UK eInformation Group

Web 2.0 Updates

Why local government shouldn’t be on Facebook

This is an interesting post from Simon Wakeman who is Head of Marketing at Medway Council in south east England, as well as a freelance communications consultant. It voices concerns that many of us have in using Facebook, not just within the public sector but also for commercial, private sector organisations. Although he says that he does not believe that Councils should have a presence on Facebook he thinks it is better that councils are trying Facebook rather than avoiding it altogether.

I suspect that the following from the  posting will resonate with many people’s feelings about using Facebook in the professional environment:

“The oft-repeated adage about “build it and they will come” is as wrong on Facebook as it is anywhere else on the web.

Just because you have a presence on Facebook (whether it’s as a corporate body or for a specific service area), that doesn’t mean you’re automatically using Facebook to its greatest potential as a communications tool.

Try searching out people in your area using Facebook already. Look for groups that are concerned with your area. Try to spot activists among the groups – who seem the most active and vocal?

Once you’ve done this think about how to engage with these people appropriately – and I don’t mean send them a message saying “I see you’re from XXX, why  not join our group?””

The discussion between readers and Simon in the Comments at the end of the article are also worth serious consideration.

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March 14, 2009 Posted by | Facebook | , | Comments Off on Why local government shouldn’t be on Facebook

Status of UK Local Councils Facebook Fan Pages and Groups

Another useful listing from LizAzyan Research on what UK local councils are doing with respect to social media. As well as detailing which local councils are doing what on Facebook there is a nice table showing the difference between Facebook Fan Pages and Facebook Groups.

February 24, 2009 Posted by | Facebook | , , , | Comments Off on Status of UK Local Councils Facebook Fan Pages and Groups

Austenbook – Pride and Prejudice on Facebook

How Pride and Prejudice might have been acted out on Facebook! Thanks to Phil Bradley for the Tweet.

December 11, 2008 Posted by | Facebook, Uncategorized | , | Comments Off on Austenbook – Pride and Prejudice on Facebook

What to put on a Library Facebook Page

What can you do with a Facebook Page? by David Lee King is a neat summary of what you can do with a library Facebook page and is broken down into three sections: basic information, Facebook functionality, and social stuff. The comments are also worth reading for suggestions and tips on what works and what doesn’t.

November 14, 2008 Posted by | Facebook | , | Comments Off on What to put on a Library Facebook Page

Bosses ‘should embrace Facebook’

Bosses ‘should embrace Facebook’ says a report on BBC News. Demos, “The Think Tank for Everyday Democracy”, has apparently released the findings of a study that says:

Companies should not dismiss staff who use social networking sites such as Facebook and Bebo at work as merely time-wasters

I wanted to read the original report on the Demos site, or at least the press release, but there was no sign of it at 8.33 am UK time on 29th October 2008. So we’ll have to make do with the BBC article.

October 29, 2008 Posted by | Facebook | , , , | Comments Off on Bosses ‘should embrace Facebook’

Facebook Group vs Facebook Fan Page

Ann Smarty at Search Engine Journal compares Facebook Group and Facebook Fan Pages for encouraging networking and publicising you organisation’s activities. She cites the two major differences as being

  1. Unlike groups, fan pages are visible to unregistered people and are thus indexed (important for reputation management, for example);
  2. Unlike pages, groups allow to send out “bulk invite” (you can easily invite all your friends to join the group while with pages you will be forced to drop some invites manually). Groups are thus better for viral marketing, meaning that any group member can also send bulk invites to the friends of his.

Other features are compared and the comments are worth reading for other people’s experiences.

October 5, 2008 Posted by | Facebook | | Comments Off on Facebook Group vs Facebook Fan Page

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

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