Thursday, 20 December 2007

The Power of YouTube: Zorba the Greek Yolngu Style

The Power of YouTube.

Within weeks of this video going online on YouTube this group of young Aboriginal dancers had attracted international attention. The video is now up to half a million hits. It's also featured on some Greek websites.

These Yolngu men come from two communities in Arnhem Land in in Northern Australia and they call themselves the Chooky Dancers.

For more information about the Yolngu, the oldest living culture on earth, watch the film Yolngu Boy. ECU Library has the video of this 2000 film.

Read Murray McLaughlin's full report on Zorba the Greek Yolngu Style on the ABC 7.30 Report website.

The dancing is truly joyous, so I share this as my Christmas offering.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Publishing in Emerald's The Electronic Library

Lyn and I have just submitted an article for publication in the Emerald journal, The Electronic Library (TEL). If successful this will appear on an issue in Spring 2008. Fingers crossed.
It's a relief to finally email it off this week, as the gestation period has been over two months. Our editor, John Hall, helped us polish it, as we're aiming for the Emerald Literati Prize ;)
Hope to be able to TEL the goods news in 2008.

Friday, 30 November 2007

Facebook at ECU

In the last few months the social networking site, Facebook, has taken off in Australia and currently there are over one million Australians on Facebook.

Those of us who watch The Chaser heard about Kevin Rudd’s 5,000 Facebook friends. Well actually it's not quite that many, as he's reached the friend limit. The clip is on YouTube

Here at ECU there are now approximately 2,400 users on Facebook.

So who are they?

As expected most of them are students, but now quite a number of ECU Facebook users are academic staff. Mind you, most of the academics who are on there, are not really active users, from what I can see.

What are they doing?

There's an active social ECU student subgroup for current & past students. And student events are posted there such as the ECU Final Fling 2007 @ Leederville Hotel tonight.

Monday, 26 November 2007

We are librarians

Last week we had a celebration at Mt Lawley and Don Blue and is band entertained us with some great music. Don wrote some words, and we all joined in to sing along to this popular tune, (which for copyright reasons we can't name!) :

We Are Librarians

We come from the dreamtime we’re a very dreamy bunch

We dream of acquisitions and we dream about our lunch

We dream of cataloguing and interlibrary loans

We ream we’ve fixed the printer, and no bloody mobile phones


941 (941) is British History

Semantics are found at 412

We’re Dewy eyed and Dewey classified

I am you are we are librarians

We leave on the phone diversion – so it’s very quiet today

Sometimes we wish the clients would simply go away

It’s great to be the guardians of all there is to know

It’s just a shame we must have students – but hey we need the dough

We got faeces on our theses, someone’s wee’d on a machine

(over there’s new graffiti but I don’t know what it means)

it’s great to be a librarian – what would you rather be

When someone’s had a picnic in TQ823


We have e books – e journals and of course there’s e reserve

But will we have e reference folk to help with the big words?

There’s really nothing like it – answering questions face to face –

Like “where’s the loo?”, what time is it? And “I’ve lost my thumb drive case”


Words by Don Blue

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Privacy and Web 2.0

There an interesting audio and comment from Ben Elton on the ABC website
His latest novel Blind Faith imagines a world where "privacy has disappeared, where public nakedness is not only acceptable but expected".
Ben has particular concerns over the so-called 'web 2.0' applications like YouTube, Facebook and MySpace. "It's a sort of doodling and gossip all combined".

Having become a sort of Facebook addict myself is recent weeks, I can see where he's coming from. Initially I was loathe to put in all my personal details in there. But now I wonder who owns Facebook and what are they doing with all our private information?

Thursday, 15 November 2007

ALIA Top End Symposium papers online

The ALIA website now has some of the Top End Symposium papers online. Our paper on Learning 2.0 is there:

Evolving and Changing with Workplace E-Learning: 23 ways your staff can grow.
Julia Gross and Lyn Leslie, Edith Cowan University

They plan to add the podcasts too at some stage. Other papers are

What is Library 2.0 and do we need it?
Sue Chilman, Manager City Library, Darwin City Council Libraries

The e-volving profession: key findings from the nexus census of library and information professionals
Dr Gillian Hallam, Associate Professor School of Information Systems QUT

Information Literacy - Online Tutorials
Liz Short, Taminmin Community Library Ruth Sheridan, Palmerston High School

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Ten Good Reasons for Finishing Learning 2.0

We are getting close to the Grande Finale and I know some of you are struggling to find the time and to stay on target.

So I thought up Ten Good Reasons for Finishing Learning 2.0.

1. You will learn to speak like a geek and throw in words like "wiki", "blog" into everyday conversation

2. You will amaze your kids at how up to date you are

3. You will be given permission to watch YouTube in WORK time

4. You will make new friends, discover new social networks and see how creative some of you colleagues are

5. You will amaze yourself at how addictive the web 2.0 technologies can be

6. You will be rewarded with a cute doggie Web2.0 certificate...yeah!!

7. With your new found skills you may just get that dream job ... (sad for us ...)

8. Using your new skills you will be able to provide great help to our students and be in touch with their approach to study

9. You will be able to influence the future library online presence

10. You will expand you mind in the lifelong learning journey

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Bobtails love bananas

He looks fierce, but give him a piece of banana and we have him eating out of our hand....well almost

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Blogging and mainstream media

Blogging is hot news in the mainstream media. Newspapers are in a "dammed if you do and damned if you don’t" situation. Upstart citizen journalists can cut into newspaper profit margins, but if newspapers wish to reach the Web 2.0 generation their journalists need to have their own blogs, and many do.

The Australian boasts about 18 blogs and individual blogger popularity can be seen by how many comments each blog has attracted.

Steve Almond, writing in the Oct/Nov07 Walkley Magazine has an article Attack of the Instapundits Blogs are cheap and easy. They’re like those cable TV shows with all the talking heads shouting at one another. All you need is the means to broadcast and an opinionator”.

More on blogging: on November 8th ABC Radio National Media Report has a special panel discussion on the power of blogging. Among the speakers will be Hugh Martin from APN online Australia, and Pippa Leary, General Manager of Media at Fairfax Digital. You can download the audio, or read the transcript the next day.

In many ways the threats faced by mainstream media are similar to libraries. We need to also embrace the technologies of the digital generation, or risk becoming irrelevant.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Podcamp Perth 07

Podcamp Perth 07 was Oct 27-28 2007 and a resounding success. Thanks heaps to the organisers.

It’s Thursday already and am still trying to get off my butt and write something. If I wait long enough there won’t be anything more to say. It’s all there on the Perth Podcamp Wiki and related blogs already.

For those who don't know, PodCamp Perth is a newmedia community UnConference that helps connect people interested in blogging, podcasting, social media and networks, video on the net, and newmedia together to learn, share, and grow their newmedia skills.

Simone's Blog post has many of the links

Kathryn Greenhill's Blog Fodder was well done and fodder for thought.

Stilgherrian’s presentation Social Media and the 2007 Australian Federal Election gave some insights into politicians and how they use of Web 2.0. How will this change the nature of our democracy?

If the Net Gen are getting their political input from Rove and The Chaser, and from satirical YouTube rather than Howard’s YouTube what does that mean and where is this headed? So I went in search of some satirical YouTube myself and found this hilarious video which has had 37,000 viewings.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Darwin ALIA Top End Symposium

The ALIA Top End Symposium is the premier library event in the Northern Territory and attracts library participants across the NT from a range of libraries. This year the Symposium theme was "e-volving education" focussing on how the library industry maintains its own education in order to stay on top of information trends.

Our symposium paper, Evolving and Changing with Workplace ELearning: 23 ways your staff can grow, was well received and elicited lots of questions from the audience.

Roxanne Missingham ALIA President gave an interesting paper keynote and spoke of library workforce trends. Later she mentioned to us that she planning to do 23 Things with her Federal Parliamentary Library staff.

The other keynote, Dr Gillian Hallam, presented the results of her research into Australian library workforce planning drawing out the NT component of findings.

Two Charles Darwin University librarians gave a very good session on podcasting You can access their CDU library podcasts here

The papers were all recorded as a podcast. All the printed papers will be placed on the ALIA website in due course.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Crocodiles on the Mary River NT

After the Top End Symposium we did find time to venture out into the outback and experience the wonderful bird and wildlife around the Fogg Dam and Mary River Park region.
We saw crocodiles, both freshies and salties. This video is a saltie swimming in front of our boat on the Mary River. I tried to stand up in the boat to get a better shot but was yelled at by the captain…. “sit down there’s only 2 feet of water here” …hence the wonky picture!

Friday, 12 October 2007

How to make a Flickr badge with your photos

You will see I have placed a Flickr badge in my Jay Gee blog down the right hand side. I’ve set it up to do a running display of my photos tagged with the tag “Western Australian Wildflowers”

If you want to do this it’s dead easy if you already have a group of your photos in Flickr.

Click on the bottom of my badge where it says “what is this?” and then click “make your own badge”. This it links you straight thru to the 5 step process in Flickr. There are two types of badge to choose from: HTML or Flash. Mine is a Flash badge. What you finally end up with is some HTML coding which you can add as an extra element to your blog. You just cut and paste this into the blog element template that allows HTML coding.

Some libraries are using this to advertise new books or databases.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Adding humour to your blog

As the build up to the 2007 Federal Election unfolds, the daily newspaper cartoons hit the funny bone.

Did you know the Nicholson Cartoons
can be added to your blog?

The nicholsoncartoons website states

“These cartoons are copyright, but you are welcome to put them on your website or reproduce them for non-commercial purposes, with certain conditions...”

Monday, 24 September 2007


After two years we finally made it! Yesterday Lyn and I graduated with a Graduation Certificate in Tertiary Teaching from ECU. As staff members we got to sit on the stage with the PHDs and all the ECU senior academics which was rather special. Later we celebrated with our lecturers, Heather and Alison at the Old Brewery restaurant and watched a dolphin cavorting on the Swan River.

Starting Learning 2.0 with the ECU Library staff was our action research project for the Grad Cert, so I feel we have come full circle.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Dealing with Spam on your blog

Who’d have thought you’d need to deal with Spam on your blog. But somehow those pesky spammers can get through the sign in and leave an unwanted message. I’ve had this happen twice recently. Blogger Help has the solution, but it is a pain to have to go in and do this:

You can delete any comments (registered or anonymous) that are left on your own blog, or on another blog for which you have admin privileges.
To delete a comment, first make sure that you are logged in to the correct Blogger account. Then go to the blog and find the page where the comment is listed. Next to the comment, you should see a trash can icon
Click on the comment tdrag it into the trash can icon.
If you can't see the trash can icon, then that is probably because of a caching issue with your browser. Blogger Help has instructions on this also.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Wikis, Virtual library conferences and unconferences

This week we are getting into the topic of Wikis.

The WA Unconference in August was a great example of how a group of like minded library people can be brought together via the medium of a wiki. The whole day was organised, topics chosen and discussed, lunch and tea planned through the Unconference Wiki. Then on the day we all gathered for a terrific "unconference" and the day went so smoothly.

I was reflecting at how much this had all changed from the days when we folk way over in Perth missed out on a lot of professional development activities, with the high cost of domestic flights. Even today the $1,000 fees of the major conferences are prohibitive for most of us. I came across a blog post from a librarian in Melbourne who was commenting on how Learning 2.0 is bringing people together to learn via Web 2.0 networks. It’s from the Infosleuth and sums up where we have come in the last 30 years in sharing experiences and gathering inspiration from others.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Walking the Capes

was not a Cake Walk.

Is this what you have to do to get out of work!!!

This is the fourth year we have done a bit of the Cape to Cape Walk in September. It’s very scenic but a lot of it is hard slog through sand dunes, as Ian can attest. Check out the photos and you’ll see what I mean. I’ll be back at work when the blisters heal!

Monday, 3 September 2007

Getting your head around RSS

A really kooky little video clip to help you get your head around RSS is RSS in Plain English. There are others in the "in plain english" series and they are all terrific!

Friday, 31 August 2007

Heading for the Top End

Lyn and I are headed Darwin to the ALIA Top End Symposium in October to delivery a paper on the 23 Things. The theme is "e-volving education": focussing on the changing ways in which the library and information industry promotes learning and the evolution of how the library industry maintains its own "education" in ensuring that its professionals stay on top of information trends.

Friday, 24 August 2007

Keeping up with everyone's blogs

Now that lots of new ECU bloggers are coming on board, keeping up with everyone's blogs could be a chore. But, there's a solution! It's called RSS and will be covered in Week 3. Read Web Wiz's blog post on Easy Reading which will explain more.
P.S. Western Australia is the Banksia capital of the World and the Mt Barker Banksia Farm is the place to see them all.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Deja vu all over again

It feels like Deja vu all over again.
This week we are launching the ECU Learning 2.0 program with a series of seminars on each campus. For those just coming on board you'll learn some useful skills, like setting up a blog. And you'll also some fun with stuff like Image Generators, eg: this one

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Perth Unconference on Library 2.0

Last Friday (Aug 3) a few of us from ECU attended the very first “Unconference” at the State Library. The idea is a open and fairly unstructured day to share information between colleagues. The topic was Library2.0 and the whole day was fun, stimulating, and a free sharing of ideas, (and pizza) between fellow librarians from all sectors.

Presenters were very professional. Some new technologies were demonstrated. Con and Kathryn even ad-libbed in a session called “Karaoke Powerpoint” from some PowerPoints sent that morning from the US!

One amazing aspect was that the whole event was organised via the Unconference Wiki and no face to face meetings took place prior to the day. To get a feel for what the day was like have a look around the Wiki. How do we find the time to learn about emerging technologies? Check out the practical tips on Kathryn’s wiki.

Monday, 11 June 2007

Grande Finale

As a reward for completing ECU Learning I’m giving myself a Web2.0 certificate. You can have one too when you get through all the 23 Things!

Well it’s been a terrific journey and I’ve learned heaps.
My responses to the questions posted on #23 are:

What have you personally learned from this program?

I have picked up some useful skills and have connected all the dots so understand how this all fits together. By the time you get to the end of this program you realise how important the tagging is as it enables you to really connect with others. Having a My Space to gather all your feeds is a great idea and helps you to organise the information flow.

What have you learned about yourself, others and the organisation in which you work?
It’s been terrific working though this with a great bunch of staff in the Pilot Group learning from one another. Now we know who the experts are, so you can’t hide any more! I like the idea of starting this with a pilot group, so that when it is rolled out to all the staff there will be a willing group to spread the word.
Discovery learning is an appropriate methodology for such a program since many of these technologies you need to USE, before you really understand them. Through the program I have made many connections outside the ECU Library, with instructional designers, professional development staff, academic staff.

What was the most important skill you have learned and why?

I would have to say Blogging was a useful skill. I had blogged before through Bloglines and through the trial of the Blackboard blog . Those two interfaces are not as friendly as Blogger. The whole set up of Blogger is superior to either of the others and actually makes the whole journey fun. But blogging is a bit of a sole pastime, so unless you use social tagging you may be blogging into the never-never.

What action will you now take if any?

Start a library blog aimed at the faculty.
Investigate providing faculty subject guides for students using Wetpaint.
Commit time to a library blog to be aimed at students

Would students use these technologies as part of the library’s online environment?

Absolutely. The Wiki subject guides would be focused on students. There have been discussions about starting a library blog to be aimed at students, to promote the library and respond toe students’ queries. Podcasts, YouTube, the lot is student NetGen territory and we need to meet them where they congregate.

Is there some specific technology that you would like to see the library adopt ?

Start a library blog
Use Wikis to replace some of the collaborative work currently done via email
Develop our podcasts more.
Come to an agreement re tagging and tags to use corporately.

I look forward to sharing more ideas with the Pilot Group when we have our Focus Group and Wind-up as there’s NOTHING that can replace face to face. Let’s all wear our Just Ask @ Your Library T-shirts and rest on our laurels for a while..

Web 2.0 Awards

The Web 2.0 Awards site was a revelation. In the subject categories I first of all checked out Hosted Wikis. They rated Wetpaint ahead of PBWiki. Now that we have some experience of the Wiki in Blackboard this provides a nice comparison. I found Wetpaint more straight forward than PBWiki. I found the peanut butter in PBWiki a bit too corny!

ECU Library should investigate using Wetpaint to develop a Wiki. It provides a pleasant looking interface and is easy to master.

Then, under the caterory of Books I looked at LibraryThing and joined this. The introduction says its purpose is to “Connect with people who read similar books to you, and get suggestions as to what you should read next”. Joined added my book which only 7 others had added, as its quite a new Australian novel.

I then discovered the Australian LibraryThingers. "A group for everyone who connects with Australia (residents, expats, lovers of Australian literature) and who are part of the LibraryThing collective". So that was a good find, as the rest of LibraryThing is quite US oriented. I'll explore more when I have some more time. (famous last words!)

Friday, 8 June 2007

Learning 2.0 around the world

Helene Blowers has placed a Google map on her blog showing all the libraries around the world that are into Learning 2.0.

She’s also launched a follow up called Learning 2.1. Read all about it on her blog. Makes sense as the technolgy is moving so fast and the original Learning 2.0 is about a year old now. So if you want to keep going.....

There are now quite a few universities running Learning 2.0 including some in Canada, and the Queensland State Library too.

You Tube and Podcasting

I tried searching the terms “library education” in the YouTube and found one that is pretty quirky. It’s Richard Sly is the coolest librarian talking about Databases. (This was a project for the USF Tampa Library). I really like the use of humour and it’s been well rated and watched with 776 Views and 4 and a half star rating

Rsblg helped me to Master the embedding part, as I was looking in the wrong place for the link. Thanks! That's what I like about this project.
This video takes about 6 minutes to watch and has quite a few credits at the end, but the overall idea is sound. Coupled with a follow up with more details on how to access and sue the databases would be helpful.
The ECU podcasts are a great start, but with the Camtasia software we will be able to do much more now. jmcg

Friday, 25 May 2007

Social Tagging, what's it all about?

Social Tagging
I think it’s interesting to see what social tagging is all about. Tagging and visual display indlcating promience are growing in importance. tags link into Flikr as well. The concept of tagging and folksonomies certainly fits with the ways librarians work and think. Tagging is “the glue that holds learning 2.0 together”, according to Helene Blowers.

As I wrote before, at the start of the Jimmy Wales seminar participants were invited to use the tag "eduausem2007", if they were blogging about the seminar. This tag will then ensure that everything about the seminar would be captured on Flikr, Technorati, or

The 12 minute tutorial podcast is worth checking out. Good for building reading lists. Why would you use this, rather than Endnote. I think it is a bit like sharing your endnote library on a broader front. You could use both? Managing information and helping our users do this.

To use, you need to install two buttons into your browser. They recommend that Internet Explorer users install a simple extension You probably can’t do this via the SOE.

But is useful as a search engine to get good results and see where the action is. I did a search of under “second life” and found this site was the most highly tagged is of course is THE second life site.

Is there a down side? You may miss things that are not highly bookmarked, new sites. And what about the good stuff that doesn’t get found?

They say it’s the best for searching for Blogs. As it happens we are looking for resources for our students on government policy and Singapore families. A really good blog would be worth finding. The search turned up some good blogs from Singapore government ministers on policy issues. I recommended Technorati to an academic staff member and he was really impressed.

Friday, 18 May 2007

Second Life

This whole area of Second Life is so dynamic and changing, I think we need to keep an open mind. If ECU does take out a claim in this new Virtual world then I think the library needs to be in there. We can create our own environment in SL and maybe fashion a new library meeting place for our students?

Some ECU academic staff are working with students doing Second Life explorations in the Education context. There is a lot of interest in SL from the Drama and New Media people and also from Information Science people.

There’s an active international SL Research community. An Aussie group of interested SLers has now been set up. Go to

I’ve found that on YouTube you can do a search on “NMC Campus Seriously Engaging” to find a short video on Second Life which gives you an idea of what a university campus would look like. There is a university library in NMC as well. Good to see this, as I have not quite got the nerve to download the software and give it a bash!

I’ve also found a wonderful SL satirical site which is food for a laugh. It’s called “”

We can create our own environment in SL. I don’t really know where this is all headed, but it certainly stretches the imagination!

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Image generators

Looking for some fun image generators? Then have a look at this blog on image generators, for some ideas on how they are used. JMCG

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Post to your blog via email

Did you know you can post to your blog direct from
email. It's a basic text format and won't include
images, but will help if you want to put a quick post
up, rather than going into the Blogger website.

The instructions are on the Blogger website if you
hunt around.

Go into Settings, then Email, then you need to set up
a Mail-to-Blogger address

The system sets up the first bit, eg jstudent1 and you
put the middle bit. So the address could be something
Then tick Publish, and Save Settings

This is an email address by which you can post to your
blog. You just send the message to that email and the
email subject line will become the post heading.

If you can read this blog posting then it works! Good
luck, jmcg.

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Photos and images, Flickr

I uploaded a few images of my photos of birds (albatrosses) and put them on the Flickr site. I was all pretty easy, and Flickr has a link to Yahoo, so I was able to use my Yahoo login, which was great as I’m finding all these logins are getting hard to keep track of. This was all really cool and I realize now I could have done this ages ago. Instead I built my own site for my bird images.

The images are tagged “eculibraryweb”. You don’t have to do that in “quotes”. I then changed the tags and added some more information.

NOTE. Your account can take up to two weeks to review. This is so they check you out and make sure you are not uploading inappropriate images. Until you account is reviewed you will not pick up your images in a search by the tags.

I got a bit lost with Masups, but at least I understand now how they work. I tried Explore and then I also had a look at tags and how you can search the tags in Flickr. The bigger the tag the more images there are, for example WEDDINGS is extremely popular. I clicked on Spain and found some great photos there.

I noticed too that you can link from Flickr to But in order to save an item, you need to have an account with

I read this and then I went back and tagged my photos with “mappr”
If you're not sure that the places you take your photos are well-known enough to be caught in our recurring sweeps of Flickr's photo database, and you would like to ensure that your future photos are added to Mappr, tag them with "mappr" or "mappr:include" when you first import them into Flickr. We check these tags frequently, and automatically import any photos we find.

Monday, 7 May 2007

Jimmy Wales seminar

We attend the Jimmy Wales seminar Challenging How Knowledge is Created at the Burswood on Tuesday 24th April.

At the start of the seminar participants were invited to use the tag "eduausem2007", if they were blogging about the seminar. This tag will then ensure that everything about the seminar would be captured on flickr, technorati, or It occurred to me that before embarking on ECU Library Learning 2.0, I would not have really understood what they were on about.

Jimmy Wales is the founder of online encyclopaedia Wikipedia. He believes firmly in the ‘democratisation’ of knowledge, and is taking the Wikipedia phenomenon around the globe. The Wikipedia movement is dedicated to addressing the digital divide by providing free access to a range of educational products. In addition to the encyclopedia they are now working towards open access online journals and books.

This was very pertinent to the whole Web2.0 area. Wikipedia sits firmly in the Web2.0 environment as it is not about software, but about learning and knowledge creation in a social environment.

Jimmy Wales sees us moving from the “gatekeeper model” to the “accountability model” This has impact on libraries which have traditionally had a type of gatekeeper role. We need to rethink this.

Jimmy answered some of the Wikipedia critics. In a recent nature article it was found that a Encyclopedia Britannica article on science had 3 mistakes and one in Wikipedia had 4 mistakes.

Mark Pescy’s presentation really got to the nitty gritty of the seminar topic on knowledge creation and “peer produced technologies”. He sees wiki knowledge creation as centred around truth, trust, and authority. Authority is distributed, and the wiki community has the knowledge. Truth comes with trust, for example trust that the source is reliable. I think this links well with information literacy where we teach students about the evaluation of information found on websites and elsewhere.

There was some discussion on implementing wikis in the workplace. For a wiki to succeed you only need a core of about 5 people who regularly contribute.
It was interesting to compare the functions of blogs and wikis and we felt that wikis would be really useful in the ECU Library context as we tend to work collaboratively anyway. Blogs tend to be a more individualistic form of communication.

A range of people attended the all day seminar, including teachers, people from media, librarians, educators from the TAFE and university areas.

The seminar was sponsored by a number of groups including ALIA, and EDNA. You can view some of the online forum that ensued at this EDNA spot

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Take me to your Wiki

I found the resource What is a Wiki? Really useful and the diagram there illustrates exactly the difference between the often misuse of email and how a Library Wiki could be very helpful.
It’s from: The Wiki Way: Quick Collaboration on the Web

Wikis provide more of a level playing field. I see application internally in helping to get input from a cross section of staff, eg in getting ideas together re for example: new building refurbishment, new catalogue re-design, website redesign. It would depend on the subject and situation, of course. Some things obviously would need a face to face solution.

Wikis can also be useful as a way of providing subject guides for students and keeping them up to date. This would be worth trying. The St. Joseph County Public Library's Subject Guides are amazing . Very appealing and full of dynamic links that can be created easily without knowing HTML. Our guides are currently very traditional and print based. This approach would open them up more and provide additional features.

The MYECU Blackboard approach to collaborative wiki is one that can be explored further after this 23 Things program is finished.

BTW the :Wiki Sandbox" term I discovered is the name for the area on the wiki where you can play around. Makes sense!

Speaking of Wikis, I went to the Jimmy Wales seminar last week and will post on that separately. Jimmy is the founder of Wikipedia.

Wednesday, 11 April 2007


RSS seems like a great solution for alerts and current awareness, but ECU has not yet got a really simple way to display RSS feeds.

I did finally manage to set up an alert and placed the feed in Bloglines. See the image here under feeds. There are several feeds I've set up, mainly book reviews but also a feed called Ebsco ERIC Action research alert. Now whenever more citation come into Ebsco ERIC with these search terms they will be added to the feed.
I had to first set up a Bloglines account to do this. This seems a bit annoying to have all these different accounts for different things.

You need to be signed into EBSCOhost and create an alert. You then receive a this confirmation from EBSCOhost

Subject: EBSCOhost Alert Notification

An Alert was created by Joe BLOGGS on 03/25/2007 04:29:39 AM.

Alert Run Date: 03/25/2007 04:29:39 AM
Alert Name: jbloggs
Database: ERIC
Run Alert For: One Year
Search Strategy: (((SU "Higher Education" and action research)) AND (PT "Journal Articles")) and Publication Type: Journal Articles
Frequency: Monthly
RSS Feed:

You paste the RSS Feed in your Bloglines using Add feed. ,

What did I learn? I had a chance to explore RSS using the Bloglines feeder and finally got it to work, something I have been struggling with for ages! Great! Now I can pass this info on to academic staff who have been asking about this. Shame it's not "really simple"...yet.
Some of the others have been setting up RSS feeds in My Google. This is something I will now explore too.

Sunday, 18 March 2007

Welcome to my blog

I've set up this blog to track my learning through the 23 Things discovery exercises in the ECU Library Learning 2.0 Program.
So I've got this far in setting up the blog, which is Week 2's exercise. I didn't find it too daunting. Initially I did not use my Gmail account to log in. You don't have to I discovered, but if you wish to put a comment on the blog you do need a Gmail account.
You can set up different option for comments, allow all, allow only certain people.
What did I learn?
Setting up a blog is a bit like setting up a website where all the templates are provided. You can make it as fancy as you want and add pictures, links and other cool stuff. You can change the colours, fonts and add extra elements down the side with Blogger.
When you post a new blog it appears at the top, which takes a bit of getting used to. But then you can go to Archives to flip back to earlier work.
The picture on the top right is in the template. You can also put pictures in your actual blog, in which case the text wraps around them depending on the placement option you select.

Note about Cookies
To login to Blogger your browser needs to accept cookies, or you may get an access denied type message. This has only happened to me once, but just in case you get a problem with Cookies. Your browser needs to accept cookies. Many browsers have a simple choice in the Options or Preferences that will let you choose to either accept or reject cookies. In Internet Explorer you go to Tools > Internet Options > Privacy you will find a sliding scale. If it is set to High or Block All, Blogger will not be able to set the cookies it needs to log you in. A setting of Medium-High or lower will work.