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Social Networking Links

A brief tour of the Social Web services being used by and experimented with at the Nebraska Library Commission.



The NCompass Blog

NCompass BlogThe NCompass blog is the centerpiece of our Social Web presence. On it we share Commission news, news of issues relevant to our users both in Nebraska and beyond, photos from and of Nebraska libraries, and announcements of new podcast episodes, among many other things. Through the use of RSS, our users can easily subscribe to the blog and receive all of the postings quickly and efficiently.

Christa and Michael also have blogs that you may be interested in reading.


Delicious

NLC's reference resources on del.icio.us Delicious is a social bookmarking service. So, instead of setting a bookmark in your browser (which locks those resources to that software on that computer), placing them into Delicious allows you to access them from anywhere. Additionally you can tag and group bookmarks, see others that have also bookmarked the same resources, and subscribe (via RSS) to the bookmarks of other users and those with particular tags. The Commission's reference department uses Delicious to share their resources.

Michael has been using Delicious for quite a while to bookmark his presentation- and workshop-related resources. Christa uses the tag ncompasslive in the Commission's account to track resources mentioned during our weekly NCompass Live sessions.


Facebook

NLC on FacebookThe Commission has a Facebook page for users to learn more about us. In addition, we have pages for the Nebraska Librarians Learning Together project (posts and updates reflecting Nebraska librarians' and scholarship students' efforts to network and discuss library-related topics,) Nebraska Learns 2.0 (our online learning program,) and NCompass Live (our weekly webinar.)

Several of our staff (Beth, Christa, Michael, and Susan) also have their own presences there.


Flickr

"Flickr is a website that allows users to upload, organize, store, search, and share photos. Flickr fosters interaction between users by allowing them to mark each other as contacts, comment on each other's photos, and add tags to each other's photos. The Commission and several of its employees use Flickr to post photos from events, their travels, and screenshots for presentations and the Web site. (For example, all of the screenshots on this page are being hosted on Flickr.)

Most of the Technology Access & Services staff (Christa, Michael, and Susan) have personal Flickr accounts that you may be interesting in following.


Google +

Google+ is Google's entry in the the Social Networking world and it intended to be a hub for many of Google services related to having a Google account. Most specifically, to comment on a YouTube video, you must first have a Google+ account. Google+ also differs from many other social networks with their concept of "circles"; the ability to sort your followers into different groups, and then share content only with the groups of your choosing.

Michael does have an active Google+ presence if you're interested in following him there.

The Internet Archive

"The Internet Archive, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public."

With the commission's increased use of video and the higher-quality video's we're creating the files are getting rather large. The Internet Archive allows us to upload video files of up to 10GB and then automatically creates lower-bandwidth versions for us.


Mashups

Library Data Services Mashup Mashups have many definitions but in this case a mashup is "a Web application that combines data or functionality from one or more sources into a single integrated application." So far, the Commission has created one mashup of note: Library Data Services. This mashup is an interactive, thematic map of public libraries in Nebraska is shown below. Clicking on a map marker will bring up an "info bubble" containing statistical data from each library. Data is based on the latest Nebraska Public Library Statistical Survey.


Podcasts

NLC PodcastPodcasting is a method of distributing audio and/or video programming via RSS. Through podcasting, users can subscribe to our programming and then automatically receive new content soon after it's published. At this time, the Commission offers two different audio podcasts: Interchange (the bimonthly newsletter of the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service), and the NCompass Live Podcast which you can subscribe to directly or via iTunes (live staff presentations).

Michael and Christa have also been know to make appearances on the T is for Training podcast.

RSS Feeds

RSS allows us to quickly and easily distribute information to our users and for them to read that information on their schedule. Currently we offer feeds for our blog, Commission announcements, and audio content. When a user subscribes to a feed, they no longer need to come back to the site to constantly check for new information. We publish it, and they receive a copy, typically within the hour. They can then read the content at their convenience and act on that information appropriately.


SlideShare

SlideShare allows us to upload our PowerPoint presentations to a central location from which our users can then link to our presentations. Although this can be done by uploading them to our own server (which we also do for archiving purposes), with SlideShare users can also view our presentations on the site, embed them into their sites, leave comments, and subscribe to our presentations. SlideShare also supports tagging and contacts within the system. Think of it as a YouTube or Flickr for PowerPoint. To print a copy of a slideshow you'll first need to download it to your computer which we allow, though other's don't. In order to be able to download a show, you will need to create your own free SlideShare account.


Tumblr

Tumblr is known as a micro-blogging platform. This means that it's similar to a blog in which authors post content and others can comment, but in Tumblr's case, most of the content is not "original" content by the account's owner, but content such as links and images posted from the rest of the Web or other tumblr accounts. The Commission's account is mainly used to post content from our blog.


Twitter

Twitter is a communications that's been around since the fall of 2006. The original concept is to answer the question "what are you doing now?" in 140 characters or less. Users can post their answer to the question and then subscribe to the posts of others. Users can both post and read through the Twitter Web site, desktop clients, IM and SMS. The Commission's reference desk staff are using Twitter as a marketing device by posting questions that are being asked of the reference staff. This shows readers the depth and breadth of questions that the library is answering every day. Additionally, the Commission offers two other Twitter accounts, one for library news and one for tech news.

Several of the Commission staff have their own Twitter accounts: Christa, Michael, and Susan.


Wikis

The Commission has set up several wikis, both internal and external using ScrewTurn Wiki. For example, the Network Services department use their wiki to track and coordinate procedures, training locations, travel tips, passwords, conferences, and weekly meeting minutes. Our one publically accessible wiki is the Book Club Kits Sharing Wiki. All changes to all documents are automatically stored and tracked so users can see how documents have changed over time. Through RSS users can automatically be notified of any document changes, and page editing/creation is both fast and simple. Both reading and editing access is controlled by a password (i.e. you can make it open for anyone to read but passworded for editing, or passworded for both reading and editing). For those looking for an external, free wiki service we recommend PBWorks.


WorldCat.org

List on WorldCat.org WorldCat.org is a destination Web site for public searching of OCLC's WorldCat database. Account holders can contribute content to the service in the form of tags, notes, tables of content, reviews and ratings. Account holders can also build and maintain personalized lists of library-owned items; these lists can be public or private, and public lists can be searched and shared with friends and colleagues via social bookmarking and RSS feeds. The Nebraska Library Commission is using WorldCat.org to create lists of items of interest to librarians, such as the Gaming in Libraries book and article list.


YouTube

YouTube allows us to upload videos of up to ten minutes in length in a social environment. Users can then view, comment on, and subscribe to our videos. Through YouTube's favoriting system, the Commission can point others to videos we think are worthy of their time. Currently the Commission is using YouTube to recruit new librarians to the profession and to share staff presentations.

Christa and Michael have YouTube accounts with some personally created videos and a ton of favorites.



For more information, contact Michael Sauers.