UK eInformation Group

Web 2.0 Updates

Wikis That Work In The Real World

Wikis That Work In The Real World

This article in Information Week looks at how four companies are using wikis within their organisations: Angel.com, Publicis Group, Seagate and Red Mountain Retail Group.

January 9, 2009 Posted by | wikis | | Comments Off on Wikis That Work In The Real World

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

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

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

Wikisurgery

Wikisurgery is a free surgical encyclopaedia for surgeons and their patients. It has been set-up by Surgical Associates Ltd, owners of the International Journal of Surgery. Contributions in the form of new articles and editing can be made by anyone at anytime anywhere in the world. The site is totally upfront about the possibility of vandalism, and in the ‘About Wikisurgery’ section it says:

“older articles tend to be more comprehensive and balanced, while newer articles may still contain significant misinformation, unencyclopedic content, or vandalism. Users need to be aware of this in order to obtain valid information and avoid misinformation which has been recently added and not yet removed (see Wikisurgery:Researching with Wikisurgery for more details).”

There is an interesting Basic Surgical Skills Program. Authored by Michael Edwards, the program begins by checking the trainee’s aptitude for surgical handicraft, learning ability profile, suitability for surgery, attitude and preparedness. It then provides 15 surgical sections, progressing through putting on gloves, swabbing, using suckers, retracting, and using haemostats, to excising a mole from simulated skin and suturing the wound. The program starts at http://wikisurgery.com/index.php?title=PrimeSkills_in_Surgery.

If, like me, you have lesser ambitions, take a look at
http://wikisurgery.com/index.php?title=Scissors_07_How_to_cut_with_scissor . Forget about ‘how to cut’, how to hold scissors was a real eye-opener for me. I have now tried the techniques suggested and found that I have lot more control over the scissors when tackling our very fluffy, long-haired cat’s matted fur!

January 15, 2008 Posted by | wikis | , , | 1 Comment

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