Posts Tagged ‘info’

#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: , , , , ,

#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.

#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: , , , ,

# 14 – mp3 Players and music downloads

February 1, 2010 Leave a comment

MP3 players are increasingly popular these days, not only as a stand-alone item, but also on mobile phones, games stations, TV etc. MP3s allow you to choose the music you want to listen to from your CD collection, or you can purchase individual songs from onsite sites.  Even if you’re entirely new to this kind of technology – it’s simple enough to get started.

The most common,  and arguably easiest, method of getting music onto an MP3 player is to copy CDs directly to it.

Most MP3 players will come with a CD that contains some software that allows your PC to hook up to the MP3 player. Install this and then connect your MP3 player to the computer. Once you’ve confirmed that the computer can see the player you’re ready to start putting music on it.

How to rip your CDs

Open up your chosen CD and put it into your PC. The software associated with your MP3 player should sense that a music CD has been inserted and ask you if you want to copy it to the player. If it doesn’t, don’t panic, simply go to the file menu and select import to start the process manually. The faster your computer the quicker the files will be ripped.

The music on the CD will now be copied from the disc to your computer’s hard disk and from there onto the MP3 player. You should take into account the quality settings, as MP3 is actually lower quality audio than that of a CD. So if you want to improve the sound make sure you do so in the preferences section of your software. As a general rule of thumb think “The better the quality –  the larger the file”  .  Take into account that you might not be able to get all the music you want on to your MP3 player if you choose a high-quality file setting. You can expect to get  250 decent quality songs on a 1GB MP3 player.

My mp3 player did not come with any software!

If you don’t have any software for your MP3 device then you should be able to copy across MP3-format audio files by: 

  1. Hooking up the device to a USB connection on your computer.
  2. Your computer should now automatically detect the device, probably showing it as a removable hard disk.
  3. If it doesn’t detect automatically : Going through the settings on your device to find a “USB CONNECT” or “USB MODE” option. Some devices do that automatically when they detect power on the USB cable, others (like the Sony PSP) require you to do it manually).
  4. Copy your music files from your hard drive to the device.

Some MP3 players don’t require software at all you simply copy the music file to it as if you were putting a file into a folder. In this instance you’ll simply drag the file to the player, which should show up as a drive in My Computer. Although this approach is hassle free it doesn’t allow you much as control or editing options.

Activity.  Thing #14

1.  If you have a mp3 player, follow the instructions above to copy music from a CD to it.

2.  Other than your CDs you can put music onto an MP3 player through one of the many online music stores available.

a.  Have a look at the Amazon and iTunes sites. 

b.  If you have an Apple device you may want to download from iTunes

c.  If you have another make of mp3 Player, you may wish to use the Amazon website.

d.  Follow the instructions on site.  Both are fairly simple to use .

e.  There are other music download sites that you may want to investigate, such as or Napster.  Make sure that the site you are downloading from is only involved in legal downloads.  Further information and further legal download sites can be found in this Guardian article:  Where to Download music legally

Categories: Weeks 10 Tags: , , , ,

#17 – ebooks

January 27, 2010 Leave a comment

An e-Book is an electronic book, one you read digitally on your computer, laptop screen or on devices called ebook readers.

Sometimes the equivalent of a conventional printed book, e-books can also be born digital. The Oxford Dictionary of English defines the e-book as “an electronic version of a printed book,” but e-books can and do exist without any printed equivalent. E-books are usually read on dedicated hardware devices known as e-Readers or e-book devices. Personal computers and some cell phones can also be used to read e-books

At present e-books are available in various formats and until the industry has a standard accessible in all devices these various formats will exist.

History of e-books

Surprisingly, the earliest e-books were around in the early 1970s.  Among the earliest general e-books were those in Project Gutenberg, in 1971.  These first e-books were generally written for specialty areas and a limited audience, meant to be read only by small and devoted interest groups. The scope of the subject matter of these e-books included technical manuals for hardware, manufacturing techniques and other subjects.

In the last couple of years the ebook phenomenum had an explosion in growth, due to the availablity of portable and desirable new e-readers such as Kindle.  In July 2010, online bookseller reported sales of ebooks for its proprietary Kindle outnumbered sales of hardback books for the first time ever saying it sold 140 e-books for every 100 hardcover books.   By January 2011, ebook sales at Amazon had surpassed its paperback sales

So, why would you want an e-book?                                                                                                                       

  • There are over 2 million free books available for download as of August 2009.
  • At present, an e-book can be offered indefinitely, without ever going “out of print”
  • In the space that just one comparably sized print book takes up, an e-reader can potentially contain thousands of e-books, limited only by its memory capacity.
  • E-book websites can include the ability to translate books into many different languages, making the works available to speakers of languages not covered by printed translations.
  • Depending on the device, an e-book may be readable in low light or even total darkness.
  • An e-book can be purchased/borrowed, downloaded, and used immediately, whereas when one buys or borrows a book, one must go to a bookshop, a home library, or public library during limited hours, or wait for a delivery.
  • Compared to printed publishing, it is cheaper and easier for authors to self-publish e-books. Also, the dispersal of a free e-book copy can stimulate the sales of the printed version.

What are the drawbacks of e-books?

  • Technology changes rapidly! While printed books remain readable for many years, e-books may need to be converted to a new carrier or file type over time.
  • Not all books are available as e-books.
  • E-books cannot provide the physical feel of the cover, paper, and binding of the original printed work and a library of books can provide visual appeal, while the digital nature of e-books makes them non-visible or tangible.
  • At present, Books with large pictures (such as children’s books) or diagrams are more inconvenient for viewing and reading.
  • E-book readers are more susceptible to damage from being dropped or hit than a print book. Due to faults in hardware or software, e-book readers may malfunction and data loss can occur.
  • At the moment, the cost of an e-book reader far exceeds that of a single book, and e-books often cost the same as their print versions. Due to the high cost of the initial investment in some form of e-reader, e-books are cost prohibitive to much of the world’s population.

There are many other advantages and disadvantages of e-books versus the printed book, but hopefully for many years to come we will have the luxury of making a choice as to which medium we prefer to use.

Libraries in the US are actively promoting the use of ebooks in their systems, and debate rages at present within the public libraries in the UK.

Activity #17

1.  Download one of the Top 100 ebooks on Project Gutenberg to a device of your choosing.

If you don’t have an e-reader, you can always read the book you have chosen online.

Further reading:

E-book restrictions leave libraries facing a virtual lockout

Will your local library lend e-books?

Judge rejects Google e-book deal

The debate about ebooks is very topical and current, therefore it is impossible for this blog to keep up with the almost daily changes to the technology, systems, debates and legal challenges that this topic is generating.  However there are several websites and blogs that you could add to your RSS feeds which would supply you with current and up to date information

Categories: Weeks 12 Tags: , , , ,

Web 2.0? Web2? What is it?

January 1, 2010 1 comment

What is Web 2.0?

According to Wikipedia, the term ‘Web 2.0’ was originally coined back in 2004 by Media O’Reily. The phrase is said to refer to “…a supposed second-generation of Internet-based services–such as social networking sites [like Facebook], wikis [like Wikipedia], communication tools [like blogs], and folksonomies [like tagging and bookmarking websites]–that let people collaborate and share information online”.

But what does that REALLY mean?

Watch this video to find some answers!

Web 2.0 has become a phenomenum because it has enabled a “READ/WRITE” web for everyone, rather than a “READ ONLY” web for the majority of people.

It has allowed people to easily make connections that they would not otherwise have been able to make. Connections to others, connections to their own areas of interest, connections to people they would never have had the opportunity to meet elsewhere.

It has provided a “self-service” web using cheap, simple and easy to use applications

It has enabled unbounded creativity. Anyone can unleash their creative urges in writing, in design, in humour, in design, in videos, in audio..all within the D-I-Y world of web 2.0.

Exciting?? Oh yes………

Reading List
There are countless web sites, books, blogs and reports on the subject of Web 2.0 technology and its applications. Currently a search on Google for Web suggests that there are around 88 million results. Here is a short list of books, resources and reports compiled by Martin White of Intranet Focus Ltd. Unless specified reports listed are free downloads though they may require registration.

Categories: Week 1 Tags: , ,