Monday, 28 April 2008

Thing #55 Slideshare

Again, not part of the orginal Learning 23 things, but Slideshare is a great productivity tool, as well as a great way to find and share interesting content. Of course it comes down to the quality of the content. While there are some presentations of questionable merit, there are also some very good and thought provoking presentations on Slide share. For example, see Ross Dawson's The Potential of Enterprise 2.0 at

Thing #17 Wiki sand pit

See comments in Thing # 16.

Thing #16 Wikis

WHAT!?! - This is almost so last century. Wikis on there own are no longer innovative. This said, Wikis are great collaborative tools and personally I prefer to capture content in a Wiki than in a blog. I am constantly fascinated as to the breadth, scope and overall accuracy of Wikipedia. It is on of the great information innovations of the last few years.

Wikis seem much better for information that has a longer life cycle or where it is important to capture point in time changes. Blogs on the other hand seem to work best when capturing discussions and ruminations. However, many of the Wiki wysiwyg editors leave a lot to be desired so an understanding of html remains a good skill to have. I guess it is a bit like cars in that having a basic understanding of motor mechanics is handy skill but not an essential skill when driving a car. Then again considering how some people drive I might have to contradict myself.

There are some very interesting Web 3.0 and Semantic Web projects which are using wikis. See the Tetherless World Wiki and the wikis for details.

Thing# 15 On Library 2.0 & Web 2.0

The introduction of the printing press had a HUGE impact on humans. In the west it is seen as one of the main drivers behind the rise of: humanism and individualism; the Reformation and Counter Reformation; and the modern nation state. It also played a role in the developments in warfare, healthcare, literature, business and finance. This was because the printing press allowed more and more people to share and capture ideas. Without the printing press 20th century libraries with “just in case collections” would not exist. Web 2.0 applications have the potential to blow this out even further. Irrespective of whether libraries understand or agree or disagree with social networking, it is here to stay and its impact is being felt NOW.

As noted in the recent VALA meeting on “Facebooking your library”, irrespective of which social networking applications are in the ascendency (and this change with dizzying frequency) we HAVE TO BE IN THIS SPACE. Ignore it at your peril!

What does this mean to a library profession where librarians are being left behind or do not see the point? From what I hear on the street, quite a high percentage of librarians starting Learning 23 things do not complete it, and say they do not see the point. Yet it is through the use of social networking applications that we can engage with, and be relevant to digital natives. Why, because this is what they are using to communicate as well as create and share content. This is not instead of the book and linear narratives (well at least I hope not) rather this is in parallel with traditional collections and library services.

Moving well and truly beyond Learning 23 things - integrating blog applications

As of 28 April 2008 there are 343 Facebook blog applications. This includes applications such as Flog Blog (which I along with and 666 daily active users use) and Blog It with 424 daily active users, and My Blogs from Space Program with 207 daily active users. According to the Facebook flog application page Flog:

• Your Flog can be synchronized to your Blog automatically, regardless of your blogging platform.
• Flogroll: Browse the Flogosphere. Read recent posts, or peruse at random! Enjoy great content from other Floggers
• News Feed Integration: Your friends are alerted whenever you post new content to your blog!
• Customization: Choose how your posts are displayed, down to the number of characters
• Friends' Flogs: The fastest and easiest way to stay up-to-date with your friends' latest posts.
• Supports Facebook Pages: You can add Flog to your Facebook page.

In addition to Flog there is also:

• Video Blog from Viddyou Inc. which has 52 daily active users. Video Blog allows you to share your personal videos with friends.
• Blog Networks from Ninua, Inc. This is a personal blogroll on Facebook that currently has 194 daily active users.

I am going to have to look into the MyBlogs application. What all this shows is how far everything has moved forward since Learning 23 things was first set up.