UK eInformation Group

Web 2.0 Updates

Pageflakes Family Law Blogs

John Bolch has set up a Pageflakes page covering Family Law. John’s Family Lore includes current family law blogs with UK family blawgs at the top and non-UK towards the bottom.

The feeds can also be viewed at Family Lore Focus

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January 15, 2009 Posted by | start pages | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Pageflakes Family Law Blogs

Library 2.0 at the University of Wolverhampton

Library 2.0 at the University of Wolverhampton is a guest post on Brian Kelly’s UK Web Focus from Jo Alcock, Academic Information Assistant for the Harrison Learning Centre, University of Wolverhampton. She summarises how they use blogs, Facebook, wikis and online calendars to support users. The major part of the posting is about the barriers they have encountered such as issues with external hosting and software, lack of awareness of the technologies being used, the need for culture change, and user needs and experience.

October 5, 2008 Posted by | blogs, Facebook, Library 2.0, Web 2.0 - general, wikis | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Library 2.0 at the University of Wolverhampton

What “Not To Do” while you grow your blogging empire

What “Not To Do” while you grow your blogging empire lists eight things not to do when blogging or commenting on other people’s blogs. They should be obvious but some people still do them 😦 . The ones that I find especially annoying are irrelevant comments (they are usually an unsubtle form of spam and I delete them as such), anonymous comments (I agree with Rajesh Setty that you should have the backbone to stand behindyour comments), and copying content without attribution.

Thanks to the British Library Business and IP Centre’s BIPC Twitterfeed for the alert.

October 2, 2008 Posted by | blogs | | Comments Off on What “Not To Do” while you grow your blogging empire

WeblogMatrix – Compare them all

WeblogMatrix – Compare them all does not quite do what it says on the tin. As Phil Bradley points out it does not include LiveJournal or Typepad. Nevertheless, it does help you identify the most appropriate blogging software for your needs. If you already have a shortlist you can compare features side by side – assuming, of course, that they are included in the 25 blog services covered by this site. You should be able to identify likely candidates for your shortlist by clicking on Search and selecting criteria.This worked the first time I tried it a couple of weeks ago but today keeps coming up with the same two packages regardless of what I select. Hopefully that is a temporary glitch.

There is a similar service for wikis at http://www.wikimatrix.org/ .

September 21, 2008 Posted by | blogs | , , | Comments Off on WeblogMatrix – Compare them all

Blog on library refurbishment

Another application for using a blog – keeping your users up to date on the progress of your library’s refurbishment. The University of Bolton Library Refurbishment blog does just that and the department has been praised for the approach they have taken in informing their users of the progress of the project.

June 24, 2008 Posted by | blogs | , , | Comments Off on Blog on library refurbishment

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

Blogs: postings listed with the oldest first

For some applications of blogs it may be more useful to list your postings with the oldest first rather than the standard ‘newest first’. Examples include a CPD blog where you are recording your training, thoughts on your professional development, meetings with mentors etc or a blog that records the progress of a project. At present, neither Blogger nor WordPress offer an alternative to the standard reverse chronological order: TypePad, which is a subscription service, does. Go to Configure and under Post Listing Preferences, Order of Posts check the Oldest first (Ascending) radio button.

There are several TypePad pricing options starting at USD 49.50/year.

April 27, 2008 Posted by | blogs | , | Comments Off on Blogs: postings listed with the oldest first

Using a wiki for a Lab Open Notebook

The Useful Chemistry Blog has reported on the Rosania Lab Open Notebook Science Wiki1CellPK  is the new home of the Subcellular Drug Transport Laboratory at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Michigan College of Pharmacy.

To quote from their wiki home page:

“Open Notebook Science is ideally suited for community-wide collaborative research projects involving mathematical modeling and computer simulation work, as it allows researchers to document model development in a step-by-step fashion, then link model prediction to experiments that test the model, and in turn, use feedback from experiments to evolve the model. By making our laboratory notebooks public, the evolutionary process of a model can be followed in its totality by the interested reader. Researchers from laboratories around the world can now follow the progress of our research day-to-day, borrow models at various stages of development, comment or advice on model developments, discuss experiments, ask questions, provide feedback, or otherwise contribute to the progress of science in any manner possible.”

January 6, 2008 Posted by | blogs, wikis | , , , , , | Comments Off on Using a wiki for a Lab Open Notebook

Sitemeter for blog visitor statistics

If your blog hosting service does not provide statistics on who or how many people are visiting your blog, Sitemeter is one of the more popular tools that can be installed. There is a free and a priced premium version but many people find that the free version is more than adequate. Once you have signed up, there are instructions on how to install it on different blogging platforms. As well as page views and visits, it provides stats on browser use, operating system, location and entry pages.

November 10, 2007 Posted by | blogs | , , | Comments Off on Sitemeter for blog visitor statistics

Blogging with JISC Involve

JISC Involve was brought to my attention by one of the participants at the recent UKeiG Beyond Google workshop. To quote the web site: “JISC Involve is provided by JISC as a free service to the JISC community. Anyone with a .ac.uk email address can sign up instantly and be blogging in minutes.”

The service uses WordPress but blogs set up via this route have jiscinvolve.org instead of wordpress.com in the URL of the blog.

November 10, 2007 Posted by | blogs | , , | 1 Comment