Social Software in Libraries Workshop


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For conference in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.

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Social Software in Libraries Workshop

  1. 1. Social Software in Academic Libraries <ul><li>Meredith Farkas </li></ul>
  2. 2. Wikis
  3. 3. What is a wiki? <ul><li>Content management system </li></ul><ul><li>Allows people to collaboratively develop a website without any tech-savvy </li></ul><ul><li>Wiki=quick (in Hawaiian)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>All community members can add to or edit the work of others </li></ul>
  4. 4. Wiki structure and syntax <ul><li>A tale of two wikis... </li></ul><ul><li>Library Success Wiki </li></ul><ul><li>Computers in Libraries 2008 Wiki </li></ul>
  5. 5. Wikis vs. Blogs <ul><li>No one owns content </li></ul><ul><li>Anyone can edit other people’s work </li></ul><ul><li>No specific organization (hyperlinks)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>A person owns their post </li></ul><ul><li>Only author can edit their work (others can comment)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>Organized in reverse chronological order </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Perpetual work in progress </li></ul><ul><li>Good for collaborative group work </li></ul><ul><li>Posts are permanent </li></ul><ul><li>Good for disseminating info/starting a dialog </li></ul>Wikis vs. Blogs
  7. 7. Why wiki? <ul><li>Easy to use </li></ul><ul><li>Web-based </li></ul><ul><li>Anyone can make changes </li></ul><ul><li>Version control </li></ul><ul><li>Findability </li></ul><ul><li>Many free and open-source options </li></ul>
  8. 8. Why not wiki? <ul><li>Too open (trust issues)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>Disorganized </li></ul><ul><li>Vandalism and spam </li></ul><ul><li>Wikis aren’t for everyone. If control is a major issue with the site you’re developing, a wiki may not be the right tool for the job. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Community wikis <ul><li>Roc Wiki (Rochester, NY)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>Davis Wiki (Davis, CA)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>Arbor Wiki (Ann Arbor, MI)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>A good start: Mac Library Experience </li></ul><ul><li>A great start: Stevens County Rural Library District Wiki (WA)‏ </li></ul>
  10. 10. Subject guides <ul><li>Ohio University Library’s Biz Wiki </li></ul><ul><li>Norwich University Research Guides </li></ul>
  11. 11. Wiki is intranet for information sharing <ul><li>Most are behind the firewall or are password protected. </li></ul><ul><li>Albany County Public Library Staff Wiki </li></ul><ul><li>Memphis Public Library Wiki </li></ul>
  12. 12. Collaboratively-developed manual <ul><li>Print manuals are really hard to update </li></ul><ul><li>Antioch University New England Library Staff Training and Support Wiki </li></ul><ul><li>North Metro Technical College Library </li></ul>
  13. 13. Wiki tips: Software <ul><li>Popular options for a wiki hosted on your server </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MediaWiki </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PmWiki </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Twiki </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DokuWiki </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DekiWiki </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Wiki tips: Software (cont’d)‏ <ul><li>Popular options for wikis hosted by the software company </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PBWiki </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>WetPaint </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SeedWiki </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wikispaces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wikia </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>If you want control, no ads, etc., host the wiki on your own server </li></ul><ul><li>If you don’t have server space, need the wiki for a small, time-limited project, or don’t want to maintain new tech, go with a hosted wiki </li></ul><ul><li>Check out the WikiMatrix when thinking about which software to use </li></ul>Wiki tips: Software (cont’d)‏
  16. 16. Wiki tips: Seeding the wiki <ul><li>No one wants to add to an empty wiki </li></ul><ul><li>Also, people don’t know what to add </li></ul><ul><li>Add some content to the major categories before going live </li></ul><ul><li>Creating an organization scheme will prevent orphan links and chaos </li></ul>
  17. 17. Wiki tips: Education <ul><li>Wikis need lots of info for novice users </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is a wiki </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What can you do with this wiki </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How to edit the wiki </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FAQ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Whom to contact for more help </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Training is important </li></ul>
  18. 18. Wiki tips: Content development <ul><li>Do lots of marketing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on the functionality, not the tool </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If possible, offer trainings </li></ul><ul><li>Partner with groups/people related to your mission </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t do it all yourself! </li></ul><ul><li>Give the wiki a grassroots feel, make it welcoming </li></ul>
  19. 19. Wiki tips: Management <ul><li>Security </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Should you require registration? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dealing with spam </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bad Behavior plugin </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitor the wiki several times per day </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get to know and love RSS </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Find lots of dedicated helpers! </li></ul>
  20. 20. How to deal with content you don’t like <ul><li>Guidelines </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Limit to on-topic posts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Take a note from the Wikipedia’s policies and guidelines or the Library Success Wiki </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Get a group of volunteers to patron a public open wiki </li></ul><ul><li>If you need to delete something - use discussion area to explain why things were deleted </li></ul>
  21. 21. Let’s create a wiki!
  22. 22. RSS
  23. 24. Without RSS <ul><li>Visit every page separately </li></ul><ul><li>Never know when a page will be updated </li></ul><ul><li>Remember URLs for each page </li></ul>
  24. 26. What is RSS? <ul><li>Format for syndicating content on the web </li></ul><ul><li>Makes the content portable so it can be syndicated </li></ul><ul><li>Based on XML - content separated from presentation. </li></ul>
  25. 28. What is RSS? <ul><li>Often used for content that is updated </li></ul><ul><li>RSS content is dynamically updated as soon as the content on the original page is updated. </li></ul>
  26. 29. Without RSS
  27. 30. With RSS
  28. 31. What types of content have RSS feeds?
  29. 39. Ways to get RSS-enabled content
  30. 40. Personal homepage
  31. 41. Email
  32. 42. SMS
  33. 43. Syndicated on a website
  34. 44. RSS aggregator <ul><li>Application used for displaying multiple RSS feeds </li></ul><ul><li>Two types </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Web-based aggregator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Desktop aggregator </li></ul></ul>
  35. 45. Why should librarians care about RSS? <ul><li>Allows patrons to receive our content how and when they want. </li></ul><ul><li>Allows us to put the same content on multiple pages and have it updated dynamically. </li></ul><ul><li>Allows us to put dynamically updated content from other providers on our site. </li></ul>
  36. 46. Ideas for using RSS in libraries
  37. 47. Pull content in
  38. 48. Syndicate outside content
  39. 49. Bring content to courseware
  40. 50. New book feeds
  41. 51. New book feeds
  42. 52. Creating a virtual reading room
  43. 53. Let’s mix and display some RSS feeds!
  44. 54. Social Bookmarking
  45. 55. What is Social Bookmarking <ul><li>Just like regular browser bookmarks, but web-based and using tags instead of folders </li></ul><ul><li>Tag - descriptive metadata </li></ul><ul><li>You can assign multiple tags to anything you bookmark </li></ul><ul><li>Your bookmarks can be public or private </li></ul>
  46. 56. Social Bookmarking Options <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Furl </li></ul><ul><li>Connotea </li></ul><ul><li>CiteULike </li></ul><ul><li>StumbleUpon </li></ul>
  47. 57. Libraries Using Social Bookmarking <ul><li>The College of New Jersey </li></ul><ul><li>University of Michigan Health Sciences Library </li></ul><ul><li>Springfield Technical and Community College </li></ul>
  48. 58. Let's get!
  49. 59. Custom Search <ul><li>Allows you to search multiple hand-chosen websites in a single search </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google CSE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rollyo </li></ul></ul>
  50. 60. Personalized Home Pages <ul><li>Like “portals” in the 1990s. </li></ul><ul><li>Create customized “start pages” for different constituents </li></ul><ul><li>Popular home pages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Netvibes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pageflakes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>iGoogle </li></ul></ul>
  51. 61. Widgets <ul><li>Little gadget that offers some functionality on the page </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MeeboMe </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LibraryThing widgets </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Widgets are portable </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can go on start pages, in Facebook, on any website, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  52. 62. Planning for Social Software
  53. 63. Choosing a Project <ul><li>Avoid technolust </li></ul><ul><li>Know your population </li></ul><ul><li>Weigh your options through play </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the culture of each technology </li></ul>
  54. 64. Selling ideas <ul><li>Have plenty of hard data </li></ul><ul><li>Have a prototype </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage staff to “kick the tires” </li></ul><ul><li>Offer training for staff </li></ul><ul><li>Be patient </li></ul>
  55. 65. Selling ideas to IT <ul><li>Involve IT in planning </li></ul><ul><li>Know your stuff </li></ul><ul><li>Build relationships and find champions </li></ul>
  56. 66. Maintenance <ul><li>Do you need a policy? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you need maintenance procedures? </li></ul>
  57. 67. Partnerships <ul><li>Partnering with organizations with common goals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning Support/Writing Center </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Academic Computing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Student Life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Industry, media, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  58. 68. Promotion <ul><li>Marketing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Website </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All over campus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Local media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Faculty – build into a course </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Focus on functionality </li></ul><ul><li>Training </li></ul>
  59. 69. Assessment <ul><li>How do you assess? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Usage statistics? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Surveys </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Most libraries aren’t doing any assessment of social tools </li></ul>