Friday, November 23, 2007

December 3 - 9, week 13: ..and beyond...

Thing 23 has been released a week early. It gives you a resource to continue your experimentation and exploration.

Thing 23. Explore the Learning 2.1 blog and do the exercises in a post that interests you.

Blog Post: What have been the highs and lows of the 23 Things for you? Where to next with emerging technologies? For you? For libraries?

Thing 23: Do a discovery exercise from Learning 2.1

To discover a resource to keep learning

The Learning 2.1: the adventure continues blog is a continuation of the original Learning 2.0 / 23 things programme at PLCMC. Guest contributers describe a new web tool and set discovery exercises for it.

2. Select a tool that interests you and do the discovery exercise

3. Blog about how you could use it in a library

November 26 - December 2, week 12: Online content sharing

A month ago, we looked at Flickr, which is an image sharing site that has a lot of social elements like profiles, contacts, shared tagging and groups.

Thing 21. Search YouTube to find any video that interests you and embed this in your blog.
Thing 22. Find a set of slides you like on and embed this into your blog.
Blog Post: Revisit the goals you set in Week 2. Did you reach them?

This week we look at a couple of sites for sharing slightly more sophisticated content - videos and slidesets (some with audio). These also have social elements. Now that you have looked at social software like Facebook and twitter, you probably are more able to spot these social elements.

The information about User Generated Content and Creative Commons that we covered in Week 8 is relevant here - October 29 - November 4, week 8: Images and embedding


YouTube and Libraries - Australian wiki showing several ways that libraries use YouTube.


fds flickr toys

Thing 22. Find a set of slides you like on and embed this into your blog.

Why? Useful source of information and a good way to display your own work

Do Thing 21 first - it has more detailed instructions.

1. Go to

2. Search to find a set of slides suitable for inserting into a work based blog

3. Find the embed code.

4. Embed the slideshow into your blog

Find out about slidecasting - where you synchronise an audio file posted somewhere else with a set of slides you have posted on

Thing 21. Search YouTube to find any video that interests you and embed this in your blog.

Why? Communication is no longer just about text .

1. Go to YouTube
2. Find a video suitable to show on a work based blog.

Embed the video into your blog.

1. Find the bit on the page that says "embed"

2. Copy ALL of the code . ( CTRL A will select all, and CTRL C will copy it)

3. Open a new blog post

4. Go to the Edit HTML tab

4. Paste in the embed code and save


Check out blipTV or viddler .Browse mashable’s Video Toolbox: 150+ Online Video Tools and Resources.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

November 19 - 25, week 11: Gaming & Virtual Worlds

Games are fun. Gaming nights are a good way to attract users to a public library. This is true, but it is not why we are covering gaming for the 23 Things.

The gaming we are talking about is computer gaming - online, video, console based, hand held and PC. Gaming can be used as an immersive, compelling and engaging way of providing access to information and education.


Thing 19. Attend a workshop to create an avatar in Second Life
Thing 20. Play the yellow part of the Austin Community College's InfoGame.

THIS WEEKS BLOG POST: Which of the tools covered so far seems the most useful to libraries?


Over 79% of Australian households have a device for playing computer and video games. 41% of gamers are women and 8% are seniors. The average age of Australian gamers is 28, but this is rising and expected to be 42 by 2014. ( Jeffrey E Brand of Bond University Interactive Australia 2007 : facts about the Australian computer and video game industry ). Market research from Parks Associates shows that US consumers play online games more often than watch online videos or visit social networking sites.

Rightly or wrongly, many students bring information finding strategies they use in gaming when they do research using our online tools. Several are spending hours immersed in incredibly engaging and sophisticated computer interfaces, where they are able to contribute to the action - so library websites look very different by comparison.

Gaming gives students skills like:

  • Ability to quickly read and comprehend massive amounts of information on a screen.

  • An understanding that many strategies and attempts may be necessary to accomplish a task.

  • A reluctance to read wordy instructions.

  • A preference to learn an online system by trying it out.

  • An ability to rapidly synthesise facts and make split second decisions.

  • Ability to learn a new interface very quickly.

  • Ability to handle sudden or unexpected changes in their interface.

  • Creative and lateral thinking.

  • Collaboration.

  • Teamwork.
  • Ability to quickly assess what information is relevant and what is just noise.
Inside Higher Education reported on the American Library Association Symposium on Gaming, Learning and Libraries in the article When "digital natives" go to the library. The comments on the article are fascinating - they discuss the difference between the gaming digital natives and the librarians who serve them in our libraries.


A quick guide to gaming in libraries Ellyssa Kroski - over 20 articles about gaming listed

Audio files from most sessions of the American Library Association Symposium on Gaming, Learning and Libraries

Slideset by Beth Gallaway. Very comprehensive review of gaming in all types of libraries Get your Game On: Video Gaming at the Library


Online virtual worlds use a similar immersive 3D interface as gaming. Characters called avatars can move around the environment and interact with objects and other avatars. There are however no gameplays, strategies, rules or points.

Educational and library sites in Online Virtual worlds sit side by side with porn and gambling sites, just like on the World Wide Web. Online virtual worlds are still developing and as technology improves, they will get more sophisticated and easier to use.

Online Virtual Worlds were named by Educause and the New Media Consortium in their Horizon Report 2007 as one of six technologies likely to have significant impact on education in the next five years. Gartner Inc., which bills itself as the "world's leading information and technology research company, claimed on 24th April 2007 that "by the end of 2011, 80 percent of active Internet users (and Fortune 500 enterprises) will have a “second life,” but not necessarily in Second Life
Many unversities are experimenting with an Online Virtual World called Second Life. Murdoch University has a presence there, as does Harvard, Princeton, University of Oxford, Griffiths, Monash, RMIT, AFTRS and USQ. Over 600 librarians are experimenting with providing library services on the 40 island Information Archipelago where Murdoch Library has a plot of land.

In Second Life, avatars can run, fly, teleport, swim, dance, drive cars and communicate with other avatars through typed chat or (if the user is wearing a headset) voice. Objects can be set up so that touching one (eg. a bookcase) can make the users' webbrowser got to a specific website (eg. Libraries Australia). Databases like PubMed can be searched within a Second Life building and RSS feeds can be displayed in Second Life. ABC Island, for example, has a dome where the latest ABC news headlines are displayed.

This 23 minute slidecast (audio and slides) explains more about Second Life, Libraries, Universities and Murdoch University Library (Presentation at the Queensland University Libraries Office of Communication event, Social Software in Libraries, Wednesday 9th October 2007)

FURTHER READING - blog of the Alliance Library Service in Second Life .

Ten very good reasons why your librarians should be in Second Life

Six very bad reasons to have a library branch in Second Life


Guess the google You are shown 20 images and you need to work against the clock to guess the keyword that would retrieve them all in a google search.

Thing 20. Play the yellow part of the Info Game.

Play the first (yellow) part of the Austin Community College's Infogame.

Why? To experience how engaging even a very simple game interface can be.

Once you have pressed "Click here to play", read through the information (you can skim) until you get to the "click here and take the test and win token" screen. Click to take the test and use a made up name when they ask you for your name.

Thing 19. Create an avatar in Second Life (you need to attend a workshop for this).

Come to a workshop to create a Second Life avatar and learn some basic skills to use it.

Why? To experience and assess a new type of computer interface - an online virtual world.

If you do not already have a Second Life avatar you will need to attend a workshop. Please email me by Friday 16th November to let me know which workshop you can attend.

Please make sure you have an email account that you can access via the web for this session. Gmail is fine .

WORKSHOPS WILL BE IN ROOM 1.015. The last 30 minutes are voluntary, but you will probably want to stay around to learn to use your avatar better.

  • Tuesday 20th November 10am - 11am or 11:30
  • Tuesday 20th November 2pm - 3pm or 2:30pm
  • Friday 23rd November 2pm - 3pm or 3:30pm

If you cannot attend a workshop, please email me and I'll try to arrange another one.

You can create an avatar on your own, then download and install the software and log in and complete Orientation Island - but it will take you longer than the workshop will take. If you do this, you will need to email me your avatar's name so that I can add it to the Murdoch group. Workshop instructions are here.

Friday, November 2, 2007

November 12 - 18, week 10 : Online Social Networks

Sites like Flickr, YouTube and are called social software because you can:

1. Set up a user profile
2. Add others as "friends" or "contacts"
3. Subscribe to work uploaded by others
4. Message other users within the site
5. Add comments, ratings and tagging to works of other users

Flickr is about photos, YouTube is about video clips, and is about slideshows.

Online social networks are about people. They are like library catalogues where the records are about people not books - and each person is in charge of their own record. Some examples of online social networks are: Facebook, MySpace, Beebo, Orkut, LinkedIn and Ning .

The Facebook and Twitter sites don't show you anything useful unless you log into your own account, so we will be making one.


Thing 15. Join Facebook and create a Facebook profile.
Thing 16. Add some Facebook friends and join a Facebook group.

Thing 17. Create a Twitter account and add some friends.
Thing 18. Tweet at least once a day between Mon 19th and Fri 23rd November.

BLOG POST: Do you think libraries should try to have a presence in Facebook?


Facebook is like a grown up version of Myspace. You create a profile and then use this to keep in touch with your friends. It began in a college dorm at Harvard, but soon spread to other campuses. It's big. According to wikipedia:

As of October 2007, the website had the largest number of registered users among college-focused sites with over 42 million active members worldwide and expects to pass 60 million users by the end of the year (also from non-collegiate networks).[3] [4] From September 2006 to September 2007[5] it increased its ranking from 60th to 7th most visited web site, and was the number one site for photos in the United States, ahead of public sites such as Flickr, with over 8.5 million photos uploaded daily.[6][7]

The Murdoch University network in Facebook has 1792 members. Overseas students are using it to keep in touch with family. There is a for sale noticeboard and discussion of campus issues.

The site's growth has exploded now that people without a ".edu" email address can join, and that other software can interact with Facebook using an API (Application Programming Interface).

Given that Facebook takes up 1% of all Internet traffic, our users are probably spending much more time in Facebook than on the library web pages. Can we use this platform to offer services to our students?


To communicate with students

To communicate with each other

For work tools

Library catalogue search box that can be embedded in a Facebook profile

Journal database search that can be embedded in Facebook



Twitter is like a cross between microblogging and IM (Instant Messaging). The concept is simple: Say what you are doing in 140 characters or less. It sounds like a simple and useless tool, but it is an extremely powerful social tool.

When you join, you find friends and "follow" them. That way you can see what they are tweeting. You can set your account to private so that only your friends can see your tweets and they will not be seen by search engines. Please make your account private for the 23 Things.

The best description I've heard is that it's like "walking to school with your friends". Sometimes you are gossiping about who has a crush on who, sometimes you talk about nothing but the hottest issue, sometimes you talk about lunch, but you often spend a fair whack of it talking about serious schoolwork too.

It is an anytime, anyplace tool. There is bound to be someone you know tweeting at any time. You can send and receive messages directly from the website, via IM chat, via text on a mobile phone or using client software on your PC. We are looking at it mainly to get a taste of the 24/7 interconnectedness and networking of many of our students.




Thing 17,18 Twitter - Join, friends, tweet for a week

Thing 17. Create a Twitter account and add some friends.
Why? To understand how 24/7 connection changes communication and collaboration online

Please do Things 15 and 16 before this one by following the Facebook screencast.

Create account
Joining twitter is just the same as joining Facebook, except you don't have to go to your email and click on a link to verify your membership.

It is important that once you have joined, you go to Settings (top right corner) and select "Protect my updates". This means that only people you have allowed to "follow" you can see your updates.

Find Folks
Use the "Find Folks" search box in the green sidebar to search for the user "libkat" or go straight to her profile page: . Select the grey "follow" button under her photo.

Look at the green sidebar on her profile page and you will see pictures of her friends. Mouse over each image to see the person's name. Like we did with Facebook, click on some of libkat's friends to add them as your friends.

Remember to check your gmail account in case someone has added you as a friend. This will also display on your sidebar as "2 new follower requests".

Thing 18. Tweet at least once a day for five days between Monday 19th - Friday 23rd.

Why? To see twitter in action - it's the only way to "get" it.

Mon 19th - Friday 23rd is Twitter week. Twitter only really works when it has critical mass. Please tweet at least once a day and share something work related that you are doing. If you can't do it that week, you may try it another week.

Enter text in the box under "What are you doing?" and select "update".


  • Add a picture to your profile.

  • Work out how to "Direct message" someone.

  • Do some googling about to find out what the @ sign at a start of your tweet does.

  • Keep twittering

  • Watch this video by librarian David Lee King about software people have written to do crazy things with twitter. i r fluffin yr twitterz: or, Twitter, part 2: the "fluff"

Things 15 and 16 Facebook - join, profile, friends and group

Thing 15: Join Facebook and add a profile

Why? 48 million people are there. Find out what it is about.

Thing 16: Add at least 3 friends and join a Facebook Group

Why? To understand how a social network works


I've made a 4 minute screencast for this exercise Facebook 23 Things. It is very pacy, so I suggest you first watch it all the way through. Then play it, pause it, do the bit just described, play a bit more, do that bit etc.

The screencast shows you how to do more things than the exercises require. Those that are part of the exercises are marked with a * .

  1. * Join

  2. * Create a profile

  3. * Search for a friend

  4. * Add a friend

  5. * Look at a friend's friends to find friends

  6. * Accept friendship

  7. * View a friend's' profile

  8. *Join a Facebook group

  9. Write on a friend's wall

  10. Add a Facebook Application


Write on a friend's wall or Add a Facebook Application. Play a game of scrabble with someone using Scrabulous - just once from work.

Friday, October 26, 2007

October 29 - November 4, week 8: Images and embedding

This week we look at ways to store and share images online. We look at a way to create engaging images that make people WANT to read your message. We also learn how to add images from other sources to a blog post.

Thing 12. Upload an image to your blog.
Thing 13. Get a flickr account and upload the image and add a few tags.
Thing 14. Use an image generator to describe your progress so far.

Embed the image from Thing 12 into a blog post.
Embed the image from Thing 14 into a blog post.

Lots of people have already done Thing 12, so mark it off on the Progress Chart now.

This week is brought to you by User Generated Content.

People are publishing their own information on the web and using sites outside of libraries to store, categorise, retrieve and access this. They are depending on each other as information resources. Even when our "stuff" is better, many people are choosing the most convenient online source rather than libraries. Our challenge is to become a more convenient online resource. A service like Picture Australia (see below) harnesses user generated content to enhance the National Library of Australia.

Kate Makowiecka, the Murdoch University Copyright Coordinator, has made a post for the 23 Things blog outlining some considerations when you add your material to online sites.

Image generators are websites you can use to add your own text to images like tattoos, church signs, an etch-a-sketch or a speech bubble from Hugh Laurie's mouth.

Flickr is a free photo sharing site now owned by Yahoo. Photos have tags and descriptions. It is a social site - so people have profiles, join groups, comment on each others photos, add their photos to group sets. You can subscribe to the RSS feed of particular sets, or to tags, or to all images uploaded by another user - so a photostream could work like a newsletter . RSS makes it easy to embed images in other sites.


The National Library of Australia invites individuals to contribute to Picture Australia, their public archive of Australian images, by uploading them to Flickr and joining one of these two groups - Picture Australia: People, places and events or Picture Australia: Ourtown.

The Flickr 365 libs
involves libraries posting 365 photos of between April 2007/2008. Amanda, Gwyn and Lisa have been uploading our photos. You can see some of our 365libs photos here . If you would like to add some photos of the library to the 365libs project, procedures to do this are here, G:\Common\LET\365libs.

Here are some of Curtin University Library's 365libs photos .

  • American Library Associations Banned Books Week photo pool of events around the country.

  • Penn State Libraries Open House 2007. Staff and students all contributed to the pool of photos from the big Open House event, where the State Library of Pennsylvania has a fun day devoted to helping the students find out more about the library.

  • Exeter Public Library have a Flickr badge, showing recent photos in the library, in the sidebar of their blog.

  • Special mention - LOL Pols group . Not library. Is political. Photos of Australian politicians captioned like LOLcats


Get Flickrtastic Andrea Mercado, Web Junction

Ten Ways to Use Flickr in Your Libraries: 15 Minutes of Flickr Michael Stephens

31 Flavours - Things to do with Flickr in Libraries P. F. Anderson, Web Junction

7 Things you should know about Creative Commons Educause


Mr Picassohead

Thing 14 - Generate an image to describe your progress

Why? Create an engaging message people want to read

Use an image generator and create an image to describe your progress with the 23 Things so far. Embed the image in your blog.

For inspiration, here are some images generated by the original "Learning 2.0" participants at PLCMC.

Make your own clipart like this @

Here's some instructions for

    1. Generate your image and the scroll down to the "Get HTML" link.

    2. When the page displays, find the embed code and put your cursor on it.

    3. Use (CTRL) A to select all the code

    4. Use (CTRL) C to copy the code (or however you usually do it)

    5. Go to your blog and create a new post. On the "Edit Html" tab, paste in the code.

Make your own clipart like this @


The “Generator blog” has heaps of ideas - .

Googling “image generators” works well, as does adding a term like “church sign” or “tattoo” or "postit" .

Check out JibJab , where you can upload a picture of someone's face and make clips of them dancing - like this one I made of Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey .

Thing 13 - Upload your image to Flickr

Join Flickr, then upload the image you used in Thing 12.

Why? To share images online


Go to Flickr

Select "Create My Account"

If you are not already a member of Yahoo!, then select "Sign up" at the bottom of the "Sign into Yahoo!" screen and join Yahoo! Enter the required data and select "Create my Account"

When you have successfully signed up, you will see a screen that asks "Ready to experience Flickr?". Select Continue

Select "Create a new account".


Select "Upload your first photo"

Step 1. Choose photos - when you select this button, you will immediately browse the files on your PC.

Double click on the image you want, then select "Upload photos".


Select "Describe your photos"

Add a tilte, description and some tags.

Select "Save this batch"

Explore Flickr Toolbox 100+ Tools for Flickr addicts. It includes tools like:

  • Spell With Flickr - Spell any word you want, this site grabs pictures of letters to spell it out.

  • Fastr - Presents you with random photos from Flickr; you have to guess the tag they have in common.

  • Hamster Sudoku - Uses images of hamsters from Flickr for you to play a picture version of the popular game.

Thing 12: Upload an image to your blog

Take an image with a digital camera and embed it in your blog.

Why: Communication and literacy are no longer just about text

Use your own digital camera or borrow the library one from Mike’s office.
Take a photo of something suitable to display on a work blog.
Upload the image to your H: drive.

If you do not want to use your own image, then you can use one from this directory on the intranet: G:\Common\LET\23 Things\Thing 12

Go to your blog and start a new post.
Find the "Add image" icon and click on it.

Select BROWSE and browse to the directory with your image.
Change the size and position if you like.
Select UPLOAD.

When the image is uploaded, it will appear at the top of your post. Drag and drop it wherever you want it.

4. When you are ready to publish, select "Publish Post".

Go to Flickr and use the option in the Advanced Search to specify that you want an image released under Creative Commons. Embed that image in your blog, remembering to include the link to the image name and the person who uploaded it.

Uploading photos, image generators and using Creative Commons

This post was prepared for the 23 Things programme by Kate Makoweicka, Copyright Co-ordinator for Murdoch University.

Uploading photos and using image generators

Firstly, the photos:

• you are the creator and will own the copyright in the photograph;
• there is no copyright in a person’s image – usually, if you are taking photos in a public place, you don’t need to get permission from each person in the shot;
• however, you may want to consider the feelings of anyone snapped: you never know who may come across these photos, whether inadvertently or as the result of a deliberate search, e.g. googling by a prospective employer;
• so, especially if you’re taking photos of friends or family, you may want to let them know that their image will be going out to the world via Flickr and your blog.

Secondly, using image generators:

Like many other websites, simply by using these services you are agreeing to abide by their terms of use, e.g.


• the facilities are provided for your personal, non-commercial use (although Slideshare encourages its use for conference presentations, etc.);
• you keep copyright in anything (e.g. PowerPoints, photos, etc) you upload to, or create on the site, but you grant the owner and any other user of the site a non-exclusive licence to use it;
• you must have the permission of anyone pictured in an image that you upload;
• text and images you upload to or create on the site can be seen by anyone, and can be found by search engines;

Creative Commons for creators

As the Educause article notes, copyright automatically applies (for the term of your life + 70 years) to a work when it takes material form – even if you don’t want to lock down your music, photos, short stories, etc., unless you do something about it that’s what happens.

Creative Commons licences allow a creator to reserve some of their copyrights (i.e. to copy, publish, adapt, communicate, and perform) rather than all of them; to specify the uses (e.g. commercial v. non-commercial) that can be made of the work or an adaptation; and even to put your work straight into the Public Domain.

Look here for more about CC in general:; and here for Australian CC licences:

Creative Commons for consumers/recreators

Creative Commons licenced works are usually free for non-commercial and educational use. They don’t have to be reported to CAL for royalty payment, and can be used in Blackboard etc. rather than having to go into ECMS (the ‘share alike’ requirement doesn’t prevent their use in password protected websites – I checked!).

There is heaps of stuff available: you can search for CC works via Google, Flickr etc., as well as via Creative Commons itself

Other sites, such as the Australian Creative Resource Online (ACRO), offer audio and visual bits and pieces with CC licences as the raw material for people to mix and make their own new works or in collaboration – and they encourage you to submit your own work back to ACRO.

Oprah and Bill dance for 23 things

This shows the output of JibJab - the "IF YOU WANT MORE" site for Thing 14. You need to use Firefox to watch it.

Star in Your Own JibJab! It's Free!

Friday, October 19, 2007

October 22 - 28, week 7: Tagging and Social Bookmarking

This week we look at what happens when thousands of people add their own subject headings to things online - tagging.

We'll also look at what happens when thousands of people choose their favourite websites, tag them, store them online and then share them with each other- social bookmarking.

This week you will:
Thing 10 : Compare a search using with Connotea, kartoo, dogpile, zuula and google. Blog about your findings
Thing 11: Join and save and tag a few sites

Blog post: What did you discover when you compared different search methods?

The Learning 2.0 at Mac blog post about Tagging, Social bookmarking and folksomies gives a very comprehensive description .

Here's the Commoncraft video that demystifies social bookmarking: Social bookmarking in Plain English

Examples of libraries using social tagging/bookmarking

QUT library Creative Industries subject guide now includes a tag cloud which has also been incorporated into the relevant unit's page on Blackboard (the Uni’s Learning Management System). It was live 2 weeks after they first had the idea.

University of Pennsylvania has created it's own social tagging site called Penn Tags , where staff and students can create "projects" covering material both owned and not owned by the library.

Yarra Plenty Regional Library in Melbourne have incorporated into their catalogue subject headings from popular “catalogue and share your own book collection” site, LibraryThing.

Ann Arbor district library allows users to directly add their own tags in the catalogue.

The new version of the Innopac Opac, Encore, promises user generated tags.

Further reading (optional)

7 Things you should know about social bookmarking Educause guide.

The social bookmarking faceoff from the Read/Write web

Angela Kille's presentation about social bookmarking for the Michigan State University Libraries

A librarian's guide to creating 2.0 subject guides by Ellyssa Kroski

The Brave New World of Social Bookmarking: Everything You Always Wanted to Know But Were Too Afraid to Ask (PDF), Amanda Etches-Johnson.

The Hive Mind: Folksonomies & User-Based Tagging, Ellyssa Kroski.

Talking with Talis: the Library 2.0 Folksonomy Gang. [This is a podcast]

Fun site for the week
Google image labeller game. Log in as guest.

You play against someone else in the world to apply labels to an image - trying to get as many as possible without using the same terms. (It's a sneaky way that google gets real people to tag images in their image search - but it's fun at the same time)

Thing 11: Join and save and tag a few sites

Why? To organise and retrieve useful websites and share them with like-minded people

1. Register at . (Pay attention to the password requirements, and check you email inbox to complete the registration)

2. Install the Firefox extension, or the buttons on your toolbar.

3. Bookmark and tag the Murdoch Library 23 Things blog page using one of these options
3.1 Right clicking on the link to the page and selecting "tag this link"
3.2 Going to the page and then going to the top of your browser and selecting the "" menu and choosing "tag this page"
3.3 Going to the page and then choosing the "post to" button at the top of the page
3.4 Going to your account at and selecting "post" and pasting in the URL

4. Add a description. Often cutting and pasting a paragraph from the page saved is useful.

5. Add some tags and save.

6. Next time you are on a webpage you would like to save for later or find again, save it to

1. Check out the items saved under this typical user's account kgreenhill.
2. Check out who else has saved the Murdoch Library 23 Things web page and click on their profiles to see what else they have saved.
3. Work out how to embed a tag cloud of your account into a post on your blog.

Thing 10 : Compare searching on tagged sites with other sites

Why? To find more precise search tools

Enter the same search term (eg. "Library 2.0") in the searchbox at the following sites. Compare the results and blog about it.

  • - popular social bookmarking site. User tagged (search without quote marks).

  • Connotea - "Free online reference management for all researchers, clinicians and scientists". User tagged .

  • CiteULike - "a free online source to organise your academic papers". User tagged.

  • Murdoch University Library catalogue subject search - Taxonomy.

  • google - Keyworded.

  • dogpile - compiles searches from many search engines. Keyworded.

  • zuula - compiles searches from many search engines. Keyworded.

  • kartoo - outputs sites visually as a series of "maps". Keyworded with interelationship of terms shown.


This clip shows what happens when information is digital, so it is no longer stored in just one place and everything is keyworded - Information R/evolution. It is from Michael Wesch at the centre for Digital Ethnography at Kansas State University.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

October 15 - 21, week 6: Online tools and applications and Wikis

This week we look at tools to help you collaborate online - google documents and wikis.

Tasks for this week are:
Thing 8. Create a google document and share it with another participant.
Thing 9. Create your own wiki on PBwiki and email the address to Kathryn. (

Your blog post: Make a link to your wiki. Can you think of other situations where collaborative documents / wikis would be useful in your work? How might students use them?

Google documents
Google documents lets you create a document (wordprocessed, spreadsheet or slide presentation) straight onto the web for sharing with others if you'd like. You can see who has changed what and "roll back" to an earlier version with one click. You cannot do quite as much as with Microsoft Office or Open Office, but it is great for shared preliminary drafts.

This little clip Google Docs in Plain English made for Google by the Commoncraft folk explains the why and a bit about the how:

A wiki is a web page that you can create online using simple tools. Wiki wiki in Hawaiian means swift. The first wikis were created by programmers who were required to write documentation. They wanted something they could create easily, was accessible from the web and that allowed them to work collaboratively. You are editing a wiki when you record your progress on the 23 Things progress chart.

Here's a clip that explains how wikis work, Wikis in Plain English.

Wikis can be used to:

Plan events: Library 2.0 on the Loose unconference
Create directories: Library success: a best practices wiki
Record procedures: Dallas Library policy and procedures
Store files for sharing: Library grid
Create encyclopedic works: Wikipedia

For a more comprehensive list check out the LISWiki

Many wikis use a special wiki markup language, which is far simpler than HTML, but harder to use than a wordprocessing type of interface. Wikipedia uses a wiki called Mediawiki, where users make updates using wiki language.

Optional extra reading from the Learning 2.0 @ Mac blog

What’s the difference? Choosing the right wiki

TWiki, WetPaint, Stikipad, PHPWiki, SeedWiki, PBWiki, Wikispaces, MoinMoin, Netcipia… with all these different wikis to choose from you might have a difficult time deciding which wiki is most suited to your project. A tool you might find useful for comparing the features of various wikis is Wikimatrix. The Wikimatrix website has several useful features for comparing any number of more than 80 wiki engines listed. So what are some of the features common to Wikis & what are some differences?

  • Wikis allow you to assign different access permissions to different users. The site creator (Administrator) can assign other Administrators or Moderators to the Wiki. Wikis typically have several levels of contributors with varying degrees of access, such as Admin, Mod, Writer, Registered User, and Guest.

  • Many wikis allow users to subscribe to them either via email or RSS feeds. Some allow users to subscribe to specific pages and keep apprised of recent edits.

  • Personalization of user accounts can be quite different from wiki to wiki; some allow for the creation of detail user profiles, private messaging, and commenting upon individual profiles.

  • Many wikis are tiered with both free accounts and ‘premium memberships’ that often have added features such as a higher page limits or greater storage capacity.

  • Pages edit history & Revert. Wikis allow users to view the history of specific pages, and mark up recent changes. Many have more advanced edit comparison features that may allow users to compare the changes to an entry over the course of months! Wikis also typically have a revert feature that allows those with sufficient access permissions to rollback a page to an earlier edit.

  • WYSIWYG. Not only do most wikis allow users to use Wikitext instead of Html, but wikis also have “What You See Is What You Get” editors that make it even easier for anyone to contribute!

Further readings (optional)

Chawner, B., & Lewis, P.H. (2006). Wiki Wiki Webs?: new ways to communicate in a web environment. Information Technology and Libraries, 25(1), 33-43.

Clyde, L. (2005). Wikis. Teacher Librarian, 32(4), 54 – 56.

Farkas, M. G. (2005). Using Wikis to Create Online Communities. Web Junction.

Singel, R. (2006). Veni, Vidi, Wiki. Wired News.

Fun site for the week

Uncyclopedia, the content-free encyclopedia that anyone can edit,unless the server goes down, in which case no-one can edit it.

Thing 9: Create your own wiki using PBwiki

Thing 9: Create your own wiki using PBwiki
Why? Easy to manage website where you can work with others

Your wiki could be about anything you want. Each page can only be a few sentences if you'd like. To give you an idea, here's my example wiki, libkat .

Here's some theme ideas:

  • Document something you do in your job that others would have to know if you won lotto and had to leave work for a life of luxury.

  • A page about a hobby or passion

  • Plan a holiday and link to useful accommodation sites, places of interest, an itinerary etc

  • Collaborate with another participant to make a wiki together

  • Make a page linking to sites you visit often for 23 Things and add to it in the next few weeks (eg. 23 Things blog, refdesk blog, your own blog, other participant blogs you read)


1. Create a public wiki using PBwiki. Ensure that people can see it on the web. They will only be able to edit it if you give them the password. The instructions at the site are very clear.

SCREENCAST: Richard Marchessault has made a two minute screencast, Creating a PBwiki site, which is accessible at the Atomic Learning PBwiki - Wiki workshop page. It is screencast 3 in Part B - choosing and setting up a wiki. The other screencasts tell you about other features of wikis in general and of PBwiki in particular.

2. Use Edit to change the front page and replace what is there. (You need to do this to complete the task)

3. Not essential, but very useful to try:
3.1 Insert one link to an external web site in your page. (Atomic Learning PBwiki - Screencast 1 in Part C Working with PBwiki)

3.2 Make one more wiki page linking off the front page. ( Atomic Learning PBwiki Screencast 5 and 6 Part C Working with PBwiki)

Try creating a wiki at one of these fee wiki sites: Wikispaces, Wetpaint , SeedWiki, Netcipia , StikiPad, Moinmoin .

Thing 8 - Create and share a google document

Thing 8 - Create and share a google document
Why? Sharable documents wherever you are

Your task: Create a google document listing your 3 favourite movies, books or songs and share it with another participant. Ask them to add their 3 favourites to the list.

1. Log into gmail
2. Click on documents (third option from left at top)
3. New > document (or try a spreadsheet if you want to get fancy)
4. Enter your favourite movies, books or songs (historical monuments, holiday destinations, chocolate recipes, catalogue records - whatever). Play with formatting if you'd like.
5. Select share
6. To find someone to share with, check the progress wiki for gmail addresses (address must be gmail) or ask someone what theirs is, or use .
7. Enter the email address of your collaborator.
8. In the message, ask the collaborator to add their favourites to the list and to email your gmail address when it's complete.
9. Select "send"
10. Click on "Docs home" or close the window.

Check out zoho and make a comparison between this and the google suite.
Or - Check out google maps and create an interactive map to embed into your blog or wiki.

Friday, October 5, 2007

October 8 - 14, week 5: Web 2.0 and play week

Fun sites and Web 2.0

Why the fun sites? To show you Web 2.0 .

Web 2.0 is a group of web-based technologies that change the way people relate to information and each other.

According to wikipedia, "The phrase Web 2.0 refers to a perceived second generation of web-based communities and hosted services — such as social-networking sites, wikis and folksonomies — which aim to facilitate collaboration and sharing between users".

People using these sites change what they expect from our libraries - online and within our buildings. Libraries that harness these technologies and respond to the new attitudes brought by them are often described as "Library 2.0". The key to Library 2.0 is understanding both the new technologies and our users well enough to tailor new services to better meet user needs. It's not just about trying new tools.

Murdoch University Library services that could be described as "Library 2.0" include our podcasts, Online Librarian IM chat reference, Emerging Technologies Group, 23 Things program, reference desk blog, Flickr account and the 24/7 Learning Common.

So, what are some elements of Web 2.0?

  • Users become online content creators (eg. I can has cheezburger involves regular people submitting photos of their cats and other regular people captioning them)
  • Software is on the web, not your PC. The tools are "up there" on the web, instead of "down there" on your PC (eg. A couple of years ago, you could only have played something like Boomshine from a CD on your PC ).
  • Tools are in perpetual beta. Beta is traditionally the software testing stage before release. Rather than double checking to ensure that every single feature is accurate before releasing a tool, producers release them earlier with many more features and let their community iron out the bugs. (gmail, for example has been in beta ever since February 2007). Users are valuing usefulness over perfection.
  • New tools allow regular people to easily create sophisticated products (eg. Using, you can create an individualised animated cartoon without knowing anything about programming)
  • Users are uploading as well as downloading. They used to just get stuff from websites, now they are putting it there too.
  • Data becomes a social space. Users have conversations while they consume content (eg. comments on photos at Flickr)
  • Users are creating sites with an informal, human voice and are beginning to expect this from organizations too.
This presentation explains the elements of Web2.0 and how this affects the power balance between librarians and users. What is Library 2.0 ? (created for the State Library of Queensland Library 2.0 Unconference 10 October 2007)

BLOG POST: Write about a post you've read via RSS in google reader.


Abram, Stephen. Web 2.0, Library 2.0 and Librarian 2.0: Preparing for the 2.0 World. Sirsi OneSource, January 2006, 2(1).

Crawford, Walt. Library 2.0 and “Library 2.0.” Cites and Insights. 6:2, Midwinter 2006, pp.1-32.

Maness, Jack M. Library 2.0 Theory: Web 2.0 and Its Implications for Libraries. Webology, 3(2), June 2006.

Miller, Paul Web 2.0: Building the New Library. Ariadne, 42, October 2005.

Library 2.0 Roundup - Redux - a comprehensive compilation of key journal articles and blog posts about Library 2.0
by Jennifer Macaulay of Life as I know it.

Friday, September 28, 2007

October 1 - 7, week 4: Play week


Fun sites:
Star Wars meets Monty Python
Star Trek meets Monty Python

Why the fun sites? Wait for week 5.

Friday, September 21, 2007

September 24 - 30, week 3: RSS

RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication" or "Rich Site Summary" and is the basic building block of new web tools. It's a way of making the bits of the web you care about come to your desktop in an easily organised and accessed way - without you having to constantly go to the sites to check for updates.

It can take a while to "get". The best way to understand it is to subscribe to a few feeds and read them daily. It soon makes sense. This video explains the basics, RSS in Plain English. You will need to watch it before you move on to doing this week's Things:

These are some icons you may see to represent RSS.

rss icons

It's not only blogs that have feeds. Many libraries make their new books list available via RSS. You can also subscribe to:

  • all the photos someone posts to flickr

  • all bookmarks people have shared about "butterflies" on

  • all blog posts about "ferraris" on Technorati

  • all updates to a wiki.
(Just think - in 9 weeks that will make perfect sense :)

This week we are completing:

Your blog post: In what cases do you think RSS will be useful? For you? For our users? What makes it different to email ?.


  • Subscribers get information immediately.

  • Subscribers actually WANT your information or they wouldn't subscribe.

  • You no longer have to check websites for new content.

  • Feeds come to one place.

  • You can start or stop a subscription easily.

  • You can filter your RSS feed by subject (eg. only receive individual feeds from students' blogs that contain the word "library").

  • Very little spam sent via RSS

Where do I find RSS feeds?

Resources about librarianship

Further reading

Fun site for the week:
Boomshine (you'll need headphones)

Why the fun sites? Wait for week 5.

Thing 7: Subscribe to some feeds

THING 7. Click on the links to go to some of the sites below - some links go straight to the RSS feed. Subscribe to at least two feeds from the list. Read them weekly until December. Daily is better.

Why? Because you only really understand RSS by using it regularly.

Library based:

Non - library based:

Not Just Blogs:

Library Material

Sue Dowling, Electronic Resources Librarian here at Murdoch University Library, has made a comprehensive list of library resources (like journals and databases) that offer RSS feeds here - Sites with useful RSS feeds

Teaching and Learning

Tama Leaver from Teaching and Learning at UWA in lists Some Examples of Good Postgraduate and Academic Blogging

Visit Technorati and do a few searches to find some blogs you'd like to subscribe to.

Thing 6: Learn to use google reader

THING 6. Learn about RSS and google reader.

Why? To save time and have new stuff come to you.

You have a gmail account, so you have a google reader account. To go to it from, select More > Reader. The first time you use it, you will need to sign in.

You will need to add some feeds for it to be useful. This Thing shows you three ways to subscribe to RSS feeds. Once you have a couple of feeds set up, you should poke about to find out things like how to put feeds into folders, how to add a star and how to mark all feeds as read.

There will not always be an obvious RSS button to click on , so try each one of these three ways to add a feed. Method 3 is the one that works best for the blogs staff are creating for the 23 Things.

1. Go to

Method 1: Subscribe using the feed button

  • Left click on the feed icon and follow the prompts until you get to "subscribe in google reader"

Method 2: Cut and paste the feed link

  • Right click on the feed icon and select "Copy Link Location"

  • Go to "add a subscription" in google reader and paste in the link

Method 3: Cut and paste the URL for the page

  • Copy the URL from the address bar in your browser window

  • Go to "add a subscription" and paste in the link

  • (This is what you do when you HOPE that a page has an RSS feed and cannot find an icon anywhere )

Try setting up an account for your feeds at bloglines or netvibes . Or try adding your google reader to an igoogle home page.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Week 2 in 23 Things blogland

Wow! 161 squares on the progress chart filled in already.

I didn't get the rush of blogs I expected at the start of this week and thought that maybe mass coyness had broken out in the library. Turned out that everyone's messages were going to the spam filter for .

By Friday morning of week 2, there are 36 blogs registered.

A definite feline flavour is discernable - casbeecat , Cataplexis , catapult, Meer Cat Musings ... a freaky looking cat picture on scritty's soap opera - perhaps it was just looking menacingly at Goucho Marx's Dog. Maybe all these cats is what led someone to declare: I'm not a crazy cat lady..... yet.

There's been a bit of blog pimping happening - with a blogroll added to the sidebar on IT DEPENDS, some colour therapy at Too Near Too Far and a very attractive experiment with a blog at, Kaleidoscope World .

People have jumped straight into Thing 12 and uploaded images (yes, you can tick that one off on the chart). You can see why Colour chose the blog name, Uluru at 23things&sue , a handdrawn seahourse at wildgoose, an author photo at Gwyn the Geek, a beautiful reminder of what is important at Terri's Space , and a very scary photo on theflybrarian 's first post.

Although the theflybrarian was declared a guru on the progress chart, it may well be that catapult will buzz round as well for some image uploading help.

A common theme in blogs like Anne at Rockingham is being excited by the programme and looking forward to the next steps. Although some people like DEALT and Up, Up and Away also feel a little guilty about playing at work. Some people reflect on this type of programme is not really their thing, but they are interested to see where it goes - landscape, , madam butterfly and Zoester .

Some folk have completed this week's post, which is to list goals, obstacles and toolkit. The post was added to scritty's soap opera because she was inspired by the list on 23things&sue. If you browse blogs like In Black and White, Cataplexis , Book and a Hammock and Vader Zim: a perfectly normal human earth child you'll see that the common theme is needing time, and finding supportive people.

It's interesting to see people reflect on their learning styles - Is this the way to go? and wildgoose . I particularly liked wildgooses' musing that they learned from the 71/2 habits about:

... considering obstacles as opportunities - you know, when life's right on
that edge and about to slip over into *overwhelming* if something goes slightly
awry... Then lo and behold, it does... "Argh!! Obstacles!! Sorry world, now it's
all too much." But then little LifeLongLearner mind says "hey girl, that aint no
obstacle, that's a *learning opportunity*" - so that can mean the difference
between hiding under the desk/doona/front verandah a while, and finding the
energy to learrrrn my way through it.

For some people, a short and sweet post indicates that they made it - and have a blog - Pat's blog , podponderings, Reginas rant , sarah , sue's blog , Natalies blog , julies ,

A couple of people have understood that blogging is about conversations - with zen of zens' place asking for feedback about where to take overseas visitors to W.A, and callmesir hoping to receive Chocolate recipes.

If you enjoy people's reflections of what they read, and need a break from the 23 Things you can dip into Book and a Hammock or Recently Read

Sounds like one big learning conversation to me.

Friday, September 14, 2007

September 17 - 23, week 2: Online email and Blogs

This week you set up the tools you need to reflect and record your progress in the 23 Things. Remember that there is a two week break coming up, so you can take 4 weeks to do Week2 and Week 3's tasks.

There are screencasts - small movies with voiceover showing someone using the website - to show you how to do each step for these Things. There will not be screencasts for all Things, as with exposure to these types of sites, you will get better at working it out for yourself.

This week you will complete:
Thing 3 - Setting up a gmail account
Thing 4 - Setting up a blog using blogger
Thing 5 - Tracking your progress on a wiki

BLOG POST: List goals, obstacles and things you'll need for your Learning toolkit, as shown in the 7 1/2 habits of highly successful lifelong learners. .

Online email

Online email allows you to use your email from any PC connected to the internet. You usually need to give another email address in case you lose your password, but most hosts like yahoo, hotmail and gmail let you set up as many accounts as you'd like. Often signing to an online email service allows you to access a host of other tools - more discussion about this in Week 6.

We are using gmail (google email) for the 23 Things because:

1. You need a gmail account to access blogger to set up your blog
2. It comes with a suite of wordprocessing, chat, image sharing, communication and mapping tools that many of our students are probably using.
3. Over the next 11 weeks, you will be joining several online sites to try out their web tools, and will need to give an email address. You may want to use your gmail account as a "throwaway" email account only for the 23 Things.


Websites with journal like entries arranged chronologically. Often with informal language and facility for others to comment on entries. The word comes from "web-log" or "weblog".

  • A type of web page.
  • Usually by just one author.
  • Are usually arranged by date, most recent entry first.
  • Have a home page containing the most recent entries, but often many archived pages that can be accessed from the home page.
  • Usually written in informal, casual language.
  • Contain entries like a journal or diary.
  • Usually are not written directly in HTML, but online into web pages that create format easily. There is no standard "blogging language".
  • Often categoried by subject headings and fully searchable via keyword.
  • Often about one subject.
  • Usually have a "comments" facility that is used extensively by readers.
  • Not necessarily just self indulgent blather, but increasingly used by corporations and companies as communication tools.
  • Individual entries can be sent via RSS feed.


  • They bypass the traditional sources of information for which libraries are gatekeepers.
  • They are a way of keeping up with our professional issues.
  • The casual language provides an "official" but less formal way of communicating with our users.
  • They can be biased, inaccurate and misleading. Libraries may have a part to play in evaluating blogs as information sources.
  • Even if a blog is created by one person, they provide a hub for other people with the same interests to gather and discuss.
  • They are probably the swiftest channel for information dissemination.
  • They are easy to make, fun and provide a great creative outlet.
If you’d like to have a look at what Australian librarians and libraries are blogging about, check out a few of the blogs on this list of Australian library blogs at

Blogs are as much about the comments and conversations that occur on them, as the posts by the author. Many blogs become "salons" for entire communities who use the comments as mini foums for discussion.

Further Reading

Fun site for the week

Why the fun sites? Wait for week 5.