New tools 11 January 2010

The next blog post about web 2.0 tools will be 11 January 2010.

This gives you the opportunity to catch up, or have a break. Let us know, in the comments, any web 2.0 tools you would like to find out more about.

Ellen and Mylee

Event management

Using lots of web 2.0 tools takes careful scheduling, so you might like to try some of the event management tools which are available.

Doodle allows you to work out when to schedule a meeting.  You set up a doodle, then fill in the available times, you e-mail it to the people you want to meet with.  They fill in their times. A quick glance will then let you know what time the meeting can be held. 

Set up a meeting with doodle and send and invite to

Google calendar 
Google calendar can be accessed using your gmail account.  It works like other online calendars, where you fill in the details of meetings.  It can  be accessed in offline mode as well.

You might like to have a look at the getting started information.

Try it out.  Add as a friend to your calendar and see what we have planned for this week.

Event brite
Eventbrite is a helpful tool for when you want to take bookings for events. You can see an example of it here.
You might want to create a free account and try it out.

There are other tools which are similar like  Eventful and Anyvite

Blog points
Which of these tools did you like the best?

What did you like about them?

Productivity : more ways with rss

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a great tool for keeping up with professional or personal interests. Subscribing to blogs, news sites, and more and having the updates fed to you saves time. Here are some tools that can help make your RSS use more efficient and useful.

Set up alerts.  There may be things which you want to find out about on a regular basis, it could be a subject of interest, or you might want to find out what people are saying about your organisation or town.  You can use Google alerts to have specific searches of interest repeated over and over again.

You can obtain information the topic you wish to monitor and receive by e-mail or rss feed.  Note to receive the alert by rss feed you will have to edit your alter once you have set it up.

Try setting up an alert.

Filter Your RSS
Filtering allows you to focus on those items you are most interested and eliminate a lot of the noise that accumulates in your reader. These services will reduce the number of posts you get based on by tag, keyword, or other parameters you set.
FeedSifter-filters in by keyword

You can have your rss feeds sent to a variety of places
FeedMyInbox--Forward to email
Spoken Text--Text to speech RSS
RSS to Twitter--Send RSS feed to Twitter 

Be More Efficient with RSS
Beyond reading blogs and news, you can use RSS for keeping up on other things:

ReminderFeed--Send reminder messages to your RSS

Share Your Feeds
RSS has become more social. Google Reader lets you recommend or share feeds with others. Another way to share is to publish/print your feeds using a site like Tabbloid.

   1. How have you been using your RSS reader? Do you read it regularly?
   2. How have you organized your feeds? Does that help you keep up?
   3. Which of the above tools did you try?  What did you like about them?

Slideshows, Screencasting and digital story telling

Slideshows like Powerpoint and Keynote presentations have many uses including storytelling, presentations, training, sharing graphs or illustrated information.  Sharing them with an online audience allows people to use them at a convenient time and location without the need to receive large email files.

SlideShare is a presentation sharing website where individuals can upload, share and view presentation files, including PowerPoint, OpenOffice and Keynote presentations and PDF files.  The presentation can be shared (embedded) in a blog or website, it has a URL which can be shared as a link via email and if a transcript is attached it will be indexed by Internet search engines.

SlideShare is also useful for finding presentations and documents on almost any topic. You can search on the site.

Animated slideshows
Slideshare presentations can have sound files, but not animations.  If animations are critical to the effectiveness of your presentation you may need to try an alternative host like Authorstream which supports animation and sound.

There are other websites for sharing presentations, including some that allow you to create presentations online:

AuthorStream , Zoho Show , Google Presentation  and 280 Slides .


Online screencasting 
Online screencasting tools allow you to make a digital recording of your computer screen, often with audio narration.  These can be useful for demonstrating how to use a website, database or an online tool.  Some of these tools include: Preezo, Screentoaster and Screenr .


Digital storytelling can also be interactive, like these Culture Shock stories inspired by visits to museums and galleries.

Create a slideshow or screencast and upload it to one of these sites - perhaps the hours that your library is open with some pictures of what the library looks like, or a guide to searching your library catalogue?


Nings are online communities, they combine elements of blogs, wikis and forums.

Have look at the following nings.
Mosman readers
Museum 3.0
Bibliotheek 2.0
Library 2.0

 Blog prompts
1. What did you like about them?
2. Did you find them useful?

Nings are undergoing slots of changes.  Have a look at this site which showcases some alternatives to Nings.  Which one or ones do you like the most?
Join the library 2.0 ning  You will need to wait while your registration for the ning is approved by an administrator.  You will receive an e-mail when this occurs.

Edit your profile and add an image of yourself to it, and try out the tools.

Remember this is not a course specific ning, it is an ning for people who are discussing information about web 2.0 in libraries around the world.

Join at least two groups on the ning - New South Wales public libraries and at least one other
You might like to try some of the following
    * Leave comments for another member
    * Upload your photos or comment on others.
    * Check out the video others have added to the Ning. Add one of your own or add a comment
    * Start or contribute to a discussion forum
    * Check out the groups on the Ning and consider joining an appropriate one or start your own
    * Add the Ning badge to your blog
    * Add another of the Ning widgets to your blog
 and write about your experiences on your blog.


So now your library has a Flickr account, two blogs, a twitter account and of course your website. How many people have visited you, who is using what tool to find information about you, how are they finding you, where do people come from and how long do they stay when they come and where do they go after you leave? You are using many online tools to reach your many clients but how successfully are you reaching them. 

Without evaluation and usage data it is impossible to judge the effectiveness of these web 2.0 tools and your ability to make good decisions about which tool to use for which audience and for what purpose is limited.

Interestingly, many web 2.0 tools have excellent built in statistics (such as Flickr pro accounts). There are also free web based analysis tools such as Google analytics which are very useful for blog, wiki and website statistics. Many wikis also have useful built in statistics as well, so there is no shortage of data which is available.

Google alerts
Google alerts are a way of seeing what people are saying about your organisation (or you)  The British Library used blog posts (by other people) as part of their evaluation of their exhibition Sacred.   This can be a useful way of seeing how people are talking about your organisation.  You will need to set up a separate alert for each different name or phrase.

You can set up an alert through google alerts and have it sent to your e-mail address or google reader (select the options which suit you best)

Survey monkey
Survey monkey is a web based tool which you can used to construct surveys.  It is both a free and a fee service.

We used survey monkey to help in the evaluation of the learning 2.0 course.  You can read the paper we wrote about it  and the results of the nine month follow up  These papers contain data which we obtained via survey monkey.

Flickr pro
You can obtain statistics on the use of your Flickr account if you have a pro account including views, tags added, favourites, and contacts. For an example of some of the statistics available here is an extract from the Public Library Services

Tweet reach is a way of finding how tags are being used and twitter counter looks at a few statistics for Flickr accounts.

Google analytics
Google analytics is a way of analyzing your website or wiki.  It is being used on ref-ex and you can see some of the data which can be obtained by using it.

Set up a google alert for your organisation or the area where you live.

Feedburner is a way of analyzing the use of your blog. Set up a Feedburner account for your blog.

Sign in using your gmail address and password.
Click claim your feed.

Enter the url for your blog, and select the feed you want to use.

You are given the following instructions

Set up a short survey using surveymonkey or zoomerang

Blog writing prompts
  • Did you find out something you did not know about through your google alert?  If so what?
  • What is your experience of using web 2.0 evaluation tools?

Ellen, Leanne and Mylee


Delicious was one of the tools people were not sure about during the original course. Some really liked the convenience of having access to bookmarks from any computer, anywhere, while others did not see the need. To get even more out of Delicious, try the networking and search features, along with the widgets that make your Delicious account more visible to your readers.

Public Library Services has a delicious account which has links to all the website we send out on the e-mail lists. We are putting all the sites used during the course here as well and they are tagged with nswlearning2.1. We have included a tagroll in this blog post.

You can link your twitter and delicious accounts so that when you see a new bookmark you can choose to tweet about it. You don't have to tweet about every new bookmark you add (unless you really want to).

To link your delicious and twitter accounts sign in to your delicious account, and click on settings

Click on Sharing Share your bookmarks on Twitter

Fill in your Twitter password and username - note only tweet all bookmarks if you really want to tweet about everything you bookmark - otherwise leave it unchecked.  This will allow you to choose what you tweet about.

When you click save you will receive the following message "Success! Your credentials are now saved."

 The next time you save a bookmark you can choose to send it (by selecting Twitter) as a tweet and you can then add in some text.

This is what is looks like in delicious

and on twitter

Search Delicious
There are a variety of ways to search Delicious from your browser address bar.  In these examples substitute your keyword of choice for the generic 'keyword' used in these examples:

To view bookmarks tagged with a specific keyword, type in:

To view bookmarks tagged with two or more keywords, type in:

So for example, if you want to look for sites about rss and productivity, type in:

If you want to narrow the search even further, you can include four terms:

If you are looking for the most popular sites in any category, than simply type in:

So if you are trying to find the most popular sites related to RSS, you would type in:

In the search box, you have the choice of searching your bookmarks (or click on the tag in the sidebar), my bookmarks, or all of delicious. If you want to limit your search to specific tags, then use the prefix “tag:”. An example, “tag:rss”.

If your tag cloud looks like a huge, disorganized mess, bundle the tags into related categories for easy access. To organize your tags into bundles, click on the “Settings” link in the top right-hand corner. From this page, click on “bundle tags” under the tags heading and start creating your own bundles.

Find New Bookmarks
Navigate to (you will need to be logged in to your delicious account for this) where you can subscribe to various tags or specific users. This is an excellent way to discover new sites that you may enjoy. Click “subscribe” at the top of most pages to add any user or any tag to your inbox—you can even use combine tags. Anytime a new post arrives that meets your criteria, it appears in your inbox. Based on the preferences you submit, you will be find new items to check out.

In addition to all that, you can also share your latest bookmarks on your website/blog for all of your readers to enjoy. You do this using Linkrolls and Tagrolls. Linkrolls display your latest bookmarks while tagrolls display all of your tags in a tag cloud.

 Blog prompts
1. Which features of Delicious do you use most--beyond bookmarking?
2. Do you have recommendations or suggestions for using delicious?

Ellen and Mylee


What is twitter?

Twitter is a place where people answer the question, "What are you doing now?" Every time you answer that question in 140 characters or less via the Twitter website, SMS, email, IM, or other Twitter client, it posts to your Twitter account. Posts are publicly viewable on the Twitter time line or can be made viewable just to friends or individuals.

Twitter gives you the chance to publish your thoughts quickly or to tune into the thoughts and information streams of other users from around the world. Twitter posts are ideal for making single points or sharing a single piece of information, like a link, instantly. Twitter is a microblog.  Every time you post a new message, that message is relayed to all of the people in your friends list, published to your personal Twitter home page, and added to the public home page unless you tell it otherwise. Your tweets can also be posted to your blog, or other social networking sites to which you belong.  In addition, Twitter offers the ability to send direct messages to any of those you follow, or who follow you, without their being part of the public Twitter stream.

There is a lot of information about Twitter. Here is an short introduction to what Twitter is and how to use it:

This Common Craft video of Twitter gives a simple explanation

 Libraries and professional organisations using twitter
Lots of professional organisations, libraries and councils are using twitter to keep their clients informed.
Mosman Council
Denver Public Library
New South Wales Reference and Information Services Group

Mylee and Ellen are both using twitter.

Please add a link to your library's twitter account in the comments on this blog.

Also have a look at this blog post by David Lee King about how not to tweet if you are a library and also at his slideshow about Tweet like you mean it!

You can search twitter for subjects of interest or people. Search twitter

You can also make is easier for people to search for information about an event or organisation by using #tags.  For example if you are tweeting about this course use #nswlearning2.1

Search twitter for what is being written about libraries (you may need to try a few different terms) and another subject of interest to you

Write in your blog about what you found, what tweets were the most interesting or relevent?

Visit Twitter and sign up for a free account. Be sure to fill out your profile information so people will know something about you.  Include your blog address if you want to increase traffic to your blog.  Your name and username will be visible to Twitter users, but you can choose to keep your updates (tweets) private or put them on the public time line. Only approved friends will be able to see tweets for protected or private accounts. Since Twitter works best if you have a group of friends, colleagues, or family on Twitter with you, Twitter gives you the opportunity to invite friends to Twitter via email.

2. Try a few tweets. It's not as easy as it sounds to keep your messages to the short 140 character limit and still get your message across. Think of it as a challenge, like making a word with the letters you're given in Scrabble.
3 Find some people to follow.
4. If you are tweeting about the course include the following tag in your tweet #nswlearning2.1
5.  If you have set up a Flickr account in the learning 2.0 course you can link it to your twitter account (as well as your blog).  There are instructions how to set this up.

 Blog Prompts
 1.  Blog about the experience and be sure to post your Twitter username there so others can see it and follow you.  You might even like to share your twitter name in a comment at the end of this post.
  2.   Did you like micro-blogging? Do you love it, hate it or not sure? Explain.
  3.   How else could libraries use Twitter?

Ellen and Mylee

Refreshing your blog and the blogger toolkit

It might be time to give your learning diary blog a new look, particularly if you have not visited it since completing the learning 2.0 course. If you used Blogger, as most people did, you can find many ready-made templates that will give your blog a new look. You can go sophisticated, sedate, colorful, or wild.

Before you begin please complete our quick self assessment check list. We will ask you to complete the self assessment again at the end so we can measure our progress as a group.

When you complete each week, write a blog post that discusses your experience—good, bad, or other—on that tool. You can offer your opinions on how you might use it in your library. You don’t need to write a lot about each tool, but be thoughtful and reflective.

In the original course, the pit crew at the State Library of New South Wales tried to read and comment on all of the blogs.  We know that feedback is important - you told us this in your evaluation of the first course. We strongly encourage you to read others blogs and comment on them. Interacting with others via their blogs is a way to strengthen this learning community and meet others like you.

Here is an interesting SlideShare presentation to remind you of why people blog is it called The 25 Basic Styles of Blogging ... And When To Use Each

If you are new to this course, you can learn how to set up a blog by following the instructions in week 2 of the New South Wales public library learning 2.0 course.

1. Find a new look for your blog. Once you have logged on to Blogger, click the Layout tab. From here you can choose a new template and/or change the fonts and colors of your old or new template.
 2. Take a look at Page Elements. Blogger has added new Gadgets (called widgets on other sites) since we started the first course.
 3. Update the information on your profile. From the Dashboard click Edit Profile and edit, or add to the information. You don’t have to reveal all there is to know about you.
 4. Consider your display name (Under Identity on Edit Profile page). Best practices indicate that in a learning community such as this one, knowing who the participants are contributes to the cohesiveness and collegiality of the community. You don’t have to put in your entire real name you can still remain anonymous.

Now you are ready to start posting.

Whenever you complete a week, write a post commenting on your experience with the tools you learned about and used. Read and comment on each others blogs, too.  Everyone likes feedback.

Each of your posts should provide insights into what you’ve discovered and learned. Share what worked for you, what didn’t, what you’ve shared with your colleagues, any surprises, frustrations, and eureka moments. We will offer some blog prompts to get you thinking, but don’t feel limited by those.

Prompts for your first blog post for this course
1. How much have you blogged since you finished the original course?
2. What do you like about blogging?
3. Have you found other blogs to read?
4. Do you comment on others' blogs?

Adventure  (optional)
You can really change the look of your blog using third party sites that have developed Blogger templates. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of these from the silly to the sophisticated. Some sites might require free registration to download the templates:

    * Pyzam templates

Be sure to blog about your experience rejuvenating your blog.

Ellen and Mylee

Learning 2.1 : the journey continues

Since the NSW public libraries learning 2.0 course was launched in February 2008 we have seen:
  • new web tools gain popularity (eg. Twitter)
  • libraries across the state using the technologies to deliver services, communicate with clients, access professional development, communicate with colleagues
  • a number of library roles advertised requiring these skills
  • high quality professional development resources built on web 2.0 tools (eg. Reference Excellence)
Many NSW public library staff have asked for more information about new social media (web 2.0) tools and in response we have developed Learning 2.1 -  Public libraries and new technologies

Like the first course, participation is voluntary and self paced and we hope that public library staff across NSW will find the topics useful.

Together we will explore new technologies considering how public libraries can use these in their work.

There will be a section to 'explore' where you find out about the technology, and an optional 'adventure' where you can go on an adventure with the technology.

We will have a short survey at the beginning and the end of the course, just like last time.

The first topic will encourage you to restart your learning diary blog from the previous course - but this is optional. This is a self paced course with no assessments, incentives or certificates, but we invite you to comment on the topic and suggest that you record your learning on your blog.

Contact Ellen or Mylee (use if you have any questions.