Thing 12 - Social Networking - Facebook

The last thing for this week is to investigate how libraries are using Facebook. Due to some concerns that have been well covered in the media, we are not asking you to sign up for a Facebook account, although you may already have one and may wish to use it find more information for thing 12. If you are concerned about online privacy and have not already watched it, visit the presentation in Emma's earlier blog post on managing your online identity, or give one of the 23 things team a shout and have a chat about it. And if you are considering signing up to Facebook read their privacy policy first.

What is Facebook?

Facebook is a social networking site where members can contact other people, share information, post photos, plan events, set up interest groups, play games, chat online and more and more and more. The range of functionality offered by Facebook is quite bewildering and increases all the time.
Individuals on Facebook have "profiles" which they can add personal information to in order to share it with others. Organisations have "pages", these are very similar to profiles but can have multiple administrators and have slightly different functionality. If a person on Facebook likes an organisation on Facebook they can register this by "liking" that organisation's page. People who "like" an organisation's page will receive information posted by that organisation in the feed or "stream" they get from all the people and organisations they are connected to on Facebook, every time they log in.

Organisations can measure how successfully they are attracting people to their page because Facebook gives them information about the people who "like" them, including basic demographics, numbers of people liking (and "unliking") them, how many people comment on the page "wall" and so on.

Is Facebook relevant to libraries?

I'm not going to tell you if or how Facebook is specifically relevant to Libraries because thing 12 requires you to find that out :)

Thing 12 - Investigate how libraries are using Facebook

You could start by having a look at some library pages, here are a few examples, you will be able to find more by using google if you don't have a Facebook account, or by seaching inside Facebook if you do.
There are even Facebook groups for libraries and librarians using Facebook. And if you want some serious reading there is a case study on the subject by Jane Secker from the LSE.
In your blog post for thing 12 perhaps you could outline if and why you think Facebook is relevant to libraries, or perhaps how you think libraries are using Facebook, or what the benefits (or perhaps costs?) might be from doing so.

Things 10 & 11 - Social Networking - Twitter

This week we are looking at 2 social networking tools, Twitter and Facebook. These are online services which allow you to connect and share information and ideas with others on the web. Things 10 & 11 involve Twitter, and you will set up an account and interact with others. Thing 12 relates to Facebook, and while we are not asking you to set up a Facebook account (though you may already have one) you will get to see how libraries are using Facebook to communicate with their users.
This blog post covers things 10 & 11, thing 12 will be in the next post.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a microblogging tool which allows people to post short (140 character) messages, reply to other people’s messages and follow the messages other people are posting.

Is Twitter relevant to libraries?

Twitter is used by libraries and library staff alike. Libraries use it to get information out to their users, receive and reply to enquiries and publicise projects and events. Library staff use Twitter to share ideas and communicate about projects and resources, they also use it to post live updates from events and conferences and find out, in real time, what is happening at events and conferences that they are unable to attend.
Libraries are also interested in the kinds of information that can be found on Twitter and how this might be useful to researchers in the future. Because of this the Library of Congress is now archiving all publicly posted tweets so that they can be accessible to others in years to come.

Thing 10 - Create a Twitter account and find some people to follow.

If you already have a Twitter account and are familiar with how Twitter works, you can skip the instructions for Thing 10 and instead check in to your Twitter account during this week, and track down some fellow participants to follow - of course you will still need to write a blog post with the lable "thing 10", but perhaps outline how you are already using Twitter and whether you managed to find other 23Things people.

If you are not familiar with Twitter you can download the step-by-step instructions and get started. We recommend you leave your Twitter account public, rather than adding privacy settings, so that other 23 things participants can find you, ready for Thing 11. Once you have set up your account and found people to follow, write a quick blog post about it using the lable "thing10".

Thing 11 – Use Twitter to interact with other program participants.

Once you have your account set up and are happy with how to find and follow others you will need to interact with other participants on the program. You can send them public messages by tweeting them and including their Twitter username in the tweet (for example including “@jess_humphreys” in your tweet will send a message visible to all but that Jess can pick up on when she logs in).
Also try retweeting messages posted by another participant, and sending Direct Messages – messages which are only visible to the person you send them to. If you are not familiar with Twitter please download the step-by-step instructions.

Once you have tried this write a blog post about your experiences using the label "thing 11".

Optional extras

1. Read about the Follow A Library project and maybe find some libraries to follow yourself.

These extras are examples of you how you can link your social networking sites together and help people find you in different places on the web.

2. Add your blog address to your Twitter profile.

3. Add your Tweets to your blogger blog (if you are using a different blogging system this is usually still possible but more complicated - contact me for help if required).

Extra credit: Library Day in the Life

For the past two and a half years Bobbi Newman, aka Librarian by Day, has been running the Library Day in the Life project. The aim is to get people talking about their work in libraries, sharing experiences, challenges and the day-to-day realities of our work.

Round 6 starts today, Monday 24th January. Now you're all up and blogging, why not take part yourself? It's easy:

  1. Create a PB Wiki account then go to the Library Day in the Life wiki
  2. Add your name, job title and a link to your blog on the next free line - be careful not to delete, or edit anyone else's entry.
  3. Then start capturing your working day on your blog. Write a short introducation to each post including your job title and the type of library you work in, plus a link back to the wiki.
  4. Remember to label (or tag) your post librarydayinthelife
  5. Once your first post is published go back to the wiki and edit the link to your blog to a link to your tagged posts e.g. 

Thing 9: Time management - Firefox

The last thing this week is to investigate a different web browser: Mozilla Firefox.

What is Firefox?

Mozilla Firefox is an alternative web browser to Microsoft's Internet Explorer. It is 'open source', which means that it has been written by enthusiastic volunteers, and is therefore free for anyone to download and use. All these developers not only work on Firefox itself, but develop thousands of 'add-ons' which can be added into Firefox to provide extra functionality. This means that there is an opportunity for enhancing your browser to do lots of exciting things. This ranges from being able to choose a background image to the menu area (I currently have a giant ladybird at the top of my screen), to being able to change what happens when you type different things into the address bar. Here are some examples of some favourite add-ons:

  • CoolPreviews lets you preview a webpage when you hover over a link, rather than actually having to visit the site.
  • Fireshot allows you to take a screenshot of the webpage you are viewing.
  • Read It Later allows you to add articles and webpages to a 'reading list' for you to browse when you have more time.
  • WeatherBug provides the current temperature and weather, as well as a forecast for the next three days, in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen.
Is Firefox relevant to libraries?
Firefox is relevant to anyone, anywhere! It can be downloaded onto any computer, and used in just the same way as Internet Explorer. You may find add-ons that can save you time in the workplace, or when using the Internet at home.

Thing 9: Download Firefox
Download the step-by-step instructions for Thing 9.

Optional extras

  • Check out this list of 100 recommended add-ons
  • Have a browse of the Firefox website to find out about all its features. You can take a tour, or just read about 'What makes Firefox the best'.
  • If you want to find out about other browsers besides Firefox, have a look at Google Chrome and Apple Safari. Or, for quite a technical comparison of browsers, look at this Wikipedia article.

Things 7-8: Time management - Doodle

This week we are going to be looking at two tools to help with time management. First up is Doodle, which constitutes Things 7 and 8. Thing 9 follows in the next blog post, where we will be looking at Mozilla Firefox.

What is Doodle?
Doodle is a great way to schedule any event which includes several people – whether it’s a work meeting or a personal social engagement. You don’t need to register to use Doodle and it’s very easy to use. The idea is that you set up an ‘event’ and input several days and times that are suitable. You then invite all attendees to go to a webpage and view the suggested times. They tick which they are able to attend, and by the end you should be able to see which time most people can make.

Is Doodle relevant to libraries?
Doodle can be used to schedule any sort of meeting or event within the Library, from a one-to-one with your manager, to a team or divisional meeting, to organising a staff social. If you want to read a review of Doodle from a librarian’s point of view, have a look at this blog post: Musings about Librarianship

The Warwick Option
Warwick’s equivalent to Doodle is the Outlook calendar. Outlook provides the facility for you to suggest a time for an event, and e-mail it out to a number of participants. They can then accept or decline the invitation, or suggest a more suitable time. The advantages to using Outlook are that it’s integrated within your e-mail, so there is no need to visit a website, and that Outlook can be set to notify participants as events are about to take place. The disadvantages are that only one date/time can be suggested at once, so it may take several attempts to find a mutually convenient time, and also that all participants must be set up to use Outlook, which may not always be the case. Doodle can be synched to your Outlook calendar, so that your Doodle events also show up in Outlook.

Things 7 and 8 - Use Doodle to schedule a meeting with a fellow 23 Things participant, and then add it to your iGoogle page
Please download the step-by-step instructions to get going!

Optional extras
1. Experiment further with Doodle
  • Synch it with your Outlook Calendar
  • Investigate the different options you can set for your event
2. Explore some other ways of scheduling meetings
3. Think about time management

Managing your online identity

One aspect of web 2.0 that I expect to cause some concern amongst participants on the 23 Things programme is privacy. It was certainly a hot topic on the Oxford programme, in fact we had one participant who completed the programme anonymously through his alter-ego, Konnie Bunny and her friends the Bodley Bunnies.

It is important to be concerned about privacy in an online context. Before signing up to a new service you should always take note of the privacy options available and adjust the settings where necessary. Many sites will give you a variety of options allowing you to set the privacy settings at a level to suit you. This will include an option to keep your whole profile private, or open to only those users you choose to share your information with.

You need to consider not only the privacy settings of the sites you use, but also what information you choose to put online. Ultimately you are in control of your own online identity. The presentation below from the Web Services department at the University of Bath covers some important points about managing your online identity. Take a look and keep these thoughts in mind as you progress through the programme.

Things 5 and 6 : RSS feeds

Thing 5: Learn about RSS feeds.

You don't need to know what "RSS" stands for, only what the feeds are. If you subscribed to any news or weather gadgets on your iGoogle start page for Thing 4, chances are you're already using RSS feeds. It's basically a way to get content from one web page to appear somewhere else in a dynamic way, so that you get to see all the updates in a location of your choice.

If you want to read more, have a look at the Optional Extra links below.

Thing 6: Subscribe to the RSS feed of the 23 Things blog.

A subscription to this blog will help make it easier for you to follow all the Things and instructions on how to do them. By subscribing, you will get to see when the latest 23 Things instructions are published.

Basic subscription
Look for the orange RSS symbol on the left of this blog page, under the heading "Subscribe to". Note that you have more than one feed available, but the one we're going to use now is called Posts. Click on the little arrow right of this Posts heading and you will be offered a choice of how to subscribe. Choose the "Add to Google" button. A new window will open, to offer you the choice of adding this feed to your "Google home page" or to Google Reader. Select "Google home page" and you will find have another box on your iGoogle start page, showing headings from this blog.

If you like, you could choose to see comments from the blog on your iGoogle start page as well by following exactly the same steps for the All comments RSS feed.

You can also download these instructions as a pdf file, with screen-shots included.

There are also some advanced instructions available this week, for those who would like to explore using Google Reader as a way of monitoring RSS feeds. Download the advanced instructions.

Optional Extras for Week 2
Read about RSS feeds on the Library's own Support for Research pages
To see technical stuff, have a look at "good old" Wikipedia:
To browse RSS feeds and explore further, you might find the RSS Compendium helpful.

Thing 4: Create an iGoogle start page

What is it?
An iGoogle start page is a page you can create for yourself, incorporating information from a number of other websites and handy tools onto one page. A start page can save you time visiting separate websites, and help you to keep up to date.

How long will it take me?
If you go to not signed in to your Google account, you will see a page encouraging you to create your own start page in a matter of seconds. This "thing" could be quick... or not if you want to explore all the amazing little boxes you can put onto your page!

What benefits will I gain?
What you add to your iGoogle start page will depend on how you want to use it. You could use it like a memo board. You can add features like calendars and "days since" and "days til" counters onto your page. There is a Christmas countdown tool! You can add a to-do list and feeds from other places like your e-mail or Facebook.

You could use it as a toolkit, with dictionaries, currency converters, Unit converters, translating tools, a calculator, a National Rail enquiries look-up tool, whatever takes your fancy.

You could use it as a page of search boxes to access lots of other sites you regularly use. You can add YouTube, EBay and Amazon search boxes amongst others, or links to almost anything that interests you.

Or you can treat your start page as a combination of all of these types of use! Download step by step instructions to get started.

The Warwick option
Warwick Uni has it's own start page: If you sign in with your Warwick username and password, you will find it already populated with some different tabs of boxes that you might find handy. The first tab has videos of useful stuff you can explore. If you use Files.warwick or the EAT card, you may find this start page a useful place to visit, or even use as your home page.

Another option
MyYahoo! works in a similar way to iGoogle.

Things 1-3: Publishing on the web

The theme of the things this week is publishing on the web. For us this means blogging.

What is blogging?
I blog... by alamodestuff
Blogging is the art of writing a blog. A blog is a dynamic website which comprises of regular entries, or posts, displayed in reverse-chronological order. Blogs started off as personal online journals but have more recently been developed for many different purposes. Blogs are no longer only used by individuals but by organizations too; they can be used to communicate news to customers, to promote products and services, as travelogues or photo blogs.

Is blogging relevant to libraries?
Many librarians write individual blogs to reflect on their work and comment on developments in libraries and librarianship. Some examples are the blogs of Andy BurkhardtBobbi NewmanNed PotterAndy PriestnerLaura Wilkinson and Andy Woodworth.

Libraries are also using blogs to communicate with their users. They are used for news updates, to promote new resources or in some cases as the main website for a library service.

Blogging and 23 Things
Blogging is a key element of the 23 Things programme as it is how we keep track of your progress. Every time you complete a thing we ask that you write about it on your blog. You should think about writing about your experience using each tool, write about what you liked, or didn't like about it, and perhaps how you think it could be used in libraries. Posts that contain little more than a line stating your completion of the task are not in the spirit of the programme and will not be considered sufficient.

Things 1 and 2: Create your blog and write your first post
There are many different platforms which you can use to create a blog, Warwick's very own blogs.warwick included. We have chosen to give instructions for how to create a Blogger blog.  Download the step-by-step instructions (to print open the File menu within Google Docs and click Print (PDF)), or watch the video below which takes you through all the steps necessary to set up a Blogger blog and write your first post. Alternatively you may choose to use one of the other free blog providers like Wordpress or Tumblr.

Before creating your blog why not gather some inspiration from the blogs of participants on the Cambridge and Oxford programmes:

Thing 3: Register to take part in the programme
The final thing this week is a quick one. Register your participation in Warwick's 23 Things programme by filling in this short form.

Optional extras

    Staff open day presentation: Web 2.0 and 23 Things

    Below are the slides from our presentation at the staff away day on 4 January. In the spirit of 23 Things they have been uploaded to Slideshare.

    From the discussion workshops after the presentation we picked up on a couple of questions people still have. I have answered the main ones here, but if there are any more please add them to the comments or contact one of the team directly.

    How much time will I be required to dedicate to the programme each week?
    The amount of time will depend on your previous experience and general IT skills but we expect the weekly tasks to take up to 2 hours. We have also built in time throughout the programme to allow you to catch up; in weeks 5, 9 and 10 no new things will be posted.

    How will I fit in 23 Things alongside my commitments to a rota of jobs, or if I do not have easy access to a computer?
    All staff wishing to take part in the programme should discuss it with their line manager. In this conversation you can raise these questions and discuss possible solutions.