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

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

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