Posts Tagged ‘activity’

#4 – Setting Up an RSS Feed

February 1, 2010 Leave a comment


Time for.. Thing #4 – Setting up your RSS account. 

 a. Decide whether you want to use Google Reader (NB you will need a Google email account) or Bloglines.  If you need some help deciding between the two, take a look at this article.

Of course If you feel like exploring, and you have the time,  feel free to set up accounts on both sites, play around in them, get a feel for the interfaces, and decide for yourself!

 b.  Set up your account – following the guidelines, both are fairly simple to set up and use.

 c.  Add a few of your favourite websites, news sites and of course-  blogs to your account.  To get the most out of your reader, you need to add lots of feeds. Try to subscribe to 10 or more feeds in either Bloglines or Google Reader.

Of Course…… First of all you can add the 23Things blog so that you will know when new content is added!

 Heres how:  Copy this link to the blog :

If you’re using Bloglines: login to your account, click “Add” at the top-left of the screen, paste the link into the “Blog or Feed URL” box, and click “Subscribe”. The next screen will give you some options on where you’d like to save the feed (you can organize your feeds in folders), once you’ve made your choices, click “Subscribe” at the bottom of the page.

If you’re using Google Reader: login to your account, click “Add subscription” at the top-left of the page, paste the link into the input box that appears, and click “Add”.

 Next Step: Once you’ve subscribed to the devlibs feed, take a look at some of these sites and subscribe to their feeds as well. To find their feed addresses, you will have to visit the site and look for the RSS icon or an ‘RSS/Subscribe’ link. They’ll be there somewhere….


The Times

 Final Step: Still looking for more feeds to subscribe to? Getting addicted? Go to some of the library news blogs listed below. Some of these links go straight to the RSS feed – for the rest you’ll have to find the feed yourself…. Subscribe to feeds from the list. Read them weekly until October Daily is better. Why? Because you only really understand RSS by using it regularly.

Library blogs to set up feeds to:

Librarian in Black: Sarah Houghton-Jan covers many of the important stories in the ‘biblioblogosphere’ (!) in short and snappy posts.
Phil Bradley’s weblog
: Phil is a professional librarian and his blog is very useful way to keep up with new Web 2.0 tools.
Stephen’s Lighthouse:
Stephen Abram blogs about future strategic developments in libraries.

.Information Wants to be Free: Meredith Farkas’s blog. Meredith has written a very useful book on the uses of social software in libraries.
UK WebFocus
: Brian Kelly’s blog. Brian is based at UKOLN and his blog focuses on all aspects of digital information management, but especially Web 2.0 developments.

Make sure to visit your aggregator at least a couple of times this week to check for new content in the feeds you’ve subscribed to! (you’ll be surprised at how addictive RSS feed-reading can become!) And don’t forget to blog about your experiences using these tools!

 Further Readings (entirely optional!)

Categories: Week 4 Tags: , , , , ,

#5- Library Related Blogs and Newsfeeds

February 1, 2010 Leave a comment


Now that you know all about how to use RSS aggregators/readers and have set up your RSS feed account  through Reader or Bloglines, it’s time to explore the universe of blogs that will help you be a bigger, bolder, better information professional.

 Remember to look for the orange RSS feed icon on sites indicating that a feed is available.

 Explore these resources for identifying blog feeds regarding libraries

        Use your feed reader to find blogs of interest. For instance you can search for blog of interest right on Bloglines with Blogline’s Search.

       Library Blogs @ Yahoo Directory

       LIS Wiki article on Library Weblogs (alphabetical list of links)

       Search for Blog about Libraries on the Open Directory Project.

Other Sources

       Google Blog Search – Syndic8 is an open directory of RSS feeds that contains thousands of RSS feeds that users have submitted.

       Technorati Blog Directories – Technorati is a popular blog finding tool that lets you search for blogs. Since RSS feeds are inherent to all blogging tools, Technorati Blog Search can help you find RSS feeds for topic specific blogs you may be interested in.     


You may have already had a look at some of the library related blogs that I have suggested while you were working through #4 Thing – here are some useful links for you to discover which blogs would be most useful to you in your library work.

 Great feeds for libraries

       Docuticker – hand-picked selection of resources, reports and publications from government agencies, NGOs, think tanks and other public interest organizations.

       Government Info Pro – a blog for government librarians

       LISNews – Library and Information Science News

       Librarians Internet Index: New This Week

       Library Journal – News and Features

       Library Link of the Day – your  “of the day” resource on this list

       Library Stuff – Steven M. Cohen -Sabrina Pacifici

       Resource Shelf – Gary Price in action.

       The Shifted Librarian – Jenny Levine looks at innovative technologies.

       Unshelved – A great library comic strip.


        Now that you are blogging, where do you want to take it? Is it just an exercise or will you start building your readership through your own RSS feed?

       So you’ve found some good blog reads. Are you sharing these finds with others? How are you doing that? Through blogrolls on your blog?    

       Now that you are reading more blogs more regularly through the use of your feed reader, how are you going to use that knowledge both personally and professionally?


Create a blog post about your experience. Don’t know what to blog about? Here some questions to think about …

Which method of finding feeds did you find easiest to use? Which Search tool was the easiest for you? Which was more confusing? What kind of useful feeds did you find in your travels? Or what kind of unusual ones did you find? What other tools or ways did you find to locate newsfeeds?

Categories: Week 5 Tags: , , , , , ,

#7 – Facebook

February 1, 2010 1 comment

Now that you have some background knowledge about Social Networking, we are going to explore some of the best known applications in the next four “Things”. The first of these is a world-wide phenomenum.

Facebook is a social networking website that is operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc.  Users can add friends and send them messages, and update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves. Additionally, users can join networks organized by city, workplace,  school or library.

Mark Zuckerberg invented Facemash on October 28, 2003 while attending Harvard University, but it wasn’t until September 2009,  that Facebook claimed that it had turned cash flow positive for the first time

A January 2009 study ranked Facebook as the most used social network by worldwide monthly active users, followed by MySpace. Entertainment Weekly put it on its end-of-the-decade, “best-of” list, saying, “How on earth did we stalk our exes, remember our co-workers’ birthdays, bug our friends, and play a rousing game of Scrabulous before Facebook?”

Facebook and MySpace probably get more mainstream press than any other tool on this list—besides blogging. And, as we all know, not all the press is positive.  However, social networks are one of the main ways that young adults communicate with each other—68% of all teenagers use social networking sites.  In the last couple of years, Facebook has also become used by more and more adults as a quick way of  networking.  Use of these sites has even surpassed landline telephones and even e-mail for a growing percentage of people.  Recently libraries around the world have discovered the benefits of having a Facebook “presence” as a means of advertising events, reporting news and generally keeping in touch with their customers.

So, what does it all mean to libraries? Whether or not you become a convert to Facebook and/ MySpace, it is important to understand how they work. If our users are communicating through these networks, we need to be able to be there, too.

Background Reading:

Wikipedia entry for Facebook

Protect Your Privacy on Facebook

Activities for #7:

1.  If you don’t already have one – now is the time to set up a Facebook account.  If you have any problems , take a look at this tutorial.

Once you have your Facebook account, you’ll need to…

2. Create a Facebook profile

Facebook profiles are for individuals. Facebook pages are for organizations. 

As you create your profile, Facebook will ask you if you want to find friends by using your email account. Facebook will ask you to provide your email account password. I strongly advise against this. There are other ways to add friends later. As a matter of fact, you can skip all of the steps in the profile setup if you want, as long as you enter your name and secret question. You can always go back and edit your profile information later.

3.  Once you have created your profile, write on at least one wall and join at least one group. Here are some possible Facebook Groups to join: (Groups are only visible when logged in to Facebook.)

Library2 Interest group

Libraries and Facebook

Or choose any of the groups from this list

Hottest Facebook Groups for Librarians –

Facebook is really not much fun without friends.

So go find some friends.

You can only see your friends’ profiles, and they’re the only people who can see yours. You can share as much or as little information about yourself as you want. When someone performs a search, only your name, photo (if you upload one) and the networks you belong to will appear in the search results.

The more information you enter about yourself in your profile, the more options Facebook gives you for finding friends. You can automatically find high school or college classmates, former co-workers, etc., if you’ve entered your education and work history into your profile. Even if you don’t enter that information into your profile, you can still perform searches based on that information—the only difference is that you have to enter that information manually every time you search.

You can also search for people directly by their names. If you’re at a loss as to who to add, type “Devon Libraries” into the search box.

In addition to searching for people, you can search for organizations. If you simply type an organization name, like “Library,” into the search box, and choose to search Facebook, you will get a list of all the different entities with that name in the title. If you limit the search to “Pages,” you’ll find only organizations. Once you track down the organization you had in mind, you can become a fan of that organization. Find Devon Libraries and become a fan.  Well, we have to increase our fanbase numbers somehow!


Many libraries worldwide are using social network sites to:

  • Speak the language of their patrons
  • Showcase their library
  • Promote and assess library functions, through surveys and focus groups
  • Repackage information
  • Promote outreach – extend the support of the library beyond the physical walls
  • Educate users/customers

Blog about your thoughts about Facebook.  Which groups did you join and why? Reflect on why Facebook may be the fastest growing social network. Is that reputation deserved?  Blog your thoughts and observations regarding setting up your Facebook account, and ways you think you might use the service in the future. Also, please feel free to blog any feelings regarding the balance of privacy and transparency, the marketing potential of social connections, conspiracy theories about all the personal information Facebook collects, or anything else that may have popped into your head throughout this experience.

#9 – Twitter

February 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Have you heard people talking about Twitter? Wonder what a “tweet” is? Well, get ready for some fun! First, watch this Twitter tutorial video:

Thing #9 – Twitter

Twitter allows each user to send a short update on their current activity to a selected group of friends from a computer or mobile phone. Restrained by text message technology to a limit of just 140 characters, users answer the question: “What are you doing?” in as straightforward or creative a way as they choose. These posts are shared via the web to either the world or to the users’ friends.

Users can access Twitter messages—called “Tweets”—via the Web, via an RSS feed, and via text on their mobile phones or any number of third part apps. Critics divide users into two areas: social updating and microblogging. Accessing a Twitter user, one might find an update on his or her day, a direct message to another Twitterer, or a bit of wit and wisdom.

Libraries are using Twitter as well as a means to update content on the Web or for alert services.

Further Reading:

Twitter- The Tweet that Shook the World
Making the Most of Twitter
All a Twitter: Want to Try Microblogging? 2008 article in School Library Journal.
Seven Tips for New Twitter Users

Activites for Thing #9:

1. Visit Twitter and sign up for a free account. Try a few tweets.
2. Visit the Devon Libraries twitter account and “follow” it.
3. Search Twitter for anything that interests you to explore how people use this tool. What conversations did you find?
4. Blog about the experience and be sure to post your Twitter username there so others can see it and follow you. Did you like micro-blogging? How else could libraries use Twitter? How could you use Twitter?

#10 – Social news and URL shortening

February 1, 2010 Leave a comment

 On many websites that you come across you will have seen one or more of the following icons:

So what exactly are these?  Well..they are known as Social news applications. The term social news refers to websites where users submit and vote on stories or other links, thus determining which links are presented.  They are places for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the web, from the biggest online destinations to the most obscure blog.  The main applications include:

 One of the first and one of the most popular sites is Digg,a social news website made for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the internet, by submitting links and stories, and voting and commenting on submitted links and stories. Voting stories up and down is the site’s cornerstone function, respectively called digging and burying. Many stories get submitted every day, but only the most Dugg stories appear on the front page.

 reddit is a social news website owned by Conde Nast Digital on which users can post links to content on the Internet. Other users may then vote the posted links up or down, causing them to become more or less prominent on the reddit home page.

 Another is StumbleUpon which allows its users to discover and rate Web pages, photos, and videos. It is a personalized recommendation site which uses peer and social networking principles.  Web pages are presented when the user clicks the “Stumble!” button .  StumbleUpon chooses which Web page to display based on the user’s ratings of previous pages, ratings by his/her friends, and by the ratings of users with similar interests. Users can rate or choose not to rate any Web page with a thumbs up or thumbs down.  StumbleUpon also allows their users to indicate their interests from a list of nearly 500 topics to produce relevant content for the user.

 URL Shortening.

 Some web pages have very long and cumbersome URLs.  This can be awkward to use if you want to add a link to Twitter, which only allows 140 characters, or even just posting a link in your blog or email.

 URL shortening is a technique on the internet where a provider makes a  web page available under a very short  URL in addition to the original address.

For example the link to this web page is:…url-shortening/

The short link ( using is:

 Although there are many providers of shorter URLs, the two most used are:

 TinyUrl …

 And ….

 Activities for Thing #10

 1.  Register for one or all of the following: ,,  Check out what is popular at the moment or maybe find a topic that you are interested in and see what other internet users rate highly.

 2.  Practise URL shortening for one of your own blog pages.  Then send a message on Twitter using a shortened URL as a link.

#11 – Wikis

February 1, 2010 Leave a comment


If you’ve ever been to Hawaii, you might have heard the term “wiki wiki,” meaning, “quick quick,” and a wiki is a very fast way of making a  basic website that allows multiple people to collaborate on, add, remove, and edit its content. 

The ease of interaction makes wikis an effective tool for organizing content and collaborating on ideas. Wikis are considered a content management system since they share common elements with these types of applications.

The most famous wiki is the Wikipedia, an online encyclopaedia that was created by and is constantly being updated by thousands and thousands of contributors. We shall  be looking at Wikipedia in more depth in Thing #12.



Why make a wiki? 

  • Anyone (registered or unregistered, if unrestricted) can add, edit or delete content.
  • Tracking tools within wikis allow you to easily keep up on what been changed and by whom.
  • There are Blog-like areas for “talking” (e.g., comments, discussion, and/or news pages)
  • Earlier versions of a page can be viewed and reinstated when needed.
  • Users do not need to know HTML, Web design, or have Web page experience in order to apply styles to text or add and edit content. Most wikis are no more difficult than a Microsoft Word document.

Take a look at this short video:  Common Craft’s no-nonsense introduction to wikis.


There are a huge range of wikis available on the internet these days.  Here are a few suggested resources that you should spend time getting to know.  They are useful for your professional and personal lives.  You may even feel inspired to contribute to one or all of them!

1.  A fantastically useful wiki for librarians and lovers of learning new things is Wikihow .. This is a How-to manual that can be edited by anyone.  Things that you can learn range from How to make your own Soduku pattern to How to read a chest X-ray.  Categories of articles include health, Hobbies, Computers, Pets, Home and Travel.  Spend some time investigating this site. 

2.  Visit the library success wiki which was created to be a one-stop shop for great ideas and information for all types of librarians from all over the world.  Here is their opening paragraph which gives a flavour of why this wiki was set up originally:

 If you’ve done something at your library that you consider a success, pleasewrite about it in the wiki or provide a link to outside coverage. If you have materials that would be helpful to other librarians, add them to the wiki. And if you know of a librarian or a library that is doing something great, feel free to include information or links to it. Basically, if you know of anything that might be useful to other librarians (including useful websites), this is the place to put it. I hope this wiki will be a venue where people can share ideas with one another and where librarians can learn to replicate the successes of other libraries

3.  Libraries and Web2.0 is a relatively new UK based wiki, featuring various Public Library services and their response to Web2.0.  Note that Devon Libraries 23 Things programme is discussed on this wiki!

4.  Haven’t had your fill just yet of wikis and need to know more? Here are some additional links to fuel your interest:

       List of wikis  

       Wiki index – A wiki of wikis.  

       WikiMatrix – A tool that offers you the ability to compare side-by-side features and functionality of wikis 

5.  Time to blog! In a new post reflect : Are you wiki-fied!?! Record what new ideas were spurred as you learned and reviewed some, or all, of the wikis above.

How do you envision the different ways in which you might use a wiki within your workplace?

If you are unable to apply immediately to your workplace what you have learned, are there ways that you could apply what you’ve learned about wikis to your professional or personal life?

Are there any particular safety, privacy, or developmental issues to consider?

Categories: Week 8 Tags: , , , ,

#12 – Wikipedia

February 1, 2010 Leave a comment


Wikipedia is a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its name is a portmanteau of the words wiki (a technology for creating collaborative websites, from the Hawaiian word wiki, meaning “quick”) and encyclopedia. Wikipedia’s 14 million articles (3.2 million in English) have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world, and almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site. It was launched in 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger and is currently the largest and most popular general reference work on the Internet.

Wikipedia is written collaboratively by largely anonymous internet users who write without pay. Anyone with internet access can write and make changes to Wikipedia articles.

Every contribution may be reviewed or changed. The expertise or qualifications of the user is usually not considered. This is possible since Wikipedia’s intent is to cover existing knowledge which is verifiable from other sources, original research and ideas are therefore excluded. People of all ages and cultural and social backgrounds can write Wikipedia articles as most of the articles can be edited by anyone with access to the Internet simply by clicking the edit this page link (found at the top of every editable page). Anyone is welcome to add information, cross-references, or citations, as long as they do so within Wikipedia’s editing policies and to an appropriate standard. Substandard or disputed information is subject to removal. Users need not worry about accidentally damaging Wikipedia when adding or improving information, as other editors are always around to advise or correct obvious errors, and the software is designed to allow easy reversal of editorial mistakes.

Further information about wikipedia can be found here:   About Wikipedia

and here:   What Wikipedia is Not


1.  If you’ve never used the Wikipedia, now is the time to visit it and take a look around!

2.  Search for a topic that you are personally interested in.  Once you have found and read the article, do you have anything to add to it?  Feel free to get involved and edit an article..maybe you can add references or citations, maybe you have additional information that might enhance the article.  Go ahead..after all this is what Web2.0 is all about..sharing and communicating with others.

3.  If you start to get really interested in the concept of wikis, you may ( and this is an optional activity!) want to set up your very own wiki.  Follow these instructions on wikihow on how to start up a wiki of your own

4.  You are not required to create a wiki for this activity, but if you would like to try one, you could look at the website.  This site allows you to create a free wiki on any topic or subject that you would like.  Other free sites include:

5.  Blog about your views about wikis.  If you have set up a wiki of your own..provide a link in your blog so that others can get involved.  Or if you have edited an article in Wikipedia, tell us which article it is so that we can all benefit from your knowledge and experience.

Categories: Week 8 Tags: , , , , ,