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.