Sunday, 20 November 2011

Follow-up from Thing 5

There are a few outstanding action points from Thing 5. So here goes....

Labels in Blogger. No great mystery really... I was just confused about the Show All function. Just enter each label word or phrase separated by commas. The Show All button displays labels that you have previously used and you can then re-use labels that are appropriate to that posting by selecting them from the list.  Further details are available through Blogger's Help. This also suggests adding a Labels gadget to your blog's layout so that visitors to your blog can select blogs using specific labels. I've done this, and consequently decided to restrict (think hard about) the number of labels that I use. A judicious label editing exercise to follow.

Do I need several blogs? This also answers the issue raised in my Thing 5 blog about whether I need several blogs. No, for the time being, I don't think so. I just need to use labels appropriately! Fantastic.

Pushnote, Delicious ...and now Netvibes. I looked at Pushnote again and remain unconvinced that this will be helpful. This is backed up by comments from fellow CPD23 colleagues (e.g. Tom Roper and librarydoodles). So I'm going to put this to bed until Thing19, when I'm sure that it will come back to haunt me. I've also checked Delicious quickly. Delicious allows you to save your web links (bookmarks or favourites), to organise them (categorise them into "stacks"), and to share them with others. It's been a while since I last looked at it. However, I can see benefits in using it personally, and also in using it as a retrieval tool for some searches. Having an external store of bookmarks can't be a bad back-up mechanism anyway, with the added bonus of always being able to access bookmarks remotely. Worth further consideration!

The recent Cardiff Libraries in Cooperation event included a presentation showcasing the University of Glamorgan's Business HR Library Netvibes page. This has recently been joined by the Law Libraries Page . Netvibes therefore provides a further avenue for exploration. These pages look excellent, and are really useful subject portal pages. I really like the personal touch too. Emma and Sue are clearly geared up to using social media extensively, and I find it fascinating that they are using tools like these that aren't part of the University's Internet site. Clear messages here for me:

  • Go where your users will be;
  • Use external services to link Twitter, RSS feeds, guides, your Internet pages, etc.. A portal approach should make life easier for your users, and provide a friendly, coordinated, professional point of contact for your users to find out about and contact you. I suspect that these Netvibes pages will be well-used and will become excellent marketing tools for the Library.
  • Use these external services because they provide easy to use tools, creating mash-up pages that look great, work, are accessible, and are free.
  • Know the risks ... availability, reliability, endurance. Don't get too tied to one solution, and keep abreast of similar services so that if you do need to find a new home for the service, you are aware of the options.
So, some resolution from Thing 5 but also further work required. Now, what's Thing 6 all about?

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