Caught up in Web 2.0?

Turkish Tiles

Today I was attending and speaking at the UK Serials Group seminar, Caught up in Web 2.0? I thought the intricate pattern of the Iznik tiles illustrated the complexity of web 2.0 nicely! The event was attended by publishers and to a lesser degree librarians and was chaired by Karen Blakeman, who I heard speak at the LIS Show back in April. The event kicked off with a talk by Leigh Dodds from Ingenta, who talked about the threads of Web 2.0, giving us a good introduction to the day and setting the scene.

We then had a great talk from Paul Williams the Library Systems Manager at University of Worcester about initiatives they have launched including the use of blogging and Instant Messaging. This is a great example for the literature review and I’ll be adding details of the various blogs that Worcester maintain, including the blog aimed at students: ILS Matters. Paul also showed us Update which is managed by the subject liaison teams in place of a traditional newsletter for staff and researchers. Blogs are also used for internal communication by the enquiry desk staff and issue desk staff and startpages have been set up in Netvibes and PageFlakes to ensure staff find and use these resources.

Immediately before lunch Mike Ellis, now of Eduserv, but formerly from the National Museum of Science and Industry spoke about web 2.0 developments. Users are the most important thing when it comes to your website he told us, so user testing and feedback is essential and technologies become truly embedded when they disappear. David Smith from CABI showed us a variety of web 2.0 tools that have been developed for scholarly communication. Some of these tools like Citizendium or Ask Dr Wiki are unlikely to threaten the publishing community, but something like the Encyclopedia of Life might. David went on to look at a web 2.0 development hosted by a publisher, ScienceBlogs, which shows there might be a suitable business model. Overall he concluded that if you rely on your community for content (which publishers clearly do) then be nice to them and he finished with a quote from Bruce Sterling that ‘…everything is plentiful except attention.’
Richard Wallis from Talis was also speaking at this event (he and I both spoke back in April at the CPD25 Event). He once again gave a fascinating insight into library 2.0 developments. Finally Andy Powell from Eduserv gave us a great overview of Second Life at the end of the day, which was fascinating and cut through the hype. Eduserv put out a call for projects in the area of virtual worlds and had 92 bids submitted when they could select only 3 projects! Andy gave us an illustrated overview of how SL works, how you join and create an avatar. He then looked a little at what some people are doing in SL. Sadly the live demo wasn’t possible but lots of screenshots helped! He also mentioned some of the findings from John Kirriemuir’s study of how the HE community is using SL – for example 15 institutions are building an institutional presence in SL and there is also a strong library community.

Overall there was much food for thought at today’s event and the interesting mix of publishers and librarians made for some useful discussions. Following my talk we discussed the idea of agreeing on a tag to help pull together resources from an event such as today’s. My resources are available in del.icio.us. My colleague Clive from the Library also attended today’s event and I hope he (and others!) might add some comments as I was pushing my blog once more!

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3 thoughts on “Caught up in Web 2.0?

  1. Many thanks for your inspirational talk yesterday; I have added your blog to my favourites and will follow the developments of your project with interest. We are currently exploring the possibilities of adding Web 2.0 features to our Specialist Library for Surgery, Theatres and Anaesthesia (http://www.library.nhs.uk/theatres/) and your experiences are very valuable. Thanks again.

  2. I very much enjoyed your talk on Thursday at the UKSG seminar – and intend to watch the results of your research project on social software in libraries with interest.

    This whole area of Web 2.0 and how users interact with content is fascinating, I’ve already joined a couple of library related groups on Facebook, maybe you should set up a LASSIE related group on there?

    Thanks, Helen

  3. Thanks Jane, next time we both go to the same event maybe I won’t write as many notes myself!! An excellent overview of the day and it was an excellent day.

    One of the common themes with Web2.0 that is growing in our awareness is to ‘go where the users are’. And this can be good but we need to be focused and push the right services to them, not using the technology just because it’s there. Leigh Dodds at the beginning told us not merely to survey our users but to watch how the users are using the tools and use this information to improve our services.

    I can now see that there might be uses for things like delicious, facebook, blogs and wikis that I hadn’t really considered in my Library context. I was even inspired to create a Second Life avatar but not sure what we would use SL for in the Library at the moment. However, I am looking forward to exploring some of these tools further over the next few months.

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