Jenny Levine
    48. 50. Types of Aggregators <ul><li>Client </li></ul><ul><ul><li>FeedReader </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Server-based </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Feed on Feeds </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Add-on </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Puck for IE6 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Built-in </li></ul><ul><ul><li>IE7 & Firefox 2.x </li></ul></ul>
    49. 51. IE7’s RSS Aggregator
    50. 53. Right-click a specific feed to view its Properties (at right).
    51. 54. Types of Aggregators <ul><li>Client </li></ul><ul><ul><li>FeedReader </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Server-based </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Feed on Feeds </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Add-on </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Puck for IE6 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Built-in </li></ul><ul><ul><li>IE7 & Firefox 2.x </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Web-based service** </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
    52. 55. Using – As Easy As: <ul><li>1) Create a Bloglines Account </li></ul><ul><li>2) Verify Account via email </li></ul><ul><li>3) Find RSS Feeds to Read </li></ul><ul><li>4) Subscribe to Feeds </li></ul><ul><li>5) Check every day (hour?) for new posts </li></ul>
    53. 56. Create an Account
    54. 57. Verify Account via email
    55. 58. Find RSS Feeds to Read
    56. 60. Subscribe to Feeds
    57. 64. Another Add Option – The Subscribe Button
    58. 65. Reading Your Bloglines Feeds
    59. 66. Bloglines Tutorials <ul><li>Bloglines for Librarians in Three (and a half) Easy Steps </li></ul><ul><li>LawLibTech: RSS Tutorial Using Bloglines - </li></ul><ul><li>WisBlawg - (links to PowerPoint) </li></ul>
    60. 67. Any Questions?
    61. 68. What was that you said about “republishing” feeds on our website to keep it fresh?
    62. 69. Republishing RSS Feeds <ul><li>Use RSS to republish feeds on your library website – keep your content fresh with little effort! </li></ul><ul><li>Portions of the following slides were taken with permission from Karen Burns’ “Feed It: Adding iRead RSS Feeds to Your Website” presentation for Southwest Iowa Library Service Area. </li></ul>
    63. 70. How it works Blog RSS Feed Webpage
    64. 71. Republishing – As Easy As: <ul><li>Choose the blogs’ feeds to put on your site </li></ul><ul><li>Select the “look” of the feed display </li></ul><ul><li>Generate the javascript to plug into your website – done automatically by feed republishing utility. </li></ul><ul><li>Copy the javascript and paste into webpage </li></ul>
    65. 72. Feed Republishing Utilities <ul><li>Feed2JS </li></ul><ul><li>Grazr </li></ul>
    66. 73. Grazr Republishing Demo
    67. 74. Find the feed you want to republish. Look for the RSS logos or a “Subscribe” link.
    68. 76. Apply a Theme
    69. 77. Embed (Copy/Paste) the Script in Your Website
    70. 78. Voila!
    71. 79. Multiple Feeds: Grazr
    72. 80. Republishing Example
    73. 81. What Have We Learned Today? <ul><li>Blogs are a great communication tool. </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs are addictive! Use an aggregator to save yourself time. </li></ul><ul><li>You (and your library) can blog. Easily. Give it a try! </li></ul><ul><li>RSS is how blogs are able to come to you, instead of you going to them. </li></ul><ul><li>You can embed RSS feeds in your website to keep it fresh and current, with little effort! </li></ul>
    74. 82. Go Forth and Be Bloggy!
    75. 83. Louise Alcorn [email_address] West Des Moines Public Library West Des Moines, Iowa 515-222-3573 Feel free to contact me!