UK eInformation Group

Web 2.0 Updates

TwitterSnooze

TwitterSnooze is a way of temporarily ‘unfollowing’ someone. It is ideal for when your Twitter friends contract conference twitterrhoea – just snooze them until they get back from the conference. The TwitterSnooze web site also suggests:

  • It’s a nice way to get back at someone for saying something stupid… give them the silent treatment
  • It’s a good way to ignore someone that just flooded your timeline for no good reason… but it was just a one-time offense and doesn’t merit permanent unfollowing.

May 24, 2008 Posted by | Twitter | | Comments Off on TwitterSnooze

Google Sites now available to anyone

When Google Sites was first launched in February 2008, it was part of the Google Apps group aimed at enterprises . Now anyone can create a wiki web site using Google Sites, without the need to have their own domain. You can keep it private, share it with a small group of people or make the whole thing public. You can also choose who is allowed to edit the pages on your wiki. The pages are hosted on Google at http://sites.google.com/%5Byour-website%5D and you can have as many pages as you like for free.

The WYSIWYG editor allows you to format the text; embed documents, calendars, photos, videos and gadgets directly into the page; and offer options for commenting. You can even customise it with your own logo. You can view previous versions of a page, roll back or revert to a previous version of the page, and receive email alerts of changes to pages.

There is a short tutorial that takes you through the basics of setting up a Google Site.

May 23, 2008 Posted by | wikis | , | Comments Off on Google Sites now available to anyone

Page2RSS – Create an RSS feed for any web page

Page2RSS monitors web pages for changes and notifies you of those changes by RSS. Simply type in the URL of the page you wish to monitor and then add the feed URL to your favourite feed reader. Excellent tool for pages that do not offer their own RSS feeds. Hat tip to Phil Bradley for this.

May 13, 2008 Posted by | RSS | , , | 1 Comment

Web 2.0 applications: yes, maybe, no?

I ran a Web 2.0 workshop for North West Academic Libraries (NOWAL) on 2nd May 2008 at Salford University. The aim of the event was to give people a taste of what Web 2.0 is all about and an opportunity to test drive some of the applications. Inevitably, we were limited by what we were allowed to use on the computers in the training suite, and the absence of speakers on the PCs meant that I had to do the commentary for Common Craft’s YouTube video ‘RSS in Plain English’ . I suppose one could regard that as a mashup of real/1st life and the electronic world!

At the end of the day, I asked the participants to think about which applications they would definitely use, those that are worth considering (the ‘maybe’ category) and those that would get the definite thumbs down. As they had varying experiences of the technologies, and were looking at them from different perspectives, it is not surprising that some ‘stuff’ ended up in more than one category. We even invented a new award (see And finally… )

No!

There was only nomination for this category. Second Life (SL) did not seem to have any supporters on this workshop. As one has to download software to run SL and run it on serious, heavy duty network connections we were not able to experiment with it on the day. Some of the workshop participants had had bad experiences with it in the past and I did not help matters by recounting the tale of my disastrous attempt to attend an SL meeting the previous evening. Those of us who had tried it agreed that the technology is still getting in the way and it has a long way to go before it is promoted to the ‘maybe’ list.

Nevertheless, it is being taken seriously by Manchester Business School who have commissioned design and new media agency Corporation Pop to develop a Second Life island for them

Yes

Pageflakes – for pulling together frequently accessed information of all types. Can be kept private but also made public as a Pagecasts, for example Dublin City Public Libraries, East Lothian Libraries, ActiveIT.

Flickr – publicise your events, launches/relaunches of services, new library facilities

RSS – great for personal current awareness, but also a way of adding content to your web site, blog, Facebook etc. and generally facilitating the sharing of content.

iGoogle – your very own personalised Google start page for frequently accessed information of all types, but ‘tabs’ can be shared with colleagues.

YouTube – link to ‘how to’ videos, create your own virtual tours of your library, or make videos of your key events.

Wikis – great way to collaborate on documents for example a glossary of acronyms and abbreviations (under development by one of the workshop participants).

Blogs – can be used as sources of information and as a quick and easy way to provide news of services, events and ‘What’s New’ to users. Several of the workshop participants were already active bloggers.

Maybe

Social Bookmarking for example FURL, Del.icio.us, Connotea, 2Collab – could be a good way to provide access to evaluated subject and reading lists. Connotea (owned by the Nature Publishing Group) and 2Collab  (owned by Elsevier) are aimed at researchers and scientists. “If only we could persuade our academics to use them” exclaimed one workshop participant.

Facebook – worth a try but, because of its structure and minimal import/export options, beware of possible extra work in having to re-enter content held on web sites, blogs and start pages .

Google Docs – several people thought that they might use Google Docs as a way of collaborating  on documents but only for personal use and for applications where it would not matter if the document was inadvertently made public.

Presentation sharing services for example Slideshare, authorSTREAM. A good way to share lectures and also presentations on library services.

Nominated for both the ‘Yes’ and ‘Maybe’ categories were: YouTube, RSS and iGoogle.

And finally…

A new category. The winner of the John ‘you-cannot-be-serious’ McEnroe award goes to – ta da, ta da:

Twitter

I did try very hard to convince them of how wonderful Twitter is and was joined in my endeavours by some of my followers (thanks chaps and chappesses, your efforts were appreciated by at least me). The presence of the BBC, Timesonline and even No 10 Downing Street on Twitter did not help. I suspect that the main problem is the Twitter associated jargon and nomenclature. The name ‘Twitter’ generated enough titters on its own, but when quickly followed by tweets, twitterstream, TwitKit, Twitterfeed, Twitterment, Tweet Clouds etc … well, I think you can see the problem.

May 11, 2008 Posted by | Web 2.0 - general | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

RSS in Outlook 2007

There are several ways in which you can add RSS feed to Outlook 2007 but the quickest way seems to be:

1. On the Tools menu, click Account Settings.
2. On the RSS Feeds tab, click New.
3. In the New RSS Feed dialog box, type or press CTRL+V to paste the URL of the RSS Feed.
4. Click Add. In the next box you can change the folder in which it is to be stored.
5. Click OK

May 1, 2008 Posted by | RSS | , | Comments Off on RSS in Outlook 2007