All 18 entries tagged Web 2-0

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November 02, 2007

Pros and cons of using Web 2.0 services external to the institution

Writing about web page

Of interest to HE IT use policy makers, this paper by the Web 2.0 Initiative of the Information Services at the University of Edinburgh provides useful elements of reflection about the potential benefits, risks and current areas of concern with the use of external Web 2.0 services: Draft Guidelines for Using External Web 2.0 Services

October 11, 2007

What is Facebook used for?

Writing about web page

An interesting post on someone else’s blog pointing out which aspects of Facebook are actually being used. Lots of browsing of pictures, plenty of visits to join or visit groups, but relatively little time on the Marketplace or the Group discussion boards. So that explains why my advert for free library resources has had so little attention, and why our geeky group discussion boards only involve the usual suspects. It also supports my suspicion that people are joining groups to add to their profile like wearing a badge, and worrying very little thereafter about what it actually says about them…

October 10, 2007

Tagging vs structured metadata

Writing about web page,1,Slide 1

Who needs metadata anyway? Can’t we all just use tags? Aren’t they better at describing content with words that our users will want to use to find that content? Metadata is just for browsing to find content and who really browses?

Just playing devil’s advocate! There is some interesting investigation into these types of issues in the presentation I’ve linked to which discusses metadata from a very knowledgeable standpoint, and I find that very refreshing.

Interesting use of a account

Writing about web page

I like the idea of creating a account to create a tag cloud relating to a particular collection of web documents… as described in this blog. It is a way of helping to keep the number of tags in check. I believe that my account needs weeding because there are too many tags on too many different topics. The Institutional repository ones will gradually be moved over to Blue Dot anyway, but perhaps there are other ways I could consider using

I set up a eurekster swicki a while ago on copyright, and that has a handy tag cloud that grows as others use it. I wonder whether a themed tag cloud would be able to achieve the same functions as a swicki?

October 09, 2007

tag gardening!

Follow-up to Tagging tips from Innovating Research!

Well, I’ve been seconded again, this time to the post of E-repositories Manager. There’s been a lot for me to do, hence no time to contribute to the blog properly for a while.

I’m working on a JISC funded project called the Warwick Research Archive Project (WRAP) and our JISC programme co-ordinator has suggested that we all use Blue Dot to share web sites of interest. This is no problem because I already have a Blue Dot account since my Web 2.0 investigations, but I had abandoned it as not as good as

Blue Dot doesn’t seem to remember when I have previously tagged a page already, which does, and which is handy if I try to tag the same page twice, and also if I find I want to say something else about a page I have previously tagged quickly but not really annotated. Also the browser tools from work better for me than the Blue dot ones, largely because Blue Dot tools disappear from the toolbar on new tabs in IE 7.

However, our JISC programme manager likes Blue Dot because of the facility to comment on each others’ tags, and I have made friends with other JISC project managers on Blue Dot and subscribed to a feed of all my Blue Dot friends’ tags on my Bloglines account, so it won’t be too much work to maintain both. In fact, it gives me a chance to try to get my repository tags working properly in Blue Dot because my tags are in a bit of a mess…

Anyway, there has been some talk about folksonomies versus controlled vocabularies on the JISC repositories list and someone pointed to this blog posting which proposes the concept of tag gardening, which I really rather like!

August 03, 2007

Tagging tips

Writing about Simple advice on keyword tagging and tagsonomies from Transversality - Robert O'Toole

These are my thoughts on tagging: I have built on what Robert O’Toole has proposed on his blog (bold text below) & put his tips in priority order. It’s a fairly comprehensive guide and I certainly don’t follow all of these tips, but at least having thought about it properly has been a useful exercise. If I had done this years ago then the contents of this blog, my Sitebuilder web pages and my bookmarks would be far more easy to retrieve.

My own top tip is: Consider how the search engine combines your tags, and how you and others will be able to use them to retrieve what you have tagged. Is there a limit on the number of tags you can specify per search? Can you combine tags with AND as well as OR?

Sitebuilder supports both types of search with the keywords, whilst Warwick blogs only supports OR searching.

The search box searches notes as well as tags, and the default search is an AND search if you use no operators. You can also use OR between keywords, and the minus sign for a NOT search on and they even support XOR: (bacon XOR ham) cheese gets you bacon and cheese, or ham and cheese, but not bacon, ham and cheese.

1. Be systematic, especially with punctuation, spaces, spellings.

E.g. Web_2-0 or Web2.0, etc. Remember that you may come across limitations as to how punctuation can be used in different services where you might use your tags. (The full stop and spaces are particular problems in Warwick blogs.) Also, with regard to plurals: do you mean “folksonomy” or “folksonomies”. The key is to be consistent: e.g., I use “search_engine” to bookmark a single search engine, and “search_engines” to bookmark something about search engines.

Note that some services, like will allow you to edit your tags, allowing you to do a global replacement of all “folksonomy” tags with “folksonomies” if you later decide that you want to use plurals. Other services like Warwick Blogs don’t yet offer this facility. It is best to decide on a rule and stick to it from the beginning to save you time, as even on you don’t want to have to change all your tags over!

Consider how you wish to represent compound tags, e.g. by using an underscore to separate words, or by running the words together and using capital letters: “second_life” or “SecondLife”. This may partly depend on whether the software you are using differentiates capital letters.

2. Maintain a list of your tags. A concept map is a good mechanism for maintaining this list. You could use MindManager to create the list.

Some services provide lists of your tags for you, and you might like to use this to organise the tags and keep a copy elsewhere to refer to when you need it (ie when you tag content). Whilst some services suggest tags for you from your list when you tag content, they don’t always choose the right ones, so having your own copy of the list can be helpful.

A MindManager map of tags would also show hierarchies for you. Some services support hierarchies through bundling of tags that you might find useful, but you should read about how these will be used or treated.

A list or map of tags will also allow you to decide on control terms for synonyms. e.g., you might prefer “information_skills” to “information_literacy” and therefore a list or map will remind you of which is your preferred term. When choosing your preferred terms you might like to look at what tags others are using: try searching by tags to see how they are used.

A similar issue with preferred terms is that of language: will all your tags be in English? Or will you use the native language’s name for places? You may be restricted by the alphabets and characters supported by the tagging software.

3. Think about how you might want to be able to search/aggregate/organise your content, how other people might want to search it and see it organised, and how you want other people to think about your content (especially if you are trying to establish a schematic structure in their minds).

Not all tags are public facing, but if you are adding to a public website or collection, then you should think about other people. Eg “Library” in my own collection means the library where I work. But I should properly say “University of Warwick” as well if my tags are for others to see.

It should go without saying that you should avoid using socially offensive tags.

4. Cooperate – use the same tags that other people use, develop tagsonomies with other people (formally or informally).

E.g. a formal schema of tags in a printed list that you use as a group, or by using the suggested tags that others have used to tag the same resource.

5. Use a combination of very specific and more general tags (for example: e-learning, elab, quizbuilder) – think about your tags as being arranged in a tree structure (specific at the leaves general at the branches).

That is how library subject classification schemes work, and the structured hierarchy helps to overcome problems with homonyms, e.g. “Reading” when coupled with “UK” is likely to be the town, whilst “Reading” when coupled with “literacy” is likely to be the verb. (A capitalisation rule such as only using capital letters for proper nouns might also help with this particular example.)

6. Combine different tags that identify different aspects of the tagged content (for example, use a tag to identify what kind of content it is (essay, review), what it is about (philosophy, Kant).

Most tags describe the content in subject terms. However, you may want to consider other aspects of the content you are tagging, eg that it is a video clip or a sound file, that it is a web page or a blog entry. These features are the kind of thing that a catalogue or metadata record would describe, and you can use tags to describe other features than just content, if that is something that will be useful to you and your community. Begin your tagging schema by thinking about what you will need to describe.

7. Tagging your work with a unique identifier associated with yourself allows you to aggregate your work from wherever it appears (e.g. robert_o-toole in Sitebuilder gets you this result )

August 02, 2007

Copyright swicki

Writing about web page

I’ve just experimented with embedding a UK copyright customised search engine, called a “swicki”, in the left menu part of this blog. It can also be found online directly. I think it works pretty well, and I’m wondering whether a collection of such swickis might be better than adding hundreds of links to my account.

July 24, 2007

More Facebook & Libraries stuff

Writing about web page

The blog posting referenced has an interesting take on Facebook applications and how they get approved, and the comments consider whether libraries should even be on Facebook at all. Personally I don’t think it would do any harm and would love to put a Facebook application that searches our library catalogue onto my profile.

Not sure what is involved with creating such an application but I’d be interested to know how it works out for the libraries that have done it.

July 18, 2007

Web 2.0 and libraries report

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I’ve just finished a report on Web 2.0 technologies in libraries that is now available online. We’re now waiting to see what our library management group make of the recommendations…

July 16, 2007

Librarians on Facebook

Writing about web page

Every day I learn something new about how these social networking technologies can be or are being used in libraries. It definitely still feels like early days, though.

This poll illustrates how even Facebook users are reluctant to contact their librarians through Facebook. I note that the survey was carried out in July this year, but there is no mention of whether any Facebook Librarian application was available for the University of Michigan Library, who carried out the survey. It very telling that most people want to see a librarian face to face, though.

This particular blog posting is a follow up to an earlier one about their experience of using a Facebook flyer and a Facebook marketplace ad to advertise the library home page. The marketplace ad is free, and to my mind it sounds like a better idea than creating a library “profile” on Facebook.

I’m not keen on a library “profile” because I don’t think that people are realistically going to make “friends” with the library, and that is what the profile is supposed to be all about. Using this technology in a way that is so obviously not what it’s supposed to be used for would make us look like embarrassing old people! Besides, the terms and conditions prohibit me from signing up for a library profile as I have to agree that I’m creating a personal account.

So I might investigate the marketplace ad idea, as well as the Librarian application, and a catalogue search application that I am currently in favour of trying out.

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