Thursday – Social Bookmarking/Networking

We will be talking about social bookmarking and networking during Wednesdays class. Before diving into these topics we will have a guest speak from the Information Commons Chanitra Bishop. Chanitra has graciously offered to talk about how technology is being used in the Information Commons. After getting an oppurtunity to ask questions we we begin taking a look at social bookmarking websites. After discussing briefly their features and looking at library examples we will start working on the social bookmarking assignment, which is due on Tuesday, May 26.

With having so many social bookmarking websites to look at you will be randomly assigned one to look at from the following:

The social networkorking portion of the class we will be discussing how libraries are using these tools and look at some examples. After briefly discussing stoical networking we will split up into three different groups. Each group will create a social networking group for the class on one of the following web sites: facebook, ning, or myspace.

Tuesday's Class- Electronic Reference Desk

Tuesday in class we will be talking about the electronic reference desk and how it has changed over the course of the past few years and discuss where it is headed. The reference desk has changed in many ways and we are going to explore the variety of different forms of electronic communication that can be used to answer a reference question from people around the world. Virtual Reference can be broken down into several components, but can be referred to as Anytime, Anywhere, Answers or AAA.

In class we are going explore what things are important when providing virtual reference and how it is both similar and different from face-to-face reference questions. It is one thing to talk about the reference process and another to engage in virtual reference. Therefore we will be exploring the following methods of electronic communication:

Accounts have already been created for yahoo messenger, meebo, and zoho and they will be given out during class on Tuesday. In order to use meebo and zoho we will need log into the applications and create a chat widget. After creating a widget we will then copy and past the html code into a web page that will be made available on the web.

meebo instructions

  • log into meebo
  • select preferences –> meebo me widgets
  • select “add a new widget” from the new dialog box that opens
  • enter a name for your widget
  • copy and past “widget embed text” into a web page

Meebo online example:

zoho instructions

  • from zoho homepage select zoho chag
  • sign in using the yahoo username and password that was created for class
  • after loggin in select the “live chat”
  • enter a name and title then selet “Generate Code For Embed Chad”
  • copy and past code into your web page

Zoho Widget online example:

Here is the HTML code that you can copy and past into a text editor

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN” “”>

<html xmlns=””>


<meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html; charset=UTF-8″ />

<title>Meebo Chat Widget Example</title>



<h3>Meebo Chat Widget Example</h3>

<!– Below This Comment You Will Want to Past the HTML code you copied from either meebo or zoho -!->



RSS Feeds and Blogs

Yesterday was a busy day in class where we explored both RSS Feeds and Blogs.  The two items are synomous with each other.  When creating the RSS Feed we took an example RSS Feed and edited to point to a resume or another online doucment.  RSS stands for Really Simple Syndictaion and it comes in two flavours RSS 2.0 and RSS 1.0.  Atom is a third standard to create a feed.

Here is the samle RSS Feed that we used yesterday evening to edit:

<?xml version=”1.0″ ?>
<rss version=”2.0″ xmlns:atom=””>
<atom:link href=”” rel=”self” type=”application/rss+xml” />
<title>Patrick Patterson</title>
<description>My personal website</description>
<description>Patricks Resume</description>


The feed is located at

Inside the item tags in the name of a story that is made up of the feed.  When looking at the feed in conjunction with a Blog the link and title that appears just below the channel element would be the name of the blog.  The item relates to each post that you make to your blog.
Blogs can be used by one individual or several other people.  A blog is essentially a Content Management System (CMS) consisting of three main components.  The components are:

  • Database – the database is the back end where all of the information is stored.
  • Programming Language – is considered to be the middle layer that interacts between the interface and the database
  • Interface – it is what we use to set up and configure the appearance of the blog

In class we used a self hosted Word Press blog as a group in which people were given different roles.  Word Press consists of the following roles:

  • Admin
  • Editor
  • Author
  • Subscriber
  • Contributor

Most CMS systems that I have used have some system of roles that determine what access you may or may not have within the system.

Library Assignment

Here is a listing of the libraries that we are interested in finding more about. Some people are not sure about the library at the moment.

Library Assignment
Name Type Library/Organization
Amanda special/academic IUPUI Medical or Main Library Notre Dame
Apple Special Library Bankok, Visually impaired
Ben public/academic Salt Lake City or Utah State
Deborah special Fleet Library, School of Design, Rhode Island
Heidi Academic Education Library
John academic Colorado College
Kristina public Southfield Public Library

Blogging Software examples

There are many different types of blogging software packages that have been created over the past few years. Most software will fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Hosted software – by far the most basic and easy to create because you do not have to worry about anything, but creating an account.  It is similar to creating a free e-mail account where you enter a few pieces of information such as name and e-mail address.
  2. Open source software – most blogs will fall into this category where you can download the software and install in on a web server that you have access too.

Most software is free to use; However, if you are interested in having more control or features many of the hosted software allows you to upgrade your account for a fee.

Here is just a short list of blog software that is hosted and available for free:

  • Live Journal
  • Blogger
  • Word Press – has both a free hosted service and a version that can be downloaded and installed on a web server
  • Opera
  • Typepad –  a paid  hosted subscription that allows for a 14 day trial

There are plenty of different blogging software packages to choose from and my no means this list is an endorsment.  Please consult the Create A Blog web page at Stanford University for some more information about blogs.