Social Networking Links
A brief tour of the Web 2.0 services being used by and experimented with at the Nebraska Library Commission.
The NCompass blog is the centerpiece of our 2.0 technologies. 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.
blip.tv is video sharing service similar to the more familiar YouTube. However, blip.tv
allows for larger and longer videos to be uploaded. We generally post our videos
to blip.tv when for one reason or another YouTube doesn't work.
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 has begun experimenting with
Delicious to store and share their resources.
Michael has been using Delicious for quite a while to bookmark his
presentation- and workshop-related resources. Christa uses the tag
the Commission's account to track resources mentioned during our weekly
sessions. Susan also has a Delicious account for tracking her bookmarks.
Facebook is MySpace all grown up. The design is a lot cleaner, the interface is smoother, and its open API
allows developers to extend what Facebook can do. The Commission has a Facebook page
for users to learn more about us. In addition, we have pages for the Nebraska Librarians Learning Together project,
Nebraska Learns 2.0 and
Several of our staff (Beth,
Christa, Michael, and Susan)
also have their own presences there.
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
Most of the Network Services staff (Christa, Michael, and Susan) have personal Flickr accounts that you may be interesting in perusing.
IM is the way that many younger people communicate today. Beyond the general convenience that IM offers,
if the library wants to be where our younger users are, IM is a great way to do that. At this time, the Commission
is offering two different IM accounts through which our users can contact different resources:
"asknelibcom" (for reference questions) and
"nebraskaccess" (for questions about the NebraskAccess databases).
In most cases these resources are available on a number of IM platforms including AIM, MSN Messenger, Yahoo!Messenger,
and GTalk. THose without an IM client of their own can use the one embedded right in our
Ask a Librarian page.
Many of the Commission staff have individual IM accounts on a variety of services and will be happy to share their usernames on request.
"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.
With more than 36 million books currently in its database, LibraryThing is the social site for people who love books. With this service you can not only catalog your book collection but also "meet the world's largest book club, find people with eerily similar tastes, catalog with Amazon, the Library of Congress or
690 other world libraries, import from anywhere, get recommendations. Tag your books and explore others' tags, and put your books on your blog." The Commission started its account in August 2007 by importing its books with ISBNs back to
January 2006. New acquisitions are added frequently.
Both Christa and Michael also have personal accounts if you're interested in the books they own.
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 the2006-2007 Nebraska Public Library Statistical Survey.
Podcasting 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 (live staff presentations).
Michael and Christa have also been know to make appearances on the
T is for Training
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 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
Twitter is a micro-blogging application 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.
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
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
Libraries book and article list.
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.