Module 2: Blogs and Microblogging

Simple and prolific. Adopted by subject librarians in university libraries with mixed results due to content and frequency of posts.

I chose WordPress to host my Online Learning Journal based on a seminar I attended whilst at RMIT where it was recommended based on stability and good defence against spammers.

An immediate form of communication and widespread due to telecommunication technology. Posts are limited to 140 characters. Pictures and video can be posted, too. I established a personal Twitter account in March as a result of the first assignment.

Features include:

  • 140 character post although can be longer via Tweetdeck
  • Converting URLs to save on characters through bitly and
  • # are used to tag articles
  • @ before a name denotes a user on Twitter
  • RT: Retweets
  • #ff: recommendations by people on who to follow. Posted on a Friday

Profile has risen considerably due its popularity to cover political activity. Widespread use throughout Iran, North Africa and Syria as people use it to communicate with the outside world in the face of oppressive regimes and where Western journalism is heavily restricted. I follow @jessradio, an Australian journalist, who has been retweeting posts from people inside the affected regions

‘YEMEN: RT @Nefermaat @jessradio tense, but much more quiet than tues or wed… prayer & funeral today. gonna be an interesting day I think’

‘Worried for my contact & friend, Mazigh: RT @Amazigh_Libya 20 Grad rockets hit #Jadu today, seriously injuring many civilians #Libya’

However, posts on Twitter are difficult to verify and can be falsified.

Another good article about this from The Guardian

Tumblr is a new microblogging site gaining popularity.

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Module 1: Web 2.0 Social Networking and the social life of information

Begins with an exploration of definitions of Web 2.0 through Wikipedia, O’Reilly and Youtube

Key points

Wikipedia: McAfee’s SLATE acronym and also consider Tim Berners Lee assertion that Web 2.0 is simply a ‘piece of jargon’.

O’Reilly’s Web 2.0 Meme Map

YouTube: definition as easy as nailing a jelly to the wall, good explanation of mash-ups.

The web can be seen as a social space with an incredible adoption rate. Popularity due to:

  • Free
  • Ease of use
  • Inter connection
  • Enhanced by computer technologies (wi-fi)
  • Mobile devices

The pod cast (listened to half only due to poor audio quality)

Social media effects on:

  • re-writing the rules of business
  • the previous relationship between customer/business was prescribed
  • now customers can talk about a company and its producers outside of the companies control
  • companies adopt social media to have a conversation with customers,
  • selection of social media determined by the type of relationship they want, so companies should question choice of everything
  • technology is not the hard part, relinquishing control is (psychological revolution)


  • the lecturer does not relinquish authority by adopting social media
  • teaching can be enhanced by its adoption.
  • Develop a culture of sharing
  • ‘Stop hugging data’ Tim Berners Lee.
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Mashup: Book Depository

An example of a mashup: Book Depository Live

Hypnotic viewing as a map of the world moves around highlighting real time book purchases through Book Depository (free postage). No wonder Amazon UK have started to offer free postage to Australian customers.

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OLJ M4: developing a social media marketing strategy

I discovered information about the social media marketing at the University of Melbourne library whilst researching for the first assignment. A ten person committee oversees the Facebook and Twitter accounts.

If I was in a position to advise the current committee I would suggest the following:

Clearly define what you wish to communicate to your patrons and how you wish to communicate it.

Examine and evaluate a range of social media tools and follow other libraries to see what they are doing. Do some research to see what other academic libraries have tried. Was it a success or failure? Contact other libraries for advice and tips.

Identify your patrons and talk to them either through focus groups or an online survey. What social media do they use, what information do they wish to receive (if any) and how?

Select the social media to use based on feedback from patrons and other research. Be aware of current marketing tools and look to dovetail the social media messages with these.

Decide what you want to communicate through which medium. For example look at Facebook as an obvious choice but consider Twitter as a different platform, as a means to open up conversation in a more informal tone and engage with your audience.

As the University has numerous libraries decide whether to open multiple social media accounts for each library or stay with one.

Decide upon a staffing policy. Who can post information, who can act as a gatekeeper, how much time should be spent on administration of the sites (presumably a minimum).

Utilise a social media policy. Either use the existing University policy or create one for the library. Ensure everyone is familiar with its content and adheres to its guidelines.

In the last three weeks I have discovered a University-wide social media group that anyone can join. Initially this was based on an email forum but has this week moved to Yammer, which makes much more sense and is far easier to communicate through and a good source of new ideas. Suggest this would be a good way for the library committee to communicate.

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5 myths about the ‘Information Age’

by Robert Darnton

Originally published in The Chronicle of Higher Education (April), Darnton, a librarian at Harvard University, dissects what he considers to be misconceptions about the Information Age. The following is my contraction of his article:

The book is dead: no it isn’t.
We have entered the information age: no, it’s always been with us
All information is now available online: by no means
Libraries are obsolete: no, busier than ever but their roles may be changing
The future is digital: but not at the expense of printed resources

Wonder if Seth Godin read this…?

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Module 4: Examples of using folksonomies, tagging and crowdsourcing in libraries

Examples of using folksonomies, tagging and crowdsourcing in libraries

Wyatt, N. (2009). Redefining RA: The ideal tool (Large-scale tagging projects outside libraries put users at the center and offer a model for readers’ advisory). Library Journal, (15 October). Retrieved from

Aaron Tay provides examples of different ways libraries have started to utilize the power of crowdsourcing to ‘populate’ library-based projects in his post, ‘Libraries and crowdsourcing – 6 examples’ (24 December, 2009)

Rose Holley’s presentation Crowdsourcing and social engagement: potential, power and freedom for libraries and users (November 2009) slideshow. Holley is a Digital Librarian at the National Library of Australia. Her presentation challenges a number of traditional views concerning libraries and information management, particularly with regard to user engagement as volunteers to complete ‘information work’.

These three readings concern employing volunteers or crowdsourcing to assist with tagging collections. Whilst reading them I was trying to think how the application would work in an academic library. I’m not convinced it would mainly due to the possible lack of volunteers but certainly the ability for people to review resources through the catalogue would be beneficial and this already exists in a number of my local public libraries.

Perhaps patrons could leave recommendation regarding resources, ‘if you are studying this then read this”?

The facility can be introduced on Libguides where comments can be left with regard to resources and also allow for suggestions comment on resources.

I was one of the army of volunteers who has helped with the NLAs The Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program (ANDP) and it was good to see how successful it continues to be. I’m also a user of LibraryThing and am aware of the opportunities for use by academic libraries through the LibEverywhere app. Mobile communication seems the obvious way for future development.

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Module 4: Top Ten

Explore the social networking ideas in AnnaLaura Brown’s two blog entries about top tools and trends for libraries on her Social Networking in Libraries [blog]:
Top 10 Social Networking Tools and Trends for Libraries from 2009 (19 December, 2009)
Top 10 Social Networking in Libraries Trends for 2010 (26 December, 2009)


Which of these tools and trends has already impacted on your library or organisation?
Facebook, Twitter.

Which of these tools and trends have been discussed by people within your library or organisation as having potential in supporting its goals?
None within the library I work in. Possibly across other libraries on campus. Need to know basis. Very frustrating. Drupal was mentioned by my boss yesterday! This may lead to something positive so we can have more control over what appears on our library website.

Which of these tools and trends have not yet hit your library or organisation’s radar?
The majority or though a catalogue for mobile device is in Beta stage.

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