Cultural Heritage

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Archive for the 'Web 2.0' Category

The Benefits of Using Web 2.0 Tools in Your Archive

Posted by guestblogger on 23rd August 2010

About this guest post

Kiara King is the Archivist for the Ballast Trust, a charitable foundation that provides a rescue, sorting and cataloguing service for business archives with an emphasis on technical records such as plans, drawings and photographs. She can be contacted at:

The benefits of using Web 2.0 tools in your archive

In my last guest post I talked about some of the ways you can use web 2.0 tools to share your collections, communicate differently and find a wider audience for the resources you have developed. In this post I’m going to expand on the potential benefits gained by using web 2.0 tools to do this and my own experience of using web 2.0 tools at work.


Engaging with web 2.0 offers many benefits but the main one is that it gives you multiple ways to get the message about your archive and collections out to lots and lots of people. Considering that 70% of UK households have the Internet (Office for National Statistics), there is the potential to reach a much wider audience by using these tools and maximising your online presence. Some of the benefits this approach can result in are:
• Increased awareness of collections among existing and new users
• Diversification of users
• New opportunities for collaborative working
• The ability to capture additional information about collections
• Varied access points to your collections
These all sound like good things but what do they really mean for an archive?

Share your collections – open them up using flickr, wikis, youtube

Putting content from your collections on other websites allows you to push that content to users through sites that they are already using. You can also take a “shop window” approach and showcase a limited number of items through these avenues and then direct people back to your main site if you prefer.

Sharing content will increase awareness and help reach different users but it can also give back by providing new information and content for your collections. The Great War Archive project used flickr as one way to gather digitised items from the public. Although the project is now finished, the flickr group continues to receive contributions and now has 2,423 images from nearly 300 members.

screenshot Great War flickr group

Screenshot of Great War flickr group page

Web 2.0 tools can also enable an archive to allow additions to existing content to be made with ease. Images in flickr can be tagged with user subject terms, youtube videos can receive comments and a wiki version of your catalogue can be edited and added to while preserving the original. By allowing the user to participate in the descriptive process, archivists can obtain detailed and informed descriptions of their collections that they themselves would not have the knowledge or time to produce. The National Archives have developed a wiki version of their catalogue called Your Archives which allows users to contribute their knowledge of archival sources to the site by adding to the catalogue and research guides or submitting transcriptions of documents.

The benefits of sharing collections via other websites are:
• Various online profiles for your archive – allowing you to tailor content for different audiences.
• Multiple ways to access your content – lets you bring content to the user.
• Increased awareness of the collections – raises the profile of collections.
• Capture of user knowledge – allows you to improve and enhance your finding aids.
• Engaged users – can provide mew content for collections and further information about them with ease

Communicate differently – by blogging

Blogging and/or tweeting provides a regular, informal way to communicate news and information about your archive service, its collections and events. The popularity of smartphones with 11 million users in the UK (comScore study means that more people are accessing web content on the move which gives this form of communication even greater impact and immediacy than traditional ‘news’ pages.

image of blog software and twitter logos

Blog software and twitter logos

The benefits of using these methods of communication are that they allow for engagement with what you do by allowing people to comment and reply to information you post, this can generate conversations between the archive and its users.

Different communication channels give you:
• Regular contact with a different audience – you can reach different people with an immediacy that traditional news sections on a website don’t have.
• Improved understanding about ‘what you do’ – by blogging about the day to day aspects of being an archivist.
• The ability to react quickly to current media topics and connect with them – make your content relevant by picking up on news items and anniversaries.
• Engagement by providing users with a way to give you feedback – people can comment on blog posts, reply to or retweet your tweets.

Share your resources – reach a global audience with podcasts

Giving talks to family and/or local history groups, schools or within your organisation about the archive and its collections is a great way to promote your archive and raise awareness of the collections. If you have taken the time to prepare a talk or presentation, wouldn’t it be great to reach as wide an audience as possible? By recording your talks and making them available online you can. This also allows you to build a resource up of past talks that users can access when they wish.

image of podcast logo

Podcast logo

The National Archives has a very successful and varied podcast series with over 150 episodes. According to podcast alley the TNA series is in the top 10% of podcasts downloaded out of over 85,000 other podcasts and on iTunes, 11 of the 20 bestselling government podcasts are TNA ones.

The benefits of a podcasting are:
• Potential global audience – 19% of the 222 million Americans who use the Internet have downloaded a podcast (Pew Internet Research Centre)
• Better informed users – recorded talks can also be used by visitors before they come to your archive to provide audio guides about certain collections and give basic information about how to use an archive and its resources.
• Flexible access to your resources – users can choose when to listen to your talk.
• Improved listening figures – in a three month period during 2007 TNA podcasts were downloaded 8,000 times.

My experience at the Ballast Trust

I’m the archivist for a small charity called the Ballast Trust which provides a rescue, sorting and cataloguing service for business archives with an emphasis on technical records such as shipbuilding, railway and engineering plans, drawings and photographs. It has been working for over twenty years to help archives understand their technical records and make their collections available for the public.

When I started, the Trust didn’t have a web presence so I created a website and also a blog to provide information about us and our activities. In time we have also joined flickr to allow us to share the small photographic collections that we have with a wider audience.

screenshot Ballast Trust blog

Screenshot of Ballast Trust blog

My experience with these three sites, created at no financial expense using blogger and flickr ( has been a very positive one. Together all three have helped to give the Ballast Trust a higher public profile, create new connections and share what we do with a global audience. The blog consistently gets higher statistics compared to the website, in the first year the website received 554 visits from 20 countries compared to 1,212 visits to the blog from 64 countries. Since we started a year ago; our flickr pages have had nearly 3,000 views, we’ve received comments and information about some pictures and an enquiry about volunteering with us.

For a small organisation this has been a great way to extend our network and put ourselves and what we do out there. It has required only basic technical knowledge and an small investment of my time but nothing else and given us great results to build on.

Examples and experiences from other organisations

Don’t just take my word for it! There are plenty of other archives out there using web 2.0 and seeing the benefits. There is an excellent selection of case studies available on the Interactive Archivist website covering a wide selection of web 2.0 tools, including some of the following:
• Using a blog to market your archive at Northwestern University Archives
• Using podcasts to increase access at the Kansas Historical Society

Lots of archives have a presence on flickr, there are 198 organisations in the ArchivesOnFlickr group and these two reports from early adopters about their flickr pilots are a great resource for more information:
For the Common Good, is the 2008 report on the Library of Congress’ Flickr Pilot Project.
Lessons from the National Library of New Zealand’s Flickr pilot

Posted in archives, Blogs, Guest-blog, Web 2.0 | 1 Comment »

23 Things …

Posted by guestblogger on 9th August 2010

About this Guest Post

Helen Leech is the Virtual Content Manager, for Surrey Library Service. Here she writes about her experience of collaboratively developing a wiki using the 23 Things concept. She can be contacted at or follow her at

23 Things …

Speaking as a public librarian, there’s a sense of delightful anarchy in working together with another authority on a Wiki. So many new technologies are banned to public library staff across the country. We can’t Facebook, because we would waste working time. We can’t freely communicate with staff in other public services, such as the NHS, because we’re all on secure Government Connects networks. We can’t Twitter, because God forbid we should say something out of the corporate line. Every mention of social media is accompanied by the scare stories about copyright infringement, people dissing their boss and getting sacked, illegal file sharing and the spectre of the Digigal Economy Act. We are bound around with restrictions, and anything to do with social networking is treated with the utmost suspicion.

I’m lucky to be working for an authority – Surrey Library Service, part of Surrey County Council – which is realising the worth of Web 2.0 and is loosening up. As a result of this, I’ve been set relatively free to explore and develop new tools, with the aim of improving our customer service, changing the library culture and raising staff awareness (and skills).

23 Things screenshot

Thing 11 of 23 Things

Towards this, I’ve been co-ordinating a project called 23 Things. In 2006, an American librarian, Helene Blowers, realised not only that her staff needed a course which would improve their understanding of the internet and all the stuff that’s grown up around it, but that the tools were freely available to create an online course. Helene had read a blog article about 43 Things, which suggested technologies and websites that people ought to explore to increase their web-savviness. She took some of these, such as blogging and RSS feeds and pod casting, developed each into a module that was light and informative and engaging, put the modules onto a blog (still available at, and asked her staff to work their way through it, offering an iPod as an incentive prize.

The concept was too fabulous to resist. I, along with around 400 other librarians all over the planet, wanted my own version for my own staff!

But why work alone, when we’re all trying to do the same thing? The Society of Chief Librarians (South East) put me in touch with Pat Garrett from Portsmouth public library service, and teams from the two authorities built a wiki (how wonderfully subversive!), populated it with content harvested with kind permission from Devon and Kirklees, who were working on their own versions, and asked other organisations, via the Jiscmail web 2.0 list, if they wouldn’t mind having a look at it and giving us their opinions.

The size of the response was surprising. Staff from 11 public library authorities, 15 FE/HE bodies and two health authorities worked their way through the Things and told us what they thought of them.

So, as I write, we’re into the next phase, and we’re not doing it alone. Four public library authorities – Surrey, Portsmouth, Aberdeen and Suffolk – are now working together, honing the materials in line with the evaluation, creating a “lite” version for those staff who don’t have much time, and planning to roll it out in our authorities come the end of the summer. You can see the work in progress at And, in the spirit of the original, it’s freely available for anybody to use, but beware – it will carry on changing until autumn.

Working together in this way – our four authorities accessing the Wiki, all of us creating stuff and editing each other’s stuff and making it available for anybody at all to use, embodies the spirit of Web 2.0. It’s a practical demonstration of what our users and customers and communities are doing, it’s a good reason for all library staff to learn revolutionary new skills – and in my opinion it’s a convincing argument for our parent bodies to loosen up a bit!

Surrey Libraries links

Follow on Twitter
Visit the photostream on Flickr
Chat about e-books at Surrey on Facebook

Posted in Blogs, Guest-blog, Libraries, Web 2.0, wikis | 1 Comment »

If a Tree Falls in the Forest (pt.2)

Posted by guestblogger on 5th August 2010

If a Tree Falls in the Forest – and other thoughts on Web 2.0 Evaluation (pt. 2)

Linda Berube continues her guest post. (Read Part 1)

Back to the Tree

Given such focused objectives as listed for a virtual book discussion group, there still may be no discernible response from the online public to Facebook book discussion announcements, to library blog posts etc. But a librarian should not necessarily give up hope if met with deafening silence. In my book, DO You Web 2.0?, I discuss the different communication paradigms for Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. For the former, the communication is usually one way; in the case of libraries, the corporate web page is all about communication from library to community (one to many). Sometimes, there is two-way communication, but it is usually one-to-one and asynchronous (email, and email-based such as web forms). With Web 2.0, communication is many to many and in real-time. For libraries, this would mean not only users contributing to the library web page, through comments, tagging, and even content, but also using the library virtual space to communicate to other users.

However, quite a few libraries are using Web 2.0 tools in a Web 1.0 manner: blogs, Facebook, Twitter etc are used to announce events, new books, etc—essentially for one-to-many communication. There is not anything necessarily wrong with this, unless the objective was to change the communication paradigm with users. In other words, if the intention was to create a blog so as to encourage user response, and posts only ever come from librarians, then something has gone wrong in the planning.

Still, if users do not post on a library blog, does this mean the blog has not fulfilled its purpose? About a year ago, I would have answered an unqualified yes. While it is true that a blog is an online diary of sorts and therefore might be considered a satisfying enough solitary experience, broadcasting opinions and activities over the network rather begs an audience and some degree of feedback from that audience. However, in the process of writing the book, reviewing how blogs are used by libraries, intentionally or unintentionally, and talking with a number of librarians, I see it a bit differently. For example, according to Eli Neiburger at Ann Arbor District Library in the US “items featured in blog posts immediately see 100%-400% increases in the number of requests. So we know people are reading the blogs, and we find that almost a third of our event attendees find out about events online in our blogs or listings”. [Footnote] If a library has the statistical software and the staff time and knowledge that can uncover this kind of causal link across services, the resulting analysis may reveal not only public interest, but an impact on other library services based on that interest.

The Results of Twittering Trees Falling

Eli observed that ‘circulation-styled metrics’ upon which libraries have traditionally relied may not be sufficient in the new communication paradigm introduced by Web 2.0. I would agree and disagree. On the one hand, the straightforward counting of repeated activities — circulating books, reserves, inter-library loans — does not accommodate the kind of mining of data required to identify the subtle but real impact or value to communities, the causal links, as demonstrated in the Ann Arbor experience. However, these metrics still have a place, as they do with any service, public or commercial. In an age when the public library penchant for questioning its value in the face of declining numbers all around has reached an even more obsessive pitch than usual, we cannot escape that we are fighting to maintain, if not increase, our numbers, whether they represent physical or virtual activities or visits. The fight for relevance may boil down to a fight for numbers, and while we want to ensure that we are delivering and can measure value, it really won’t matter if it is delivered to a vanishing community.


From email correspondence with author, 29 April 2010. Ann Arbor is an acknowledged leader in the use of Web 2.0 technology in public libraries, with blogs and RSS feeds integrated onto the pages of the corporate library website, a ‘social catalogue’ where users can tag and write reviews, as well as create a personal card catalogue. See

Posted in Evaluation, Guest-blog, Web 2.0 | 2 Comments »

If a Tree Falls in the Forest (pt.1)

Posted by guestblogger on 2nd August 2010

About this Guest Post

Linda Berube is no stranger to using web services to transform public libraries. As a regional manager for e-services and e-procurement, she not only oversaw the distributed interoperability of library management systems, but also created and managed the implementation of a co-operative national virtual reference service, the People’s Network Enquire. She currently coordinates and advises on policy, research, and project work for the Legal Deposit Advisory Panel, a non-departmental government body charged by the UK Secretary of State to make recommendations on regulations for the legal deposit of digital resources. She can be contacted at:

If a Tree Falls in the Forest – and other thoughts on Web 2.0 Evaluation (pt.1)

A few things caught my eye on the way to writing this guest blog for UKOLN:

• The announcement that the Library of Congress will archive Tweets
“Professor of War,” a Vanity Fair article reviewing the career of General David Petraeus, Commander of US Central Command. Of particular relevance was his father’s exhortation, “results, boy, results.”
• A discussion with a US librarian regarding how blogs can be evaluated absent any response posts from members of the public. (Hence, the title of this blog—if someone writes a blog and there is no response to posts, is it being read? Er, or something like that…)

What has any of this to do with evaluating the impact of Web 2.0 in libraries? In a way, they point to the key questions – what, why, and how – of any service development, Web 2.0-based or otherwise, the answers to which should provide the objectives for evaluation, not as a separate activity, but one that is integral to the service from the beginning.

As one who started some years ago to encourage public librarians to look at Web 2.0 services, (for example see my bit of technology forecasting for the Laser Foundation in 2005, On the Road Again), the process of writing a book on the subject (Do You Web 2.0?) afforded me the opportunity to talk with a number of librarians from the UK, US, and Canada, not only about the services themselves, but also their thoughts on impact and how it is evaluated. While I found many excellent examples of Web 2.0 services, I also encountered something called ‘the evaluation by-pass’. I like to refer to this as simply ‘the evaluation pass,’ as in “Evaluation? We took a pass on that for now. It’s early days, after all.” (for more on the evaluation by pass, see Booth, A (2007). “Blogs, wikis, and podcasts: the ‘evaluation by pass’ in action?” Health Information Information and Libraries Journal 24, pp298-302.)

I have had long, heartfelt email exchanges with librarians about how they know they should be evaluating, how they would if they could, how just doing it (Web 2.0) has been satisfactory enough etcetcetc. Reasons often cited as mitigating factors for not evaluating include staff capacity; lack of motivation and/or support on the part of front-line staff or senior management; and simply not knowing what or how to evaluate Web 2.0-based services.

My impression regarding these reasons, and especially this last, is that quite a few librarians have embarked on experimenting with Web 2.0 without a service mindset. So, before we consider how impact might be evaluated, some observations on ‘why’ are in order.

The Twitter Factor

Because the technology is low-to-no cost, quite a few librarians have given into the temptation ‘to experiment’ with Web 2.0, thus setting themselves up for a common enough trap: high expectation meets low return. Librarians might say they don’t have high expectations when they start using these tools, but when blog posts are met with deafening silence, or when no one wants to be a ‘Friend’ or ‘Follower’ or ‘Fan’ of the library’s on a social networking site, such as Twitter or Facebook, it’s hard not to feel rejected and to turn this bitterness against the technology. (“It works for some libraries, just not for ours.”)

I think a great deal of expectation has been cranked up about these tools in general, and librarians have certainly felt the peer pressure. The amount of publicity a service like Twitter gets, especially with regard to the value of its data whether it be commercial or scholarly, compels librarians to think about trying it. And, Twitter seemed to have caught on overnight, growing exponentially, making the quick win of instant attention derived just by signing up within everyone’s grasp. Essentially, all a librarian has to do is set up a Twitter account, put out a few Tweets and the public response will be instantaneous.

Results, Boy, Results

I understand the pressure exerted to try this new technology, and think that a little experimentation is a good thing. But expectations are no substitute for even the most minimal planning that focuses on objectives and outcomes, regardless of whether a library is just experimenting, testing proof of concept, or launching a live service. In various publications about the evaluation process, a common first step is to answer the question “why?”— in other words, knowing the purpose of evaluation will often identify the necessary method for collecting data.

However, “why” should be asked at the very inception of a service, way before it is implemented—why are we doing this? Answers to this question should provide the basis for the service: its objectives, how it will be delivered (technology), and how success will be measured. For evaluation should not start after the service has been up and running for a while, and it should not be reactive (to stave off threats of budget cuts, or awkward questions from senior management etc). The gathering of the required data should start from the first day of implementation and should be ongoing, as a matter of course.

This is just plain good service sense, whether that service is a homework help club, a book group, an online catalogue, or a Facebook page. It is no different for any service using Web 2.0 tools. So many librarians start out in an experimental mode, but I think the secret hope is to stumble upon a crowd-pleaser with little effort. Essentially, they believe that the technology is the point. But, Web 2.0 is no more the point than any other technology—it’s about the service and what that service means to the community served.

And, service development should start with critical success factors against which impact on the community can be measured. With Web 2.0 tools, the confusion of what and how to evaluate arises from the original objectives of the tools, including how users measure success. For social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook, users measure success by counting the 3Fs: ‘followers’ ‘fans’ ‘friends’. In addition, there are activities such as posts, tagging, ‘likes’, ‘retweets’, online games, and any one of a number of ways users indicate that they are reading, are interested, and want to share.

Librarians also evaluate success in terms of numbers: hits or visits on the webpage, registered users, reserves, etc. However, when they come to services like Facebook or Twitter, it is often difficult to translate the social activities and membership into anything of significance to library service (except for those pages that include local or WorldCat search capability, where searches and access can be counted). I have looked at a number of these pages, and frequently the numbers do not equate to anything meaningful, unless it is accepted that small numbers signify lack of a significant network or interest.

So, if numbers are required as a marker of success, which is often the case for public libraries, then the use of blogs, wikis, and especially social networking services must be very focused: not just to encourage participation but to ensure relevance and success. If we accept that it is the service and its support of users going about their business that should be the focus, and not the gratuitous use of technology because it is new, then what we need to identify is the service, the purpose of the service, and what success looks like.

For instance, the library wants to start a reading group for the housebound: a virtual book group sounds like a good idea, and a number of Web 2.0 tools can support this activity. In this case, critical success factors could include:

• everybody in the book club to be signed on as a friend to a Facebook page;
• a calendar of events to be created and sign up to an RSS feed of events to be encouraged;
• one book discussion meeting a month to be held on Facebook;
• an agreed level of participation that is considered successful (maybe based on how many “show up” for book discussions), etc.

Evaluation is this simple, and it is eminently measurable – a thriving book discussion group on Facebook, which opens this library activity up to the housebound and physically challenged. This is what success looks like for our book discussion club, and it can be measured, whether the days are early or late.

Continued in Part 2

Posted in Evaluation, Guest-blog, Web 2.0 | 2 Comments »

The National Library of Wales and Flickr Commons

Posted by guestblogger on 26th July 2010

About this guest blog post

Siân Lloyd Pugh is e-Editor at the National Library of Wales. She is responsible for the Library’s online content, ranging from the Library’s website to all web 2.0 provisions. She also monitors all the Library’s online statistics and trains all online contributors.

Siân can be contacted at

The National Library of Wales and Flickr Commons


The National Library of Wales joined Flickr Commons in April 2009. Originally the Library joined as a pilot, which was a part of the Web 2.0 research undertaken by Dr Paul Bevan, leading to the new NLW web strategy. This has been a highly successful and popular pilot, and the work is now seen as an integral part of the Library’s provision.

The Library sought to join Flickr Commons as a way to open its collections to a wider audience. The Library has a powerful online catalogue that allows users to search and view digital images online, but of course if you don’t know that items exist it’s hard to find them in a catalogue. Flickr Commons therefore was the perfect way to bring these collections to the attention of interested parties, that may not think to visit the National Library of Wales’ website, let alone its catalogue.

National Library of Wales on Flickr screenshot

National Library of Wales on Flickr

Roles and Responsibilities

Early on in the project it was recognised that we needed to clearly define roles and responsibilities in order to ensure the smooth running of the account.

Image Selection

It was decided that the images should be selected and uploaded by a member of staff in the digitisation section, as they are aware which photographic collections have been digitised.

Content monitoring and Interaction

The content monitoring and interaction work was undertaken by the exhibitions interpretation officer. At the time Flickr Commons was seen as a sort of online exhibition space where we could share copyright free photographs from the collection, which is why the moderation and responding to comments work was placed in the exhibitions unit. However, a new member of staff joined the marketing unit at the end of last year, responsible for the day to day running of much of our online web 2.0 provision, and so this work was moved to this post.

It was felt that it was important to keep all day to day running of our web 2.0 provision together, and Flickr Commons is an important part of this. This move means that we can easily highlight new photographs on Twitter or write a comment on Facebook about interest in certain photographs etc. We feel it’s vitally important that we join our web 2.0 presence together, while keeping in mind that all outlets are different and have different audiences and this must be respected in order to fulfil each medium’s potential.

NLW Flickr photostream screenshot

National Library of Wales Flickr photostream

Strategic development

As e-Editor I oversee the day to day running of the account, and I am also responsible for the statistical analysis of the data. I am also the first port of call if any problems arise with comments, questions regarding Flickrmail enquiries etc. Finally, I am responsible for driving the project forward strategically, and ensuring that we continue to fulfil our users’ expectations.

Future Development

As I mentioned, we are continually trying to ensure that we develop our web 2.0 presences, Flickr Commons included. We recently held a meeting to discuss our current Flickr presence, and whether we felt it was worth pursuing, and it was a resounding yes from everyone!

The level of interest we’ve had in the profile has been incredible, something we could never have achieved if the photographs were left in the catalogue and on some NLW microsites alone. Our statistics tend to speak for themselves. 45% of our images have received comments, and 72% have been selected as favourites. These statistics clearly show the value for money the project offers. It costs very little to run the account, but it’s incredibly popular. It also affords us the opportunity to reach users who we could never have hoped to reach otherwise.

1. Engaging with ours users

One area that is very important to us to develop in the future is the interaction between the Library and its users. We want to be a living Library that people can connect with, not a quiet establishment to admire from afar.

Designating a member of staff to moderate (although we haven’t really had any issues with moderation) and interact with users, by responding to comments and accepting request to add images to groups is very important therefore. We hope that as our collection on Flickr Commons grows, that this interaction will also develop. Although it must be recognised that it’s impossible to respond to all comments as we receive so many!

2. Upload API

We currently upload all images by hand, but we are looking at the possibility of developing and API to upload selected images automatically. Although Flickr is very user friendly and easy to use, uploading every image takes time, and developing an API to take images from our catalogue and upload them directly into Flickr will make this work much quicker.

3. A cohesive presence

As the content moderation and interaction work now lies in the promotions unit, we also hope to tie the selected images from the digitisation section much more closely with current exhibitions and events that the Library is involved with. This has a twofold benefit. It makes the images more relevant, and hopefully will entice those users who are in a position to do so, to visit exhibitions. It also brings the work of selecting and uploading images much closer to the work of managing the content then generated, thus giving us a more cohesive presence on Flickr Commons.

Who know what the future holds?

In the long term of course, the possibilities are vast.

Currently only very few of our photographs are geotagged, but this functionality certainly offers some very interesting possibilities for the future. One other aspect that we are baring in mind is crowdsourcing. A few of our users on Flickr Commons add additional tags to our photographs, and the notion of being able to crowdsource these and add them to our online catalogue could be very interesting indeed.

Happy, but keeping one eye on the horizon

But for now, we are content with trying to grow our audience
on Flickr Commons, by continuing to add interesting photographs from our collection, and cross-pollinating through our various online presences.

As I mentioned, our original aim in joining Flickr Commons was just to open our photographic collection to the world, and help people enjoy the treasures that we hold – and judging from the response, I think we can certainly say that Flickr Commons has been a roaring success.

Posted in Guest-blog, Libraries, Web 2.0 | 3 Comments »

Making History

Posted by Brian Kelly on 20th July 2010

Brian Kelly of UKOLN took part in in a programme in the “Making History” strand on Radio 4, broadcast at 15.00 on Tuesday 6 July 2010.

The focus of the programme was the future of museums in the context of cuts in the sector. Brian explained the importance of networked technologies and provided some examples of the benefits of the online environment (e.g. use of Flickr, YouTube, etc.)

The programme is available for a short period as a podcast via the link on the programme Web page, which includes a selection of useful links including one to the Cultural Heritage blog.

Posted in Museums, Web 2.0 | 1 Comment »

Public Library 2.0 – Blogging

Posted by guestblogger on 5th July 2010

About This Guest Post

Sarah Hammond is a cataloguer at the British Library. In this post she writes about the findings of her research into the blogging activities of UK public libraries, carried out as part of her MA in Librarianship. Read more from Sarah on her blog at or contact her at

Public Library 2.0 – Blogging

I began my research into the blogging activities of UK public libraries in Summer 2008 as part of my MA in Librarianship, fully intending to have it completed by the Autumn. As it turned out, I submitted my dissertation in Autumn 2009; I was concerned that the world would have moved on too much in the intervening time for my research to have any relevance now, this proved not to be the case and actually this delay allowed me to take a longer view of public libraries’ engagement with Library 2.0. I’ll share my findings here and also note a few further developments that readers may find of interest and use.

Sarah Hammond and Reading Companion

Sarah Hammond and Reading Companion

Initial Research

In aiming to discover the level of engagement of UK public libraries with Library 2.0 I specifically focussed on blogging in order to narrow the focus of the research to a scope that was achievable given the time constraints. I also felt that blogs are perhaps the most versatile Web 2.0 tool at libraries’ disposal so that taking a snapshot of blog activity would give a pretty good idea of their wider engagement with Web 2.0 tools. So, I tried to find as many UK public library blogs as I could. Further to this I wanted to explore the attitudes and behaviours of public librarians towards the use of Library 2.0 in their libraries which I did with an online survey.


As of August 2008 I identified 20 blogs (methodology), by September 2009 only 13 of these were still active, 6 inactive and 1 totally defunct (as of May 2010 I found 2 more, although 1 of these is now inactive). Compare this with a concurrent study that found 161 blogs in 39 UK Higher Education Institutions (Hopwood, 2009), also with the 252 public library blogs that Walt Crawford found in 2007, chiefly in USA (he updated his study in 2009 and found a lot had fallen by the wayside).

The literature suggested that public libraries are lagging behind other sectors in engagement with Library 2.0, and blogging specifically; very few peer-reviewed studies had been conducted up to 2009 but there is a move towards deriving and utilising standardised methods for blog evaluation to determine success. As of June 2010 there are some more studies coming through and I’ll blog more as I find them.

So, what’s going on here?
In order to find out, I conducted an online survey, 498 people responded and a wide range of attitudes and behaviours were discovered.

Attitudes to Library 2.0: why aren’t UK public libraries blogging?

The trends that emerged may not come as a great surprise:
• technological barriers presented by IT departments
• barriers presented by prevailing organisational culture
• apathy of library staff, lack of engagement
• a feeling that social networking has no relevance to what a library should be doing
• a lack of time to devote to content creation
• use of other methods of communication deemed more appropriate

The survey responses gathered for this study did seem to fall into both extremes of this debate: that public libraries should definitely be engaging with Library 2.0, that they definitely should not, and every shade in between. Many respondents felt that their library had something of value to be added to the Internet via a blog or any other social networking tool. Many felt organisational resistance to blogging, from other staff and from management. Others felt their enthusiasm met with ambivalence and apathy rather than out-and-out hostility. Many respondents said they felt that their IT departments were resistant to librarians engaging with Library 2.0, a commonly-used phrase referred to the IT department as “gatekeepers” in a derogatory sense. This attitude tended to prevail in the US respondents. Herring et al. (2005) posited blogs as bridging genre, removing the necessity to be so reliant on the IT department to create content and Farkas (2007) has recommended blogging as a means of taking control from webmasters for the information the library puts out about itself and delivering into the hands of the librarians themselves.

The UK respondents complained more about the library as an organisation blocking their online activities. A study carried out by a UK Internet company, Huddle, found that many local government employees were keen to utilise social software for professional reasons but that their access to such sites was blocked by the IT department and the higher levels of management driving policy (Huddle, cited on TechCrunch, 2008). One respondent to this survey replied to the initial email sent out inviting participation by bemoaning the fact that their access to SurveyMonkey was blocked on work computers.

Benefits of blogging

Lee and Bates (2008) Mapping the Irish Biblioblogosphere suggested that demonstrable professional benefits result from blogging and this was also found in some of the responses to the survey: people felt up-to-date with issues in the library and information science world, they felt that reflective writing forced them to think more about what they did in their roles and that they could prove their worth by simply pointing to the ready-made archive. It was also felt that they had access to the rest of the biblioblogosphere for ideas on what to do in their libraries, a sharing of ideas was valued. Some respondents said they felt they were more in touch with other branches in their public library authority because they read their blogs.


Aside from noting negative factors, it must be said that in the UK, and especially in the USA, there are some excellent public library blogs that are widely respected within the profession but more importantly are appreciated by their public. It must also be mentioned that many examples of UK public libraries starting to dip their toes into the wider Library 2.0 world were found along the way to finding blogs, several are starting to appear on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and more; I have now decided to track this activity too now I know the numbers involved are not yet too daunting.

Where to now?

Exciting developments: Portsmouth and Surrey library staff have developed a UK-specific 23 Things programme and it is currently being trialled “by staff from 11 library authorities, 15 HE/FE institutions, and two NHS trusts… and two intrepid librarians in Australia.” I’m going to put myself through the 23 Things and would urge everyone to get behind this initiative; if librarians fail to keep pace with the changing needs of existing and future patrons then they will render themselves obsolete; these are scary times and our worth is continually being questioned.

And if your managers/IT dept/council authority are still not convinced, then Phil Bradley has an answer for every one of their objections, chuck the lot at ‘em!

Phil Bradley Blog screenshot

Phil Bradley Blog screenshot

Get in touch

Although my initial research is done and the MA safely snagged, I’m keeping going. The blog’s still going and I’ll add more bookmarks to the Delicious pages as and when. I’ve decided to widen my remit to include all Library 2.0 engagement so please let me know via my blog whenever you find a UK public library doing it’s thing: wiki, facebook, twitter, LibraryThing, netvibes, mobile optimised interface, podcasts etc etc and I’ll put them on Blogs will continue to be bookmarked and entered on the uklibraryblogs wiki. Let’s hope that very soon I’m inundated and can’t keep up with all the online activity!


Farkas, M. (2007). Social Software In Libraries: Building Collaboration, Communication and Community Online. Medford, NJ: Information Today, Inc.

Hopwood, M. (2009). Web 2.0 and the new frontiers of information literacy. [Online]. MSci, University of the West of England, Bristol.

Lee, C. & Bates, J. (2007). “Mapping the Irish biblioblogosphere.” The Electronic Library [Online], 25 (6) 648-663.

Posted in Guest-blog, Libraries, Web 2.0 | 1 Comment »

Using Mobile Devices for Library Services

Posted by Brian Kelly on 1st July 2010

CILIP is running an Executive Briefing Day on Becoming upwardly mobile on 15th Sept. 2010 at CILIP HQ. Aimed at all sectors of the library community (public, academic, special and national), CILIP and event partner OCLC have brought together nine industry experts ‘to analyse how institutions can embrace mobile technology to maximise benefits for existing and potential users’.

The press release continues: ‘Experts predict that the mobile internet market will double the desktop market in five years time. It is crucial for libraries to rise to the challenge of making their services available at the user’s point of need.’ Among the questions to be tackled are:

  • What should libraries be doing in this area?
  • What changes are on the horizon?
  • What are the risks of non-adoption?
  • What are the mobile strategies other libraries are currently adopting?

Posted in Libraries, mobile, Web 2.0 | 1 Comment »

Archives 2.0

Posted by guestblogger on 28th June 2010

About this Guest Post

In this guest blog post Kiara King talks about web 2.0 for archives and the blog she maintains on the subject called ‘web watching for archivists’.

Kiara King is the Archivist for the Ballast Trust, a charitable foundation that provides a rescue, sorting and cataloguing service for business archives with an emphasis on technical records such as plans, drawings and photographs. She can be contacted at:

Archives 2.0

Web 2.0 and me

I first began dabbling in web 2.0 stuff in a personal capacity, with a little bit of facebook at University, some photo sharing and then a few blogs. When I came to decide on a subject for my archive masters’ dissertation in 2007, I wanted to explore how Web 2.0 could work for archives and their users and what the benefits were.

My dissertation looked at how archives could use four of the main Web 2.0 tools – blogs; photo-sharing sites; podcasts and wikis. I researched and found many exciting examples of innovative use of Web 2.0 in archives across the world and I included case studies to illustrate the benefits that using these tools brought to repositories, with a focus on UK examples where possible.

After I graduated, I continued to take an interest in “Archives 2.0” and when I was asked to give a presentation at the 2008 Society of Archivists conference on Web 2.0 I thought it would be useful to start a blog to give me a space to pull together and share the examples I’d found.

Web 2.0 word cloud

Web 2.0 word cloud

Web watching for archivists

I use my blog to share those examples I find and like of archives and archivists using Web 2.0 technologies today. I try to concentrate on UK examples as I think that Kate Theimer of Archives Next already does an excellent job of showcasing the good work that happens everywhere, particularly in North America as well as writing thought provoking posts and generating discussions on web 2.0 and archives.

I originally started my blog by writing up my presentation as a series of blog posts, with one on blogs, one on flickr, etc. Since then I’ve added example to these categories and expanded its scope with posts on new technologies like twitter and youtube, open source software, how to find advice and resources for learning about web 2.0 and even a new category on whimsy for things like the blog Mustaches of the Nineteenth Century!

Web 2.0 and archives

How do I think web 2.0 can help your archive? In exactly the same way it helps museums and libraries – to create new opportunities to connect with your users and raise the profile of your collections. Essentially Web 2.0 represents opportunities for archives. Opportunities to reach wider audiences, use collections in different ways, engage with users and improve the web presence of your repository. Web 2.0 allows you to:

Share your collections

Using a photo-sharing website like Flickr allows you to reach a potential audience of 40 million members. Archives can use Flickr to share digital images of their collections and encourage comments about them like the British Postal Museum and Archive has done. Or you can collect new images from the public like the Great War Archive project at Oxford University did.

British Postal Museum and Archive photostream screenshot

British Postal Museum and Archive photostream

Communicate differently

Starting a blog allows you to share news, promote events at your archive, host small online exhibitions, share the progress of a cataloguing project and generally update readers with any items of interest. Blogs are an easy and free way to provide a secondary public face for your organisation, one that may be more accessible and less formal than the official website.

Some examples of UK repository or collection blogs include the Orkney Archive blog, Special Collections at the University of Bradford and the Bartholomew Archive blog at the National Library of Scotland. There is also the excellent Archives Hub blog.

Orkney Archive blog screenshot

Orkney Archive blog

Twitter is blogging on a smaller scale with a maximum of 140 characters per ‘tweet’ and because of that lends itself to more frequent updates and informal commentary on your collections, linking back to your website or blog for the full story. Examples I like include Strathclyde Archive and Wiltshire Archive’s list of documents being consulted.

You can also use twitter or a blog to repurpose archival content by tweeting or posting diary entries or other collections like the War Cabinet papers being tweeted by the National Archives or George Orwell’s diaries.

UK War Cabinet on twitter screenshot

UK War Cabinet on twitter

Share your talks

Recording talks as podcasts or even digital videos is a great idea if your archive regularly hosts talks and presentations. As these are available online it immediately expands the potential audience and also gives the audience control about when they view or listen to your content. The National Archives Podcast Series is very successful and regularly updated with a variety of topics.

The National Archives Podcast Series screenshot

The National Archives Podcast Series

What next?

If you are interested in using web 2.0 tools in your organisation then take a look at what others have already done to give you some ideas. I’ve pulled together lots of examples of Web 2.0 in action in the UK on my blog and there is a more comprehensive wiki directory called ‘Archives 2.0’.

Web Watching for Archvists blog

Web Watching for Archvists blog

Finally, bear in mind these five guidelines before you start:

  • Think about what you want to do. Have a clear plan about what the tool will be used for and what content it will contain.
  • Experiment. These tools are very flexible and it should be easy to think of ways you could use existing content in new ways.
  • Engage with your potential audience. Find out what your users know about your collections and how you could capture this knowledge.
  • Learn from other sectors. Find out what has worked for museums and libraries.
  • Enjoy it!

Posted in archives, Guest-blog, Social Web, Web 2.0 | 3 Comments »

How to Run a Community Collection Online

Posted by Brian Kelly on 24th June 2010

Spotted on the Museums Computer Group email list – sounds an interesting event so here are the details as posted by Alun Edwards, Manager of RunCoCo.

Registration is now open for the free RunCoCo/Culturenet Cymru workshop: How to Run a Community Collection Online, which will take place on Tues 27 July 2010 at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth.

Community collections help to harness the collective resources of a wider community and spread the costs of creating and contributing to a collection across the education and public sectors. These include The Great War Archive and Community Archives Wales. A community can also be harnessed to enrich an existing collection with tags or comments (like Galaxy Zoo). The organisers would like to invite anyone from the education/public sector who is interested in such projects to take part in this free RunCoCo workshop. As a taster, presentations from previous workshops held by RunCoCo are available online.

The RunCoCo workshop has a number of purposes:

  • This is a chance for managers and others from community collection projects to share best practice and exchange knowledge
  • This will be an opportunity for projects with some shared interests to meet face-to-face. The JISC-funded project, RunCoCo, has also launched an online ‘community of interest’ for those involved in community collection or working to harness a community to enrich an existing collection with tags or comments ( – follow the link on the right of that Web page to Join This Group)
  • Be an opportunity to hear from a number of projects such as Galaxy Zoo and Community Archives Wales, as well as Culturenet Cymru and new initiatives like Citizen Science and The People’s Collection.
  • RunCoCo will disseminate the processes, CoCoCo open-source software and results of the Great War Archive, a pilot community collection.

Places are limited, and similar events in Oxford have been over-subscribed. Please register at no later than 1200pm on 12 July 2010. We will confirm your place as soon as possible.

Posted in archives, Events, Libraries, Museums, Web 2.0 | Comments Off

Local authorities and digital continuity

Posted by Brian Kelly on 21st June 2010

Working with local authority IT departments is often cited as a problem by libraries, archives and museums wanting to use Web 2.0 tools and services, so here is a timely report.

The press release states:

Archives Sector Development at The National Archives has recently published a report on the digital continuity risks of large local authorities in England, accessible from:

Digital Continuity requires strategic alignment, senior understanding and commitment and effective working relationships between Senior Information Risk Owners, ICT Managers, information assurance and governance officers and those responsible for business processes as well as records and information management.  This report is not part of the central government-funded Digital Continuity project but was commissioned to provide an evidential basis for future dissemination of that project’s findings to the wider public sector.

The main findings are:

  • Varying degrees of senior engagement exist in the authorities concerned;
  • A few authorities have information management strategies capable of delivering continuity but only one of the 35 respondents appeared to be addressing it at the strategic, board level;
  • Many information management programmes are partial and disconnected, indicating significant continuity risk; and
  • Many authorities appear to be struggling with coordinating the main internal players in information management.

The underlying survey, analysis and report writing were conducted by our contractors, Richard Jeffrey-Cook of In-form Consult and Philip Lord of the Digital Archiving Consultancy.

In addition to our contractors, we’d like to thank Socitm, the Records Management Society and the Association of Chief Archivists in Local Government (now part of the Archives and Records Association [UK & Ireland]) for their cooperation and facilitation in running the survey.  We hope that the report will be useful not just to us but also in providing levers for local authority information managers to influence their senior management.

Please address any comments or queries to:

Malcolm Todd
Digital Archives Advice Manager

Archives Sector Development
020 8392 5330 ext. 2192

Posted in Addressing Barriers, archives, Libraries, Museums, Web 2.0 | 1 Comment »

Events – Value for Money?

Posted by Brian Kelly on 10th June 2010

Four events have been brought to my attention recently – a trade fair, a 2-day workshop and 2 webinars. In a time of financial stringency, staff must justify requests to attend events out of staff development budgets or funds set aside for specific projects. So what coud you get out of each of these events?

Collect 2010 is organised by the Collections Trust, “for collection managers, registrars, archivists, librarians – in fact, for anyone who works with collections, both physical and digital”. This free event will be held at the Kingsway Hall Hotel in London on 28th June. See the Collect 2010 Web site for more details.

With this type of event, attendance is free but you’ll need to take time away from your job to be there and there are travel costs to factor in. You’ll be able to talk to a range of trade participants – in this case they include digital asset management companies and digitisation specialists – which is useful if, say, you are about to embark on a digitisation project or actively in the market for (or just thinking about) buying or upgrading a content management system. With this focus on face-to-face contact though, the only Web 2.0 aspect is if individuals attending on the day post tweets on Twitter or refer to the event afterwards via a blog, so the value is being there on the day.

IWMW 2010 is UKOLN’s annual Institutional Web Managers’ Workshop, which takes place this year at the University of Sheffield from the 12th to the 14th July 2010. The programme includes institutional case studies, presentations on national initiatives and emerging technologies and the chance to actively participate in a number of parallel sessions.

While cultural heritage sector staff aren’t likely to be attending this (you need to pay for your delegate place), the event Web site is a useful resource in itself, demonstrating how social media can be used to build a community of both delegates and non-attenders, before, during and after an event. For example, Ideascale was used to identify and vote for topics for some of the sessions. IWMW 2010 also has its own blog, and a Twitter tag ‘#iwmw10′. To see how this all builds up to a resource that has value after the event, take a look at the IWMW 2009 site.

Finally, the webinars. UKSG’s one-day seminar “Introduction to Serials and E-Resources Today” will be run as a series of webinars, with the content split into three two-hour parts (Part 1 on 30th June, Part 2 on 7th July and Part 3 on 14th July) each taking place from 2pm-4pm BST. The webinars include both presentations and a chance to ask questions and discuss relevant topics and are targetted at “staff new to working with e-resources and serials, whether from a publisher, an intermediary or a library, [while] this seminar may also be of interest to those looking to consolidate and update their serials and e-resources knowledge”.

The second webinar is on RDA, with ALA Digital Reference Publisher Troy Linker giving an overview of Resource Description and Access (RDA), how it is integrated into the RDA Toolkit, pricing, subscription options, and future plans for the continual improvement of the RDA Toolkit. The same content is delivered on 3 separate dates at different times of day, and if you can’t make one of these, they will be recorded and posted to

Thursday, June 17, 9:00am CDT (GMT -5) [Good choice for European and African participants]
Thursday, June 17, 8:00pm CDT (GMT -5) [Good choice for Australian and Asian participants]
Friday, June 18, 3:00pm CDT (GMT -5)

The webinar format means you don’t have to be away from the office for a full day and no extra travel is involved. But it may not be cost free – the RDA webinar is free but UKSG is charging for its webinar series. Another feature of webinars is that they can have an international audience and both the RDA and the UKSG webinars make this point in their event advertising, identifying local times for various parts of the world.

If you’ve been to an event which has integrated social media into the experience, or have “attended” a webinar, why not add a comment and tell us about it?

Posted in Libraries, Social Web, Web 2.0 | 1 Comment »

What’s Happening? ss Great Britain Trust and Twitter

Posted by Brian Kelly on 12th May 2010

About this guest post

In this guest blog post, Rhian Tritton writes about the ss Great Britain Trust’s use of Twitter as part of it’s Incredible Journey project. Rhian is Director of Museum & Educational Services for the Trust.

What’s happening? ss Great Britain Trust and Twitter

ss Great Britain Trust is an independent museum and visitor attraction, welcoming 150,000 visitors a year. As Director of Museum & Educational Services for the Trust  I’m responsible for the curatorial function, the education function and all interpretation on site. The Trust’s newest project is the Brunel Institute for conservation and learning which will contain a new visitor centre, state-of-the-art stores for the Trust’s archives and a publicly accessible library, all housed in a £35 million development next to the ship herself.

I’ve been at ss Great Britain for just under two years and am still, after over 20 years in the museum business, passionate about museum objects and the stories they can tell. Recently I have become increasingly interested in using Web 2.0 as an interpretation tool. This has been sparked partly by a personal interest in all new forms of technology; I tweet regularly about my cake-baking hobby. I also believe firmly that museums have to adapt constantly their ways of communicating with their audiences in order to stay fresh and current.

Web 2.0 – how to use it?

In the summer of 2009 I heard Brian Kelly’s presentation at the Association of Independent Museums conference, which confirmed my view that Web 2.0 was a hugely exciting area in which ss Great Britain Trust could develop. I started to investigate how other museums were using Web 2.0. I found plenty of examples but sometimes they felt like your dad dancing at the PTA disco – a toe-curlingly embarrassing attempt to be trendy. The most interesting examples came from Twitter, such as Historic Royal Palaces’ “I am Henry VIII” campaign, or the tweets from the whale on the ceiling of the Natural History Museum in New York (yes, really). These two examples both used Twitter as an interpretation tool, and the creative and impressionistic nature of the tweets
seemed to me to foster a sense of imaginative engagement in readers. This was very exciting, and chimed exactly with the aims of ss Great Britain’s interpretation aims;  on the site the objective is to educate and delight visitors. At this point I began to use Twitter myself; my hobby is baking and I tweeted regularly about my cakes.

There was still some work to do to convince the rest of the organisation that the Trust should embrace Web 2.0. Though no-one at first shared my fascination with its possibilities, the Trust prides itself on taking calculated risks and constantly refreshing its offer, and there were clearly potential benefits of using the web in a new way. It was decided to develop a Web 2.0 strategy first, to ensure a coherent approach, but before that could happen, in autumn 2009 a clear opportunity to use Twitter presented itself,  in the shape of The Incredible Journey oral history project.

Dipping a toe in the water of Web 2.0: ss Great Britain tweets

This HLF-funded project celebrates the fortieth anniversary in 1970 of ss Great Britain’s heroic salvage from the Falklands and subsequent return to the Bristol dock  in which she was built. Surviving members of the salvage team were interviewed, and some of the 150,000 Bristolians who lined the bank of the Avon to see the ship return also shared their memories via Memory Collection Boxes. As the oral history recordings started to come in I was stunned by how deeply the memories of the salvage still resonated with those involved; more than one was moved to tears during the recording. The nature of oral history recordings (which is a function of the disjointed way in which memory itself works) meant that the stops and starts and idiosyncratic cadences of individual speech were captured beautifully, resulting in some vivid phrasing. Suddenly the Trust’s first foray into Web 2.0 was clear: a Twitter campaign using fragments of the oral history interviews. I wanted the tweets to be deliberately fragmentary, a little like overhearing a really interesting bit of a conversation on a bus. This also fitted with the aim of The Incredible Journey project, to collect a host of often quite small memories which would build to create a mosaic of the collective experience of those who remembered the salvage.

ss Great Britain in Sparrow Cove

ss Great Britain in Sparrow Cove, in position over the submerged pontoon which then floated up with the ship on top of it. The pontoon then carried the ship 8,000 miles across the Atlantic.(photo Malcolm Macleod)

Tweets could also drive visitors to the Incredible Journey pages on ss Great Britain’s website. The salvage operation started on 25 March 1970 with the attempt to raise ss Great Britain from the bottom of Sparrow Cove in the Falkland Islands, included her epic journey 8,000 miles across the Atlantic on the back of a pontoon, and finished on 19 July when she triumphantly returned to the Great Western Dock in Bristol where she now sits. Each day during this period a new “real time” update was to appear on the website, taken from the detailed and vivid diaries kept by the salvage team during the operation, and using photographs from the Trust’s archive. The philosophy behind this, that daily updates would help create a sense of excitement about ss Great Britain’s fortieth anniversary on 19 July, also married well with the immediacy of Twitter.

ss Great Britain being towed up river Avon

Over 100,000 people watched ss Great Britain towed up the Avon

With the help of the Web Marketing & Content Officer the campaign was launched, with the username 1970Salvage. The tweets have been deliberately impressionistic, using phrases from the oral history interviews and memories submitted via the Memory Collection Boxes. Examples include “Day 21 – With local help we had to clean the ship off …tons and tons of mussels” and “Day 5 – We couldn’t walk anywhere, it was extremely dangerous, all the decks were totally rotten”. So far over 200 people are following the tweets, and the campaign has garnered the Trust good local publicity. Other benefits have been development for the staff immediately involved, and increased awareness of Web 2.0 amongst other staff and trustees. The next task is to develop a Web 2.0 strategy that builds on the Twitter experience and sets out a methodology for using Web 2.0 as a tool for interpretation as well as marketing and listings information. And though I won’t be tweeting about the Web 2.0 strategy (that would be like James Joyce’s Ulysses meets Blade Runner), expect to see more light-touch use of Twitter by the Trust in the future.

Posted in Museums, Web 2.0 | 2 Comments »

Web 2.0: transforming libraries and the curriculum

Posted by guestblogger on 27th April 2010

About this guest post

In this guest blog post, Sue Batley considers the impact of Web 2.0 on library and information management teaching. Sue is the leader of the MA Information Management course at London Metropolitan University.

What educators do is driven by the needs of practitioners and employers, so Sue would appreciate your thoughts on the challenge of using Web 2.0 within the library and information environment; she can be contacted at:

Web 2.0: transforming libraries and the curriculum

I’m probably preaching to the converted here, but everyone seems to acknowledge that Web 2.0 has the potential, at least, to break down the boundaries between libraries and their users. Traditional library services are increasingly being accessed by users who are operating from outside the library walls and we are seeking to introduce new, collaborative ways of engaging with people for whom the library is only one of many sources of information. This can be perceived as either an opportunity or a threat, it is certainly a challenge.

Technology has long been a driver of change in our profession. It perhaps started with the fountain pen (so much easier to write catalogue entries), and continued through the automation of technical processes, the introduction of online information services, and development of web-based services and e-collections. None of these innovations, however, substantially changed professional practices. We were doing basically the same things, just more efficiently. Web 2.0 is different. It could fundamentally change the role of the library and information professional.

At London Metropolitan University we have, in the last few months, examined our curriculum and have started to prepare ourselves for the future. What I want to do here is to explain the background to recent developments in our CILIP accredited MA and then go on to describe a new module which, we feel, addresses the particular challenges of using Web 2.0 to enhance library and information service delivery. We would very much like to know your thoughts on this as what we do is, of course, driven by the needs of practitioners and employers.

As educators and as trainers of information and knowledge professionals we obviously have to continually review our syllabuses in response to professional needs and technological innovation. We knew that our syllabuses had kept pace with change, we were confident that we offered a good, up-to-date professional education, but we were also aware that the title of our course hinted at a rather outdated model of library and information provision. Historically in our courses there was an emphasis on sectors and specialist information sources. We had modules on Academic Libraries, Special Libraries, Business Information, Health Information, and so on. This sectoral approach was reflected in the course title: Information Services Management. We no longer operate in this way. This is not to say that specialism isn’t desirable or necessary, but that we as educators are well placed to develop transferable skills which our students’ own inclinations and experience can contextualise in specialist areas. So we’ve developed modules in Information Architecture, Managing Digital Resources, Applied Information Research, etc. The culmination (for now) of these changes is a new course title: MA Information Management. It looks like a small change, and there’s nothing surprising or innovative about the name, but it suggests a broader, less compartmentalised perspective.

So where does Web 2.0 come into this? The answer is actually ‘everywhere’. I can’t find any module, in either the MA Information Management or in our other CILIP accredited programme, the MSc Information and Knowledge Management, that doesn’t either address Web 2.0 applications directly, or at least assumes their use in communicating with and engaging with professional and user communities.

Since the technologies emerged writers have been demonstrating how they can be incorporated into professional practice. As academics we use Web 2.0 applications in our personal and professional lives. Our students are active in the blogosphere, in collaborative tagging and bookmarking, and in social networking and they are increasingly incorporating Web 2.0 technologies in their working lives too. Part of their professional education and training has to address how they can use Web 2.0 to best effect.

This brings me to a new module developed by my colleague Susie Andretta, which I think best demonstrates our commitment to embracing the opportunities presented by Web 2.0. Probably the main challenge lies in Web 2.0 facilitating a new kind of relationship where there is the possibility for an equal dialogue between librarians and their users. One manifestation of this is that users are demanding a new kind of language in their dealings with information systems and services, one that does not include the jargon which, and this is common in most professional groups, seems to define our professional identity. As Susie Andretta has argued this is not a threat to librarians, but an opportunity to speak the language of the users and make libraries more responsive and user-driven. Susie’s paper at the IFLA 2009 conference in Milan focused on transliteracy and urged delegates to ‘Take a walk on the wild side’.

Susie’s research found that transliteracy, the ability to communicate and interact effectively via multiple channels across a range of platforms, has already permeated the library and information world. Maybe not all of us realise it yet but we are transliterate, we’ve already risen to the challenge of Web 2.0. What we haven’t done so far in our professional courses is to embed transliteracy skills in the curriculum.

Susie’s research has resulted in the development of a new module: Transliteracy and Web 2.0. The aim of the module is to examine approaches to Web 2.0 technologies within the context of information provision and education and to evaluate the impact on the transliteracy attitudes and
practices of their users. Students taking the module will be able to:
•    define the meaning of transliteracy based on the information context in which it is situated
•    interact with a range of Web 2.0 technologies within diverse contexts
•    create a Web 2.0 technology resource targeting a particular group of users/learners
•    evaluate the impact of this provision in terms of fostering the users’ transliteracy attitudes and practices

The assumption is, and it’s surely a correct one, that if we’re going to make the most of the opportunities offered by Web 2.0 then we have to embrace it wholeheartedly and utilise it to communicate with our users in diverse ways and on equal terms. In doing so we benefit ourselves as a professional group and we benefit our users, by enhancing their information skills and their engagement with Web 2.0 applications. It is all about collaboration after all.

Andretta, S. (2009) Transliteracy; Take a walk on the wild side. In World Library and Information Congress: 75th IFLA General Conference and Council. 23-27 August 2009, Milan, Italy.

Posted in Guest-blog, Libraries, Web 2.0 | Comments Off

Follow ukolnculture on Twitter

Posted by Brian Kelly on 1st March 2010

I’ve been working on the Cultural Heritage part of the UKOLN Web site for the last couple of years and as part of this I’ve started using some Web 2.0 tools and services – LibraryThing for the Bookshelf, Dipity for demonstrating the uses of blogs, Delicious for the Ariadne Digest, writing for this blog – and now I’ve created an account (ukolnculture) on twitter.

So why did I do this? You’re reading this blog, so I assume you discovered it somehow. Maybe you saw the link on the UKOLN home page or the link in the Cultural Heritage pages? Perhaps someone passed on the URL to you or you heard about it at one of our Web 2.0 events? The thing is that there are lots of ways you could find out about the blog and we don’t know which way it will happen. So we can’t rely on people finding us via route A – we have to make sure you can find us via routes B and C (and may be on as far as route Z) as well.

Why twitter? Well, for three reasons. We know that some people from cultural heritage organisations – our target audience – are already on twitter. We also like to use the Cultural Heritage pages to demomstrate how you could use a service for your organisation. And thirdly, if we are going to suggest you use it, we need to have used it ourselves.

So how did I fare as a newbie twitterer? Sign up is easy – just fill in Full Name, Username, Password and email address. But hold on – it’s worth thinking about this just a little beforehand. Full Name doesn’t have to be your personal name; so if you are creating an account for the museum friends or the library reading groups, then use something like Someplace Museum Friends or Someplace Library Readers (though there’s a little catch here in that you’ve only got 20 characters available so you might need to be a little creative). What about Username? Well this is the bit that twitter followers will see – in our case ukolnculture. As this gets quoted in tweets it’s good to keep this short but do think about how it reads – we decided against ukolnculther. And finally the email address – twitter will use this to contact you to confirm the set up of the account. This doesn’t have to be your personal one (you may be reponsible for the twitter account this year but it could be someone else next year) so you could use a corporate one.

Having got the account – what next? That really depends on what you want to use twitter for. Could be you want to promote events in your library or museum, or a way to let people know of unexpected closures (the recent snow springs to mind). For some things, you might need to write the posts yourself. Not difficult, simply sign in to the account and start typing the message – in 140 characters. You don’t even have to do the counting – twitter shows the character count just above the text box and the number drops as you type, delete text and the count rises. It’s useful to post an initial tweet that simply say something about the pupose of the account, such as ‘Created the someplacemuseum Twitter account for news about our events and exhibitions’.

But there is an alternative and that is using another service to pull text from RSS feeds into your twitter account, which is what we are doing. Maybe you already have a news page or a library blog with an RSS feed set up. Sign up to twitterfeed and put in the URLs of the feeds you want to use and use the twitter link. If you are doing this it’s worth manually adding a second initial tweet saying something along the lines of ‘Created the ukolnculture Twitter account. This will publish various work-related RSS feeds’. But what about that 140 character limit? All that happens is that the RSS feed is automatically truncated by twitter, so typically a tweet will be the title of a blog post and part of the first sentence – just enough to intrigue people enough to go to the blog and read the full post. It follows from this that long titles in blog posts should be avoided.

So what will you find if you follow ukolnculture on twitter? Our policy for this twitter account is to focus on letting people know about our activities for the cultural heritage sector. The tweets will come from three RSS feeds (though we may add further feeds at a later date). The Cultural Heritage blog feed will alert people to new posts on the blog. The events feed will inform people of news about our workshops and other events for the cultural heritage sector. The briefing documents feed will let people know when new Introbytes briefing documents are published.

If you are on twitter why not follow ukolnculture. If you’re not on twitter yet, why not have a think about what it could do for you? And usefully, it’s free.

Posted in Web 2.0 | Comments Off

What’s all the Fuss About Buzz?

Posted by Marieke Guy on 10th February 2010

It feels like we’ve only just start to master one new and important Google technology (Google Wave) and they are already throwing a new one at us.

Earlier this week Google announced a new service called Google Buzz. At first look Google Buzz seems very similar to Twitter, Friendfeed or Facebook in that it involves posting status messages. The idea is that it adds a social networking angle to Google Mail (Gmail) and the rest of the Google suite, and it uses your current contacts list.

Lifehaker explains that Buzz’s five key features are:

  • Automatic friends lists (friends are added automatically who you have emailed on Gmail)
  • “Rich fast sharing” combines sources like Picasa and Twitter into a single feed, and it includes full-sized photo browsing
  • Public and private sharing (swap between family and friends)
  • Inbox integration (instead of emailing you with updates, like Facebook might, Buzz features emails that update dynamically with all Buzz thread content)
  • “Recommended Buzz” puts friend-of-friend content into your stream, even if you’re not acquainted. Recommendations learn over time with your feedback.

Buzz can pull content from a variety of other sources including Twitter, Picasa Web (Google’s image manangement service), YouTube, Blogger and any other RSS feed you have connected to your Google profile. Google have also got their Buzz mobile applications at the ready and have integrated it into the mobile homepage. They will also be using location information to know let people know where someone is when they post. Google have stated that they are also doing their best to make Buzz as open as possible by providing an open API that respects a users privacy decisions.

So what are the big concerns?

Many of us now use Twitter and Facebook as part of our working routine so could Buzz be the next big thing? What are the issues and concerns for those of us working in the cultural heritage sector?

One big concern is that by making Gmail moonlight as a social networking tool some employers may want to ban its use. This is a real issue for those working in the Cultural Heritage sector where council bans on social networking tools are aplenty.
As a working tool many people don’t like the ‘added extras’ sites like Facebook bring (in the form of custard pies to throw and games to play!), it looks like Buzz will avoid much of this baggage. It will be important that there is an option to turn Buzz off and filter content in some way.
Buzz is social networking tool for those who use Gmail. Those who don’t use Gmail are unlikely to switch or may merely use it a place to repost items already appearing elsewhere. Has the social networking market reached saturation point?
The openness of Buzz is a positive. There may be many ways feeds can be integrated and mashed up with other applications in the future. The use of location information is an interesting case and may have many implications.

Have you tried Google Buzz? What do you think? Let us know.

Further resources

Posted in Web 2.0 | 3 Comments »

Write A Guest Blog Post and Make an Impact!

Posted by Brian Kelly on 2nd February 2010

Nicola McNee’s recent guest blog post on “What’s my email address anyway Miss?” Communicating with the Facebook generation” generated a fair amount of traffic on Twitter last week as can be seen by analysing the statistics for the short URL for the post: .

The 26 tweets which included the URL seem to have resulted in 126 clicks to the post within a period of about 24 hours.   A list of those tweets is given at the bottom of this post to illustrate the viral aspect of Twitter and how it can be used to enhance access to the content of blogs (or other resources).

Nicola has been inited to republish the post in The School Librarian, the quarterly journal of the School Library Association.

We have published several guest blog posts previously including Catriona Cardle’s “The Black Art of Blogging” report on a UKOLN workshop on blogs; Nick Moyes description of “When Peregrines Come To Town“”; Nick Poole’s review of “Collections Trust’s Digital Programmes on the OpenCulture Blog“; Margaret Adolphus description of the problem with “Dull Library Web Sites“‘ and Dave Jenkins on “Google Wave and libraries: a snapshot“.

UKOLN’s Cultural Heritage blog provides a useful channel for those involved in the provision of online services in the cultural heritage sector to share their approaches across the community and gain greater expsoure to their work (we often use the examples provided in the guest blog posts in our workshops and our documentation). 

If you would be interested in making the most of an opportunity to share your experiences in this way, please get in touch. You can contact Brian Kelly, Ann Chapman or Marieke Guy

Summary of Twitter Posts On Recent Guest Blog Post

ACinIowa RT @ccaswell: Nice post from the UK on communicating with the “Facebook Generation” #edtech #education
ccaswell Nice post from the UK on communicating with the “Facebook Generation” #edtech #education
bectawatch RT @nextgenlearning: Interesting blog that familiarises school children with the social web
ebookseditor RT @nextgenlearning: Interesting blog that familiarises school children with the social web
HelenHRSC RT @nextgenlearning: Interesting blog that familiarises school children with the social web
CathRiordan RT @nextgenlearning Interesting blog that familiarises school children with the social web
SavvyCitizens RT @nextgenlearning: Interesting blog that familiarises school children with the social web
nextgenlearning Interesting blog that familiarises school children with the social web
LISResearch “Communicating with the Facebook generation”. Interesting observations/strategies by school librarian @nicolamcnee
NicolaMcNee Thanks for all RT’s about blog post on social media in school It was a great opp to reflect on what I do and why.
MaryAnnHarlan RT @buffyjhamilton: Excellent guest post on from school librarian @nicolamcnee on social media use in schools
SPAelemenschool Teaching using social media – Communicating with the Facebook generation – “appropriate to the student’s education”?
bethanar agreed! RT@joeyanne Excellent guest post UKOLN blog from school librarian @nicolamcnee on social media use in schools
bibliothekarin RT @joeyanne: Excellent guest post on UKOLN Cultural Heritage blog @nicolamcnee on social media use in schools
buffyjhamilton RT @joeyanne: Excellent guest post on from school librarian @nicolamcnee on social media use in schools
joeyanne Excellent guest post on UKOLN Cultural Heritage blog from school librarian @nicolamcnee on social media use in schools
quelet RT @briankelly: Guest blog post from @nicolamcnee published on use of Web 2.0 in schools:
miquelduran RT @briankelly: Guest blog post from @nicolamcnee published on use of Web 2.0 in schools:
fleming77 RT @research_inform: What’s my email address anyway Miss?” Communicating with the Facebook generation
calire RT @briankelly: Guest blog post from @nicolamcnee published on use of Web 2.0 in schools: Interesting reading.
timbuckteeth RT @briankelly: Guest blog post from @nicolamcnee published on use of Web 2.0 in schools:
pinstripetwit Cultural Heritage » Blog Archive » Guest Post: “What’s my email …: Can BECTA’s differentiation between “social n…
research_inform What’s my email address anyway Miss?” Communicating with the Facebook generation
briankelly Guest blog post from @nicolamcnee published on use of Web 2.0 in schools:
FreePsyche Free Reading !!! Cultural Heritage » Blog Archive » Guest Post: “What’s my email …: It comes… mypsychicsonline.inf
AidanBaker RT @briankelly: Guest blog post from @nicolamcnee published on use of Web 2.0 in schools:
mariekeguy RT @briankelly: Guest blog post from @nicolamcnee published on use of Web 2.0 in schools:

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Empower, Inform, Enrich – the DCMS Report

Posted by Brian Kelly on 26th January 2010

Last week Liz Lyon (Director of UKOLN) and I spent some time working on UKOLN’s response to the DCMS report Empower, Inform, Enrich.

We welcomed the fact that many of the think pieces and case studies acknowledged the importance of the digital environment within public library services. However, the brevity of each individual contribution meant that there was an over-simplification of both impact and issues and there were gaps. The People’s Network is rightly praised for its success but now needs new goals, strategic direction and technical infrastructure. References to successful reading initiatives did not include Stories from the Web which combines library-based meetings and access to a virtual environment. What about the gaps? No mention of digital citizens nor of an increasing use of the mobile Web. No mention of community participation in building local resources and services nor of innovative ideas such as Citizen Science Hubs. [See Serving Digital Citizens, Liz Lyon's presentation to the LGA/MLA Conference, London, Dec. 2009.] Finally, we drew attention to the need to learn lessons from the past. A national, publicly searchable database is a worthwhile ambition but there are technical and logistical issues that will need to be resolved. Moving RevealWeb from an institutional server to UnityUK without a public-view licence removed visually impaired people’s option to find resources themselves. EnrichUK, the NOF-digi Web site, has disappeared – what happened to all those digitised resources? Work is underway to find out but the lesson is to think about long-term preservation and curation at the start of digitisation projects.

It’s not unusual for UKOLN to be responding to consultation documents from either the academic and cultural heritage sectors and writing collaboratively with a wider group of people requires a particular functionality. What about Web 2.0? Google Docs is a free service that allows you to create and store documents – this might be a good choice if it’s a one-off collaboration. Using Google Docs also means you have a public space to ‘publish’ the finished document if you want to. Alternatively you might try using a wiki (institutional or a free service) – this might be useful if there is other supporting or background material you want to store as well. [See UKOLN Briefing Paper An Introduction to Wikis.] The wiki approach is also useful if the document is going to have lots of sections as the text can be split up to be worked on. This is useful if you want to assign different people to write different sections of the text. Whatever your approach, it’s good practice to have one person in charge.

Posted in Libraries, Web 2.0, wikis | 1 Comment »

Blog Metrics in the Cultural Heritage Sector

Posted by Brian Kelly on 25th January 2010

The importance of metrics on use of Social Web services can be gauged from the popularity of Seb Chan’s workshops in this area. Such interest may be due to the legitimate requirements for the providers of such services to observe how the services are being used. But in addition pressure from civil servants who need to respond to a New Labour fixation with targets and metrics seems to be leading to a requirement for the provision of such statistics for monitoring purposes. So although the usefulness of such metrics may sometimes be questionable there is a need to recognise that in today’s financially troubled times, the funders and the policy makers call the shots!

As part of UKOLN’s series of workshops for the cultural heritage sector we have been asked to run sessions which cover use of blogs and related technologies as there is increased interest in this area. UKOLN has run a number of workshops in this area over the past couple of years, so we are well placed to use existing materials to support
these events. However we have previously not covered approaches to evaluating the success of blogs to any significant extend, beyond suggestions for surveys of the user community.

In order to address this gap we have started work on exploring approaches for gaining factual evidence which has some relationship with effectiveness of blog in fulfilling their purpose which can be used to satisfy the needs of external auditors.

Statistics such as the numbers of posts and comments and the total number. of pages may be some obvious statistics which should be east to obtain, without significant resource costs. Of course if an emphasis is placed on such statistics in isolation there may be the temptation to publish additional content simply to artificially boost the statistics. However such an approach may lead to users no longer wishing to read such posts so there may be an argument that such temptations would be self-correcting.

But perhaps a better may would be to make use of existing external services which monitor the blogosphere. So rather than spending (non-existent!) public sector funding in developing solutions in-house it may be preferable to make use of the existing infrastructure – and perhaps accept the limitations of such services.

Initial work investigated the tanking statistics provided by Technorati.  However it appears that this blog has not been registered in Technorati, which means that Technorati isn’t currently able to rank this blog. Such ranking is based, it would appear, on parameters such as the  numbers of links to blogs and the authority of the blogs containing such links.

Technorati ranking statisticsHowever my UK Web Focus blog was registered with Technorati shortly after it was launched in November 2006, as I described shortly after the launch. As can be seen from the accompanying screen image the blog has an authority of 552 (out of a maximum of 1,000). This appears to rank the blog as the 2,433th most highly ranked blog out of the 1,179,313 which Technorati seems to be aware of i.e. in the top 0.2% of all such blogs!  Further investigation reveals that the blog is ranked at number 98 of technology blogs and 497 of business blogs.

In addition to the UK Web Focus blog UKOLN’s JISC PoWR (Preservation of Web Resources) blog is listed with an authority of 91, placing it in 88,839th place (i.e. in the top 10%).

Reading the Technorati Authority FAQ I find that:

  • Authority is calculated based on a site’s linking behavior, categorization and other associated data over a short, finite period of time. A site’s authority may rapidly rise and fall depending on what the blogosphere is discussing at the moment, and how often a site produces content being referenced by other sites.
  • The new Authority calculation differs from the past version, which measured linking behavior over a longer 6 month timeframe. Please note that links in blogrolls don’t count towards Authority, as they are not indicative of interest in relevant content; we stopped including blogroll links in August 2008.
  • Authority is on a scale of 0-1000. 1000 is the highest possible authority.

Of course it is true that such statistics may be misleading: not all blogs will be registered; there may be technical difficulties in analysing the metrics; the metrics which determine the rankings do not appear to be well-documented; blogs will have a variety of purposes so simple rankings is likely to be inappropriate; etc. It also appears that these figures are quite volatile, with the numbers changing on a daily basis. Such volatility may be due to the constantly changing nature of the blogosphere, but cause also reflect problems with the Technorati service itself, which does not appear to be as reliable as it once was.

Despite such reservations, I feel that the ease of obtaining such statistics (once you have registered your ‘blog claim’ and allowed the data to be retrieved and analysed) means that Technorati provides a low-effort solution to the provision of blog metrics – and thus maximising the time which can be spent in doing productive work! And, of course, sometimes we may find that the Technorati metrics, which are based on the number of incoming links, may indeed have a positive correlation with the value of a blog – and since highly ranked blogs are likely to be more easily found in search engines (just as Google gives preference to highly linked-in Web pages generally) there can be advantages in seeking to enhance your Technorati ranking if maximising impact is one of your blog’s purposes.

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Web 2.0 in the academic sector

Posted by Brian Kelly on 12th January 2010

Since May 2009, Rosemary Russell and I have been working on a study for JISC, looking at the use of Web 2.0 tools and services by the academic sector. We chose to use a Web 2.0 tool – a blog – to collect our evidence and to make this public. People who responded to our invitation to contribute to the study did so by adding comments to topic Pages and we also interviewed a number of people in various roles about their experiences and wrote these up as case studies.

At the same time, Prof. Jane Hunter of the School of ITEE, University of Queensland was working on a parallel study of the situation in Australia. She used a different evidence-collecting strategy but came to very similar conclusions.

The evidence points to the current time being a transition point where early adopters are being joined by mainstream users. Nonetheless, there remains a proportion of users who are as yet Web 2.0 ‘illiterate’. The various Web 2.0 services are mostly seen as easy to sign up to and use, usually free to use and giving access to large audiences. The downside is that services may collapse trapping data, while institutions may block their use. It is common for users to prefer to use Web 2.0 services even when institutional alternatives are available.

What was also evident was that the situation in academic institutions is often not that different to the public sector. IT department blocking use of social networking services? Yes. Takes forever to get permission to set up a blog? Yes. Central management wanting control over all publicly visible text? Yes. Other staff feel threatened, even scared, of the technology or feel it will take time they don’t have? Yes.

But it was great to find out that there is genuine experimentation going on. Photography students using self-publishing sites as part of their studies. A Ning community set up for students before they officially start at University – and so before they can access institutional resources. A tutor using a wiki as a collaborative exam revision web site (Examopedia); this is used by the students to create and deposit answers to past exam papers collaboratively and is moderated by the tutor. An entirely volunteer-run library using Koha software for the catalogue and putting some of its stock on LibraryThing to publicise itself. Putting QR codes in library catalogues so mobile phones can be used to guide users to the shelves in a large collection or building or putting the QR codes on the ends of shelves to alert users to the fact that e-resources are also available.

Particularly interesting was the indication that attitudes of IT Departments are changing, as evidenced by the two case studies from IT staff. David Harrison (Assistant Director of Information Services at Cardiff University) uses a lot of different Web 2.0 services in his working life. He also noted that while the university went down the large implemetation route (i.e. keeping things in-house) a couple of years ago, if taking the decision now they would be looking closely at cloud computing and externally hosted services. Christine Saxton (Director of Corporate Information and Computing Services (CiCS) at the University of Sheffield) has a blog and uses Facebook and Twitter for work work and personal communication. She notes how her blog and Twitter enable her deaf father to keep in touch with her since phone calls aren’t an option. She also noted that CiCS has outsourced all student email to Google from Sept. 2009 and now just provides support to users.

The two reports were submitted to JISC in December 2009 and have been published in the
JISC Repository. The UK study is at and the Australian study is at As well as reading the reports, why not have a look at the blog and its topic Pages and case studies too for ideas and inspiration.

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Posted in Web 2.0 | 1 Comment »